What is a Sacred Fire Circle?

Sacred Fire Circles are conscious celebrations intended to inspire all who participate to live more meaningful, rewarding, joyous, creative and empowered lives. When we come together at the Illumination Gathering we co-create a beautiful sacred space in remote, natural setting.

At the center of this space we light a fire, usually at midnight, and then dance, sing, speak, play and pray our way around the fire till sunrise, for three nights in a row. This contemporary adaptation of what is very likely the oldest human sacred technology is designed so that people of all beliefs can do our own individual empowerment work around the fire while simultaneously supporting our fellow participants in doing their own personal empowerment work at the same time. The commonly held belief of this Gathering is simple: we share a mutual commitment to respect the space and each other and to conscientiously participate in the co-creation of a profoundly inspiring event.

These fires usually feature opening and closing ceremonies (co-created by the event’s participants during our daytime playshops) and sometimes there are additional ceremonial/ritual activities throughout the evenings. However, most of what happens around the fire is improvised. We pay careful attention to one another when improvising our journey, so that the collective focus is maintained. This approach – an intentional synthesis of form and formlessness – consistently yields an experience saturated with synchronicity, serendipity and creative flow that is often beautiful, poignant and breathtakingly exciting.

Deep in the night, around the sacred fire, I consistently find myself electrified with excitement and overflowing with deep, deep gratitude, as I experience the profound beauty of our interweaving songs, dance and prayers. It is as though divine angels are expressing a continuous flow of tangible miracles through our mortal bodies. There’s not much else in life that feeds my soul like this.

Johnny Dwork

The result of this practice is that, after a while, most participants enter into a state of consciousness often referred to in sports as “the zone,” a non-drug-induced, heightened state of consciousness in which we tap into our greatest potential as well as “the collective flow” of all in attendance. When this shift occurs truly remarkable experiences start to happen more and more throughout each night. And this is where the profound yet tangible magic of the Fire Circle becomes accessible. We begin to see our lives in clearer light. We begin to tap into visions of how to solve our great challenges. Extraordinary music and dance emanates from our bodies.

Fire Circle music is created primarily by acoustic percussive instruments and human voice, with the addition of harmonically resonant instruments such as gongs, singing bowls, bells and didgeridoos. Melodic and/or amplified instruments are rarely incorporated.

Sacred Fire Circles are different from typical music/art festivals in that it is the collective that makes the magic, not just a few “superstars” standing up on a stage (although we do have an amazing roster of superstar co-facilitators). At first, this may seem hard to imagine, but over time it becomes easier and easier to tap into the magic. And when this happens, our lives are irrevocably changed for the better.

There is a wealth of additional information about how to tap into this event at our “Resourcery” pages at this website.  Check back often as we add new information and articles regularly before each Gathering.

This Experience is well suited for those who already love:

  • Drumming and Percussion (especially African drumming, Middle Eastern frame drumming, didjeridoos, gongs and bells, shamanic rattling)
  • Singing and Spoken Word (including circle songs, harmonic overtoning, beat-boxing, spoken word and freestyle poetry)
  • Ecstatic Dance (especially belly-dancing, African dance, fire dancing, contact improv and trance dancing)
  • Personal Empowerment Work (including alchemy, hermeticism, mystery schools, tantra, yoga, breathwork, sweat lodges and Sun Dances, shamanism, Jedi training, energy work, ceremonial journeys, prayerformance)
  • The Emerging New Paradigm (lifestyles and communities founded upon the values of authenticity, integrity, and sustainability, intentional communities, etc.)