The world around me has been burning. Here in Northern California the land has come alive in flame and destruction. The lightning storm that was so full of energy last week ignited a series of wildfires across the state and here in my home county we have been surrounded by smoke. This is the third huge fire our county has experienced in the last four years and it has been both terrifying and humbling to endure.
In the midst of the fires the Mystical Creatures conference occurred during which Rosemary Lloyd Freeman gave a presentation on the medicine and power of the Phoenix. This was such poignant time to connect with this Mythical Fire Bird. The reminder that everything cycles, that even from the ash, growth is reborn. This of course applies to our life experiences as well as the literal cycle of the seasons, the moon, the tides, and even the fires.
At the time of this writing the fire closest to me is beginning to find some containment. When fires burn they usually do so exponentially at first, exploding in so many different directions driven by fuel or wind or both. But then without wind to drive them forward and most of the fuel eaten up, they burn around the perimeter inching forward until they have nothing left to consume. When the earth is left untended or prevented from her natural burn cycle, fuel sources grow and expand to unhealthy degrees, creating space for more intense destruction.
In my own magical practices I work often and deeply with all the elements. This week as I held fire in my heart I found myself discovering questions within the flames. I share these with you here, Wise Women, along with a simple fire ritual to invite you to explore the ways you might work with fire in your own life.
What areas of your life are overgrown or out of balance?
What steps can you take to “thin” or balance these areas?
What in your life feels like it is burning down in this moment?
How do you tend to the “flames” that arise whether in relationships, foundations (like home or work), or in your emotional arousal?
Have you experienced a “burning down” or “falling apart” during your lifetime? If yes, how did things regrow?
What tools do you have to “slow the burn” when fires flare up in your life?
Fire is powerful, and when we work in tandem with it, it can be a tool for transformation.
Simple ritual- Create your intention by asking yourself the question “What in my life am I ready to transform?”
Create your sacred space in whatever way you do this.
Use a piece of paper that is natural (no dyes or metallics) and a pencil and write down what it is that you are ready to transform.
Holding this paper in your hand you can say something like “By the power of the mighty Fire I surrender this with the desire, that it will be transformed by flame, into ash to grow again.”
Using a fire safe dish (preferably outdoors), light the paper and let it burn down. When it is cool, add this ash as fertilizer for a potted plant or in your garden, completing the cycle of transformation.
If you find yourself curious about the Phoenix (and other mystical creatures), the complete conference can be found via replays in my school site under Mystical Creatures.
My house smells like dehydrating apples and baking bread, the crows outside are molting, leaving their feathers about everywhere and that autumnal energy seems to be leaking into these dog days of summer.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT