Honoring Fire and the Ancestors

sacred activism fire ceremony

As we prepare to celebrate a new year, we call upon the past to support us, our ancestors both human and more than human. And the ancestors of those who live and have lived on the land we now inhabit. With them, we seek the company of Fire whom we honor as a great friend, elder relative and sustainer of our lives, Here are some words to honor these connections:

“Samhain”, from Mara Freeman: “The early Celts honored this time as the start of the Celtic New Year, for it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. … Personal prayers in the form of objects symbolizing the wishes of supplicants or ailments to be healed were cast into the fire, and at the end of the ceremonies, brands were lit from the great fire of Tara to rekindle all the home fires of the tribe, as at Beltane. As they received the flame that marked this time of beginnings, people surely felt a sense of the kindling of new dreams, projects and hopes for the year to come.”

To learn more about Samhain and the Celtic festivals of the changing seasons, see: https://www.chalicecentre.net/october-celtic-year.html

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”Samhain is our New Year’s Day. It may seem strange to have a new year begin in the fall, when the days are growing shorter and colder. But death and birth are two sides of the same thing. Because this is the rime when we think most about death, it is also the time of new beginnings, when we think about hope and change and what the next year will bring”—from Circle Round, by Starhawk

A blessing for the Ancestors: “Beloved ancestors, we welcome you into our home this Samhain eve. We thank you for your gifts, our life, our family.” ( from Circle Round, by Starhawk)

Building a fire, from “Tending the Fire,” article by Mark Carlin for ONE:

“Build a fire like assembling pieces of its body, with respect to its life. Set a foundation first, like bones that will hold the body together. Inside, place wooden heart, liver, gall bladder, intestines and lungs. Atop place skins of bark, needles, cones. And then atop that add hair of dry and fine twigs. All the while be mindful of the balance between space and matter. Like a newborn, for fire to birth into life requires room to grow, to emerge. Fire wants to breathe, allow enough space and room for its body to spread, and not suffocate. Ask permission, especially when making an outdoor fire. Ask for help from the winds that they may breathe gently into her, into him, and ask that no harm come and promise that in return this fire will be tended well.”

To read the whole article on Tending Fire: https://www.natureevolutionaries.com/ne/tending-fire

“Campfires change the nature of human conversation. ..Around the fire the imagination opens and stories emerge. ..Fire anneals the human community, joining strands.”—from David George Haskell, The Songs of Trees

sacred activism fire ceremony