We stand around the fire bowl, drums pounding, flames leaping, and – one by one – step forward to discard and bid farewell.
Our objects look like sticks and colored paper and string, but looks can be deceiving: They’re more than that. Having asked in shamanic journey what we personally needed to bid farewell to, we’ve each created an object as directed by Spirit and then infused the object with intention, with energy, with the very essence of that which we release. That stuff, that baggage, is now literally out of me and into my object. I consign it to the flames for complete transformation.
Fire is cathartic. Whether it comes from the sky as a lightning strike or from this snazzy foot-long lighter, we know on a visceral, non-verbal level that Fire is powerful. It can be our friend, or it can mess with us.
Today we engage with Fire as an ally. This fire was laid, kindled and fed with clear intention, specifically to receive and transform this old psychic debris we’re releasing. Be gone! And it is gone. We can feel the shift.
* * *
That was Saturday. Last night I watched another, different fire ceremony. More people were present, the circle was on a beach, and the items discarded were notes written on the spot, spontaneously. People read their notes aloud, then handed them into the flames. Fire was a good ally to them, too: As the group finished, participants were dabbing their eyes. On camera.
This fire was on Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, a show that I happily consider guilty-pleasure-TV. In this episode, plainspoken Australian trouble-shooter Tabatha gathered the dysfunctional beauty salon’s owner and employees on a nearby beach, and they use Fire to help purge and heal their accumulated ill-feelings.
Which version did I prefer? The one I took part in, of course: heat, drums and hollering, and my clothes still smell like smoke. But why should fires and ceremonies be just for us pagans? I generally see practices like these coming into the mainstream as a great thing, because these practices work. Let’s all take our healing where we find it, and wherever we find room to create it.
More people with more healing = a more healed world.