As a tool for turning our fears into power we use the element Fire and participate in a “Firewalk”. Many cultures use this activity of walking on hot coals or cinders as a wonderful self-empowering motivational tool. Our fearless leader, Ron Kerr, has approximately 150 firewalks behind him and is a certified Sundoor Firewalker.
All the elements of Fire are experienced in the process of preparing for a firewalk. Some have started a few days before gathering the fuel needed and preparing the sacred space. We are in a clearing surrounded by trees. This is the darkest part of the year and it is an amazing evening. Food, drink and articles necessary to make it a seamless event welcome us.
Participants gather around 5 p.m. and the welcoming circle is completed. The fire has been lit and it will be about three hours before the embers will be ready for us. We all take turns watching and communing with the fire.
We are encouraged through various exercises to acknowledge self-doubt, anxiety, nervousness, hysteria and excitement. To build energy and allay fears singing, drumming, dancing, storytelling and role playing are used. We are then encouraged to examine our motivation for wanting to tap into this amazing tool. Some wish to test their limits, some wish to overcome emotional blocks, others for mental strengthening. Others are here out of curiosity, or just to celebrate the passion of being alive.
Once the group is mentally and emotionally prepared we are encouraged to participate in a centering of energy exercise. Some demonstrate concentrated energy by breaking boards with either their hands or feet. Once energy is charged and banked we gather our courage to walk the coals.
The remains of the four foot high blaze are spread into a path of smooth glowing embers which range from 1200° to 2200°F. Our firewalk is about eight to ten feet and beckons to us in the darkness. Many of us are now communing with Spirit, calling our Guides to assist us, or just feeling great anticipation. A long line of walkers form, silence is encouraged as each pulls from deep within. “Centre in your body, focus on perfect radiant health,” Ron encourages. Some walk slowly and reverently, some dance, some run, some fly as they share the spirit of Fire. The embers embrace our feet and spirits soar to the finish.
All who accomplish this feat express relief in hysterical laughter, shouting, hugging and tears.
The extreme joy experienced at the completion of the firewalk meant very little sleep that night, as our bodies absorbed the Spirit of Fire! Over the next few days we could feel the packing of Fire’s energy. Some experienced great tiredness, deep sleeps, then tingling, and finally euphoria. After the firewalk participants felt energized for weeks.
The sacredness of Fire is now packed deep within our physical bones lighting our Spirit and building a bridge of courage to our future.
Dr. Pauline Wolf, is an educator and holistic health practitioner in Campbell River, B.C.