The Element of Fire
Fire holds the power of transmutation, able to change the form and structure of other Elements. Honoring Fire as a Sacred Element through which we can purify and release those things that no longer serve. On the traditional Medicine Wheel path we bring our prayers of tobacco to send up the smoke of our prayers. We offer blessings to honor and feed it. Traditional gifts are chocolate or raw liver. What we bring to the fire is released into the Hands of the Creator. We feed the Fires of Creation.
Sacred Fire Ceremony:
The Sacred Fire Ceremony shared from the Tewa/Hopi path of my teacher Joseph Rael, “Beautiful Painted Arrow,” from a Spiritual Vision. Fire is built from 20 pieces of wood that are stacked in order that Honors the 4 Directions. We bring to the fire those things we would release unto the hands of the Great Spirit.
Those who serve in the role of the Fire Keeper, pursue it as a Sacred Path. Years of learning are invested by those who choose this path. I honor the wisdom of those who have committed themselves the Discernment of Fire. I hope that my offering, from the perspective of a humble observer is offered with the highest intention to Honor the process in a good and worthy way.
The Fire Keeper is charged to stay with the Fire from its beginning to its end. A Sacred Fire is never left unattended. The Fire Keeper draws discernment from the ways of the Fire. The direction to which the first log falls is among the observations the Fire Keeper shares with the Whole.
If you attend a Sacred Fire Ceremony it is important to Honor the Fire and the One who Keeps it. A Sacred Fire is not a “meeting place” for conversation. Silence is always in order at any Sacred Ceremony. Sacred Ritual is a Time and Place reserved for Consciousness of the Creator. The Elders taught us to ask the Fire Keeper for permission before we make our offering, and to honor their guidance.
We don’t all have a place that accommodates the building of a fire. Joseph shared a way to hold this fire anywhere with the use of wooden matches. A substantial fire can be built this way that will extinguish itself within a minute.
BUILDING A SACRED FIRE INDOORS FROM MATCHES:
1) You need a safe foundation that can be an abalone shell, ashtray, or any fireproof dish that will contain the flames.
2) 20 Matches – Wooden matches preferred.
3) Gift to the Fire – A small piece of chocolate.
4) Prayers – Prayers can be offered on a small piece of paper or given as prayer with tobacco.
All the elements used for the fire are offered a blessing and purification. A smudging of sage and sweetgrass are traditional, but any blessing of Consciousness will serve the purpose. Our Blessing is an Acknowledgement of the Holiness of the Element of Fire, and our Intention to use it for a Divine Purpose. We always ask permission. So do we smudge our Self so we are Purified for a Holy Communion.
Every Sacred Ceremony offers a blessing to the 4 directions. We offer a blessing to the place where the fire will be built.
Laying foundation for the fire…
The first two matches are laid down facing the direction of the East. We remember the Direction of our Divine Inspiration, the direction where the Sun rises to bring us a new day.
The second set of matches are laid down facing the direction of the South to offer a Blessing to our relationships with one another and with the Natural World. We pray for those in our community and for our environment.
The third set of matches face West, the direction of our Unknown Experience of Life. Here we Honor the experiences brought to us by Mother Earth, through which we will acquire our Divine Wisdom.
The fourth set of matches face North to Honor the Wisdom of the Ascended Masters, the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who shared the path, and the Wisdom of our own Experience. We Honor the gift of Consciousness to Acquire Wisdom.
The remaining 12 matches are laid in the same order and direction to create the tower that will be the foundation of our fire. The fire will burn quickly. We can offer our gifts and blessings so they will be present when we light the fire.
NOTE: Traditions of Fire Ceremony in the North (Yucatec) follow a clock-wise rotation beginning from the East. The traditions in the South (K’iche) honor the directions in a counter-clockwise rotation. For a larger fire made with logs, paper and kindling are added to the center before it is started. When building a larger fire, remember that it must never be left unattended until it extinguishes itself. (The larger fire shown above was made from dry wood sold at the grocery store. The Fire consumed all the wood in less than an hour.)
Fire is an Element that draws us into its Power. As the matches are burned, we can look into the Fire to conceive a Power without substance, a vision of Pure Energy. Fire will inspire us to see how we are transformed by the Fire of Spirit.
Oscar Miro-Quesada, a shaman and teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition shared the use of Fire Ceremony in the Alchemy of Transmutation… changing one thing into another. At the Full Moon, that which we chose to release from our lives was written on a piece of paper and burned by fire. Then the ashes were placed in a plastic bag with equal amounts of water and baking soda, then frozen. (We see that which we release being transmuted into a new form and suspended in a solid state.) On the New Moon, that which is transmuted and stabilized becomes an offering to Living Water… released into a body of moving water. We see “that which no longer serves” is carried away. “As Above, so Below.”
in lak’ech, Debra