24-Hour Global Peace Fire
On Wednesday, September 9 through Friday, September 11, 2009, Northeastern Illinois University hosted one of many simultaneous global Peace Gatherings around the world.
The event included a gathering around a sacred fire and in small and large discussion groups to explore how we can manifest peace in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.
The Fire Keepers and the elders determine the schedule. Traditionally, ceremonies are held around solstice's, the full or new moon of each month, special lunar events, and often, after special events.
Ideally, the fires are outdoors. Though the fire can be done indoors, even with a candle, outdoor ceremonies allow us to connect deeply to the earth, the star energies and the timelessness of the location where the fire is held. Night fires help us to notice the subtle changes and learn from the fire.
This is a time of celebration, a time to give thanks, express gratitude, and discover how we're alike, rather than different. Join the circle and just be yourself.
In strict Native American custom - the burning of sage, sweet grass or tobacco is burned along with the past, which is given as an offering. When the smoke rises up into the ether's and is carried away to God there should be a quiet or meditative break in order to embrace a new awareness of transformation in your life. It is also symbolic that you can offer up a bit of food you wanted and only ate half of so that you could offer the other half in thanks.
The Value of Imagery
Do not minimize the value of imagery in Native American ceremony. The Spirit of God is real. This is a way of demonstrating one's' gratefulness and thanksgiving to God. When we pray to our Source and Supply who is God; He can, will, and does affect our lives. So honoring Him and showing Him respect is part of this ceremony.
After your fire gets going, each person may contribute to the prayer and then the items are offered to the fire. Tell God and all the Divine Spirits that you have called forth that you offer these things in Thanksgiving. Meditate and feel the presence of God all around you. Singing praise, playing peaceful music either through tapes or instruments may also be used.
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." ~ Mark 11:24
A fire pit or fireplace where you can safely burn a fire. A barbecue pit or fireproof pot works well too. If you live in an apartment, it is best to find a place outdoors where you can safely burn a fire.
A bucket filled with water or a water hose to put the fire out after the ceremony.
Items such as a drawing, picture or written intentions that you would like to release from your past.
Anything else that you feel would serve you that need to be released.