listening to the Fire

“Fire is a great, if harsh teacher. We ignore her lessons at our peril. Learn them, and we might just survive to make a less harsh, more caring and balanced world.”
~ Starhawk


The understated truth is that this week has been hard. Millions of us have not seen the sun or sky since Monday. The air is heavy and thick and smells like DANGER all day every day. I have been lucky to shelter in my house with doors closed and windows sealed, keeping indoor air reasonably safe.

And every few hours I find myself softening into prayer for the safety of my extended community and the more-than-human beings who are losing home to these wildfires. In those moments I focus on the coolness of the fall rains and imagine the sweet refreshing waters that love to flow in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve made it part of my prayer to see and feel rain in my heart and on my skin and on the land herself.

This morning, though, something else wanted to come through – not rain, but fire. For some of us, there is a chance right now to touch-in to the spirit and intelligence of Fire and let ourselves learn from its force, its energy, and its brutally destructive effects when uncontained. What happens when we lean into the signature of fire instead of resist it? Consider the symbolic language of fire running out of control versus being directed.

What can shift when you let yourself go all in with this energy? Let yourself get a little freaky with it and move it through your body. There might be a cold and sober feeling to it as well as a fierce shining clarity. What is your warrior’s face? Show it to yourself. In Shambhala Art, our current moment would call for the “destruction of laziness.” Do some color magic or build an altar that conjures this element. You might have to lock the bathroom door and make faces at yourself and do a private power dance. I won’t lie. This is how my day started today. And I am so grateful for that.

Fire ritual in Avalon Field | Chris Parsons | Flickr

If you want to touch into this energy and envision your personal path through it, I invite you to join me for the New Moon Café next Wednesday, September 16. We will dive in together with guided creative process as a balancing point to undirected fire. Be in touch if you want more info. The moon will be new on Thursday, and I’ll be back with its corresponding Dreamfruit dream then.


My natural impulse in a time like this is to seek the medicine within it. So, in the spirit of amplifying a positive expression of this fiery signal, I point you toward some potent cultural gifts alive at the moment:

  • Way back in the day, when we hadn’t yet entered the red zone of societal collapse, I put together a playlist to tap the energy of Fire at the threshold. We had an epic secret dance party at Be Space with this mix on shuffle. You can enjoy it here.
  • As you may know, Dreamfruit takes an animist approach to engaging the natural intelligence in the world. I work a lot with allies as an antidote to the crisis of separation from the more-than-human world that is at the root of much of the devastation we are witnessing. That’s why I’m happy to share that Reid Hart, a colleague and friend whom I deeply respect, is presenting a free live online Masterclass focused on connecting with wise spirit allies through embodied imagination. This is part of our work – to champion the power of the symbolic universe as a birthright tool of transformation. Check it out here.
  • The further the American mind slips into distraction and zealotry, the more we feel the imperative of restoring our Sacred Attention. The Social Dilemma (docudrama about social media’s role in reprogramming the mental landscape, released this week on Netflix) is screen-time well spent to get a clear view of the substance we are all imbibing. We are in the final days of the Witness Moon in Dreamfruit, and it is a crucial time to consider what is up with your head.
  • Read Starhawk’s latest essay on Fire and Smoke. Here’s the link.