Today in modern society the majority have gotten so used to having everything everywhere all at once. And just take it for granted that they can just go and get whatever they need whenever they want (yes money allowing and yes that is changing in some ways now there is a cost of living crisis)
And of course often I fall into that trap …. not really thinking about where stuff comes from as I plop it into the basket or how much it costs (well that's changed recently as costs have spiralled) as I tap the card on the reader or click on a button
I’m not religious … nor do I attach myself to any particular doctrine or belief – including any heathen / pagan path …. my fire by friction passion has evolved into my own (one could say “spiritual”) way….. I won’t say practice as I don’t practice all the time or often ….. sometimes I do sometimes not…. sometimes weeks go by without doing anything …other times I may practice daily….and when weeks do go by…. Sacred Hearth is still smouldering away (like an ancient sacred eternal fire) ready to be blown into flame….. I have this underlying “passion” / “burning desire” for honouring and giving thanks through the art of rubbing sticks and fire itself…. which has evolved over the years.... and I am becoming more drawn towards the communal welcoming of fire rather than the individual pursuit …. (which maybe why i don't practice as often)
Our distant ancestors learning to tame the wild fire and “domesticise” wild fire into the hearth fire was one of the fundamental factors in the evolution of our species…..
And they did not take it for granted…. like natural resources…. fire could not be guaranteed…. fires would be kept lit….. or at least embers kept going ….. skills were passed along… how to keep a fire going…. how to leave a fire so it would still have hot embers in the morning…how to transport fire…. and eventually …… over thousands of years…. they would eventually learn (and pass on ) how to welcome fire either through striking stones or rubbing sticks….. and they would give blessings and honour fire… indeed the importance of fire still lives on in many religions such as Zoroastrianism and Vedism….
Fire by friction seems to have more of a magical / holy meaning than any other method of “lighting” fires – as part of many religious rituals fire by friction would be used to welcome in the fire over any other method – e.g. in Vedism - fire churning (using a strap drill like contraption) is used to welcome in Lord Agni and is still used today in Vedic temples. In Europe the Neid Fire and fire churn rituals were used (even when flint and steel was commonly available ) and “The Church” even tried to ban fire by friction many times through the centuries denouncing it as unheathen and unholy .... indeed the Neid fire rituals clung on in parts of the Highlands of Scotland until as recent as the mid 19th century.
Many see fire by friction as difficult and decide to learn it as it is a “challenge” (it's only difficult as it is no longer passed along as with many other old skills ) – for me i wanted to learn a traditional way of lighting fires in a holistic way which led me on my path which continues to evolve. For me it’s more about not taking fire for granted and using a method that has been used for thousands of years… you need to be aware and be in touch with your environment – knowing what materials are available and where they can be found and at what times of year and what materials to use at different times of years … preparing and storing materials (oh yes I firmly believe our ancestors prepared for fire as much as they did for anything else and not just “do it on the spot” ) – today there is a lot of emphasis on challenging oneself and putting oneself in a survival situation without any tools and being able to survive without anything….to prove to oneself that they can do that. Yes I’m sure our ancestors could do that when forced in a survival situation due to the way they lived and the relationship they had with the world ... and of course youth were tested through rites of passage (which maybe many people who go on these challenges see them as rites of passage as that is something missing from our society and maybe it's an ingrained part of us that many crave for) …our ancestors knowledge was built up and passed along the generations… and I’m also sure that usually they would try and make life as easy as possible ... as life would have been difficult…………. and not having to go and make a friction set whenever they needed to light a fire would most likely have been one of those things 😊 and lighting a fire may only have been done at auspicious times or only when absolutely necessary….. tho I’m sure they would have kept the skills honed and practiced whenever they could….
So where is this particular rambling going…. nowhere really..... just sharing some of my thoughts on my connection to fire (which is similar to some of my older posts) …… our human connection to fire lies deep within …. we are forged from fire .... our connection to fire is within our dna…. we just need to be reminded of it and have it rekindled .....….. and that is what I seek to do through Sacred Hearth Friction Fire.... journey with fire.... the old way....
blessings on the ancestral fire
Please check out this very engaging and interesting overview of Sacred Fire in Europe by Nordic Animism >>
A few words on ritual. Ritual can mean many different things to people.
Ritual does not have to be religious or spiritual.
