It was my first "Sacred Fire" experience. I went into it with an open mind,
and not knowing what to expect. It was a wonderful experience! The people I
met were all very friendly, and helpful with any questions I had for them.
The food was wonderful, as two chefs prepared our food.
Registered Participants who have experienced a Sacred Fire Circle are invited to write and submit a description of their experience and transformation.
I wasn't sure if I would be able to stay awake from midnight to dusk, but I
had no problem. The energy of the fire, the land, and the group sustained
me! I really enjoyed the drumming and the rattles. Some of the songs that
were sung were beautiful!
I witnessed a few people "releasing." They were being supported by the
shamans and the healers in the group.
It was a week end that I will never forget. I forged some new friendships
I'm already looking forward to next years sacred fire circle.
I want to say, first, that this is hard for me. A couple of the things I
worked on last weekend (or, perhaps, that worked on me) were being
vulnerable and visible and trusting. The root of that, I believe, is moving
into valuing mySelf, as I guess it is for many of us, and it seems a much
harder journey some days than I'd like. I learned a whole lot last weekend.
About those things and how I relate to Self and then to the world around me.
It was a profoundly powerful experience. I came away ... fuller seems like
the right word ... than I'd felt in a very long time. There are lessons and
shifts I believe are permanent.
As profoundly blissful as the sfc afterglow is/was I have a sneaking
suspicion the work we do there might just be only the beginning of the
alchemical transformation work in our lives. That what we stir up as we
tread the circle is now ready to get really hot in our lives. That this kind
of thing I'm experiencing isn't exclusive to me. So I'm sharing and asking
for your love and support as these things unfold for me. And inviting you to
share as well as we move into the weeks and months after the fire.
Thank you all for giving support and for creating a heart-space where we can
talk about this stuff. I so value connections with others who are facing
their demons and supporting each other in it. And having compatriots who
Sometimes when I'm in that awful place forgetting that I am worthy and
loved, I am buried too deep to reach out; sometimes I just need to set it
aside for later, which is what I did so I could focus on the work of the
circle, which for me was about the other side of the equation, reaching out
to nurture others.
So now it's later and my friends, some close and some new, are creating this
intensely valuable space and I am so very fortunate, getting to share the
love and respect that is among us. I'm learning that the black hole with me
is a vacuum only because I haven't learned to let in the love to fill it.
Only then can I in turn give.
Let's never stop reminding each other of our courage and worth.
I want to tell you that I appreciate the acceptance from everyone
I received in the fire circle weekend. I am still amazed at the
"presence" that I experienced, that is, I found myself focusing on
only the present moment during the weekend and especially around the
fire for two nights. I don't believe I've had that kind of focus for
20 yrs. or more, with extraneous thoughts and worries about the world
removed to some distance.
The challenge remains then, for me to use this process to work on
something truly within myself.
This was really cool. The Fire Circle tested your endurance -- you worked a rangoli and alchemical fire from midnight to sunrise two/three nights in a row. It really did put you in a different place.
Some folks were there to work hard. And they did. Lots of spiritual
breakthroughs and emotional catharsis. Some working was more subtle -- that
was where I was. The weather was lovely, though cold at night.
Essentially, it was a heavily tylored rangoli where people danced, tranced,
walked, ran skipped, screamed, wailed sang; outside the tyloring circle were
places to meditate, get a massage, eat, drink, sack out. The point was to
help, in some way, keep the motion around the fire going and to keep it
contained so energy came to a boil, and allowed people to slough off their
baggage and dross....
Part of the coolness of the weekend was that food was provided by 5-star
chefs that also happened to be Pagan and joined us in the circle in the
evening. Nom. Nomnomnomnomnom. And they were adorable, too -- had fun
flirting back and forth with Dave and Roger. (Hush, all of you, they're
spoken for, and it was just fun.) But I think that was a good part of my
work this weekend -- remembering that I'm attractive and worthy, and not
just a damn brain in a jar that everyone wants to pick at. It was good to be
reminded I was a physical and sensual being, too, by someone else's
Beautiful moments. Some inside the circle, some out. I'm
going to encourage folks to give this a try next year.
My SFC experience was very similar to what I've
experienced in and after my Craft Initiation and Elevation. That is, it
was a very
profound experience at the time, maybe even life-changing. But it was
the beginning. We often think of "initiation" as a ceremony to celebrate
end of something (like finishing a year and a day of study), and the
initiation is something done to or for the initiate. They are brought in
coven for instance. But initiation is only the beginning, not the end. To
initiate something is to begin it, to start the process. So it is with
initiations and so I think it is with SFC. We show up and announce to our
Gods, angels, whatever "powers" we work with that we are ready to do our
work. We may do very significant work during the SFC but the announcement
withdrawn when we leave. No, now we're wearing a sign that says "I'm
and willing to do my work" and "They" aren't really interested in when or
if it's convenient for you. They sort of work on their own time frame.
To look at it from a more alchemical perspective, imagine filling an empty
vessel with clean water. Keep filling, pour in some more. Eventually the
vessel will overflow, and what comes out will be clean water.
Now start with a vessel partly filled with sludge. Pour in the same amount
of clean water. What happens? The vessel overflows, but what comes out
isn't clean water, it's sludge. Keep adding water and eventually the
will wash away and leave the vessel filled with clean water. But the
has to rise to the top first, and sometimes it looks as if nothing but
is coming out.
We're the vessel partly filled with sludge, the clean water is spiritual
nourishment of whatever description you need. Keep on pouring that water,
wash away the sludge, but be aware that you might feel like you're
with sludge for awhile.
