A Filipina Firewalks. Part 2 of 2
[continued from A Filipina Firewalks, Part 1]
Evening, December 20, 2014:
The three times I attended Heather Ashes TOCI firewalk events, she began with saying: “Come to the fire without expectations of yourself. If you’ve come thinking you’re going to walk the fire—put that away. If you’ve come thinking you’re going to just watch others walk the fire—put that away. You don’t really know what you’re going to do until you’re in front of the fire.”
And then, with Heather’s wise and gentle guidance, even before we even approach the fire we start connecting with the fire with our thoughts.
We are creating expectation to witness something that we normally would think of as impossible.
We raise our energy with listening and sharing, discussions with others. When the time is right, we approach the bonfire. The whole affair is a ritual both sacred and also full of raised energy. As we gaze into the flames, smell the smoke, feel the heat on our faces, the fire maidens rake down the burning wood and spread the red hot burning pieces into a long, smoldering carpet of red embers, glowing bright red. I think to myself, “Burning rubies must look like this…”
Heather gives us a song or chant to lift up our voices and energies with. The humming in my mind is going… My physical being is trembling not so much with excitement but more of intense positive kind of energy, like electricity! I know others feel the same. Then people begin to walk the fire. I feel confident. I feel intent. I’ve raised my energy with singing and with a feeling of elation. Other people in the circle feel it too. I am on line now to walk the fire. I’m excited for the people that just crossed it. I clap. I jump with delight. Sometimes I holler out and whoop it up.
Then I find myself at the front of the line. I am now THE first person standing in front of the fire. I look at the other side. And I DO IT. I walk over the hot coals! In my mind’s eye I remember it vividly:
I am acutely present. I feel the cold air of winter weave and spiral with the hot air of the fire on my face. I feel the bumps of burning wood and intense tingling under my feet. There are some spots on the burning coals that are more fierce then others. I am walking and breathing and make it across. My feet now touch cold bare ground where there is frosty soil and grass. I keep on singing. I don’t think only about my tingling feet anymore. I am aware now of my whole being tingling with life! I can almost feel my aura glowing 6 feet out from my physical body… I acutely feel Life thrumming in the sound and emotions lifted up in this circle of people I am with… I feel a distinct connection with a pulse of the Universe. The stars are shining down on us. And the earth continues spinning underneath us.
I’ve gotten fire kisses or burns that are anywhere between 1/8th to 1/2 of an inch. They really aren’t so painful, just like continuous, intense, tingling. Heather, our facilitator, reminds us that the next trick is to breath the fire energy up through your feet and out the top of your head.
And it works. No kidding. I’ve followed her instructions and have done it.
When I wake up the next morning, the fire kisses have healed. Every time.
When I did my second firewalk I was so pumped I walked over the fire path maybe 6 times! Later that evening I posted online:
Fire is transformative. I just did a firewalk down in South Austin. Walked over the hot coals so many times I lost count… even went over freshly raked coals glowing hot red. Aaaahhhhhhh!! Stoked.
My young friend Sarah immediately messages me about the synchronicity—she is about to do a firewalk! She will be walking with indigenous shamans, that evening in Palawan, Philippines. We share in the fun and closeness it creates between us despite being half-way around the world from each other.
Winter Solstice, December 21, 2014:
Me: i’ve been meditating on accepting blessings in forms that I have no expectations of or control over. breathing the energy of fire up through my body and out the top of my head is an exercise not only of the fire element but also in letting energy flow through me with breath and consciousness.
Leny: it wasn’t painful? did you go in a trance?
Me: No, more like intense tingles, almost painful. No, i did not go into trance. i stayed very conscious of raising my energy by chanting, shouting, and conscious intention of matching the energy of fire. i may do it again on January 1. will see how i feel. wish we could do it together!!
This post is dedicated to: Tina D. who brought me to my first firewalk; to Lyle L. who walked the New Year fire with me; to Sarah Q. who walked the fire with me despite the different time and location; to you readers who firewalk and want to firewalk; and to all my friends, beloved husband & sons who I hope may firewalk with me someday.
Omehra is also known as Inday Perla, Perla Daly, BagongPinay and NewFilipina.
She has been publishing websites to empower Filipinos for 20 years. More about her art, blogs, events, publishing and organizations at BagongPinay.