Friday, March 25, 2011

Sacred Fire

Haiku My Heart
March 25, 2011




Haiku My Heart Fridays was started by my friend Rebecca at recuera mi corazon blog. I see where most that participate don’t designate the Friday part any longer. I won’t either. To see more and participate, check out recuerda mi corazon. By the way, translated from the original Hispanic tongue, it means simply to remember my heart.
I love this sentiment. We use our hearts to remember all of life as all that happens becomes part of us. Remember strongly all people with your own heart. Today, I remember.
Gold tips licking air
Soothing embers peaceful thoughts 
Gazing feeling warmth
So many times, in periods of struggle or grief, a fire is lit, and held burning, never allowing the flame to expire. Day and night. The keeper of the fire will tend the embers and sacrifice slumber, and others will help, but it is kept burning to provide light, hope, warmth and remembrance.
I’ve seen this many times. A fire for four days when an Elder passes. A fire for the time of fasting while preparing for ceremony. A fire for the community in times of strife or tragedy. That last one. That’s what is needed now. For those that lost loved ones in Japan. For those that are searching for water and food. For those that cry out for help. For any soul needing light, warmth, comfort, peace or understanding.
The fire will be a sign of someone caring. A beacon of hope and prayer. For the well being, the health and happiness, of the people, all people.
It is said that the wood is an embodiment of the spirit of mankind, as all wood grows in soil, and all the bones, hair, blood and skin of all that walked the earth or is natural of the earth, makes the soil. The spirit of people are in each tree and branch. By burning them, we release these spirits to help us with our thoughts and walk beside us as we live through the hours and days.
A candle might do the job. I believe this to be symbolic as an offering if the protective spirits of the trees. The flame is the focus. My mother used to light candles at the church where she prayed. She’d hear of someone who might have a family member with a sickness and she would light a candle and give it prayers and ask God, as she understood him, to use the prayers for that person or that person’s family.
The Native Elders taught me to offer tobacco to the trees when they appear in any form. That would be the forest, or a fire. When we eat, a spirit plate is offered to the fire, or to the base of a tree when no fire is evident. A small portion of every item brought for consumption, along with a pinch of tobacco, is placed in a bowl or plate and given to the spirits, feeding them, and thanking them for the sustenance.
So be it. Some fire burns somewhere. Here, there is a candle, and more candles will be brought and lit. One will burn for all of mankind, and especially for those affected by the earthquake, tsunami and the man-made disaster aftermath from the nuclear power plants. For the health and happiness of the people, all people. For those blessed and those that feel unblessed or can’t find their blessings, can’t see them through the pain and suffering.
More bombs are dropping, war never ceases as we send help to one land we decimate another, all blamed on the acts of nature and man. I ask for peace to all with the light from the fire. All who might accept it will have peace somewhere in their lives. Maybe it’s right here, right now, peace may exist where they dwell, where their mind might dwell. I pray for this peace with the fire for all of mankind.
Mitake Oyasin

18 comments:

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Fire Maiden,
keeper of the flame,
comfort me.

Kim Mailhot said...

There has been a lot of candle burning here. Keeping flame and light alive, sending prayers for all who suffer and also sharing my own feelings of deep gratitude for all that I have in my own life in this moment.
Peace to you, Beautiful Heart, and peace to all of us.

Jeannie said...

The protestant ethic is sadly deficient in fire rituals. There are a few candles lit during the Christmas season but it seems out of place. I do think that there is something very elemental and symbolic and spiritual about fire. Every child is drawn to a bonfire. The spirit is calmed and the heart is opened. Perhaps our world leaders need to sit around a camp fire to discuss matters rather than boardroom tables. I'll bet there would be very different policies made.

Stephanie said...

so many traditions that I am familiar with incorporate keeping a flame lit.

a beautiful post...potent and important.

Ramesh Sood said...

Fire gives me light
And also keeps me warm, yes
Burs bright in my heart

Christopher said...

Peace, Joe. I don't seem to have been about much and I'm sorry, but I'm with you in spirit and will all the time. I had some reminiscences of the old Queen Mary that you posted a photo of some days ago, but maybe I'll write a separate post about it before long.

Meri said...

I love your tender heart and the love and light that emanates from you to a hungry world.

foxysue said...

Such a beautiful prayer Joe, it seems appropriate to mention the spiritual ceremony held at Stainsby Folk Festival each year(in the fields behind my cottage) where the Hiroshima Peace Flame from the atomic bomb is relayed, said never to have been extinguished. I connect with all you have said and feel honoured to have made your acquaintance.

Sue x

Mel said...

Wow.....you shared all that so beautifully. Seriously.

I shall light a candle.
Honestly.
Himself has a problem with candles being unattended and lit--but I shall light one just the same. Over and over and over again.
It will discipline me into more prayers. Sometimes I get busy and forget. This way I shall not.

(((((((((((( Spadoman )))))))))))))

Kimmie said...

Light is a comfort and warmth in a dark place.

Noelle Renee said...

Joe,
I am deeply moved by this sacred story of the faithful keeping the flame alive in times of distress, or grief, or struggle or for the sake of remembrance. Fire is a holy thing. I find it interesting that wood is considered a holy thing as well because it grows in soil which is formed from the blood and bones of men and women. The cross then is an archetype for that level of holiness and it is often called a "tree". It was a place of great suffering and people wear it now to remember the love that gave reason for that suffering. I say these things because we are talking about the suffering of all humanity, and the human compassion that is born of that suffering. A fire for the community is what is needed, yes. A fire either physical or a fire in the heart that draws the soul to action, to reaching out, soul-to-soul, knowing that it could be you tomorrow, who had no water and no food, or lived with the threat of nuclear holocaust. We are all one family, and we must light a candle in our heart of hearts for those members who need us now. Thank you Joe. You are a beautiful person.
Love,
Noelle

Grammy said...

This is so beautifully written and heartfelt. I do not have the words to share how this resonates with me. Be blessed my friend.

Marilyn said...

This is a very beautiful post, I pray for healing and peace for all whose lives have been damaged and hurt around the world.
I like it that the spirit of people are in each tree and branch.

Margaret Pangert said...

Fire is the full moon--
Energy at its highest.
Equilibrium.
The Hindi culture views fire as an essential element but too much is destructive and not enough is inadequate. I guess everyone would agree to that. Fire is the starting point of kundalini yoga. I love your haiku of a soothing, warming fire and the Native American concept of burning a bit of wood to release the spirits in nature along out way. It seems in every cutlture, there is a healing aspect to fire. Your image and haiku are very gentle and calming.

ms pie said...

that is a most beautiful post... full of strength and honor to all of those who breathe.... i think that is a wonderful gesture to light the candle of prayer... i do not understand this need to pillage and destroy in the heart of man and yet in the lightness of man's heart we reach out to save... it is a strange dynamic i do not understand... thank you for that post spadoman... it is good to see you back we have missed yr presence here at rebecca's heart... and no matter how much i wanna post on friday i hardly ever make it... it must have something to do with my birth as the sun was setting...

Amanda Moore said...

what a lovely Haiku makes me long for that fire...

mig said...

Lovely how you've translated the comfort of a fire to a hope for all of us and for peace.
Thank you 'Man for a beautiful, warming post.

rebecca said...

dear spadoman,
this is healing balm to my heart and soul. tonight you have fed the fire in my heart and i am sitting beside you in our prayer for peace...
thank you friend
forever
and
always.