Rituals take an extraordinary array of shapes and forms. Performed in an endless variety of ways, people engage in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide set of desired outcomes. But one thing is for certain; rituals are a part of human existence that allow people passage to a more expanded way of being.
The ability to make, build and ignite fire was undoubtedly the single most important discovery that enabled the civilization of human beings. By learning to use fire, people gained a decisive advantage over all other species, and indeed over other human communities that had not taken part in this learning.
The connection with fire became the ultimate initial source for the human connection with the divine. A kinship with the cosmos through the contrary nature of making something dangerous your friend.
When using a flame, a source of light, as the focus while contemplating the spiritual aspects of one's life, the symbolisms carried by the fire and the light it produces conveys the essential principals of ritual.
For instance, carrying a fire into a dark place dispels the darkness giving us the metaphor of the light of wisdom banishing the darkness of ignorance. From wisdom are derived the principles of justice and order. The temporal fire was also the symbol of the cosmic fire of the world’s inception, a fire that continues to pervade every element of creation. In this sense, fire takes on a much broader meaning than a flame. Light and fire were the essential elements for sustaining life. We wear the flames always, whether they are visible to the human eye or not, they are part of our history.
In the Firelight Temple, an intimate connection will be made with this awe-inspiring element. In the centre of the dome there will be a fire table installation that will engage the participants in a personal relationship with a trained flame.
The shadows cast on the dome will also be a source for storytelling and inspiration. From the outside the public will be able to see shadowy glimpses of the people and play from inside of the dome. But like Plato’s cave, once you enter the dome the true nature of the installation will be revealed. The soft, gentle flames will show a different side of fire than the typical festival fire. Based around intimate encounter, the public will be able to see fire in its most subtle form.
Flambeaux Fire will also be dealing with fire in it’s most ritualistic nature. Chris Flambeaux, leader of the troop, is known as one of the top fire performers in the world. He holds a personal and uniquely intuitive relationship with the element. This bond is central to his art. With a blend of intensely focused passion for his craft, a love for spectacle, and charismatic presentation, Flambeaux's work has a recognizable aesthetic all its own.
The troop will be giving performances that focus on the sensuality of the element. Contrary to the showy nature of spinning fire, the team will feature performances that are smaller, closer, and more in-depth. Both the dome and the performances will invite you to engage with the divine force that our ancestors heralded.
The dome will also be an anchor point to teach people about fire throughout the weekend. Fire safety workshops will be held, and anyone who would like to engage with fire during the festival is invited to attend. Those who attend these workshops will be provided a bracelet pass to spin at a various number of open sessions. These workshops are mandatory for anyone who would like to perform with fire at Gratitude Migration.
Fire produced light and provided protection. The cosmic laws of the universe are symbolized by fire. The understanding of the transformative nature of fire as well as how fire could transform nature marked the beginnings of a systematic exploration of the workings of nature. This element has changed the world and marked our history in a way that is undeniable. This Gratitude Migration, come explore the ancient connection to the original divinity, fire.
Article by Jodi Sharp