Dream Gates

Dream Gates

To be redeemed from fire by fire

fire -3 Gabby Jung.jpgFire is a great ally in psychic cleansing. In our gatherings on a very special mountain in the New York Adirondacks, we perform a ritual of fire releasing that is simple and profound.

During the day, preparing for the first ritual, we make images of what we need to cast out of our lives and our energy fields, with materials that will burn easily. Many craft these images from what the land gives us – sticks and pine cones and strips of white birch bark from fallen or shedding trees. The birch bark is especially appropriate, since it was the paper of the First Peoples of the Northeast, who sometimes used it to make maps of the soul’s journey.
In the night, we gather around a great blazing hearth. We make offerings to the fire and the spirits of the land – a pinch of tobacco, the breath of sweetgrass. With the support of the whole circle, we take turns to advance, one by one, to the fire. We state what we are releasing from our lives. A relationship that is dead but not buried. A fear or addiction. Any tendency to let others tell us who we are or what we can do. Pain or illness. Regret. The things that hold us back and prevent us from being fully ourselves.
When we have named what we are releasing, we move to the fire and place the images of what we are removing from our lives into the flames. We must be sure that these objects catch fire and are not blown back or away. Sometimes a trickster effect comes into play, as if that addiction or dependency has its own mind and won’t go away willingly. Pokers and brooms, from the tall set of cast iron fire tools, come into play.
The releasing is not complete until we blow into the fire, huffing the energy of what we are giving up into the flames, to be carried away on the smoke. 
When we are done, the group applauds us and celebrates us.
When all have completed the releasing, we go out into the cool fall night to breathe in the clean sweet air of the mountains. We have opened a space that is ready to be filled. We are available for soul recovery, for embodying more of our own vital self, and more of the greater self that has been waiting for this moment.
Later, we will perform a second fire ritual, a wishcraft ceremony in which we will send our best wishes – for ourselves, our families, our communities and the world – aloft, to the powers of the world-behind-the-world.
Photo by Gabby Jung
  • Don

    Hi Robert ~~
    Once again you posted something that reaches me deeply. Years ago I was told to write my problems or desires on a piece of paper and burn it. The smoke, then, would carry my message to where I wanted it to go. But it never worked for me very well. The use of natural materials fits. Crafting a ritual object, and the rest of the ritual you described sounds much, much better than just writing something on paper and burning it.
    I am certainly glad that you posted the ritual. I do have concerns. And I have a place to build a fire. I will use the ritual soon. Thank you very much.
    ~~ Don

  • Nancy

    This has been huge for me. When I describe it to people, my 2 favorite examples are the obese fellow who burned some cookies, releasing his sugar addiction, and lost 50 pounds by the time I saw him a year later, then my own burning of a letter I had written to an old boyfriend decades ago, where I had vowed to never love a man as much as I loved him — a contract to tie me to the past! This had to go. I burned it amidst copious tears, then stumbled out into the rain and dark, too upset to stay in the circle disrupting the others. Within the year my long-time love and I were making plans to move in together, and are now very happy. This works.

  • Azima

    Here in Silver City NM we have fire ceremonies every new and full moon, as well as equinoxes and solstices. The process is very similar to what you describe here, Robert. An interesting twist (which combines somewhat the two kinds of ceremonies you mention) is that we approach the fire from the direction that accords with our intention: east for new beginnings, south for increasing motivation and passion for whatever, west for letting go, north for help from the ancestors and guiding spirits. We can construct items (or use simple cones, sticks, etc) to be offered from one or more directions.

  • Nina

    After reading the unusual though beautiful headline “to be redeemed from fire by fire” my mind wandered to St Agnes. The legends centering around her death vary quite a lot but one of the popular beliefs is that she was condemned to death by fire. Miraculously, the flames parted away from her so finally she had to be beheaded by the sword.
    We don´t have to take the circumstances of her martyr death literally but metaforically this wonder may suggest that there was nothing left in her that would have needed liberating or purifying fire energies. She is an unattainable ideal, more a myth than a real mortal but her heroic example gives the fine subject for a reflection on possibility of burning down all karmic seeds so that the fire has nothing to be fed on, except for itself.
    Just for interest, there is one marvellously beautiful statue of The Death of St Agnes by the baroque artist Ercole Ferrata. She is depicted in the full movement opening her arms and the flames around her nearly make the impression of the lotus flower. (It´s easy to find it on the net.)
    Thank you very much for all inspiring work.

  • Robert Moss

    Nina – Thanks for your interesting reflections on St Agnes. My title was actually borrowed from a line in T.S.Eliot’s “Four Quartets” that has been engraved deep in my memory since I was a boy.

  • Robert Moss

    Azima – Clearly you are fiery folk down there in Silver City :-) We find that a couple of times a year, with a minimum of formal ritual and a maximum of strong intention, works well for us, and effects profound change.

  • Robert Moss

    Nancy – Both grand and memorable examples of how this works. Thanks so much for posting.

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