Shamanic Fire Ceremony During Solstices and Equinoxes

A fire ceremony to honor solstices and equinoxes is a perfect time to contemplate our relationship to Spirit. What is Spirit and what is a ceremony? Why do we use fire and ceremony?

The answers to these questions are complex and multidimensional, so there are many answers. And any answers or understanding we get today will probably change when we ask the question again next time. This is the nature of the great mystery. We can’t know it. We can only experience it. When we experience something and we are conscious, we are changed forever.

A ceremony is an intentional event to celebrate and honor something sacred. We gather at our fires to step outside of the limitation of our ordinary lives and ordinary time. In ceremony, we step into sacred time and experience the infinite. In ceremony, we grow our light bodies and feel our connection to all things. We realize that everything is sacred and that all of life is a ceremony.

We gather at the fire because we walk the path of fire. Fire is an element. It is alive with the light of Ti. It has the power to transform energy and matter in a very short time. We use fire to transform instantly what would take long periods of time to process. Fire consumes our heavy energy and transforms it back to light carrying our prayers with it. Fire has such power that even a small candle or match can have more energy than we will ever need in a single ceremony or a single lifetime.

What better time to have a fire ceremony than during an equinox or a solstice. The equinoxes happen in March (about March 21) and September (about September 23). Equinoxes are opposite on either side of the equator, so the autumnal (fall) equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is the spring (vernal) equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.

These are the days when the Sun is exactly above the Equator, which makes day and night nearly equal in length, bringing balance and harmony to our nights and days.  Likewise, we can strive to bring harmony into our lives during the equinoxes.

Equinoxes are different from solstices. The two solstices happen in June (20 or 21) and December (21 or 22). These are the days when the Sun’s path in the sky is the farthest north or south from the Equator. A hemisphere’s winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and its summer solstice the year’s longest.

In the Northern Hemisphere the June solstice marks the start of summer: this is when the North Pole is tilted closest to the Sun, and the Sun’s rays are directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer. The December solstice marks the start of winter: at this point the South Pole is tilted closest to the Sun, and the Sun’s rays are directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn. (In the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed.)

Have you honored a solstice or equinox with a fire ceremony?