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SFC Core Principles

Here are some core principles we have found to be effective in creating our experience;


The whole structure is designed to co-create a safe, energetically charged space inside the poles which we call the Mars line. It requires constant maintenance, and the energy levels go up and down depending on the work being done within the Cauldron. It is considered Service to contribute to maintaining that energy.

If you are holding space at the Mars line, that is service. If you are drumming, singing, or dancing, these are all highly energetic contributions, and so, forms of service. You are doing service if you add wood to the fire (carefully, of course), when you refresh lit candles at the altar, when you write a prayer flag, when you replenish food in the tent or bring food around to offer. You are doing service if you’re playing a singing bowl, or when you speak from your heart. You are doing service when you offer any of the healing arts. Making tea, feeding mamma root, meditating, walking, running…in the structure that is SFCiP almost anything you do is Service, as long as you are doing it with the intention to give positively of your own energy, and are actively engaged.


Most of making it through the night is tricking oneself…ignoring the physical pain, the discomfort, the desire to sleep. The gateway into truly personal observation is encapsulated within this denial, when we no longer exist within the bounds of ego, when we exist only to serve. To serve the group, to serve the gods, to serve spirit, to serve the process... disciplining ourselves to service keeps us in the moment. It denies the ego. And it offers insights into those places which exist within the self which throb for attention, and we are continually drawn inward. Yet, if we continue to deny the self, continue to serve, the shadow pieces, which are most in need of our attention will become distinct, and present themselves as the obvious starting place for our personal work. And so, SERVICE to the All becomes service to oneself.


Engagement is doing with intent. The more time you spend actively engaged in service, working the energy of SFCiP, the more palpable it becomes for you. There are times you can feel the energy building and holding, and then just suddenly draining away. Those are times you have to dig deep to find a bigger way to engage. Sometimes the energy is so immense, it becomes it’s own entity. Those are times we get to just hold the space, and be part of the container, and be filled if we need that. If your energy is declining, or you find yourself having self-doubt, look around the circle and see; how you can be engaged? Can you change up what you’re doing? Can you go put some wood on the fire or light a candle or replenish some food at the food tent, even if it’s not your team’s work? Maybe just have someone rub your feet or make a prayer flag, or tell your ancestors about something you need help with. It is difficult to remain engaged all night, but it is the only way we make it through. We all struggle with it. It helps to stay in the moment.

The Cauldron is filled with Presence. If we’re doing the work with conviction, the Gods and the Ancestors, the Wise ones, Spirits of the Land, they are all here.

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Being In the Moment

... is being present, right now, right here. Life can present us with situations hurtful, or stressful, demeaning or abusive. Many of us come to SFCiP scarred, sad, in pain, worried, angry, or unsure about something in our past. When we say, “doing our work in SFCiP”, often that work entails releasing those powerful, hurtful energies, so we can allow ourselves to move forward, to take actions to improve our situation, to forgive ourselves, or others, or to take inventory. It is a difficult balancing act, dealing with these past issues, because dwelling on the past is impossible while being in this present moment. In the moment, we can observe these experiences:

“This horrible thing happened to me, but at this moment, it is not happening to me…right now I am okay. I can live with my trauma in this moment”.

The more strongly we practice being in the moment, the easier it becomes to release past traumas, and forgive ourselves and others. Dwelling on the future is just as distracting from this moment as dwelling in the past. Being in the moment is just that, it is the power of now. And as each moment passes there is a new now, and another new now…until we are able to discern the safety, or the possibility of each new moment. Being in the now teaches us how to be aware, how to be observant and operate safely in our everyday surroundings.


Silence is an important part of maintaining the energy in the cauldron. I think of silence as atoms of spirit which dance between the atoms of matter. Silences can be just as different as any other sounds, and the silences in the Cauldron can range from sad to joyous, truthful to devious, natural to imposed, open to shutdown. Silence can be the pregnant pause, or it can be deafening as a thunderclap. And it is never complete silence…sometimes it’s an invitation by the natural world around us to actively listen.

The core principle of Silence does not mean never speaking. There are always the whispered questions or comments, the practical, “Do you know where the cutting board is?” or the social, “I hear you” .

Usually, during our first night of “orientation” we will speak about silence. We agree to step outside our natural comfort zone and refrain from casual conversation and commentary. When we are in the Cauldron, we only speak in the first person and only for ourselves.

Why is it, you may ask, that we say not to react or respond with affirmations to what other people are saying? They just poured out their hearts, shared their most intimate and precious, heartfelt or profound feelings, memories, thoughts, emotions…what’s wrong with making a comment when they’re done? We mean it in the most kindly and supportive way…

The Cauldron is filled with Presence. If we’re doing the work with conviction, the Gods and the Ancestors, the Wise ones, Spirits of the Land, they are all here. The Cauldron is a beacon on the astral, a glowing haven where they may join us to interact with us. Those interactions are personal, taking place for each of us in our own awareness. When someone speaks their truth, it is an obligation on the rest of us to respect the auditory space that follows…because as humans, we never know when the Spirits may have a message for the speaker, and the speaker may miss that message if their awareness is engaged in listening to comments of support made by others. The Silence will have its time, and if we miss it, it is an empty silence. It is natural, and human, to want to commiserate, or affirm, but if that support is given later, outside the Cauldron, we give the Spirits their time, and our support has the added benefit of being one on one. If you must, say, “I hear you.” It is that non judgmental utterance of affirmation that the gods say loudest if we listen.


All of us forget this, and we slip up from time to time. Nonetheless, this is the heart of this core principle, and having difficulty with maintaining silence at those appropriate moments is an invaluable opportunity for each of us to engage in the important skill of self examination…


Self Examination

The agreements that we make at the beginning of Fire Circle, to adhere to the etiquette, and the core principles, may seem restrictive at times. When we feel ourselves questioning, or feeling opposition to an agreement that we made, that is a cue that a button has been pushed, and so is an opportunity for self examination. If you find yourself feeling remote, disengaged, resistant, sad or angry, this is not unusual…it may be a time to observe your own internal process. Ask yourself what is triggering the response ? Why am I feeling sad, lonely, disempowered, shamed, guilt, contempt, anxiety, or etc…? Whenever harmful energy rises up during this experience, know this…You are not alone…We all struggle.


We are all sitting with ourselves, in the presence of each other, learning to love ourselves enough to be able to share that love


Make no mistake, if you are feeling uncomfortable, the transformative power is engaged. If you are”working your own shit” the process will follow you throughout the next year, and insights and changes will happen, often without your bidding. 

Shared Responsibility

We hit the land and the co-creation begins…

We create a balance between our own personal experience, and the group co-creation for the three days of this ritual. We are all responsible for safety in the cauldron each night, not just emotional, but also physical. It’s so easy to tip the balance. It works only because we agree beforehand to keep within the core principles that we can make this work even for a while. That is the fragility of the energy of fire circle.


We agree to this principal, we all share the responsibility for creating the experience we want.

Read Next: Our Agreements

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