The Men's Fire Circle has been opening in exactly the same way for years.
Below you can see what we do and how we do it. Your Circle can choose to open in whatever way speaks to you. You might want to start out trying our approach, modifying it, or you may want to dream up your own entirely original opening. Let us know how you do it and how it works
After chopping wood and laying the Fire,
we light the Fire and begin drumming.
We use a variety of percussion instruments including
different kinds of drums, rattles, marimba, wooden sticks,
cowbells and even a flute sometimes.
It is important to note that we are at
many different levels of expertise when it comes to drumming.
We have a couple of men with drumming experience
and many men who have never drummed before
and still participate in this perfection-free-zone.
You can check us out drumming here (when we complete this link).
Please remember, we are not performing.
We are dropping into our bodies
and connecting with each other in a non-verbal way.
(If it rains and we meet inside),
Instead of drumming,
we strike a tibetan singing bowl
and sit in silence for a few moments.
Our circle finds singing an incredibly valuable way
to create a sense of connection and intimacy.
Singing is also a perfection-free-zone.
Some of us can carry a tune; some can't.
And yet when we put all our voices together,
we often find ourselves creating beauty
beyond what we believe possible.
And sometimes we struggle.
Especially when we are learning a new song.
This process of struggling to find a new tune
also binds us together.
And when we get it, oh baby it's sweet!
To find a list of songs with lyrics and videos of us singing, click here.
(Once we have completed this link)
The Men's Fire Circle has found that it is important
to call in support from beyond.
We call in our Ancestors which include
our biological Ancestors, our spiritual Ancestors,
our plant and animal Ancestors, and
the Ancestors who came before us
and who tended the land we are meeting on.
We invite these Ancestors to hold us, support us, and share with us
their wisdom, compassion and guidance.
We also call in other Spirits such as
the Spirit of Fire, the Earth, Water,
Grief, Joy, the Great Mystery, (Self) Compassion,
and the Wounded Brother.
This Wounded Brother is the part of all of us the feels
unworthy, unloved, unacknowledged, and alone.
We invite him to sit with us around the Fire and
we assure him that his voice is welcome
and that we long for him to feel safe enough
to speak from his heart.
Whatever is up for a man is welcome.
We call in these Spirits by saying,
"I call in the Spirit of ..."
Why We Came
In our Circle, we generally avoid "checking in."
The Check-In is used in some circles as a way
for men to talk about what is going on with them.
These Check-Ins can sometimes become a long winded
recounting of what is currently going on in a man's life.
We find this can dissipate the energy and connection in the circle.
Instead we use a brief (not to exceed three sentences) statement
of why we came to the circle on that particular night.
Often a man will make reference to something important
that is going on for him in his life.
This gives us the opportunity to know
what each man is showing up with
and allows us to invite him later to expand on his feelings.
While some men are not familiar or comfortable with poetry,
we find it often connects us to our deeper feelings.
We suggest you check out our Poetry page
and see if any of the poems or poets speak to you.
You might be surprised at what you find.
You'll notice these poems are not flowery or superficial.
They deal with powerful, deep, sometimes challenging subjects.
If you have poems that speak to you
that are not included in our Poetry page,
send them to us so we can include them.
In our circle, any man can bring poems that he has written
or those by others that inspire him.
Often these poems provoke a discussion
about the feelings and memories they evoke.