Fire Ceremony for Hummingbird Wisdom

Begin by opening sacred space using the invocation in the Appendix of the Wisdom Wheel book. Have a journal or notebook and pen by your side to use for having a conversation with the power animal you encountered on the Island of the Sacred Animals in last month’s blog or in the Wisdom Wheel book. It will act as a sacred witness to your work and help you awaken you to your natural instincts, offering up wisdom that can assist in your evolution. Do this after your initial work with the fire—before you close sacred space.

To do the fire ceremony, you will work with a pile of small sticks—even ordinary toothpicks—that you can burn in a candle or a small bowl if you cannot work outdoors in a firepit in an area where there’s no chance of a spark setting off a larger fire. In the Amazon, shamans release to the fire what they call “death arrows,” which are sticks into which they have blown the story and energy of whatever they wish to shed. The fire will consume and then transform these energies. Then the shaman releases life arrows of intentionality, of new dreams they hope to see made manifest.

Make sure you have something to extinguish your fire if it becomes too intense and there’s a chance it might escape its container—for example, have some water to extinguish the candle you place in a bowl to work with when doing this ceremony.

Begin by identifying any creature comforts have you become convinced you can’t live without. Name them. Then, touch the bundle to the candle flame to release the energies connected to these attachments. When you have done so, pause in stillness. Witness your mood, your state of being.

Now bring the smoking bundle to your energy field near your lower three chakras to cleanse them with fire and smoke. Pause, witnessing what you are experiencing. Then, touch the bundle to the fire again to bring its transformative energies into the bundle that you will use to transfer them into your lower three chakras.

Next, you will give up your psychological comforts: your belief that you’re a likable, good person, that you have the strength to handle all the challenges you’ll face, that you are important and making a difference in the world. If there was a life path that has helped you to feel accepted and secure, whether it was one that seems to have been preselected for you or that you pursued despite any pressures from people around you to make different choices, let it go as you touch the bundle to the fire again, burning away this life path. Pause in silence, feeling the emptiness. Then, use the smoking bundle to cleanse your heart, throat, and forehead chakras. Be still. Be present. Be.

Now touch the bundle to the fire again and bring the energy of the fire, of Mother Earth, of the possibility of new love and new feelings, to your energy field. Install it in your heart, throat, and forehead chakras.

Next, give up your comforting ideas about God and goodness, the stories about how everything will turn out right in the end if you just stay true to your innate goodness and do your best. Release any ideologies and concepts that have trapped you, anything you feel you need to advocate for or be an activist for, anything that makes you feel an urgent need to do, fix, or resolve something. And release any grand notions about what you need to do before you die. Do this by touching the bundle to the fire, which will burn them away and transform them. Pause. Be still.

Then use the smoking bundle to cleanse your entire field, from your toes all the way up to your crown, or seventh, chakra above your head. After doing this, remain still in the silence so that you can experience the void, observing but not judging, not interpreting, not planning or hoping but simply being present in the experience.

Now touch the bundle to the fire to bring in the wisdom of the ancient sages and the great maps of destiny that have been lost or that have yet to be drawn, the ideas that have yet to be explained in words. Bring all of this into your energy feel, from your feet to your head and your crown chakra. Let it instill in your energy field new possibilities for how the world can be, for how the Earth can thrive, how people can live together, in harmony with each other, with the planet. Be open to the role you will play in this great evolution, this beautiful transformation. Be still. Witness.

Then, release your need to have an identity separate from the cosmos, a personality, a special something. Touch the bundle to the fire to burn it away. Be still. Be.

Use the smoking bundle to cleanse your entire field, toe to head, of any traces of self-importance, of any you-ness. Make yourself invisible even to yourself as you cleanse that need to matter, to make a difference, to be remembered. And when you have done this, pause and simply be still.

After you have experienced this emptiness, touch the bundle to the fire, knowing that you are now bringing in the unmistakable knowledge that you are woven into the great field of creation and deeply loved, an expression of loving, divine wisdom. Bring in the energy to every part of your field, from your head, focusing on the crown chakra, and then moving on to the rest of your field, all your chakras, and your lower body, right down to your feet. Feel your connection to Mother Earth, to Pachamama.

Welcome how Spirit has crafted a journey that will be uniquely yours. Invite it in and embrace it, saying, “In this journey, in this lifetime, may I be of service to those that I meet along the path, however humble my actions may seem, however small my moments of service may appear.”

Be still and open to the potential that surrounds you and all the potential that is within you.

Then, call upon your power animal to help you further. Take your journal or notebook, draw a line down the center of one page, and pose the following question on the left side for your power animal to answer:

Is there anything more I need to burn away in the fire to meet the challenge of hummingbird and access her healing and wisdom gifts?

On the right side of the paper, write down any words and draw any image that comes to you; this is your answer. If your power animal has suggested burning away something more, create a death arrow and cast it into the fire.

Then ask your power animal the same question again, writing the answers that arise in your awareness. Then, if your power animal has suggested there is something you need to bring forth or experience to help you meet the challenge of hummingbird, create a life arrow for it and cast the life arrow into the fire.

If you sense you should ask more questions of your power animal, continue this conversation, blowing energy into life and death arrows to exchange energy with the fire if that’s what you’re guided to do. The idea is to learn from your power animal what you’re resisting so that you can break out of denial so you can learn what you need to know about your unique journey. When your intuition tells you that all is good—you have done enough work for today, thank your power animal for its guidance. Close sacred space, thanking each of the directions for helping you and remembering that you’re never alone in doing the work of the wisdom wheel: you are always receiving help from the invisible realms.