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Category: Flashes

Awakening Heart Through Technology

With so many technological tools at our fingertips, we have an unprecedented ability to reach thousands, millions and billions of people. And I guess you could say Sacred Fire is ambitious. We have taken on a really big project—to help the peoples of today’s world rediscover and return to fundamentals of life that are increasingly being forgotten: Our connection to each other and the Divine natural world. An appreciation of and respect for the cycles of life. The magic of gathering around the Sacred Fire to find balance and heal our alienation and stuck places.

Are you looking for something really meaningful to do with your life right now? Would you like to join us? We are assembling a team of passionate, technically skilled people to do really cool, effective things online. We’re currently looking for a system administrator to help with setting up and debugging Linux-based server systems, a PHP/MySQL programmer to help with deep website coding, and a database administrator to help configure and administrate our growing database of contacts and event records. We have a great team of volunteers, and this is fun, exciting, and very important work.

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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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Olympia: Fire Spoke And Raven Landed

On October 6, 2018, the Olympia, WA (USA) Sacred Fire community hosted a Fire Speaks event. Here is what Sharon Brown, Olympia Firekeeper along with her husband Peter, had to say:

I’ve heard from many of you since our time together. Words like “WOW,” “amazing,” “inspired,” “unexpected,” “magical,” ” beautiful,” “unforgettable”…

As Grandfather Fire said, it was “a wonderful night for a fire.” Calm and dry held for us between days of rain. The weather beings kept us comfortable, while Raven (whose totem was ritually installed this past winter) felt our “warm up” time was particularly special. While we were sharing so many playful and profound songs, poems, and stories, we suddenly heard what sounded like fireworks off in the forest and then the crash of a tree. Grandfather told a small group later that Raven had been powerfully attracted by our laughter. His spirit’s presence had so much weight it crushed the tree beneath him. (Several of us explored the forest at the edge of the property Sunday morning, to find the 60-foot living alder that had snapped.)

During our time with Grandfather Fire, He spoke of many things…about relating with the ancestors, dealing with roadblocks and conflict, finding the meaning behind accidents, getting beyond logic to our intuition, why humans were created, how to move when horrific things happen, finding the source of ‘human craziness,’ dealing with bullies, and forgiving ourselves. It was a rich time indeed and there is much wisdom to unpack and put into action in the months ahead.

Sacred Fire Firekeepers offer monthly fire circles, which are a wonderful place to learn, grow, and build relationships with human as well as other-than-human Beings of the natural world.

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Young Adult Initiation: An Alchemical Process

Successful initiation into adulthood involves more than getting a driver’s license, reaching legal drinking age or completing school.

In humans, successful initiation into adulthood requires physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ingredients, and depends on more than a symbolic coming-of-age ceremony. Humans are born with a latent energy that stays dormant until certain conditions are met. There needs to be a particular readiness and then thoughtful preparation, up to a year or longer. Older adults and elders who understand the important movement from dependence to independence support the initiation process. The process is kind of like baking a cake: various ingredients are brought together in specific proportion, are then subjected to heat over a period of time and, if done correctly, are transformed into something new. Then with independence come responsibility, sacrifice, and the understanding that there are consequences to one’s actions. Initiation also provides a special gift: a greater understanding of life purpose, path and destiny. Deanna Jenne, ritual leader for Sacred Fire’s Sacred Emergence initiation for young women, speaks of “shining the diamond”, a term from Chinese medicine. “We help the young woman really know who she is.” David Wiley, ritual leader for young men’s initiation, adds that in an uncertain world, as autonomy sets in, mistakes will be made, yet making mistakes is a natural human phenomenon. “The key is learning from those mistakes, and how to move with them successfully.”For more information about Young Men’s Initiation
For more information about Young Women’s Initiation

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When Men Gather: The Gift of Elders

Don David Wiley recently shared his perspective on the importance of men coming together in the presence of an elder or elders, those who have important, embodied wisdom to share for the benefit of future generations. Here is what he had to say:

The problem in the masculine is that when we, as men, get nervous, we tend to hide out. We have this sense that we are going to figure it all out by ourselves because we want to feel capable in the eyes of others and don’t want to show this vulnerability in public. Yet if you are not able to see what is in the way, then how can you effectively change it? Most times what’s not being seen isn’t obvious. As an example, your mind has unseen blindness to its own nature much less being able to see the nature of situations confronting you. Therefore in order to be effective in the face of this condition, which can drive you further into your head, you need to reverse directions and come out rather than going in. Yes, you can read some articles, book or web posting, but that’s just information. What you need is real human interaction with others, particularly other men, who are successful problem solvers in the area you’re trying to work through.

