“Fire Ceremony of Commitment ”
The Evening of October 31st through the Evening of November 1st
and all corresponding time zones
We encourage you to join us in holding your own Fire Ceremony of Commitment from wherever you are, with a group, or by yourself. We can nourish the little areas of nature to which we each belong and connect with the spirit in all beings. This coordinated community event will have ceremonies taking place any time between the Evening of 10/31 and the Evening of 11/1. Use the guidelines below to help plan your commitment ceremony and together we will strengthen our healing energy and gratitude for Earth.
October 31 marks the “cross-quarter day” or midway between equinox and solstice. This time was named the festival of Samhain in the Celtic tradition, though today we mostly know it as Halloween. At this time ONE invites our whole community to gather around the fires of a new year, as the Celts saw it, and make a deep commitment for the times to come. Halloween, All Souls Day, and the “Day of the Dead” which follow soon after are times to honor our ancestors and our beloved dead, as well as to make or deepen our peace with the spirit world. We can also honor our relations with the natural world, especially through the element of fire. Our great-ancestors made friends with fire and it changed the course of our evolution. Warming, protecting, nourishing us through cooked food, Fire has been our ally from the ancient cave days to our modern kitchens and dwellings. And also, from the first, we’ve known the dangers of fire, and learned, generation after generation how to treat fire with the utmost respect.
For our global ceremony this season we invite you to gather with a few or many friends or make a quiet space for yourself to be alone with a fire or a candle. In the familiar flickering light of a flame, let’s honor our ancestors, human and more than human, give reverence and gratitude to fire, and speak our commitments to our ever-evolving and deepening relationship with our mother Earth. We can ask the help of our ancestors for guidance on how best to be of service and ask the spirit of fire for inspiration, courage, and energy to manifest our best dreams.
Here are suggestions for making a Samhain Fire Ceremony of Commitment
~for life and connection with the spirit in all beings
Create a special place for your ceremony, with careful attention to the element of fire. Carefully build a campfire-style fire outside, with care for how the wood is gathered and stacked, thoughtful placement of the logs, and special reverence for the lighting of the fire, inviting the fire in like a beloved and honored relative (this is what helps to create a sacred fire). Or, set up an altar with candles. Honor the fire by surrounding the fire with beauty. Around your candles you may place beautiful, meaningful objects and/or perhaps you will gather delicious offerings to place in the sacred fire; think of these as the gifts you will offer. Find an object or write some words to symbolize your ancestors—give them a place next to the fire.
State your intention for the ceremony: to honor the ancestors and our relative: Fire,
to honor this new year, and to make commitments for our future.
Enter sacred space—breathe, rattle, chant, ring a bell, light incense
Let each participant take time to feel into the commitment they want to make for the coming days. If at a campfire, these words may be written on pieces of paper to feed to the fire. If around an altar of candles, a word or two or a symbol signifying the commitment may be scratched onto the candle wax with a pin tip.
Light the fire or the candles with an invocation, a blessing, an expression of gratitude to fire.
Give thanks to the ancestors who have brought us here to live in this moment, by this fire. You may want to give particular thanks for specific gifts, like the ability to sing or to create with your hands.
Make a gift to the fire in the form of delicious food, incense, music, or to the candles in a song or a spoken poem.
Call upon Fire and the ancestors to bear witness to your commitments, then speak them and, if by a fire, place the papers on which they are written into the fire. If you are in a group, the people gathered are also your witnesses, they may want to respond with words or sounds (eg “So be it” or rattling)
Close—with a song or words of blessing for all the participants, seen and unseen. Symbolically bring in the light of the flames into our hearts with a gathering gesture.
Extinguish the flames with reverence and great care. If at an outdoor fire, make sure one person is designated to ensure that the fire is safely put out before leaving.
With the love of the ancestors like a wind at your back and the light of the fire like a torch leading you on, tenderly and fearlessly carry your commitment forward, into the wintery days to come.