• Resilient Practice

How to Harness the Power of the Elements: Fire

Fire is regarded as one of the five elements in many spiritual teachings. It is associated with the direction of the South.

The other elements are Earth, Air, Water and Spirit.

Many mythological stories depict the theft of fire benefiting humankind. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire and gave it to the humans. In the Native American version of the story the fire was stolen by an animal such as a coyote, beaver or wolf. In the book of Enoch, fallen angels teach humans how to use fire and tools.

Fire is paradoxical in nature. On the one hand, it can be harnessed to sustain life and create comfort, and on the other hand, it can destroy everything in its path.

Fire gives us warmth and light. It cooks our food and raises our spirits. It also draws us together.

The fireside or hearth is the centre of any family home. So too is the stove. They bring us together for the sharing of news and stories, and the expression of friendship and family bonds.

Among many of our human rituals is the gathering together for warmth and feasting in the winter months. Without fire we can do neither of these things.

We instinctively honour ‘the Land of the Dead’ as the nights draw in with ghoulish tales and costumes around the campfire and we burn effigies on Bonfire Night of those who we are taught have threatened our communities.

We light candles to remember our loved ones and to light up the dark.

In many religions the light from a single flame represents hope, divinity and being led away from darkness.

Above all, fire is the Great Transmuter. It transforms whatever it touches.

Nothing passes through the Fire and remains unchanged.

When we wish to transmute something that no longer serves us, we can write down our thoughts and emotions together with our unique perspective of any given situation and burn those words.

When we are finding communication with someone difficult and upsetting because of heightened emotion on both sides, we can write to them in detail. If it is not possible to convey those feelings to that person, we can burn the letter.

When we do this in quiet ceremony, we are transmuting our negative feelings and emotions. Even without the involvement of the other party we will come at the situation anew the next time we are in their company.

We have caused a shift to take place.

When harnessing the power of Fire, it is important to remember that you do not always need a perfect fire pit and the right fuel. Depending on the work you are doing and as long as you are safe and your intention is clear, a candle can often suffice.

As we have suggested, there are many ways to harness the power of fire to improve wellbeing.

We have chosen to share a practical ritual which has its origins in Shamanism and is described in the following audio publication:

“Awakening to the Spirit World, The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation” by Hank Wesselman and Sandra Ingerman. (Available on Audiobooks.)

This tool can be adapted to suit your needs.

Set your clear intention and use your imagination.

Try this:

Set an intention to utilise every opportunity that presents itself to sit round a fire.

If no opportunity presents, then create one!

Prior to setting your fire, take some time to identify something that you are currently doing which no longer fits for you. It could be a negative core belief about the Self, a negative pattern of thinking or a repetitive behaviour that no longer serves you.

Once you have identified what it is that you wish to transmute, create a ‘Power Object.’

This is best made from material from the natural world such as sticks, plants, or feathers. As you fashion it, keep in mind that it represents the thing that no longer fits for you.

Take a piece of wool, string or long grass stalk or leaf and begin to wind it around the ‘Power Object.’

As you wind around your ‘Power Object’ you are unwinding the core belief, negative pattern of thinking or repetitive behaviour from your own psyche. You are transferring it into the object.

See this happening.

Now set your Power Object aside.

For this exercise use a fire pit or cauldron and take all necessary precautionary measures to ensure your safety. (This might include choosing a safe, well ventilated space outside and having water of extinguishers to hand.)

Set your Fire and sit in quiet contemplation.

When you are ready, throw your ‘Power Object’ into the Fire and silently ask it to transmute that which no longer serves you.

Watch it burn.

Wait in the silence to see what comes to you.

You may receive insights and be blessed with better understanding.

You may be filled with compassion and a renewed sense self-worth.

Do not obstruct the process with too much thinking.

Sit in silence and watch the Fire.

Practise gratitude throughout.

When you are ready, put out the fire safely and return to the world with a new perspective.

Remember that nothing passes through the Fire and remains unchanged.

If you find this helpful please share it with friends and family in any way you see fit. Thank you

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