I had a wonderful experience at SFC in P. For me it began on Thursday when
I decided I couldn't attend due to anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks
very reasons I needed to go). Several people worked overtly and covertly
to support me in getting myself there and making it through the weekend.
That really showed me the quality and sincerity of the Fire Tribe. Friday
night I was able to find a place of calm and serenity in myself that I
been to in over a year. It didn't last, but I found it. I know it still
exists and I can get there. Seeing the caring, support and love expressed
and to so many others during SFC and now afterwards is wonderful. You all
include all of you in my "Family of Choice".
May your head, heart and path be always in harmony.
The entire process, from building the village, sharing meals and chores and building and working with our teams was a great experience. Back in my "corporate" days, we would have team building exercises, but nothing as deep and true as this!
To connect with an individual at the level we were working is an amazing thing!
While I don't feel that I had any "major revelations" in the Circle (although I am still processing that!); I DO know I made many wonderful new friends and re-connected with a few old ones too!
It was, by far, the best transformative group experience I have ever had. My advice - KEEP IT SMALL! Oh, and PLEASE bring back Dave and Roger our AWESOME CHEFS!!! I am certain I gained 5 pounds - which is very hard for me to do! Thanks guys!
Love & Light,
... I do lots, and lots of "homework" after and between SFCs. There are
always lots of intense dreams, wild synchronicities, and the very best part
of all - sharing with the Tribe - that really helps me to grow and integrate
the lessons. When I'm at SFC, I frequently don't know what exactly I'm
working on... and it is often revealed later as the energy sinks in and
someone ... comments and shares.
Like you, much of the work that has come to me from SFC involves
1.) feeling myself worthy enough to...
2.) stand up and let the world see me as I really am and...
3.) to ask for what I need
Just simply knowing that others struggle with the same things is a huge gift
to me. Then comes the further gift of having a tribe who supports me and
values me and listens to me - this helps me to realize just how good that
feels! Now I want that in my life all the time, and have begun the struggle
to get there.
Of course it was great, that's a given.
As a ritual junkie, I've experienced a lot of powerful rituals, and this was an intensely powerful ritual. I'm guessing that the people reading this wont be especially impressed by another powerful ritual no matter how I try to explain it, so I'll focus on how this weekend was clearly better: the food.
Oh wow, the food. ......This weekend took it to a whole new level. five star chefs. They were actually five star chefs. This was amazing food. If we had gone to a restaurant, not many of us could afford to eat so well for three days, but here it was supplied for us at a reasonably priced retreat. Even without the profound ritual, the food would have been well worth the price of admission.
I've been in ritual at this location several times and I've seen some amazing ritual set-ups, but walking into this circle at night, even after helping prepare the circle all day, there was a wow factor that never went away.
I had the honor of being on the fire team, so each night I helped light the fires and I got to see the ritual space come to life. I would walk in to a dark space, and begin lighting the altar candles and tikis around the edge, then the ten-foot-tall tikis around the dancing area, and then stoke the central fire. Form the outside to the inside, from the inside to the center, the circle came to life. There is a degree to which I would have liked to have experienced walking into the circle, not having seen it before the ritual, but the process of seeing it emerge from the darkness was profound.
We did not chit chat in the circle. We were there to work, people were entering trance states, we were outside of the mundane from midnight until morning. We drummed, sang, danced and held space. There were so many empowering chants. There was so much love shared.
We danced on a bed of peat moss spread around the fire. It felt good on bare feet.
We mostly slept Saturday. There were some workshops, or so I heard. Some of us wadded into the creek to cool off. There was a very nice shower with wonderfully warm water after the creek.
The space was intentionally made tight to force people to stay engaged. The first night people complained that the space was too small, but the second night everything seemed to click and the space seemed plenty large enough.
All night, we danced, we tranced, we supported each other as a community, we followed the energies wherever they led. The combination of disrupted sleep patterns, steady drum beats, amazing space, and endlessly walking around really facilitated the process of pushing people toward self discovery.
As the sun rose on the last morning, we looked into each other's eyes and sang:
How could anyone ever tell you, you are anything less than beautiful
How could anyone ever tell you, you are less than whole
How could anyone fail to notice, that your loving is a miracle
How deeply you're connected, to my soul
We spiraled around, until we were all together and hugging. Holding each other. Supporting each other.
We ate, we disassembled the circle, we slept, we went home, we slept a whole lot more.
I do think I got the message I needed. Surprising that it feels so
similar to some of what others have said here. My first big take away
is that I need to work on 1) knowing what I want, 2) asking for what I
want, + 3) be ready to not get what I ask for. My heart starts racing
at each step in this process.
My other big take away is that I'd like to start making more progress
in learning to listen to what others are going through and learning
how to be supportive of them without trying to do their work for them.
In my experience how one asks to be helpful to others is often
culturally based. In some places I've lived it is the heights of
rudeness to ask what is wrong with someone - so instead you talk about
what is wrong with you in hopes that they will feel comfortable enough
to share. In other places I've lived it's the heights of rudeness to
talk about what's wrong in your own life + instead you ask what's
going on with others. Unfortunately this means I sometimes get frozen
not knowing which is appropriate - or use the wrong one. But my goal
is to try to listen and ask authentically. I'd appreciate any tips
anyone would like to offer in that regard.
Thank you all for enriching the community,
I truly think that for a first time circle this was an amazing circle and
you/we all should be very proud of what was achieved. There is always
for improvement and new ideas will always spring forth and the growth will
happen. And it's clear this tribe will grow together and grow stronger
more they understand the process themselves! Fantastic job in my
See you around the fire,