Ritual Mechanics, #4

Explain how two different active ADF Priests light a ritual fire. Describe the actions done, any prayers or magical work done. Explain how you light a ritual fire, including actions, prayers, and magical work you may do.

Not many of our fires at CedarLight are lit in a ritualistic fashion.  The firewarden, who is the tender of the ritual space, lights the fires prior to ritual, and that in itself is a fairly sacred act, but there are not any certain gestures or words spoken in general (if they are, it’s likely silent).  That said, however, at Imbolc our fires are lit from a Brigid’s Fire provided by Reverend Caryn MacLuan, and that is always done in a sacred manner.  It usually consists of a prayer to Brigid (this changes each ritual), and a description of where the fire comes from.  Guests are always given their own small taper to light with Brigids fire so they can then take it home to light their own hearth fires with it, thus continuing the flame of Brigids fire.

As far as a second Priests method for lighting sacred fire, I did attend a workshop by Reverend Michael Dangler at this years Trillium Gathering that was specifically about ritual fire building and tending.  I don’t recall any special words he may have said in prayer over the fire, but he did go over the basics of starting, feeding, and extinguishing fires.  He also expanded upon the ritual use of fire and what is appropriate for the flow of ritual.  We also got to create our own teepee laid out flame from very basic materials, were shown different methods through flint and steel by Reverend Carrion, and the bow method with Reverend Fox.

As important as fire is within ritual, and as much as some Groves tout about sacred flames, I’m actually surprised I have not seen more sacredness involved in the starting, feeding, and extinguishing of sacred fires.  I think I shall have to remedy this in my own practice, and share it within Oak Leaves.

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