It’s a gorgeous Saturday night in June and a group of like-minded women have gathered at Sandy Tomey’s home to celebrate the Summer Solstice. I have no idea what to expect-I’m here to be present, meet new friends and quite honestly, soak up some of the extra energy Sandy always gives off. While she has told me that Summer Solstice is a time of letting go and setting new intentions, I’m intrigued by the process.
None of us know one another as we mingle and enjoy a Summer Solstice lemonade before Sandy invites us into a circle. She introduces herself and tells us the intention of the Fire Circle and the Summer Solstice.
“The Summer Solstice offers the most light which is a time when we have the most energy to leave the past behind and start anew. It’s a time to set new intentions.”
The group is small enough for us to introduce ourselves and because we have all chosen to participate the introductions include short stories about who we are, why we are here, our connection to Sandy and our expectations for the evening. This is not your momma’s sewing circle.
When it’s my turn I am honest. I’ve learned over the past two years that if I am honest, authentically me, I feel much better. I can tell the other women are authentic in their stories as well. Though I am not one to over-share, I can tell this Sacred Sisterhood is safe and so I oblige.
After our introductions, Sandy enlightens us about a fire ceremony:
“Fire is transformational. Fire allows for rapid transformation. It can provide the avenue for us to let go of the old stories and drama, to transform, renew and to be reborn. Through fire ceremony, you honor your lessons and old belief structure by placing them in the fire and turning them over to Spirit (The Universe, whatever Power you believe in). By releasing these old patterns and beliefs in the fire, you heal deeply at the level of the soul without having to experience them at the literal and physical levels.
There is a two-week period following a fire ceremony in which “instances of opportunity” appear. These “instances” provide the opportunity to translate your intent for healing, into reality. Think of the fire ceremony not as an instantaneous magical change (darn it!), but rather, an opening to heal and shift distinctive habits and patterns-to manifest a different dream. (Okay, I’m good with this) Remember to recognize this “opening” and seize the opportunity to create change. THEN…let the Universe take care of the details (good reminder).” Sandy and her Fire Chief give credit to the Four Winds Society website for this quote. It’s beautiful and I’m awed by the message and the messengers.
Our first task is to RELEASE and let go with Spirit Stick: this represents the releasing of old habits and limiting beliefs, negative viewpoints that keep us stuck as well as emotions we are suppressing or afraid to feel.
“What do you want to release?”
The physical aspect of winding different color string around sticks to help us cast away that which no longer serves us keeps my hands busy as my mind wanders.
There is SO much and yet, I can’t think of how to phrase it so that the Universe understands, much less myself. I ask for help.
“Any thought that isn’t true. Anything you no longer want to think about,” I’m advised.
“Got it,” and I do. I have taken seven different color strings even before I know what I want to let go of. I have a thought for EACH one-the first and most relevant: “I am not who you say I am.” The others follow quickly and I’ve wrapped my stick. This first one is so very important as I move forward into a new life. For years I heard a version of what someone needed me to be so that they could feel better about themselves.
I know EXACTLY who I am and as I wrap this thought away, I exhale.
The next part is so much easier, probably because for me it’s phrased in what I have been living and what I want to manifest in my life. We make intention bundles or prayer offerings with light and energy so that we can set an intention and take action. In this way, I am creating a life I love.
Sandy reminds us:
“As we set intentions, allow yourself to being open to new learning and growth, or learning more about yourself and new ways of looking at things. Be more healthy, live joyfully, and share your gifts in a career that feels really good to you.”
“We use corn husks to wrap our intention prayer. Corn is for abundance…everything is possible. We use mustard seed as a sign of Faith. Matthew 17:20: Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
“And we use rose petals representing LOVE! Rose is the highest energetic vibration and the energy of love. (I take as many as I can stuff into my corn husk-there is plenty-as love, coming from love, living through love has become one of my messages to myself) Put these offerings into your prayer bundle, and wrap it up and tie it with a string!”
More exhaling. I’ve thought about this long and hard…I’ve set intentions, revised them, and sent them into the Universe time and again. This part…brings me peace.
We adjourn to the fire circle outside where there is a breeze and it’s no longer stifling hot. It’s actually a beautiful clear evening. We give thanks/call the sacred space in to the North, South, East and West in the quiet evening. It feels very female-centered as we chant together asking Mother Earth to be part of our fire ceremony. (I love this sort of stuff; it makes me feel connected to the earth and the sky in a deeper way.)
Sandy explains how we will come up one at a time while someone holds the space behind us in solidarity and love, as we toss the stick and those thoughts that no longer serve us into the fire. The fire is off center so not every stick burns and we move our sticks around to catch fire.
When it’s my turn, I know exactly how I feel, what I want and what I want to release-in Sandys’ words, “the thoughts and messages that are not my true essence so I can shine my authentic self that somehow got pushed under everything else-“
I toss my stick into the fire and it catches fire IMMEDIATELY. I raise my fist into the sky in my normal victory stance and turn to my new friend behind me hugging her. She doesn’t let go until I need her to. She senses this.
As I sit down, I exhale. I silently offer thanks to the Universe for this opportunity and think to myself…
Wow. How can wrapping my worries, my anxieties and that which no longer serves me around a stick and tossing it into a fire to catch fire immediately make me feel so lighter?
I have no idea. But I’m going with it.
We all have our turn tossing our sticks of that which no longer serves us in any way into the fire. There is a soft sound of a drum and shakers which adds to the powerful atmosphere of change. I can almost see the feelings and gratitude of the others in the circle.
Sandy next explains that when it’s our turn to toss the parcels or prayer bundles, she will meet us at the fire and breathe energy into our closed hands which contain our small parcel.
Just like I believe in Tinkerbell and magic, I believe that this fire ceremony will propel me forward with these positive, happy, healthy intentions. I’ve fought hard for this new-found wisdom. I’ve cried many a tear over the years. And I know deep in my heart THIS is the life I’m meant to live.
When it’s my turn, Sandy takes my hands into hers and it takes everything I have not to cry as she wishes me well. My turn. I blow into my closed hands sending these intentions into the Universe, thinking and talking in my head all that I know is right and light for me.
I toss my parcel and it, too, catches fire immediately.
We close the ceremony the same way, offering gratitude to the North, South, East and West. As we finish someone looks over my shoulder and a Mama deer is peering around the corner as if listening to us. She silently looks at us as if she too is setting an intention and then scampers into the woods. Seems like Mother Earth is sending us all sorts of signs.
As we head in for dessert and drinks-we are a group of women after all-I feel different. Light-headed, lighter, understanding that while I can participate in a Fire ceremony in a Sacred Sisterhood Circle, feeling fully supported, THIS is up to me, too. I believe in the magic. I believe in my intentions and the strength to live the life of light, love and purpose I’m meant to.
We spend the next hour laughing and getting to know one another as only women can. We ask questions, build bridges, find out more about one another. Sandy still offering so much of herself, her energy, her story. The night has been everything I had hoped and so much more. I thought through in concrete terms those thoughts which no longer serve me and with the help of the energy of the circle and the Universe, I was able to toss them out, toss them into a fire. They are no more.
And in the same way, I was able to decide those intentions and actions I wanted for myself, for my life for the next six months (and after). I have a feeling I will add and change these intentions as I continue to fully LIVE them, manifesting the life I want. It is magic, it is energy, it is connection…and most importantly, it is me. It is creating the life I love.
For more information about Sandy Tomey: www.sandytomey.com Facebook page: Sandy Tomey, The Love Luminary.