Today we hold a fire ceremony. Fire is a fascinating and mesmerizing event, it is not a thing. Fire is an event. It is multi-sensory. You can feel it, hear it, smell it, and if you dare—touch it.
It provides warmth, beauty, and light. We can use it to cook our foods, to sit around to ward off the darkness of the night, protect us from wild animals, and it fuels our passion.
Heating wood or other fuel releases volatile vapors that can rapidly combust with oxygen in the air; the resulting incandescent bloom of gas further heats the fuel, releasing more vapors and perpetuating the cycle.
So a bonfire is basically a tree running in reverse.
Earth is the only known planet where fire can burn.
Oxygen supply influences the color of the flame. A low-oxygen fire contains lots of uncombusted fuel particles and will give off a yellow glow. A high-oxygen fire burns blue.
So candle flames are blue at the bottom because that’s where they take up the fresh air, and yellow at the top because the rising fumes from below partly suffocate the upper part of the flame.
Fire makes water. It’s true. Place a cold spoon over a candle and you will observe the water vapor condense on the metal……because wax—like most organic materials, including wood and gasoline—contains hydrogen, which bonds with oxygen to make H2O when it burns. Water comes out of your car’s tailpipe, too.
We’ve been at this a long time: Charred bones and wood ash indicate that the earliest people were tending the first intentional fires more than 400,000 years ago.
Nature’s been at it awhile, too. A coal seam about 140 miles north of Sydney, Australia, has been burning by some estimates for 500,000 years.
The Black Dragon Fire of 1987, the largest wildfire in modern times, burned some 20 million acres across China and the Soviet Union, an area about the size of South Carolina.
It is one of the four classical elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.
Let’s form a circle around the fire and one by one call in support from Divine Sources that give us peace. God, Jesus, Creator, Spirit, the Universe. Whatever is your preference.
This is a time of peace and reflection. Please savor the moment. Drink it in. BE here. Be HERE.
O Father, who art before all else and who dwells in every object, in every person and in every place, we cry to You. We summon Thee from the far places into our present awareness.
O Father of the North, who gives wings to the waters of the air and rolls the thick storms before you, who covers the Earth with rain and snow where deep tranquillity can be found. Temper us with the strength to withstand the storms of life, yet make us thankful for the beauty and growth which follow. and the roots so deep.
O Father of the East, the land of the rising Sun, Who holds in Your right hand the years of our lives and in Your left the opportunities of each day. Brace us that we may not neglect our whole being nor lose the gifts of each day and the meaning of each year.
O Father of the South, whose warm breath of compassion melts the ice that gathers around our hearts, whose fragrance speaks of distant springs and summer days— dissolve our fears, melt our hatreds, kindle our love into flames of true and living realities.
O Father of the West, the land of the setting Sun, with Your mountains and free, wide meadows and forests—bless us with knowledge of the peace that follows purity of purpose and the freedom that follows meaning like a flowing river. Teach us that the end is better than the beginning and that the setting sun glorifies not in vain.
O Father of the heavens, in the day’s infinite blue and amid the countless stars of the night, remind us that you are vast, that you are beautiful and majestic beyond all of our knowing or telling, but also that you are no further from us than the fire before us.
O Father of the Earth beneath our feet, master of the wind, creator of the land and the Storer of the Earth’s unreckoned resources, help us to give thanks unceasingly for Your present bounty.
O Father of our being, burn into our heart, soul, mind, and spirit, a yearning for wholeness.
We thank you for the greatness and goodness of Your many gifts and the ability to enjoy this ceremony and the priceless privilege of living.
Each of us has brought something that we would like to leave behind. Something that will burn, turn to smoke and release into the heavens given as an offering.
Keep in mind, you are not obligated to speak during a Fire Ceremony. Anyone can participate without stating what they are releasing or calling forth.
As we burn the three elements that symbolize offering, purity, and cleansing you may at any time place into the fire your picture, words, or symbols and release the thing you have associated negatively with the past.
Please place tobacco into the fire.
Tobacco represents the mind and is used in the offering of prayer to the Creator, acting as a medium for communication and purification. It is either offered to the fire, so the smoke can lift the prayers to the Creator. It means we come humbly to our creator.
Please place cedar into the fire.
Cedar represents the soul. When burned, Cedar acts as a purifier, cleansing the area in which it is burned and emitting a pleasant scent. It was used in building Solomon’s Temple because it was believed the very aroma promotes peace. That is why we have used it in the interiors of the cottage and cabin here at Kalien. As you breathe in the smell of this cedar may its bouquet forever remind you to have courage and stamina and that you are going to survive.
Please place Sweetgrass into the fire.
Sweetgrass represents the body and is used to cleanse the mind, body, soul, and spirit. It is considered sacred because it is also symbolic of purification. History tells us that the scent of this natural herb is pleasing to the creator. This plant plays an important part in ceremonies of spiritual significance. When it is used in ceremony, each person can fan the sweet grass smoke around their body.
As the smoke rises up into the ethers and is carried away to God we should be a quiet or meditative for a moment in order to embrace a new awareness of transformation in our lives.
The prayer said during this process to yourself or aloud: pray with me: ”Father, please cleanse me of my negativity (pause) fill me with the positive energies of grace and love, (pause) so that, as I place this symbol (pause) of something negative in my past, (pause) into the fire (pause) may I leave this place in peace.”
Once these things, these symbols have all burned to smoke and ash, we will then place into the fire what we have written on a clean sheet of paper. This would be something good and new that we desire to have in our life from this day forward.
Now we have something prepared that is written down on a clean sheet of paper. This would be something new that we would like to call forth from God. For the newness, the prayer request is then burned and released into the ethers thereby replacing the past emotions with new ones.
Gina, please place the palo santo wood into the fire.
Palo Santo represents the spirit. It is a mystical tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense and Myrrh. In Spanish, the name literally means “Holy Wood”. It is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint, and lemon.
Palo Santo is utilized for its cleansing and healing properties similar to Sage and Cedar. It provides an uplifting scent that raises your awareness in preparation for meditation and allows for a deeper connection to the Source of all creation. It is also said that Palo Santo enhances creativity and brings good fortune to those who are open to its properties.
You may place your clean sheet of paper into the fire at any time during this prayer.
Oh, Father, whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the beauty of the moon and stars, the sunrise and sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught me.
Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to be who I am – Myself.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my being may come to you without shame.
Finally, a most ancient prayer “May you always walk in Beauty.” Amen.