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Category: December 2018

Women and Men in a World of Growing Conflict

by Sherry Boatright, Sacred Fire Carrollton, Georgia (USA)

Over the last two years, I’ve been glued to online news media. It has become altogether a questionable habit as I find myself moving from one unsettling story to the next. I’m working to get a grip. The upside, though, is that I’ve also discovered great writers and compelling studies about what’s going on in the world, from climate change to local and global politics, from women’s and men’s issues to health and family life.

Take kids for instance. Years ago, Carol Gilligan showed that girls up until age 9 or 10 are confident and expressive of their feelings. But as they move into adolescence, they begin to hide their feelings for fear of not fitting in.

Now my newsfeed tells me that boys are also born with a great talent for emotional openness, but that in adolescence they begin developing their manhood and differentiate themselves from girls.

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Let the Women Gather: The World Depends on It

In the past year, many stories of women disclosing their experiences of being abused and ill-treated have emerged, unleashing a flood of emotions and a call for right action. At the recent Voices of Wisdom Asheville (USA) gathering, Canadian wisdomkeeper Pahan Pte San Win (Cree, Lakota and Metis) spoke of her time working with abused women, learning of their deep suffering and paralyzing fear. Later, Pahan’s life path took her to work with incarcerated men, perpetrators of the very crimes, horrible ones, that her women clients had been victims of. And then Pahan learned something crucial: she came to see the troubled, broken family life that had fostered the anger and the hunger for false power in the male inmates.

How many of today’s terrorists have been born out of shocking, unjust and highly destructive use of force that stripped them of family, home and a simple, honest life? How many who use “power over” have never experienced the gift of belonging to a community and the joy of being in service and protecting the defenseless? Women have an innate capacity to bring forward life and thereby lean toward respecting and cherishing it. Strengthening women, empowering them to embody matriarchal wisdom and feminine leadership, can be seen as a vital step in bringing healing and balance back to human society.

Sacred Fire offers an Annual Gathering of Women, where women dedicated to restoring balance in the world can receive invaluable inspiration and mutual support. The next one is coming up March 14-18, 2019.

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Tepoztlán Protection Ritual: Divine Help, Community Action

by Erica Cohen and Ana Cortés

Communities around the world are facing challenges related to imbalance and misuse of power, including economic, racial and gender discrimination. This is leading to destruction of the environment, of cultural traditions and of peaceful ways of life. Grandfather Fire has often told us that His presence is both good and bad news. Good because He’s here to help us; bad because when He shows up, it is because that help is urgently needed.

Here in Tepoztlán (Mexico) we have had the privilege over the past decade of receiving extra help in the form of a Protection Ritual that is included as part of our annual year-end Grandfather Fire audience. This offering arose in response to the local community’s request for protection as Mexico, and specifically the state of Morelos where we live, had become a more dangerous place to live. Violent crime, including robberies and kidnappings, had skyrocketed. Because we live in a sacred valley where the local mountains and divine protectors still have a strong presence, the ritual calls on them to watch over us.

While crime continues to be a serious issue, and drug cartels are strengthening everywhere in Mexico, our town has recently organized to protect itself better through neighborhood watches and other grassroots responses. Also, this year, a huge, well-financed development project that would have had many detrimental effects on our town was strongly and effectively opposed and cancelled. Many of us feel a sense of trust that Grandfather Fire’s protection is helping us, even as we are also accepting responsibility and putting in the work to do our part.

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Solstice Fires: Honoring the Rhythm of Nature in Community

For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, the natural rhythm of the seasons is leading toward the Winter Solstice, the longest night, on December 21. On the same day, those residing in the Southern Hemisphere will experience the Summer Solstice, the longest day. The world over, humans have used these seasonal milestones as an opportunity to reflect on how the rhythms of nature also live within people. The darkness marks a time for slowing down, for stillness and introspection, for assessing and for mending things. Gradually, with the movement toward the Spring Equinox, new seeds (physical and metaphorical) are planted and then, at Summer Solstice, there is a celebration of what has and is coming to fruition in our lives. At the Fall Equinox the harvest is celebrated and the process of letting go begins as humans once again move toward a period of rest. What is the season where you live and how you will you both align with and celebrate it?

Many Sacred Fire communities around the world will be marking this time of the year with a special Solstice Fire. If you can’t find a fire near you, invite a group of family and friends to participate in a thoughtful way to honor the rhythm of your lives.

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Visualizing Heart

In the coming year, we’ll be rolling out a fresh new look for Sacred Fire. We’re developing a new web site, brochure, and other materials with a fresh content and approach. In doing so, we’ve articulated guidelines for visual and written style to help us bring forth an expression we hope will better meet the world where it is and make the gifts of Fire we have been given accessible to a larger audience.

We’re looking for someone with graphic design skills who will help us draw out this direction into the many materials we create to support Community Fires, Fire Speaks events, Lifeways programs, Around the Fire articles, and more. All we ask for is a vision for elegance and beauty, familiarity with image editing tools, and a willingness to work and learn with others.

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Around the Fire

Around the Fire is the newsletter of the Sacred Fire Community and is published once or twice a month as needed.

If you’re new to Sacred Fire, here are three ways to learn more:

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Around the Fire is published by the Sacred Fire Outreach team:

Director
Bill Sutton

Editorial Team
Christine Staub, lead
Erin Everett
Jonathan Merritt

Web Publisher
Britt Espinosa

Graphic Design
Malowany Creative
Sylvia Law
Sally Casper

Social Media
Erin Everett, lead
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Linda Felch

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Infrastructure Manager
Chris Griffin

Web Design and Development
Primordial
Elegant Themes

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