At different times throughout the preparation he had us visualize the fire, and what it would feel and look like to walk in it. Being a fire element, I had no trouble connecting deeply. At one point, I looked away after the meditation and everything appeared crystal clear to me … like an enhanced version of what was before me. It was almost like I had faded into the background and was floating above at a distance and observing and no one knew I was there. When I explained it later, AnnMarie said I had lifted the veil … how cool is that!! I want more … the feeling of clarity was incredible. Each time we did visualizations and I stared into the fire, my surroundings and the process just kept getting clearer and clearer.
We went to a nearby stream and were told to listen to the left of us and focus on just those sounds. It was repeated on the right. Then we listened normally, and were able to discern better all the separate sounds.
As part of the exercise on trust, we used three chairs to balance a plank across them. Then two people stood at either end to hold the plank and help you climb up. Six other people stood there with interlocked hands to catch you as you just fell backward onto them. It was very freeing.
Another trust exercise: Randy and another person who had done it before balanced a ¼ inch rebar <steel> rod between them at the clavicular notch and then walked toward each other, bending the rod with just their throat. So then, a guy and I decided to also try it. You could see he had doubts about our doing it, but I figured I had seen the other two do it so what the heck LOL. I reasoned that it wouldn’t have been offered to us as part of a trust exercise if it was going to really hurt me. At first, the guy backed away when he felt the pressure on his throat area, but I talked him into just going for it. Everyone cheered when we hugged at the end … it was pretty exhilarating actually. I did have a slight bruise on my throat the next day but other than that it was all good.
As a third trust exercise, we formed two lines. Then the person at the beginning of the line ran between the two lines while blindfolded/eyes closed, high stepping the whole way. Running with your knees raised with each step really makes you get off balance, but you can do it because both lines are shouting out “yes” and clapping and so you can kind of judge where the lines are and run in a straight line between them. Some did better than others LOL.
We did prayer ties with tobacco for various reasons: set intention, bring ourselves into balance, accepting unconditional love from nature and accepting challenges. My insights ranged from walking the talk, moving from my head to my heart and realizing that Sabrina is a child even though she acts like an adult LOL and to be more understanding and patient with her.
We also did an Incan fire ceremony where we circled the fire with rattles and drums, chanting various Native American utterances. Then when we were called to do so, we knelt at the fire with a person of the opposite sex standing behind us with hands outstretched to hold the energy for us. Then we drew our hands through the fire toward our solar plexus, then toward our heart, then toward our third eye, then all over our aura. I always play with fire anyway, so I really got into this :> I was putting all my arms into the fire each time and really grabbing it toward me.
As time went on, I kept watching for the fire salamanders. They were not there at first … maybe they need for the fire to be very hot before they are released. I kept talking to the fire silently connecting and asking for them to appear and then they were flying all around, their tails long and flowing. Some were over two feet long. As the logs shifted in the fire, hundreds were released at a time! It was very awesome, and it seemed the more I communicated with them, the more they came to me. It turned out that the 2 people <Deb and Barb> I went with also did the same thing and they saw them when I did. No one else saw them … but then we were looking for them! It just brings to mind how much we miss when we are not mindful, in any experience we have. I didn’t get a chance to see the green heart in the center of the fire though, because we were off doing trust exercises and the fire was flattened to a bed of burning coals when we returned. Next time LOL!
It was close to a full moon <couple of days> and it kept peeking through the tress. I felt so connected to the meadow and the stream and the moon and the fire. As we were walking around the fire we chanted over and over:
Earth my body
Water my blood
Air my breath and
Fire my spirit
It really put us in the mood I am sure. Chanting has such an amazing connective ability, at least for me. I guess it is the vibration that makes it go so deeply into your soul. Must also be why saying affirmations out loud make them so much more effective, especially when tapping on your thymus.
Anyway, then came time for the actual firewalk. Randy was there and kept raking the coals as we circled around the fire, chanting and shaking rattles while a few played the drums. As we went past the opening, we had the choice to stay in the circle or go into the fire. We must have done this for at least 20-30 minutes so we had plenty of opportunities to go through. Some aids they had talked about were to not look at the coals and just focus your eyes beyond the end of the fire bed, as well as saying cool moss, and walking briskly through the coals. When I did it the first time, I actually forgot everything he had said LOL, so they are not necessary but help set the mood I guess. The fire bed was about 4 feet wide and 6 feet long, so for short people like me it required more than a few steps. I wound up doing it 5 times. I was going to try to do it 8 times <infinity and my favorite number> but didn’t want to seem too greedy. The first few times, I walked briskly and I remember thinking how amazing it was that I couldn’t feel the heat. I think the fact that I took my shoes off when I first got to the meadow helped some since we were walking all over and the grass was cool and my feet were being toughened up. The fourth time I ran with my hands outstretched to the sky, which of course meant that I was landing harder than when I was just walking but still no burns. The fifth time, some guy took my hand and we actually skipped across the coals. I thought for sure they would be burning, but all I got was a tiny ember that stuck to the bottom of my foot and as soon as I got to the grass, I scuffed my foot and off it came! So there it is … my first firewalking experience. I went to bed exhausted for some reason but woke up refreshed the next day!