So why is this? Why can’t we just go look something up and “know it” whenever we need to “know it”? This idea of “knowing”, or at least being seen as “smart” is important to men since the nature of the masculine drives a desire to create effective action. This prioritizes mind-cognitive perception over emotional perception. In contrast the feminine prioritizes emotional perception, which many people tend not to associate with perception. (As a side note, it actually is and arguably can be more valuable than thinking.) We need to connect both thinking and emotional perception in order to “know” or “learn” about what’s important in life and how it works in 3D. Generating this requires more than just being in your head. You need a setting and the right situation for this to work. Indigenous Peoples with intact, longstanding cultural traditions understand this reality. That has been the role for elders whose wisdom, coming from years of cumulatively learned and earned life experience, is modeled and thereby transferred. If it isn’t transferred, it gets lost and needs to be regained through years of struggle and study. Therefore there is a need to pass these powerful insights on to others for the benefit of future generations.

In order to produce this capacity to live well and walk in the world in a soul-connected way, a social process is required. Like the wise indigenous cultures that have been around for quite some time have learned, it requires being with each other, as men, exploring, deepening and reinforcing this growth in perception and perspective through the support of an elder or elders. You gain something in that setting, then you move back into daily life as your classroom. You go through your challenges – societal, interpersonal, internal challenges – you engage with them and then you cycle back to this experience with other men, again led by an elder or elders who can help take things apart and continue establishing effective life approaches. It’s something that requires help. This is natural. There is nothing wrong; you are not defective or bad. This is just the way it’s done. So, taught by my elders and path and the way of Spirit, I offer it because it works and I want to see men strong and successful. That’s what Ukilái is about.

Ukilái, a Gathering of Men led by Don David Wiley is sponsored by the Sacred Fire Community. The next one is coming up January 17-21, 2019.

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Wildfires, Courage and Community

Grandfather Fire is our friend, our common heart, our warmth in the night, our cook for our food. He brings us together in surprising ways to accomplish the work of heart.

He has given us the task to build community with our neighbors, but we have not been so good at achieving that. So, He manifested as a forest fire that threatened to consume the Mesa Life Project land, causing us to reach out for help and forge deep connections.

Thank you, Grandfather, for your helping us strengthen our connections!

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Voices of Wisdom Southeast 2018

Immerse yourself in ancestral wisdom that will open your heart to renewed connections within yourself, the people around you, and the Natural World. Please join us around the Sacred Fire.

On November 17–18, Sacred Fire Asheville, North Carolina will host Voices of Wisdom, welcoming elders Pahan Pte San Win (Lakota, Cree and Metis) and Wanbdi Wakita (Dakota) for Taku Wakan, “Something Sacred”.

One day Wanbdi had a powerful vision that changed his life. Since then he has had the job of making prayers for people. Pahan Pte San Win tells us, “The first time I had a vision I was 8 years old.” Hear the natural laws of kindness, sharing, and love and how that translates into meaningful action that we can see and experience.

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The Hill Where People Gather Around Fire

In July 2016 people came from near and far to attend a special Fire Speaks event, hosted by the New Freedom, PA Sacred Fire community. On that occasion, those gathered were treated to The Story of Tobacco.

Firekeeper Linda Felch and her husband Randy Whitlock were given a special name for the Place where their hearth is located: Uthsijsta Kahwanta (ooh-th’ see-gee stahh cah’-wahn-tah). Translated from the (extinct) Susquehannock language it means: “The hill where people gather around fire to meet.”

This August 25, gathering again at Uthsijsta Kahwanta, we will ask to be told The Story of Corn. You are invited to join us. You can learn more about the special relationship that Linda and Randy, and other members of the Sacred Fire Community, have built with Corn.

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Wedding Bells ring in North Carolina

On June 9, 2018, family and friends gathered in Rougemont, NC (USA) to witness the marriage of Firekeeper Michael Savino and Margery Nelson Price. After the ceremony, officiated by Firekeeper Patrick Hanaway, (Asheville, NC, USA), those present shared a delicious feast prepared by the local community, and enjoyed heartfelt conversations and merrymaking.

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Life Cycle Living Sparks Important, Beautiful Questions

Beautiful questions often provide more value than quick and easy answers. Those who have had a chance to participate in Life Cycle Living weekends — two-day conversations exploring the natural stages of a human life — have raised many important, beautiful questions.

How is the path to adulthood affected when a person misses a critical factor of development during their teenage years? How does that affect their ability to mature and show up fully grounded in adulthood?

How is our society missing out on the gifts of elders? Are our seniors able to bring their communities the wisdom gleaned from their numerous years of experience?

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Looking for a Pack to Run with?

It’s the year of the Earth Dog, which makes this a perfect time to team up with others to undertake great things for the common good. Perhaps you’d like to join our Sacred Fire Outreach team?

If you have skills as a web publisher, graphic designer or project coordinator, and are looking for an opportunity to work with others in bringing a revolution of heart to our world, we may be the pack for you!

Give our Outreach Director, Bill Sutton, a “woof” and find out more about the Great Endeavor that we are passionately working on together.

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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

Social Media
Erin Everett, lead
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Kathy German

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Infrastructure Manager
Chris Griffin

Web Design and Development
Primordial
Elegant Themes

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