Music & Wellness at Sacred Fire Circles


Music and Wellness very often share space in an activity or happening, when music sometimes is the delivery mechanism for wellness and likewise. Other times music and wellness share space separately but in tandem while maintaining their own autonomy. One of the places that I have discovered this particular dynamic is in sacred fired circles.

What is a sacred fire circle?

A sacred fire circle is an intentional spiritual happening, where a fire is used as the focal point of the “great work”, or in other words, the intense personal transformation work that a person can choose to engage in and with. The fire is often danced around, circled (also called circumambulation), spoken to, prayed before, as well as many other practices. Often these fires are accompanied by drumming, chanting, and dancing.

In this blog I will discuss how these fire circles promote wellness, while also integrating music.

How Does a fire circle promote wellness?:

A lot of the fire circles I personally attend are also intentional ritual events, which can range from four to seven hours, often overnight starting around 11pm and stopping at sunrise. In this block of time a person can sit still and meditate as they absorb all that is happening around them, and as most people are aware, meditation is a very healthy practice to have. It helps heal the body by calming the central nervous system, and by regulating the breath, which can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and encourage serotonin production. If dancing is the medium of wellness that a person chooses, then there will be movement, which is a healthy practice as it employs cardio, builds strength, and encourages self expression. Since these events can often last many hours, an opportunity to really dig into any of these practices arises. Dancing, or meditating for five minutes has great benefit, so imagine how much wellness can be cultivated from up to seven or more hours. Seven hours of focused meditation... seven hours of dance.. it’s easy to see how these practices can blossom, especially if the event where these activities are occurring are multiple days. The ones I attend are most typically three to four days. So all said and done, up to or beyond 21 hours of intentional activity can help cultivate a state of healing wellness; be it dance, meditation, prayer etc. That many hours can really inspire and instigate radical personal transformation.

Personal Experience:

At the time of this writing I have attended eight structured sacred fire events, equalling about 160 hours of “work”. This doesn’t include the many, many, many less structured events that I’ve attended and participated in over the last six years.  I do a lot of similar ritual workings but not ones that are three all nighter back to back events. All in all I’ve got probably close to 500 hours of ritual time spanning my years working with a coven, being part of festivals, and solitary work. In these many years and hours of work I have drastically re-directed my life, my focus, and my intentions for the better.  I don’t know that I would be as prosperous as I have been without this work. I’ve basically found my entire tribe as a result of these happenings, and at this point I couldn’t imagine my life without my community. To me, my community is a huge part of my wellness, as it is from them that I draw much strength, support, and knowledge. With my community, I am the most open, and real, as there are safe spaces established in ritual where I can allow such things to reveal themselves.  Sometimes this is referred to as “talking stick”, which is a tribal practice, where whoever has the stick has the floor to share whatever they are processing, so really it’s mostly all about safety, and to me, safety is essential to healing, which is at the core of wellness in my opinion. 

Where Can Someone Find Sacred Fires To Attend?

There is a fairly large amount of resources available for people seeking healing through sacred fire practices.  An internet search can yield the most details, but here is a short list of events you can research:

  • Tri Fire :  Pennsylvania

  • Cascadia Fire: Oregon

  • Starwood: Ohio

  • Mayfire and Bone Dance: Nevada

  • Forest Dance: Costa Rica, and North Carolina 

  • Fire Tribe: Hawaii

  • Summer Spark: California

“Let The Way Be Open…”

I hope that this blog has offered some valuable insights into Sacred Fire practices, and how it is a wonderful platform to promote wellness and healing.  Perhaps someday I will meet some of you at the gates of the ritual container, and we will circle together through the night till the sunrise. Till then.. “Let the way be open..”

Be well.

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