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FW: [RhythmWorkersCore] CTS prep: Explanation of the Fire Circle

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  • karaka@medscape.com
    See links at the bottom. From: RhythmWorkersUnion Roots of the Magic Fire Circle by Morwen Two Feathers (please scroll to the bottom for Links) Fire Circle is
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2004
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      See links at the bottom.

      From: RhythmWorkersUnion

      Roots of the Magic Fire Circle

      by Morwen Two Feathers

      (please scroll to the bottom for Links)

      Fire Circle is a label that has been bestowed upon a certain tradition
      of gathering around a fire with drumming, dancing and chanting, by an
      eclectic group of spiritual seekers and cultural creatives who call
      themselves the Fire Circle Tribe, or Family of Fire. In this tradition,
      the community comes together around the fire for the purpose of
      individual and communal transformation, using rhythm as the vehicle. At
      a Fire Circle the whole is more than the sum of its parts, by design.
      And in most cases that whole has a decidedly spiritual flavor, albeit an
      ecumenical one, for while participants in the Fire Circle come from a
      wide variety of religious affiliations including none, they do generally
      understand drumming, dance, and song to be spiritual in nature.

      Fire Circle aficionados embrace the polyrhythmic complexity and ensemble
      orientation of traditional music, even if all the drummers are not
      traditionally trained. While the drummers provide the pulsing heart of
      the organism that is the Fire Circle, they are not the whole body. The
      physical set-up of the Fire Circle emphasizes the relationship of
      drummers to dancers and the relationship of both to the fire. Chanting,
      rattling and small percussion, and other forms of self-expression are
      also provided space in the Fire Circle set-up. The result is a single
      complex entity which can include anyone irrespective of drumming skill
      or even interest in drumming, and which allows for heartful
      self-expression and personal transformation for all participants.


      While we are certain that there are people gathering to drum around
      fires all over the U.S., the particular form of Fire Circle described
      here has its roots in New England in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in
      the coming together of a dynamic and creative group of drummers within
      what is known as the Pagan community, who have gathered regularly over
      the past 25+ years to share Earth-based spiritual practice and
      celebration. Many members of the original group have since left New
      England and taken their drumming skills and experience elsewhere. This
      original "family group" has evolved into an extended Fire Circle Tribe,
      which currently includes clans in Boston, Santa Cruz, Las Vegas,
      Washington DC, Vermont, Boulder, and Hawaii. (See list of links at end
      of this article) As happens with human culture, the tradition has
      evolved in a variety of ways in its various settings, and continues to
      be influenced by people coming into the Tribe from new places.

      Among the "elders" of the Fire Circle Tribe, there is a fundamental
      understanding of the healing energy of rhythm. There is also a deep
      understanding of the nature of magic, the power of imagination, will,
      and spiritual energy to transform reality. With these tools, this group
      of drummers developed a team approach to facilitation, co-creating a
      sonic container for human transformation.

      The rhythm music at a Fire Circle is eclectic and symphonic, deeply
      rooted in rhythmic traditions and solid playing, listening, and
      improvisation skills. The history of this group of drummers with each
      other is not an incidental part of the Fire Circle. It is the existence
      of a critical mass of drummers who know how to play together that
      creates the framework for newer or less experienced drummers to join,
      and that provides the reliable polyrhythmic pulse that carries the
      larger circle.

      For those who are interested in creating Fire Circles in your community,
      the best advice for where to start is to nurture the development of a
      core of drummers who have studied some rhythms together and have
      mastered non-verbal communication signals to direct the flow of the
      music. For while it is possible to engage in the other elements of a
      Fire Circle (dancing, chanting, rattling, etc) with thunderdrumming or
      even recorded music, the achievement of ecstatic heights for the entire
      Circle is greatly enhanced with skilled polyrhythmic drumming. Oh - did
      we mention that ecstasy is a primary goal of the Fire Circle?

      In many places, people are coming together in circle around the fire, to
      drum and dance and connect with each other and the Earth. Across all
      boundaries of religion and race, age and station, the people gather in
      rhythm to commune with Gaia. Each circle is unique, a living rhythmic
      being with its own life cycle. Yet each such gathering of pulsing
      drummers and swirling dancers has the same potential to transform the
      participants and bring them to that ecstatic place where the particular
      dissolves into the universal and the whole is much greater than the sum
      of its parts. When that potential is realized, each fully embodied
      person shines with beauty, and the location of the circle becomes
      irrelevant because everyone is simply Here Now. This place is perhaps
      the most profound Home of all.

      Fire Circle Tribe Clans and links

      The links below will open in a new browser window.

      Greater Boston: Earth Drum Council (you are here) www.earthdrum.com

      Santa Cruz: Firedance http://www.firedance.org

      Washington DC: Alchemical Arts Network www.ctsgathering.net

      Las Vegas: Magical Arts Center http://www.vegasvortex.com/

      Hawaii: Hawaii Fire Tribe http://www.FireTribeHawaii.org

      Vermont: Village Green Drum Collective http://vgdrum.org

      New England: EarthSpirit http://www.earthspirit.com
      Home of Rites of Spring, the gathering where many of the Fire Circle
      Tribe elders met.

      (Community Considerations for the Fire Circle; from the Firedance web site)
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