Venus was rising in the south sky with the crescent moon nearby. The desert was cool with flickers from the fire being lit for our circle. It was a crisp March night in Joshua Tree. One year of initiations, one year of sacred fires, one year of ceremonies that allowed us to soar with the star nations and the winged ones.
Everyone was gathered in a circle with our mesas, our healing stones that had gone through every initiation, blessed by every sacred fire and by the lineage of shamans from Peru.
“We have a surprise for you in this last class.” Our shaman teacher said.
Everyone murmured, a surprise! Yes, we could use a nice surprise after all the inner work we had done on ourselves to shed our past like how serpents shed their skin.
“We’re going to walk through a fire.”
What? Some murmured, others clapped. I held my breath. What? I am all for initiations. I am all for deep inner work, come, I’ve been shedding my skin for 25 years.
But, I ain’t no firewalker. No interest. Thanks, but no thanks. My inner dialogue, my relentless rebel said to myself, my inner judge agreeing wholeheartedly, that’s right, we don’t do fire walking, the judge and rebel in agreement.
“This is not an option.” Stephen said. “Everyone is doing it. No one is getting burnt. ”
Nope, I not doing it, inner rebel and inner judge chimed in internally.
“How come they didn’t tell us about this before that it’s required?” Someone else in the group said aloud to cheers from my inner judge and rebel.
“We keep it a secret. Everyone who has done this training does it. We tell the ones who’ve done it to keep it a secret.” Stephen chuckled as he directed the building of the fire to walk on.
The sky was so lit up that night. A sacred hoop of stars shone down on the Joshua trees and held us all together.
The fire walking began, we did it in small groups of about 7 or 8 people holding circle for the firewalker to approach and walk over the burning embers.
My inner judge and rebel looked on as we drummed and chanted as each person took their turn to walk over the fire, burning away whatever remnants of the old self were left to be devoured.
Everyone in my small group did it. It was my turn. Now my rebel and judge were saying: Well if they can do it why can’t I do it…
I am crossing the red hot embers, walking, not running, flickers of flames whispering at the edges. I am doing it. I did it. It is done.©Kathy Stanley