The Role of Fire in Our Lives as Humans

by | Oct 15, 2019

Fire, whether in its elemental form or in electricity and fuel, warms us in the cold and cooks our food. Fire, as candles and flames or as electric light bulbs, illuminates our nights. Human beings are the only animals who work with fire in this way, but our relationship with Fire doesn’t stop there. Some have even said that it is Fire that makes human beings human.

In our new video, Sacred Fire Chairman Don David Wiley explains how our ancestors understood the profound role that Fire plays in guiding our lives as human beings with the wisdom and perspective of the divine natural world. Ancestral people everywhere gather around Fire, releasing their fears, drawing inspiration and receiving guidance, and then they go back into their communities to live life in a good way together. Today, is it possible that we need this ancient and timeless guidance of Fire more than ever?

During these particularly turbulent times all around the world, the Spirit of Fire is coming to our assistance by speaking to us, following an ancient phenomenon common to many original traditions. You can hear this guidance first-hand when you attend Fire Speaks: An Audience with Grandfather Fire. To date, we have held Fire Speaks events in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States. Watch this video to learn more about why people are finding not only wonder and solace, but also practical, real personal transformation and other tangible benefits for their lives when they listen to the always-relevant guidance of that ancient ally of all human individuals and communities, Fire.

Don David Wiley: Fire plays one of the most profound roles in our lives as human beings. We are the only animal in the world that has a relationship with Fire to the point that anthropologists believe that our ability to think and cognate came from gathering around the fire and sharing together. Sharing and engaging in that way produced something that no other animal has produced, which is explained in many ways in sacred stories that involve fire and what it did for us and how fire came to human beings. In the stories, Fire said, “We are going to provide you with the help of how to work with each other and the world through connection.” Fire is far more powerful and far more needed than just being light in the darkness, warmth in the cold. In some ways it provides teachings and medicines.

Fire is primarily social effect and you get to see this in indigenous cultures, so when they’re with fire they’re with fire very differently than Western people. They see, we rely on the fire and the wisdom and that connectivity between those two worlds of nature and humanness, through the Spirit of Fire, through something that is seen and yet not seen. And if you know how to watch its effect in you and others, you begin to see that something that indigenous people see.

The Spirit of Fire has asked that we bring this back to the Western culture that has forgotten it. My role and the role of our work is to bring Fire back to humanity, to make it easy. To facilitate something that wants to happen inside of us, that struggles because of another side of us that gets blinded so easily. To facilitate and to support us into engaging with each other. And therefore, the effect of Fire will help us move something so that when we are finished, we can go and take that to our families and to our lives after we leave the Fire. This idea that we are walking around, “Oh, everything is okay…” no, the reality is that we are on an ocean of fear and anxiety as a condition of our vulnerability, as a condition of this unknown.

There is reason to be anxious, there is reason to feel suffering, there is reason to feel natural fear as a human being. The other animals don’t have (it) like we have it. But if we can be in that space of nervousness and open to that, and now comes the conversations and now comes the sense of connection, and now comes the facilitation. What you will do, you will do like your ancestors did. They left the fire, and they felt that they had this dose of inspiration, this dose of this mysterious sense of connecting to yourself deeper, and also to that mysterious scary human being over there– which is no longer that scary–you say “that person is me and I am them.”

And to walk out into the world and say, “Wow, look at those trees” and you feel, you could say, in relationship. And it leads you to have conversations that you don’t normally have; it leads you to pondering something that you normally would not allow yourself to ponder, rather than shutting off the mystery of spirit of the world. It’s like, “It’s okay, I can be with that mystery.” There will be something there mysteriously that you feel like “Yeah, this is okay. I actually belong to this, and it belongs to me, and we have been around for a long time, and maybe I can change some things in my life.” The ancestors, they really, they got what that meant—for hundreds of thousands of years, coming to these cycles of living life, going off doing what life is, returning to the fire back and forth—and that will begin to open up new things for you in your life.

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