Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to make a fire ceremony

In a fire ceremony it is important to court the fire. To do this the most important thing to know is that fire is alive. Shamanic wisdom understands that everything is alive: any distinction being not between animate and inanimate matter, but more accurately, between obvious and subtle matter. Everything alive needs the food of our effort to feel welcome and fully present when invited into ceremony. This means that not just the fire must be courted and fed when making a ceremony; our gifts must begin with food for the earth upon which the fire will be built. And what of the plants and animals already living on and in the earth beneath the fire? These must be honored also, and moved to safety if possible, to be returned after the fire ceremony is concluded.

We therefore begin with food for the earth and its creatures that will loose their homes through our intention, for the tree in its many guises as paper, kindling and firewood that will transform through our action and for the fire itself that will be born and die through the beckoning of our will. So what is this food that feeds the fire ceremony?

Ideally, this food is handmade with our effort because what we make with our hands or our voice is the most delicious food for the spirits in the fire ceremony to eat. Our most particular human gifts are our voices given out on our breath, and the beauty our thumbs can make. But what of the materials used to make these gifts for the fire and earth? These also must receive our gratitude to honor what they are giving. As you can see, making a fire ceremony requires lots of effort and attention, and we have not yet struck the match to bring the fire to life.

Whenever I ask the elements, forces and creatures of the spirit world to come to my aid, I give gifts or songs to show my respect and gratitude. When I consult the Journey Oracle divination deck, I sing a song that tells the story of the oracle to the creatures of this world. This is so all who have gathered into the ceremony of my reading can feel the fire of my loving regard for this powerful sacred tool.