There are many different ways to engage with SpiritFire. Here are some of the opportunities from 2012.
Spiders (with Martin Bridge)
The Spiders will be weaving visual elements into our community ritual throughout the event. We will meet to explore the role of visual symbols in magic and rituals of our tribe while building a collaborative relationship with one another. Each evening the Spiders will gather to execute a rangoli within the fire-mandala to prepare the space for the evening ritual. While experience in the arts is valued it is by no means necessary! Those who are interested in this group should contact Martin beforehand so we can communicate about possible materials to bring and share.
Advanced Drum Dialogues (with Josselyne Price et al.)
Many musicians at SpiritFire have often spoken of a wish to use more advanced call & response, ensemble rhythms, and breaks within the circle, blending that sound with others to enrich and diversify the groove. This affinity group is an open daily session, meant to enhance what we do at the fire with more advanced technique and material from Ghanaian, Haitian, and Mandinke traditional forms. While working on specific parts and rhythms, our intention is not to create “performances” but to create textures that can blend with other musical layers already in process.
While the group is open, please know that a solid level of comfort with stick and hand techniques will be assumed. If you miss the post-opening circle first meeting, check the community board for location and time info.
Fire Circle Prep (with Yuri Tutka)
A fire circle is much more than ritual and music – it takes a lot of hard physical work to prepare the circle, torches, and benches, and to tend the fire. If you have a desire to be a part of the care and maintenance of the fire circle, please check in with Yuri Tutka on site (or beforehand — see the staff page for contact information) and be sure to attend the fire circle affinity group. Announcements about when/where it meets will happen at opening circle on the first day.
Each night in the merchant circle, the fire spinners light up their poi and express their arts to an enthusiastic crowd. Set to live drumming (yes, you can participate in the drumming!), this has been one of SpiritFire’s more magical times before the fire lighting ceremony.
Those wanting to perform at the evening fire-spinning jams need to coordinate ahead of time with the fire spinning safety lead to make sure all safety agreements are in place. A special waiver for fire spinners is required.
To create an opportunity for longer spoken-word offerings than can easily be accommodated at the fire itself, we host the Soul Expression poetry circle one evening before the fire lighting ritual. Bring and share spoken pieces that move your soul, express your vision, guide your journey, or just plain make you feel good — or simply listen to what is being offered. Original writings are encouraged but not required. While everyone at SpiritFire respects all types of offerings, out of courtesy to the large number of people who have poetry and prose that they want to share at Soul Expression, long stories and songs are not appropriate for this circle.
Community Workshops on Saturday
Have something to offer to the community – a workshop, discussion, or ritual perhaps? While the Thursday and Friday sessions only have so many spaces available for presenter offerings, we know that all of us bring valuable skills and passions to the community. We will hold space Saturday for a variety of community events and rituals, both planned and spontaneous. Events might include councils, community workshops (opportunity between 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm for any member of the community to offer), a Village Meet (where you can share your ideas, concerns, questions, and inspirations about this and the next gathering), and more. If you’d like to try offering an experience or workshop, there will be a white board set up in the information center with the available times and spaces marked out. Just fill in the information so that folks know what you are doing; please reserve no more than 2 hours in a particular space. Or, you can decide to rest your body with Yoga, hang out in the vending area and learn to spin, drink coffee with friends under the dining pavilion, or take a walk – it’s a day of flow.
We have four beautiful pathway altars made by Marcus Sims that are there for you to interact with day and night. Each one represents of the pathway aspects as well as directional and elemental properties that are associated with them:
You are welcome to bring items to adorn these altars; while covered, the altars are still open to some weather. Please mark your items and be sure to retrieve them on Sunday after the closing circle. For more information, contact Eileen Jager (tantreja at charter dot net).
Mill Bottles and Sacred Art
Within the Zone of the Unseen Ones, you will see a collection of mill bottles that have been created many SpiritFire attendees over the past years. The primary motivation behind this project is to honor the powers of place that guide the lives of the individuals and groups that comprise our semi-nomadic community. While there are some specific perspectives on some of the energetic and spiritual principles engaged in this project, we by no means expect everyone who participates to share the same philosophy. We fully support each individual to have their own perspective and connection with the land, soil and this project.
In the creation of these host objects please find a special (recycled) bottle. Go about your site collecting as wide a variety of material in various stages of decomposition. We have collected minerals, different leaves, dead fungus, rotting wood, animal droppings of all sorts, fur, and bones – any material that is on its way back to feed new life. The material is then sealed in the bottle and decorated with a very simple indication of eyes. Martin has been trying to connect them to the aesthetic of the Watchers and Eye-dolls by using similar colors and design (earth tones, primal looking). The eyes are important to suggest the consciousness and life of these lands. Another important element is the inclusion of some element that sticks out above the top or cap of the bottle symbolic of emanating power. The last key element is some form of threads, or weaving symbolic of the fetish’s purpose to catch and hold energy.
There will be materials for decorating your bottle on site, if you wish to use them, in the Art Zone under the dining canopy each afternoon. In addition to working on your bottle, you are welcome to create an EyeDoll, one of the small representations of our community that adorn the Zone of the Unseen Ones, or to work on your own art project in the company of others who share this pathway.