The Sacred Fire of the Native American
The Pagan's Sacred Fire
Sacred Drum

Of the five great elementals (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit) fire seems the most mutable, taking thousands forms and shapes, spawning hundreds of legends that reach across time and space and providing the warmth of our ultimate survival. There is the fire of sunlight and of starlight, the source of our being and creation and our earliest tool of navigation. There is the fire of candles and burning oil, an ancient source of illumination that extended mankindís reach beyond the darkness brought by the setting sun and the rising, flowing stars. And there is the fire of burning wood which offered a source of warmth, solace, comfort and cooked food.

Fire permeates our lives and spiritual traditions. The fire of passion, ranging from the romantic allure of Eros to a passion for ideas, ravages and consumes us. There is the fire of sanitation that purifies and protects us in this world, and in many cultures the fire of a funeral pyre or cremation consumes our physical bodies at death. The cleansing fire and smoke of the Native American sweat lodge renews our spirits. The yogic tradition teaches the breath of fire and reveres kundalini, symbolized by the fiery snake that rests at the base of the spine.

Fire is also dangerous and is something we fear. Fire can wipe out our homes, our land, and our families. It can sweep through a thousand acres of virgin timber without discrimination. Its capacity to destroy as well as to bring life makes it the most potent element in many spiritual traditions.

Yet even in destruction, fire can bring gifts of renewal to the discerning eye and gifts of wisdom to the discerning soul. The element of fire speaks to the soul and has much to tell. Often times it speaks in a whisper, sometimes in a roar, and has even been known to speak in tonguelets of flame that bring the kernels of an idea that in time roar into conflagration of social upheaval and change.

Gods and goddesses of fire connect us to stories of burning bushes, flaming volcanoes, bonfires of birth and death, and the flickering Willowisps and Fireflies. We savor the fiery imagination of the Writer, the Philosopher, the Artist, the dreamer, the Bard, the Sage and the Mage, what the ancient Celts referred to as "fire in the head." We need only to listen, to receive its magic and mystery, to allow ourselves to see the many gifts of fire and be transformed by them.

For most Native Americans, fire symbolizes the heart of The People. It is present at all ceremonies in one form or another, from the smoke within a smudge bowl or The Sacred Pipe that carries our prayers to Great Mystery, to the blazing fire at a Sun Dance or Potlatch. Fire cleanses the spirit, it is used to heat the Grandfathers (rocks) before placing them in the pit of a sweatlodge; the smoke from the fire is used to send prayers to the Great Mystery; fire cleanses sacred items before ceremonial use (drums, shakers, rattles, pipes and flutes). Fire represents cleansing and renewal, for out of the ashes comes new growth, new thoughts, rebirth of ideas and new ways of being; the plant world regenerates itself in a healthy way from the ashes of the old.

Fire acts as a Messenger and is a gift from the Great Mystery. And like life, a ceremonial fire should never be extinguished manually, but allowed to dance until it decides it is time to go to its sleep.

For We are the Animals of The Sacred Fire

I am Crow!

I am the west direction ~ Wiyohpeyata.
The color of the west is black as are my feathers.
I am the color of the night.
Black as the womb in which the new is born and the old must return.

Crow is watchful and warns other crows and animals of danger.
I have a voice that does not sing but can speak many things to those who take the time to listen.
I am adaptable to my environment.
I work together with my brothers and sisters.

If you look deeply into Crows eye you will find a gateway to the supernatural.
Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of the sacred law.
Crow is the protector of the ancient records, and it is said that the Creators Book of the Law is bound in Crow feathers. Crow is truth!

Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time.
The Ancient Chiefs tell us that Crow sees all, the past, present and future.
Crow merges the light and dark of the the inner and outer reality, Crow travels freely between the world of the seen and unseen.

In China crows are worshipped and considered a symbol of solitude.
To the Celts, the crow was symbol of creation.
In biblical lore the prophet Elijah was fed by crows while hiding in the wilderness.
In the Norse tradition, the God Odin had two crows for messengers.

Crows are everywhere hear their call.

Crow reminds us to be mindful of our opinions and actions.
Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth.

Wherever Crow is, there is magic! See me fly.

I am Buffalo!

Once Long-A-Go when The People had starved for many days. When no food could be found, A beautiful woman appeared dressed in white buffalo fur. She brought to the Dakota Sioux many sacred things which showed how all things were connected. She taught the men and women many mysteries of the earth, and she taught them how to pray and follow the proper path upon the earth. As she left, she rolled upon the earth and became a white buffalo calf, and then disappeared over the horizon. No sooner had she disappeared, when great herds of buffalo surrounded the people.

I am the North Direction! The Red Color! The color of sacrifice and purification!

I am Buffalo Nation ~ Tatanka Oyate.

