As a shamanic healer, fire is also very important in my work I am not sure I could manage without it. When I am working I always light candles around my room knowing that they will combine with everything else I do to form a layer of protection around me. I am especially careful to place them in corners and the darker areas of my workspace so the fire surrounds me.
Without fire I would not be able to work with sage as fire is necessary to light the bundles. The smoke from the sage is then used to clear energy and space.
Fire is always part of any ritual or ceremony that I do, be it on my own or with others. This may be as simple as having a candle lit in the centre of the space I am working with or as complex as having a fire pit with fire blazing in the centre of the circle. I am not sure that I have ever held ceremony or carried out ritual without fire being present.
When working with Munay Ki fire is always used to feed the rites and to energise the archetypes in the harmony rite.
When making Despachos, a form of prayer bundle, I often use fire to send the prayers and intentions on to the spirits rather than bury the bundles and work with earth.
When I wish to release something, to let go, in order to make space for something new I use fire to burn the old and transform the energy that has been held there. There is something really empowering about writing down what you need to let go of and then watching it turn to ashes as the fire eats it up. Equally though when I want to bring in something new I use fire to energise whatever it might be, again writing it down and giving it over to the fire but this time using fire as a driving force.
Fire is, in my mind, the most transformative of all the elements and although it needs to be handled with care so that it does not run wild and become destructive it is also remarkably easy and flexible to work with.
I journeyed as I was writing this to ask my helpers for a fire ceremony that could be used in the Spring and this is what I was given to share here:
Collect up twigs, dried leaves and small branches that have fallen over the winter
In a safe place to light a fire use the wood to make a pyramid shape and the leaves as fuel to light the fire but do not light it yet.
Collect up a bundle of twigs and hold them so they form a small brush
Use the brush to clear a circle around your wood pyramid. If you are used to casting a circle as part of your practice, begin in the East and cast your circle as you brush.
As you brush hold the intention to create sacred clear space in which to work.
When you have brushed your circle move to sit facing East, direction of Spring and new beginnings.
Call in the energy of the East, in your own way, asking it to work with Fire in the space you have created.
Light your fire using your breath to help bring it to life.
Once your fire is lit, again working with your breath, speak your intentions into the fire. Ask for whatever you wish to bring in to be energised by fire.
Visualise your intentions coming to life as fire carries them, bringing energy to them as it does so.
When you are finished wait until the fire burns away to ash and is safe to leave. While you are waiting you could continue to visualise your intentions becoming reality.
When the fire is no more and has finished its work thank the element of fire for working with you.
If you have cast a circle then make sure you close it before you leave.