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  • Writer's pictureLisa Cox

It's Elemental, Part 4: The Transformative Power of Fire

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Tuesday shortly after midnight, I heard the sirens of fire engines somewhere in town, muffled in the night, but the only sound to hear. A dorm room was on fire, I learned later in a local news report.

The report mentioned several times that the fire department "attack" team "attacked" the fire- an interesting word to use repeatedly. Thought provoking.

When I began these Medicine Walks to attend to the Elements about a month ago, Fire was at the top of my list. Because winter days in northern New England can often be grey and damp, I looked forward to stepping out the door on the first mo

rning into bright sunlight- but Water took over. Since that time, I have thought about this walk and when it might occur, and have in the meantime returned to Wyoming where the sun shines far more frequently in Winter, and at high altitude presents more warmth.

I've also considered Fire every time I light candles for doing shamanic work, or in the evening when it gets dark- still early enough that the additional light from the flames is welcome. This fire transforms my reading corner into a warmer and inviting place to sit and read.

Fire transforms cold into heat when the sun rises on the day. And transforms ice to water, and more. Why do we attack fire? Here in the Rocky Mountain West, and indeed in many places around the world, Fire has come closer and closer to our homes in a way we find threatening. Yet, we continue to make our homes closer and closer to where Fire may wish to travel unfettered. And we have set the stage for Fire to transform landscapes in a very dramatic and even drastic way.

So, I took a Medicine Walk with all this in mind,

midday on a partly cloudy day with a breeze and birdsong in the Air. And I wondered, "How have we so removed ourselves from the Elements that sustain us and their transformative powers? Why must we attack fire, blame the freezing temperatures and high winds of a blizzard for deaths, or the drenching waters of a hurricane for displacing people from their flooded houses, as though The Elements are The Enemy?

And how can we reconnect with The Elements, one by one, and recognize them for their powers of sustaining and transforming our lives and those of all beings? A Medicine Walk seems a good start!

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