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by Diane Jackman Skolfield

Cleansing Fire Ceremony

I was asked to host a Bonfire at a Swedenborg church at which I have been volunteering. Since I am always promoting Ways to Wellness I decided to make this Bonfire a Cleansing Fire Ceremony. This Native American ritual is easy and an awe-inspiring event which brings emotional and physical wellness to all who attend.

A Fire Ceremony is a Native American practice usually performed on a Full Moon, however, Fire Ceremonies are wonderful during a New Moon as well. It is said when the moon is black (new) it is open for the melding of Spirit and a useful tool used to introduce new things into your Life. The New Moon we are currently experiencing is a rare celestial show where our New Moon appears to be kissing Venus, the Planet of Love. I can think of no better time to host a Fire Ceremony when we all need more Healing Love in our lives.


There are so many different tribal traditions I decided to sit in meditation with my Native American Guides to see which tradition I should follow for this ceremony. My Guides quickly told me I should use the directional colors of the Seminole, who walked the lands I would be cleansing, along with a combination of the Lakota, Cherokee, Chinook and Nemenhah Tribes for the animals, the feelings and prayers. I sat at my computer and opened up a screen picturing Medicine Wheels for several tribes and was amazed as my research and creativity produced the following prayer, melding many traditions. I realized what a perfect concept combining the traditions of the different tribes was for this occasion as people from many different walks of life and religions would be in attendance.


I will arrive about an hour earlier then the scheduled Ceremony start time to prepare the fire pit and myself with Prayers of Gratitude for the opportunity to host such an event.  Once people arrive, they will be given slips of paper on which to write the things they wish to release; anger at a neighbor, grief for the loss of a pet, attachment to something they no longer have, anything and everything which no longer serves them.


The attendees will also be given strips of material of the Native American colors; yellow, white, black and red. They will infuse these strips of cloth with their prayers and they will tie them into the trees near their fire pit at the end of our ceremony so the breezes can blow their hopes into the ethers.


We will burn sage and cleanse each person as they enter into our Fire Ceremony. We will have sage, tobacco and food ready to offer the Universe as we proceed. We will hand out the following prayer so each person can read and have their voices heard. As each direction is faced, I will hold up the appropriate colored Prayer Bag. The Prayer Bags are prepared ahead of time with sage and tobacco and many, many sacred prayers.


We will begin with an attitude of prayer;

“We are here, Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, Creator, God, Jesus, Blessed Mary, All Ancestors, All Angels and ArchAngels, All Saints, All Elementals, All Spirits and Beings, to offer you sage, tobacco and food. We ask you to help us release ALL things which no longer serve us.”


We will All face East and I will hold up the Yellow Prayer Bag. Together we will say, “As the day begins with the rising sun, we feel GRATITUDE for new beginnings, hope, promise and potential. We ask the Spirit Keeper of the east, Brother Eagle, to be with us as we cultivate PEACE.”


We will All face South and I will hold up the White Prayer Bag. Together we will say, “As we live our lives with LOVE we face south, the direction of warmth, growth and creativity. Brother Wolf, we ask that you aid us in Healing ourselves, our congregation, our community, our country and our world.”


We will All face West and I will hold up the Black Prayer Bag. Together we will say, “As we face west with COMPASSION we recognize this is where the sun sets. It is the direction of rest, of our dream lives, and of closure and endings which need to take place in order for there to be new beginnings. We ask Brother Beaver to help us work together as a team to bring Spirituality to our lands and TRUTH to our lives.”


We will All face North and I will hold up the Red Prayer Bag. Together we will say, “As we face north, the direction of cold winds, strength, courage, fortitude, focus, clarity and purpose, we ask our Elders to help us FORGIVE whatever grievances we may have against each other as directed by Creator.”


We will turn back toward the East and we will say, “We honor the four directions of our compass.”


We will all turn our faces UPWARD and say, “Father Sky, We honor you and all that is ABOVE.”


We will all turn our faces DOWNWARD and touch the earth, if we are able, and say, “Mother Earth, we honor you and pray everything we do this day will reflect our reverence for you.”


Then I will ask the attendees to reflect upon themselves, in the center of these directions. I will ask everyone to place their hand on their heart center and we will All say together, “We honor OURSELVES, here in the center. We ask all BEINGS to help us as we learn Self-Balance, Self-Beauty, Self-Harmony and PEACE. We know that PEACE begins within ourselves. We pray that all we do this day be in the true Spirit of God, the Creator, the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.”


Then I will invite the people around our Fire to take their pieces of paper and hold them tightly in their hand reflecting on how they will benefit greatly once they let things go. Each person will toss their “stuff” into the fire and let them burn, let their troubles go, let God take their burdens so they may live a freer, fuller, happier life.


Then we will take our strips of material infused with our prayers and tie them to the tree limbs around fire pit, around the parking lot, so each time they see them they will know their prayers are heard.


We will come together around the Fire and close with gratitude and say,



Once our Fire Ceremony is Concluded we will break bread, share food, drum and dance for JOY as Creator smiles on us from All directions.


What a wonderful Way to Wellness!

Wishing you Health and Happiness, Diane

Advocate for Spiritual Studies, Secretary and Event Coordinator at Healing Light Spiritual Center, Etna, Maine, USA, Camp Historian at Camp Etna Spiritualist Association, Etna, Maine, USA, Presenter and Promoter for Chrysalis Retreat Center; Swedenborg Sanctuary, Deland, Florida, USA

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