I am the cold north wind and the purification of winter and the new fallen snow.
I am the red stone and clay of Mother Earth.

I provided much for the people. Shelter, food, and tools.
I ask that the people be thankful for the Great Mystery and all of the Great Spiritís creation.

I am abundance, and I show how The Great Spirit helps those who help themselves.

I am very unpredictable and I can be dangerous.
I teach you to honor the natural flow and to not push things to wind up at your destination.
I am the balance between the everyday and the higher purpose.

A Hau Mitkuye Oya Sin!

We are ALL related! Watch me dance.

I am Deer!

I am the East Direction. Iwiyohiyanpata. I am the Yellow Color.

I am the Sun that brings life each day from the East direction. I am the a chance for new beginnings with each new sunrise.I am the innocence of the new morning.
For I am Ta'hinea, The Deer!!!

I have many stories of leading hunters into the woods for many exciting adventures.
I provide much for the people and help them to live in the wilderness.
My children are gentle like me and they will easily become your friend when lost.
I teach you to be caring and to help those around you with kindness.

Watch me leap, watch my white flag tell my friends of your presence.
Look to deer and learn to see and hear the things that are behind the words.
Shed your fears as I shed my horns.

Know that new protection will come again!
I am Deer! See me!

I am Bear!

I am the south Direction. Itokagata.
I am the Moon. I am the long days of summer.
I am the growth of all things green.

I am Ska Mato, The Bear!!!

I am a kin to man for I too can walk upon two legs.
I am a symbol of all that is natural and wild and I ask for protection of the lands I depend on.
I mean you no harm for I mostly eat plants and berries, and I eat less meat than brother fox.

I am gentle and raise my children for up to two years before they leave.
When they are born they are helpless like human children and I keep them safe and warm in my den.
I let my children play for this is how they learn.

My long winter sleep can teach you the importance of your dream life and how to go deep within yourself.
Sleep deeply and peacefully my friends and find in each awakening, a new birth.

I know all the plants and the secrets they keep.
I love the trees and the sweet honey that can be found inside.

Look to Bear! I come in ALL colors!
Enter the Great Mystery and find the solutions that lie within you!

I am Eagle!

It was the Haudenosaunee (The Iroquois Confederacy) who first introduced the idea of Eagle being the Principle Messenger of the Creator. Since then, it has now become an universally accepted principle. Eagle flies the closest to Great Mystery and, therefore, can see the past, present and future at a glance. She sees the flow of change. She alerts us to the changes so that we can respond appropriately. Eagle is the great illuminator and soars above us all, sometimes out of sight to us, but never out of its own sight.
Eagle sees and hears all and sits in the east on the Medicine Wheel with the Elders and the direction of wisdom and guidance.

When the world was new, the Creator made all the birds. He colored their feathers like a bouquet of flowers. The Creator then gave each a distinct song to sing. The Creator instructed the birds to greet each new day with a chorus of their songs. Of all the birds, our Creator chose the Eagle to be thier leader. The Eagle flies the highest and sees the furthest of all creatures. The Eagle is a messenger to the Great Spirit. During the Four Sacred Riguals we will wear an Eagle Feather in our hair. To wear or to hold the Eagle Feather causes our Creator to take immediate notice. With the Eagle Feather the Creator is honored in the highest.

When one recieves an Eagle Feather that person is being acknowledged with gratitude, with love, and with the ultimate respect. That feather must have sacred tobacco burnt for it. In this way the Eagle and the Creator are notified of the name of the new Eagle Feather Holder. The holder of the Eagle Feather must ensure that anything that changes the natural state of ones mind (Alcohol and Drugs) must never come in contact with the sacred Eagle Feather. The keeper of the feather will make a little home where the feather will be kept. The Eagle feather must be fed. You feed the Eagle Feather by holding or wearing the feather at sacred ceremonies. By doing this the Eagle Feather is recharged with sacred energy. Never abuse, never disrespect, and never contaminate your Eagle Feather.

In other words, Eagle is connected both to the spirit of the Great Mystery and to the Earth and does both with ease. Eagle, therefore, is a powerful symbol of courage; that is why its feathers are such powerful tools for healing, and why there are special ceremonies for Eagle feathers. Eagle teaches us that it is okay to combine wisdom and courage -- it is okay to be wise enough to know that a change needs to be made in one's life and then finding the courage to execute the change. It is okay to gather our courage, for the universe presents us with opportunities to soar above the mundane levels of life; the test is the power to recognize opportunities. Do not, in other words, be afraid of the unknown.

Embracing wisdom and courage means to fly above life's difficulties and smell tobacco from the sacred pipes


free counters

Copyright © 2005-2017
Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute the documents of this Web Page
Under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
As long as credit is given to this Web Page and its Owner, this information may be disseminated...