Sacred Fire has been central to many cultures
A commonality is that fire deities were often female (Hestia, Vesta, Brigit etc) and the sacred fires tended by women and they would rekindle the fire using friction fire on a cyclic pattern.
Within the community it would be women who tended the hearth fires.
(note-the pic is only pic I could find of women doing a fire ritual – lighting Olympic torch via solar)
The emergence of Christianity saw the end of these traditions and as we know many many women (and yes men too – but mostly women) were brutally persecuted and the old ways mostly eradicated.
Largely unknown is the Neid Fire friction fire ritual that was once widespread throughout Europe –The Church saw it as heathen and so was abolished.
The last records of Neid Fire in Scotland was 1840s. There is a lack of info in Eire.
Wiped from the ancestral memory.
Friction fire in a sacred way was a part of our cultural heritage and is very different to bushcraft/survival friction fire.
The modern bushcraft/survival movement started in the 60s/70s has become a huge global industry.
Largely it has been male dominated but that is now fortunately changing.
Friction fire has become popular through bushcraft/survival movements and it is a very good thing otherwise we would have lost the skills (tho fortunately indigenous peoples continue to use friction fire)
In recent times - fire starting (inc friction fire) has been seen to be more male dominated and at times macho
There has been a mis-conception that it is more suited to “men”🤬
Let’s remember who tended our sacred hearths
I have taught many women and it’s fantastic to see more women using and teaching friction fire.
Traditionally fire by friction has been a communal practice and not about proving how fast/quick you can coax an ember on your own.
We’ve lost our heritage of ritual fire.
What is missing is teaching friction fire in sacred/holistic way - I am trying to address that and encourage people to learn and use and pass on the knowledge and skills to others
I feel we need to throw off the burdens of the past; reclaim our cultural heritage and reconnect to nature, the land, ourselves, each other and be kind 🙏