Alisa and I spent most of the day in Nash County, on her mother and grandmother's property. Normally we take one Sunday a month out there and try to get some things done around the place, either preserving food in large batches or, like today, taking care of the land. We cleared and burned over a year's worth of downed wood from storms and tree-killing vines we hacked out of their would-be victims.
Spending hours with a fire is a lot of things -- exhausting, exhilarating, instructive, inspiring. Fire is the element that isn't really an element at all: it's a moment in time, the visible component of a chemical process that feeds on oxygen and transforms its fuel into a different form. Fire is pure change, which may be why it feels so uniquely sacred. Peel back all the layers of apparent reality and it seems like the one thing you can be sure you will always find is change. In my own tradition, we sometimes refer to ourselves as fire-worshipers, because of the way that (so far as it's within our power) we anchor every sacred space to some form of fire, which represents both the ultimate center-point of reality and the transforming process of crossing between states. Fire is the Red God, symbolic of sacrifice, of magic, of the moment in time that devours everything that came before it and lays the foundation for everything that comes after. Every ritual re-creates the cosmos, but of course, every moment does the same thing. There's a beauty and mysticism to fire that expands and contracts time simultaneously. Everything is in process, a process that's as eternal as it is transitory.
In the last two months, Alisa and I bought a house and moved to a new neighborhood, putting down a whole new kind of taproot in the literal and metaphorical soil of our city. Amanda received her master's degree in one kind of ritual two weeks ago and will receive her second-degree initiation in another ritual this week. Everything we're doing in our lives right now seems to be on fire -- in an exhausting, exhilarating, instructive, inspiring kind of way -- and the creative kick of this fiery presence in our lives is causing all of us to explore new territory, individually and together, on behalf of TAPA and our individual communities and our personal spiritual lives.
We're looking forward to sharing our fire with all of you in this space over the coming weeks.