Red and White Carnations offer fire ceremony twice a month on the Full and New Moon as well as on the Equinoxes and Solstices and other special occasions. Often, on the Full Moon we also do a despacho ceremony .
Fire is an element allowing for rapid transformation. Fire ceremony is used to release old stories, patterns and obstacles. These energies are transformed in the process, allowing them to be reborn - like the phoenix arising from the ashes.
This type of ceremony is essential in many medicine traditions. Fire ceremonies are generally held around the New and Full Moon each month.
- New Moon energy is one of planting seeds, new growth, beginnings.
- Full Moon energy is about harvesting, completion, letting go.
The four Season Changes – solstices and equinoxes - and four Cross Quarter days (the days half way between the season changes) are also a common time for fire ceremonies to mark the changing energy. The following includes the Celtic names of these days: Winter Solstice (Yule, around December 21); Brigit/Candlemas (February 2); Spring Equinox (Eostar, around March 21); Beltane (May 1); Summer Solstice (Litha, around June 21); Lughnasad/Lammas (August 1); Fall Equinox (Mabon, around September 21); and Samhain/Hallowmas (October 31).
In the tradition of the Laika, the Medicine People of Peru, fire ceremony is used to honour and heal the planet through our own personal healing and transformation. Especially on the night of a Full Moon, when we are participating in a fire ceremony, we are joining medicine men and women in an ancient tradition that is occurring all over the world.
Fire ceremony allows us to source from our soul. Join us and re-remember how we have sat around sacred fire throughout time.
What happens at a Fire Ceremony
Before the Fire
We gather outdoors around a fire circle. Before the ceremony begins, each person chooses one or two small sticks. These sticks are called “spirit arrows”, and are used to either release or manifest something energetically.
To release something: consider something that needs to be honoured so that you can let it go. You connect inside yourself with this issue and then using your breath, blow it into the stick. This is done from the place of “I honour the lessons and gifts of this issue; I release you” versus “I can’t stand this thing; good riddance!”
To manifest something: consider something you want to bring into your life. From the place of the heart, envision what you’d like—keeping it broad versus specific allows Spirit more space to provide what you want, or even more than you may think is possible. Blow this into the stick with gratitude.
In both cases, you can blow this intention, or prayer, into the stick several times. In addition to blowing into the stick, if you feel are holding this issue somewhere in your energy field or in a chakra, you can also clear this energy into the stick by moving it over the affected areas. If it’s a physical problem, sweep the stick over the affected body part. Again, this is done from a place of honouring the problem, and gratitude for the opportunity of releasing it.
The shamans holding the fire will begin by placing two sticks, in the form of the Southern Cross, in the center of the fire circle. The Southern Cross represents a point of navigation from this fire to Spirit. The kindling and wood are then arranged over top of this.
Opening Sacred Space
As a group, sacred space is opened around the fire circle. Before each direction is called in, the group uses rattles and the shamans whistle, then blow a blessing of spirit water to honour the spirits of that direction. The rattling then stops while a prayer is spoken. In this tradition, Sacred Space is called in first from the South, followed by the West, the North, the East, the Earth (Pachamama) then the Sun (Inti Taitai), Moon (Mama Quilla) and Stars (Chaskas). By using the Sacred Space Prayer, we are creating a space that is a container for our ceremony.
Prayer to Open (and Close) Sacred Space
(Face each direction as you invite the energy of the direction into the room or space. You are energetically creating four walls, floor and roof of sacred space around yourself. You can open sacred space in the morning, and close it at the end of the day, or at the start and end of a week. To close sacred space, repeat the prayer. This tradition is from the medicine men and women of the Andes Mountains, Peru. To learn more about Satchamama, Otorongo, Sera Kinte and Apuchin, go to our Archetypes page.)
“To the winds of the South
Satchamama, Great Serpent
Wrap you coils of light around us
Teach us to shed the past the way you shed your skin
To walk softly on the Earth. Teach us the Beauty Way.
To the winds of the West
Otorongo, Mother/Sister Jaguar
Protect this medicine space
Teach us the way of peace, to live impeccably.
To the winds of the North
Grandmothers, grandfathers, ancient ones, whisper to us on the wind
Come warm your hands by our fire
You who have come before, and you who will come after us
And Sera Kinte, Royal Hummingbird,
Teach us to drink deeply of the nectar of life.
To the winds of the East,
Apuchin, Great Eagle, Condor,
Come to us from the place of the rising sun
Keep us under your wing, show us the mountains we dare only dream of
Teach us to fly wing to wing with Great Spirit.