Ritual is usually done with intention or awareness to mark an event or achieve an outcome
A ritual may comprise a set of actions done in a specific order
Many people may have morning rituals where they do same set of actions with intention - this may be slightly different to routine where it’s just done as matter of course
Ritual usually has significance for the people undertaking them
Ritual and ceremony are often used interchangeably - tho a ceremony is often an occasion where a ritual could be performed within it
Ritual may help people get clarity , to clear their mind, To be clear on their intention
Ritual can be lots of things to many!
I find ritually welcoming a fire very powerful and a way to connect on a deeper level with many different things!
by doing things with awareness and intention it helps me connect ; be grateful ; and not take things for granted
By using fire by friction there are a specific set of actions I need to take in a specific order to welcome the fire and by doing this with intention and awareness for me this is ritual
Ritually welcoming a fire at the start of an event can be a very powerful way of starting an event with intention -and you could state intentions for the event as part of the “ritual”
fire rituals can also be used to mark a time of the year or point in someone’s life etc
For me within ritual it is important not to appropriate from other cultures I research and learn and share from other traditions but I am careful not to adopt their traditions into my approach - I am now more careful over words I may use etc I have been asked before by someone well meaning whether I would consider doing a Mayan fire ceremony - no - it is not my culture
The Northern Europe Need Fire rituals really connect with me as they are from my heritage and I feel that I can use fire churns in rituals which are of my own making and not based on any other culture’s tradition
Blessings on the ancestral fire🙏
#sacredfire #fireritual #ritualfire #ancestralfire #ancestralskills #earthskills
#howslowcanyoubow Today I revisited my alternative challenge and fashioned a new spindle and tested the set first 😀once I knew the set was good I embarked on the speed challenge … well the how slow can I bow challenge. You don’t need to go hell for leather . Slow down.
With good pressure and a steady pace an ember was coaxed in just over 1 minute on the first attempt. slowing down allows more awareness and to spot any issues which may need addressing.
I feel that It also allows me to more enjoy coaxing the ember out of the wood and to be more connected with the whole experience.
Do you dare take on this speed challenge!
Blessings on the ancestral fire 🔥🙏
#frictionfire #bowdrill #bowdrillfirelighting #ancestralfire #firecraft #ancestralskills #sacredfire
#howslowcanyoubow it is a really interesting exercise! Try it! Slow everything down. Technique becomes important. Any imperfection will be exaggerated. Spindles will fly more. You may need to apply more pressure. At first my challenge was about how slow can I go and still get an ember. After 20mins or so I didn’t get an ember- even when I sped up. I realised the set wasn’t good but then I realised that this practice is not just about getting an ember. It’s almost like a meditation.
Slow everything down - bring all awareness to the Bowing- bring all awareness to the set.
In our modern world it’s all about how fast but how about how slow for a change 😀
When you slow down it’s easier to be more aware and to connect. How is your technique, how is your pressure - adjust as needed.
Also check in on your emotions and how you feel that an ember isn’t coming - do you want to speed up, do you think it’s stupid, are you frustrated!
The below clip demonstrates how effective the fire plough can be with the right materials. A friend gifted me some Malayan Cherry which has a lot lower combustion point than UK woods and so it is more suited to the fire plough. As can be seen in this clip an ember is formed ridiculously quickly (7 secs) which is the fastest I've done on any method! And this is why the fire plough is the main method in places like Polynesia where there is wood suited to this method.
I wanted to try fire plough (fire plow) blind folded - not to show off 😀 but to see how good my muscle memory is as the fire plough is alot about muscle memory in stopping/starting in same spot - as you are going so fast you can’t really do it by sight anyway so I just wanted to see 😀 I achieved 3 embers 😀 the issue with ember 1 was more to do with the blade being uncomfortable and couldn’t achieve the pressure needed so I trimmed the blade and it worked on attempt#3- and wow what an ember 😀 now it wasn’t possible for me to know when there was an ember - I could smell smoke but the plough produces loads of smoke so I just continued for a good amount of time (based on my experience and going a bit longer.) I then cleared and shaved the groove and went for ember#2 - vid 2- I didn’t press record properly so only the ember on film - again another strong ember and in one attempt. I then tried ember#3 - and again on first attempt - I slipped at the end and decided to stop but another strong ember It was an interesting experiment - and it just felt natural even blind folded and proved that when doing fire plough you don’t really use your eyes in changing direction - but they’re useful for seeing if you have an ember 😀 Set is poplar on poplar - very dry and seasoned. Another tip - ensure the blade is comfy to hold as it makes a big difference in applying pressure - spend time smoothing it off.