Fire Ceremony in Cherokee: (gata gauwatlunehi)
WHAT IS A FIRE CEREMONY?
A fire ceremony is a Native American practice that is usually performed every full moon. You do not have to wait for a full moon in order to do a fire ceremony. Fire Ceremonies are wonderful during a New Moon, when you want to introduce newness into your Life. This Native American ritual is easy, simple and an awe-inspiring event.
I often do a fire ceremony by myself during the New Moon (probably every other month) and I've done them many times with friends in the backyard where we dug a large pit in the ground in order to build a safe fire. I've also used a large clay pot, a campfire, a bonfire or an old barbecue grill.
HOW IS A FIRE CEREMONY PERFORMED?
Each of us bring something to burn that we would like to rid the emotions associated with our past (on the Full Moon) or a prayer request of something new (during the New Moon), that will burn, turn to smoke and release into the ethers. This allows the past energy to move along to its highest spiritual progression path and the new prayer request to move along to its highest spiritual progression path. We may bring pictures, drawings, or intentions written on a piece of paper for the past or the newness. For the past, after we have burned and released the emotions associated with it, then we have something prepared that is written down on a clean sheet of paper. This would be something new that we would like to call forth from God. For the newness, the prayer request is then burned and released into the ethers thereby replacing the past emotions with new ones.
We form a circle around the fire and one by one we call in support from Divine Sources that give us peace. E.g. - God, Jesus, Creator, the Blessed Virgin Mother, Spirit, the Universe, the Archangels, the Saints that we may feel closest to, Guardian Angels, etc. We start with a prayer, and end with a prayer that is coupled with thanksgiving that our prayers and intentions have already been answered.
Keep in mind, no one is obligated to speak during a Fire Ceremony. Anyone can participate without stating what they are releasing or calling forth.
After we have called in our Divine Source we place into the fire our pictures, drawings and intended release of the emotions associated with the past. Once these things have burned to smoke and ash, we then place into the fire what we have written on clean sheet of paper. This would be what we desire to replace those old energies with and call in new.
The things we address from our past or call into our future can be shared with the group or kept to ourselves as we go through the Fire Ceremony.
YOU WILL NEED ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING
- A fire pit or fire place where you can safely burn a fire. A barbecue
pit or fireproof pot works well too. If you live in an apartment, it is best to find a place outdoors where you can safely burn a fire.
- A bucket filled with water or a water hose to put the fire out after the ceremony.
- Items such as a drawing, picture or written intentions that you would like to release from your past.
- Anything else that you feel would serve you that need to be released.
In strict Native American custom - the burning of sage, sweetgrass or tobacco is burned along with the past, which is given as an offering. When the smoke rises up into the ethers and is carried away to God there should be a quiet or meditative break in order to embrace a new awareness of transformation in your life. It is also symbolic that you can offer up a bit of food you wanted and only ate half of so that you could offer the other half in thanks.
THE VALUE OF IMAGERY
Do not minimize the value of imagery in Native American ceremony. The Spirit of God is real. This is a way of demonstrating our gratefulness and thanksgiving to God. When we pray to our Source and Supply who is God; He can, will and does affect our lives. So honoring Him and showing Him respect is part of this ceremony.
After your fire gets going, each person may contribute to the prayer and then the items are offered to the fire. Tell God and all the Divine Spirits that you have called forth that you offer these things in thanksgiving. Meditate and feel the presence of God all around you. Singing praise, playing peaceful music either through tapes or instruments may also be used.
A TIME FOR CELEBRATION
You can sing, dance and enjoy yourself. Experience a feeling of thanksgiving that your prayers are already answered. This is a time of celebration.
Every Divine Source you called in is present, so give thanks and believe you have already received.
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24
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