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Category: Features

The Gift of Community Fires

In the center, always, the dancing flames — mesmerizing, mysteriously renewing, inspiring and recalibrating the lives of the humans who are sharing their stories, successes and concerns; their laughter, tears and anger too. Slowly but surely, those gathered are remembering what it is to be in right relationship –- with each other, and with the other-than-human too.

See what Robin, Mark, Debbie, Carlos, Jenny, and Sally have to say about their experience attending Sacred Fire community fires. And if you have a Fire Story of your own, we’d love for you to share it with us.

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The Path to Firekeeping

Are you looking for great purpose, meaning and transformation in your life, while producing spiritual connection, community and help for others? Would you like to see conflict and polarity in people’s lives changed to heart and dialogue? If so, we invite you to explore stepping into the role of Sacred Fire Firekeeper.

In premodern cultures around the world, people recognized the otherworldly effect of sitting with Fire and its influence to open people in a way not easily understood. Beyond heat and light, the presence of Fire was revered for the way that it could produce emotional, mental and spiritual health for communities and individuals, when facilitated by someone who could see and work with Fire’s special gift. This ability, held by those in the role known as “firekeeper,” was cultivated and passed on through generations to particular people. Firekeepers would then be a common presence at gatherings, council and ceremony. Nowadays, this skill, which has been lost in our society, is being reintroduced with the help of Grandfather Fire, and through his relationship to traditions that are still familiar with this spiritual endowment given for humanity’s benefit.

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The Difficulty of Being Human

By Keith Baughman

Healing has at its core an aspect of accepting yourself. Acceptance at this level is layered and complex. Many weeks ago a phrase skipped across my thoughts: the difficulty of being human. Not only does it invert and energize the identifier of “human being,” it also undermines the deeply embedded notion in me that life should be easy and I’m just doing it wrong. As I continue to look through the lens of this phrase, my path to self-acceptance becomes clearer, and I begin to see that human difficulty is part of the natural order. It’s how we’re made, and we’re made this way for a reason.

Writing poetry is the mode or field where these internal conversations often get their first articulation. The difficulty of being human spilled onto a journal page one day without much to suggest its timely relevant weight. But as the days passed, and as I continued to journal, this phrase preoccupied my thoughts and ways of seeing the world within and around me. The following poem is an articulation of the permission, purpose and support this phrase has offered to my struggle to heal and accept myself.

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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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The Gift of Grief: Honoring Loss, Opening to Peace

by Prema Sheerin, Sacred Fire Asheville, North Carolina

A well-tended garden has a balance of the essential elements: fire, earth, water, air and growth. In this, the fourth in a series of five articles, traditional healer Prema Sheerin continues to reveal the vital energies and gifts of each of the ‘elemental emotions’ that, similarly, are meant to provide for a healthy ecosystem in every human being. These elemental emotions are happiness, fear, anger, sympathy and grief. This article addresses grief, which is traditionally associated with the season of autumn.

As we enter the season of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, we feel the poignancy of the fading light, the waning warmth and brilliance of summer. It is a good time to explore the emotion of grief, the energy that supports us in letting go and navigating the many losses and transitions of life. Like the rain that comes to cool the heat of summer, grief provides the nourishing moisture that allows us to process and heal the losses we inevitably encounter.

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Are GPS and Air Conditioning the Zenith of Human Achievement?

by Jen Collins, Sacred Fire New Freedom, PA

Yes, of course they are! That is my first answer. GPS can get me anywhere. It’s a modern day miracle. It has successfully navigated me all through Scotland, and to new doctors’ offices, restaurants, stores…you get the picture.

If I then close up my car windows on the way to all these new places and turn on my air conditioning…well, it makes me feel like I really am doing something. I’ve got direction (ha-ha!), climate control, sound reduction, and time to myself. I’m all self-contained in my little metal box with a cozy chair, a tasty beverage and an audio experience of my choosing.

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Something Essential

By Jonathan Merritt, Sacred Fire Portland, Oregon

We recently asked Sacred Fire Contributing Editor Jonathan Merritt to share his experiences with Grandfather Fire. He came back with a beautiful poem that we would like to share with you.

Grandfather Fire granted us three audiences during a recent gathering in Northern California. He spoke of many subjects, patiently addressing our questions, speaking to our hearts. The wisdom shared inspired the following poem…

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Gathering Blessings: Experiencing Divine

An interview with Sherry Morgan.

Cedar trees don’t wonder if they ought to shed their leaves in winter. The fox doesn’t wonder if it should be a beaver. The clouds don’t wonder whether they should let the wind carry them. But we humans question everything…Prayer can help a lot in discovering that we’re not alone and that there is much help for us to access our authentic expression and the unique gifts we came here to learn about and to offer.

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The Divine Mystery of Corn

On August 25, 2018, at a Fire Speaks event in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, USA, we will request Grandfather Fire to tell us the Sacred Story of Corn. We hope this post intrigues you and inspires you to join us for this unique opportunity.

Sacred stories are passed down through the ages to help humans remember timeless wisdom that promotes living in a heart-centered way. Such ancient lessons speak to the danger of allowing ego-mind to lead the way, and highlight the acts of courage and compassion that restore balance, harmony, and joy. Today’s conversations about social, environmental, and political issues would do well to take into consideration the teachings contained in these sacred stories.

Many of the original traditions from the Americas tell sacred stories about how Corn came to the people and how to engage with it for the benefit of society. Whether we take these stories as fact or as parable, such tales contain valuable lessons that guide us to stay on track, and to live in a heart-centered way, recognizing that our very survival is deeply bound to the health of the living world.

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El Año del Perro de Tierra: Lealtad, energía nutricia y energía de comunidad

Por Ana Cortés, Fuego Sagrado de Tepoztlán

“Van a disfrutar este año…,” dijo el Abuelo al iniciar sus enseñanzas, y añadió: “…pero necesitan entender la diferencia entre el año del Ave de Fuego y el año del Perro de Tierra.” A medida que el abuelo continuó, quienes lo escuchamos, entendimos que hay una diferencia sumamente fuerte entre ambas energías. Para ayudarnos a comprender esto, el abuelo recurrió a la metáfora de ir navegando por un río que tiene características cambiantes y tener consciencia de que es necesario cambiar también la navegación de manera acorde para mantenernos fluyendo y alineados y con su cauce.

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The Earth Dog Year: For the Good of All

By Ana Cortés, Sacred Fire Tepoztlán (Mexico)

“You are going to enjoy this year,” I heard Grandfather Fire say, “but you need to understand the difference between the year of the Fire Bird and the Earth Dog year.”

As Grandfather continued, those of us gathered for this very special audience learned that the difference in energy between last year and this year would be dramatic.

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Sparks: Coming Soon

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:

  1. Find a local Fire and experience it first hand.
  2. Visit our web site.
  3. Subscribe to Around the Fire and discover more about our deep community.
  4. Follow us on social media (see footer of page)

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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