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Fire Ceremony for Eagle Wisdom
Category: The Inner Shaman Written by Alberto Villoldo PhD
Once you have set the intention to surrender to the emptiness, free of attachments, no longer tempted by your seductions, you are ready to do the eagle fire ceremony. If you wonder, Why should I do this? or What’s in it for me? be sure to surrender that thought before proceeding.
Begin by opening sacred space using the invocation in the Appendix of the Wisdom Wheel book. Have a journal or notebook and pen by your side to use for having a conversation with the power animal you encountered on the Island of the Sacred Animals in last month’s blog or in the Wisdom Wheel book. It will act as a sacred witness to your work and help you awaken you to your natural instincts, offering up wisdom that can assist in your evolution. Do this after your initial work with the fire—before you close sacred space.
To do the fire ceremony, you will work with a pile of small sticks—even ordinary toothpicks—that you can burn in a candle or a small bowl if you cannot work outdoors in a firepit in an area where there’s no chance of a spark setting off a larger fire. In the Amazon, shamans release to the fire what they call “death arrows,” which are sticks into which they have blown the story and energy of whatever they wish to shed. The fire will consume and then transform these energies. Then the shaman releases life arrows of intentionality, of new dreams they hope to see made manifest.
Make sure you have something to extinguish your fire if it becomes too intense and there’s a chance it might escape its container—for example, have some water to extinguish the candle you place in a bowl to work with when doing this ceremony.
Then, take one stick from your pile and blow into it the feelings associated with a story that you want to burn away—religious teachings you were told not to question and that never felt right to you, a devotion to science and logic that has made you rigid and dogmatic, a penchant for spending so much time in a state of bliss and so much effort at focusing on the spiritual that you have neglected everyday obligations to yourself, to others, to the Earth, and so on. Then, touch the bundle to the fire to release the energies connected to these inflexible, extreme ways that have given you a false sense of security. Bring the bundle to your energy field near your lower three chakras and cleanse them. Then cleanse your heart chakra. Release from your field the decrepit old ways.
Now touch the bundle to the flame a second time and then, bring the energy of the fire, of its transformative powers, into your lower chakras so that you can receive the seed and give birth to a new destiny, one free of the fates that have had you in their grip. Bring in the energy to every part of your field, from your head, focusing on the crown chakra, and then moving on to the rest of your field, and your lower body, right down to your feet. Feel your connection to Mother Earth, to Pachamama. Know that you are liberated from the seductions that have prevented you from opening to the mysteries of life. Know that now you are purified, free to experience your spiritual nature and natural instincts as you are meant to.
Welcome how Spirit has crafted for you a journey that is uniquely yours, invite it in and embrace it, saying, “In this journey, in this lifetime, may I be of service to those that I meet along the path, however humble my actions may seem, however small my moments of service may appear.” Be still and open to the potential that surrounds you and all the potential that is within you.
Then, call upon your power animal to help you further. Take your journal or notebook, draw a line down the center of one page, and pose the following question on the left side for your power animal to answer:
Is there anything more I need to burn away in the fire to meet the challenge of eagle and access her healing and wisdom gifts?
On the right side of the paper, write down any words and draw any image that comes to you; this is your answer. If your power animal has suggested burning away something more, create a death arrow and cast it into the fire.
Then ask your power animal the same question again, writing the answers that arise in your awareness. Then, if your power animal has suggested there is something you need to bring forth or experience to help you meet the challenge of eagle, create a life arrow for it and cast the life arrow into the fire.
If you sense you should ask more questions of your power animal, continue this conversation, blowing energy into life and death arrows to exchange energy with the fire if that’s what you’re guided to do. The idea is to learn from your power animal what you’re resisting so that you can break out of denial about any changes you’re being challenged to make. When your intuition tells you that all is good—you have done enough work for today, thank your power animal for its guidance. Close sacred space, thanking each of the directions for helping you and remembering that you’re never alone in doing the work of the wisdom wheel: you are always receiving help from the invisible realms.
Alberto Villoldo PhD is a medical anthropologist who has spent the last 30 years investigating the healing practices of the shamans of the Amazon and the Andes. He is the founder and director of the Four Winds Society, and author of Shaman, Healer, Sage, Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval, The Four Insights and Yoga, Power and Spirit. Alberto is founder of the world-renowned Four Winds Society and of the Light Body School. In his teachings and writings, he shares the experience of infinity and its ability to heal and transform us, to free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age and disease.
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