Mother Earth, Pachamama, we’ve gathered here for the honouring of all your children
Thank you for the waters, the stones, the plants
The two-legged, the four-legged, the many-legged, the no-legged
The furred, the finned, the winged ones, all our relations
We welcome you to this medicine space.
Father Sun, Inti Taitai, Grandmother Moon, Mama Quilla,
Star Brothers and Star Sisters, Chaska Inti
Great Spirit, you who are known by a thousand names, and you who are unnamable
Thank you for illuminating this medicine space and for bringing us together
Thank you for allowing us to sing the Song of Life.”
As the fire is lit and tended by the shamans, the group continues to rattle and begins a chant. Here are two chants we may use:
We call upon the energy of the waters beneath the earth to carry the offerings to Spirit.
Nitche Tai Tai N-U-Y
Oro Nika Oro Nika
Hey Hey…Hey Hey
Translation (not literal but the essence)
O Great Mother, Mother of the Waters
We call on you, waters of our birth
Waters of our sustenance
Waters that cleanse us on our death
Waters of Life
(This chant is the word fire in Quecha, Spanish and English.)
We encourage the fire to burn and transform the energy.
Nina, Nina, Nina,
Fuego, Fuego, Fuego
Fire, Fire, Fire.
The shamans will make three offerings of oil (sage or tobacco can also be used) to make the fire “friendly”. The first offering is made to the Four Directions then some oil is sprinkled on the fire. Next, the Heavens and Earth are honoured, followed by more oil sprinkled on the fire. Finally, all who are present around the fire are honoured, both seen and unseen, then a third time, oil is sprinkled on the fire.
Your Place at the Fire
After the fire is “friendly”, the shamans will take their turn at the fire, after which they will invite all others present to take their turn. At our fire circle, there is a flat stone placed at each of the four directions. When you feel ready, go forward in silence and kneel on one of these stones. Take time to focus inward. You may wish to blow into your sticks again and then place them in the fire with gratitude and honouring. The fire will tranform your offering and prayers back to light, releasing them to spirit. It‘s beautiful to realize that the energy of the sunlight that is embodied in the stick as it grew, is now released, wrapped with your prayers which flow back to Spirit.
As your spirit arrow burns, reach forward to the fire three times, to draw its energy into your three main centers: the belly, the heart and the forehead. This gesture is to nourish and support your transformation. Legend and lore says that if you come with pure heart and intention, the fire will not burn you. You can then return to your place around the fire, continuing to chant as others take their turn.
As each person steps forward to the fire, another person in the circle will take a place standing behind them. When standing behind someone, be close to their back and spread your arms out—your intention is to hold a safe and sacred space behind them, preventing anything that they‘ve released into the fire to come back around to them.
After the fire is lit, another offering is passed around the fire circle. This is the Pachamama or “Mother Earth” stick. As this stick is passed to you, blow in you prayers for the earth. You’re encouraged to blow in a prayer of a healed earth versus one of an earth needing healing, for example, breathe in a vision of an earth with clean air and water, not one of a polluted sky and dirty oceans needing cleaning.
After everyone has blown their prayers into the Pachamama stick, it is offered to the fire.
As this is burning, the shamans will invite all the spirits of the land to the fire, for healing, for passing over, for warming, for honouring.
Finally, Sacred Space is closed. The shamans and anyone who wishes, stay by the fire until all the spirit arrows and the Pachamama stick is burned, to ensure all the prayers are transformed. The fire is then allowed to burn to embers. It is never put out with water.
According to Linda Fitch, Dean of the Light Body School, “there is a two week period following a fire ceremony when “instances of opportunity” appear, to translate your intentions and prayers into reality. The fire ceremony is not so much an instanteous magical change but an opening to heal and shift distinctive habits and patterns—to manifest a different dream. Recognize this “opening” and seize the opportunity to create change in your behaviour in the real world—then let the universe take care of the details.”
A slightly different format is followed when we do a Despatcho fire. Once the Pachamama stick is offered to the fire, and the spirits of the land have been invited to the fire, the shaman then brings the Despatcho forward. It is placed on the fire to burn, nourishing Mother Earth, Pachamama, and releasing our intentions and prayers contained in the Despatcho to Spirit. We all turn our backs to the fire as the Despatcho burns. This is because it is not polite to watch Pachamama eat, and also it demonstrates non-attachment to the outcome of our intentions.