The Never Ending Coal

The morning after the long Night of Renewal…the beats of the big drums were faded…the flames of the fire were extinguished…the Sun ,the big ball of fire was arising in the East…

We held hands in a huge circle… and there in the center was another circle …a circle of stones in which the black coals of the fire of the long night remained .One of the coals kept in it a special story…Pirkko had ignited our sacred 2002 Oracle fire with an ancient coal from a 1500 year old fire. The piece of coal was brought by her from the Midwestern Shamanic Gathering ,held in 2001. The coal was brought there by Don Cochran, an archeologist who works with the spirits of places. The coal was from the Potawatomie Indians from Michigan, combined with a fire from Wales, which was a combination of fire from seven continents.

At noon when the big ball of fire was in the center of the sky ,the black coals of the fire were cold. I took a piece of coal. I felt it kept in it memories from many fires. I wrapped it with love and put it in a box since a long journey was in front of us from Arizona to Israel.

On my way back home I had several flights and in every airport the security checked me from 'head to shoes' and unpacked all my bags. In the airport of Tucson it seemed as if I was going to lose the piece of coal. The security had a special concern about the coal I brought - they had never seen such a strange thing in a tourist's suitcases before. While they handed it from one hand to another, I felt that this piece of coal was the most powerful thing I was bringing back home from Oracle and that I had to take it with me to Israel. After some minutes they put it back into my bag with a smile (I sensed it was a smile of embarrassment). Then they continued checking my more mundane items - stones ,feathers ,dry branches …

Days passed by and the Summer Solstice, the longest day and the shortest night, arrived. I took the coal from the longest night of Oracle to our Sweat Lodge ritual. While standing in the circle before igniting the fire we marked in a sacred way our bodies with the coal from Oracle. While I marked my body with the black coal I felt in my skin and bones the energy of all the fires before. The memories brought tears to my eyes …and through the veil of my tears I saw all of you my friends from Oracle …we were together again holding hands …and the circle grew bigger and bigger when all the people from all the ancient fires came and joined us…

When we came out of the Sweat Lodge ,we were surrounded by the quiet, peaceful night; the Moon looked at us from the sky; the soft wind embraced our bodies and an Owl flew from one tree to another. I looked at the fire …there in the bottom lay a special piece of coal from the desert of Oracle. Like the Phoenix who endlessly renews itself in the fire, the coal from the Renewal Night of Oracle was rebirthing by the fire… Like the Phoenix which dies by self-immolation - remains dead for three days and rises again from its own ashes, the coal from Oracle stayed on my alter for almost three months and came alive again in the fire of the night of the Solstice here in Israel .

I'll always keep the coal from Oracle in me, like the lighthouse it will light my way in dark moments. The fire of Oracle will never die - it will always come alive again in the fires of our hearts.

Ziva Garbi