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Category: Flashes

Ireland is Sending a Hundred Thousand Welcomes

by Sacred Fire Ireland

With growing excitement and anticipation, we’re glad to announce that it is only two short months before we will be extending the Irish traditional Céad Míle Fáilte (Hundred Thousand Welcomes) to many of you for our second Sacred Fire Las Tine an Chroí (Ignite Your Heart) event here in Ireland. This land, as Grandfather Fire told us, “was reserved for the gods” in a time before awareness forgot.

As an international community, we are so blessed to have found each other and our beloved elders. We really hope you can come to reconnect face to face, arm in arm, to catch up, make new friends, to sing, dance and play in the soul of this sacred land, to hear more wisdom teachings from Grandfather Fire about our lives and their challenges, and also about the deep, hidden secrets and stories of this mystical land that is my home, Ireland.

At our last event in 2017, people from nine countries came to hear the voice of Fire. Memories were created by experiences attendees had in our magical land, where quite a few wide-eyed community members reported things like the ancient oak trees in the adjoining wood growing faces and talking to them (giving messages to pass on to others), and reports of fairies dancing on the stone wall and around the field where we gathered(!)

This connection to each other, to Fire and our land restores a sense of purpose, joy and meaning to our lives. To hear the timeless truth of the ages spoken goes straight to the heart and leaves us refreshed and wanting more. We would love to meet and share with you either again or for the first time — to celebrate our beautiful land, songs, stories and music with you. Many of you have ancestors from here, so you will be coming back to a place you may feel you know, that your spirit knows. We send out a huge Céad Míle Fáilte to you all to come and join us for Las Tine an Chroí.

LIGHT the FIRE in your HEARTS!

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Year of the Earth Pig

According to the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, each year resonates with one of twelve animals plus one of the five elements, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal and Wood. February 5, 2019 marked the beginning of The Year of the Earth Pig. Grandfather Fire has granted an audience in Tepoztlán, Mexico in honor of the Tibetan New Year every year since 2002. 2019’s audience happened on March 3, during which the lucky crowd heard about the important qualities of the year ahead.

Characteristics associated with Pig were mentioned: pigs are reliable, intelligent, hardworking, with strong energy and determination but without a very strong creative expression. They are willing to take on projects and work on them even if these are somewhat boring. Pig energy includes honesty, optimism and enjoyment of material things that can be held and appreciated.

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Part 2: Firekeepers, I Love You for Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Firekeepers, I Love You: Part 2 of 9

If you spend time around the Sacred Fire, you’ve experienced the specialized work of a trained Firekeeper. In her second Love Letter to Firekeepers, Erin Everett speaks for many of us when she offers appreciation to these dedicated volunteer space-holders who hold fires every month in their 50 communities in 7 countries. They make this sacrifice so that we can gather to share, laugh, and be transformed by the medicine of Fire like human beings have always done.After you listen to Love Letter 2, please take a moment to listen to Erin’s first Love Letter, which is about how much Sacred Fire Firekeepers value relationships.

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Firekeepers, I Love You: Part 1 of 9

This Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to express our love for the most important people in our lives. For those of us who spend time around the sacred Fire in lands near and far, our local Firekeeper is often at the top of that list! Where would we be without the supportive nest of community? Somehow our lives are mysteriously enriched and deepened by the dance with other people and the sacred world at our local Sacred Fire community fires, men’s fires and women’s fires. This is only possible because of our Firekeepers: they hold the space so well.

How do they do this monumental task, month after month? How can we possibly thank them enough?

In this podcast, Fire veteran Erin Everett, who has been attending Fires and observing Firekeepers since she was in her 20s, shares the Firekeeper-love in this first of nine “love letters” to the 62 Firekeepers (and growing) who have dedicated their lives, time and learning to holding space for the fears, hopes, grief, love, laughter and transformation of their communities.

To learn more about Sacred Fire’s Firekeepers or to learn how to become a Firekeeper, visit sacredfire.org.

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With Gratitude for Abundance

Executive Director Larry Messerman stood for the Sacred Fire Community at the December 22, 2018 Prosperity Ritual corn harvest, joining representatives from the Blue Deer Center, Sacred Fire Foundation, traditional Huichol medicine and Nahua Weather Work groups, and the local Tepoztlán (Mexico) Sacred Fire community.

The corn was planted on June 13 with a humble petition for ongoing abundance of resources, wisdom, courage, creativity and joy “so that we may feed the great spiritual hunger of our people.” The harvest was abundant indeed. In addition, those present felt blessed by the presence of a brown scorpion (which is associated with corn) that appeared right by the fire as those present began de-graining. A special thanks goes also to local corn maestro Don Rupert.

Four of the best ears were kept for seed for next year’s planting, and then two of these were exchanged with ears from the other groups. The rest of the good corn was de-grained. Some was roasted immediately and eaten by those present, a happy circle of about 40 people. The rest will be further dried for future eating.

We are extremely grateful for the resources we have been provided, including many talented and passionate individuals who have joined our volunteer staff this past year, and all our generous donors. Thank you!

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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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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.
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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
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Abigail Murray-Nikkel

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Linda Felch

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Heidi Griswold

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Chris Griffin

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Primordial
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