The Fire Churn.... it works beautifully!
The Majestic 6 foot Fire Churn installed at the Erti Suli Gathering (at the start of May.) It worked beautifully, even better than I had ever envisaged with no practice runs! The many hours of researching, dreaming into it, finding the materials, preparing the materials and building and experimenting paid off! I was very very pleased with its inaugural churning. It was used as part of a ceremony so there are no photos or videos but maybe stories will be told :) It was a dozen or so children who enthusiastically pulled on each end of the rope to welcome the embryonic fire out of the mother hearth. We then collectively breathed into the ember to welcome the new pure fire! Despite its size, it worked beautifully.
This is an authentic honouring way to communally welcome in the ancestral fire, based on an old way which ceased 200 years ago-ish; used in times of distress and at auspicious times such as Beltane and Samhain. Read more about the fire churns here.
For those interested in the practicalities, the 6foot spindle is made of an Ash tree trunk and the hearth is Hazel; the bearing log is Holly; 20meters of 12mm sisal rope was wrapped around multiple times. A piece of bark was used for the tinder tray. The Ash shavings created from making the spindle were used as the tinder. Oh and the ember was jubilantly huge!