FireKeepers at the Crossroads

A Flexible 7-Month On-Line Program for These Crossroads Times

with Sheila Bélanger and Anne Hayden

 
 

With the current global crisis of this Coronavirus, we are at a crossroads of never–before-seen–magnitude. Many of us feel called to lean in and contribute to this inner and outer crisis. We wrestle with a collective coldness of the heart, where our individual fears, trauma and pain cause us to close off our hearts to ourselves, others and the larger world. We know that we are all in this together and must discover ways to tend our individual fires as well as contribute in some way to address this global crisis.

We need to be firekeepers at the crossroads, in whatever form is congruent for each person. In the places where our world is cold, it’s time to build the sacred fires of interconnection, not only for our human species, but for all the other–than–humans who share this planet with us and indeed support our very life on it.

At this crossroads, do we hunker down, isolate and choose our own survival over that of others? Do we come to a screeching halt and wait, frozen, for an opportunity to move again?

But a crossroads like this Coronavirus need not be a square, T-Bone, stop-and-start, keep-your-distance, fearful and anxious, either/or kind of encounter.

Imagine a circular intersection, sometimes called a Round-a-bout.  Drivers slow down, pause, pay attention to the flow already happening, note the direction and movements of others, and seamlessly join a stream of others around a circle. One can exit when ready, or stay circling for several or many rounds. Often, sculptures or natural plantings grace the center, adding to the “traffic calming” aspect of Round-a-bouts.

What if the crossroads opportunity that this Coronavirus is offering us is shaped like a round-a-bout, a place of flow, where humans slow down and move in synch with each other?  Some are with symptoms, others are healers and helpers, some wait with patience, others find themselves on the frontlines of what is being likened to a war.

Round-a-bouts are like the nodes in mycelium, the intersections of branching threads of fungi where information, nutrients, and mysterious communication travels and is passed along in numerous directions over incredible distances.

In this place you can join others, circle around a center, sharing movement and resonance, entering and leaving when it is the right time for you.  At the Round-a-bout, you can tend the fire for others, rest while you are tended or some combination of both. Traffic (even the traffic within our nervous system) is calmed, by the slowing down, the pausing, the trees and natural landscaping, or– as we imagine– a fire in the center, being kept by deep-feeling, competent firekeepers.  This is a place to come together and circle in council at this time.

We imagine that there are many such Round-a-bouts emerging now.  They look like nodes on an ever-expanding web.  Many people are gathering in virtual councils to keep their inner fires alive.  We invite you to join with other Soul-craft practitioners who have previously immersed themselves in nature-based explorations, matured through their wild mind practices, and who long to circle with others who seek and love the depths.

FireKeepers at the Crossroads is now an on-line program designed to guide and support a cohort of kindred spirits who are committed to apprentice to being a “keeper of the sacred flame” for our world. To be an effective firekeeper, you must first apprentice to steward your own inner fire at your personal crossroads, so that you know in your bones how to keep the sacred flame for the collective. We’ll explore ways to both steward your individual fire as well as those of the collective that you are called to serve (in whatever form is congruent).

We’ll explore how the four elements (fire, earth, air and water) support you to build and tend a physical and metaphorical fire. We’ll honor the seasonal rhythm of Spring (Seeding), Summer (Flowering) and early Autumn (Harvest) as support for the stewardship of inner and outer flames.

In respect for how reality is constantly morphing right now, FireKeepers at the Crossroads is designed as a Round-a-bout, where you can arrive, circle and move on in timing that is resonate for you. You can step in for the full 7 months of the online program or for however long works for you. Participants may join or leave anytime during the program via individual Threshold processes. As guides, we will be tending the center and offering you invitations to deepen into the dark and sacred flow of these times.

We offer this program by donation.

FireKeepers at the Crossroads program includes:

  • An individual initial Stepping In threshold process for each participant to enact.
  • Thirteen online fire circles, held every other week (via Zoom), to share and bear witness to one another’s unfolding apprenticeship journey.
  • Biweekly suggested practices and tasks to follow the thread of, and deepen the experience of, participants’ individual work to steward their sacred fire as well as attune to how to steward the flame for the collective.
  • An individual completion Going Forth threshold process for each person to gather the gifts and carry forward their unique expression of being a firekeeper at the crossroads in these urgent times.

Like our other offerings, this is a highly experiential program informed by Process Work and Soulcraft™ practices, modern depth psychology, and immersed in ancient and enduring earth-based ways of knowing, the poetic traditions, and initiatory rites. 

FireKeepers at the Crossroads Online Program Components and Dates:

Stepping-In Threshold* Weekend:

Saturday, March 28  10 am to 12 pm Pacific Time via Zoom:
     Welcome to the Circle, Council and Set Up the Threshold 

Saturday afternoon and evening:
     Individual Threshold Mystery Walk or process
and self-designed fire ceremony

Sunday, March 29  10 am to 12 pm Pacific Time via Zoom:
Fire Circle Council to Witness the Stepping In

*Participants who join at a later date will have support to enact their own Stepping-In Threshold process.

Bi-Weekly On-Line Fire Circles (Sundays at 4 pm Pacific Time):

Spring (Seeding):
     April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17 and May 31

Summer (Flowering):
     June 14, June 28, July 12 and July 26

Early Autumn (Harvest):
     August 9, August 23,  September 13 and September 27

Going Forth Threshold* Weekend:

Saturday, October 3  10 am to 12 pm Pacific Time:
     Set Up the
Harvest Threshold

Saturday afternoon and evening:
     Individual Going Forth Mystery Walk or process
and self-designed fire ceremony

Sunday, October 4  10 am to 12 pm Pacific Time:
Fire Circle Council to Witness the Going Forth

*Participants who step out of the program at an earlier date will have support to enact their Going Forth Threshold process.

 

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PROGRAM DETAILS

PREREQUISITE: This program is appropriate for those who have engaged with a significant amount of inner work and soul-oriented processes. Participation in any previous program with Northwest Soulquest or Animas Valley Institute or an equivalent experiential program is highly recommended. Contact us to explore your background.

REGISTRATION: Email us to register for the program. Once you are enrolled, we’ll send you some journal reflection questions as preparation to step into the program.

PROGRAM OFFERED BY DONATION: We welcome any amount of donation if your life circumstances allow you to do so. We also welcome you to “pay it forward” in some way. Two options to offer a donation:

    • Mail a check, payable to Northwest Soulquest, to:
      PO Box 181  •  Clinton, WA 98236
    • Pay via PayPal using our email address as the payee: nwsoulquest@gmail.com.

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Contact us for more information:

(360) 320-5343    •    nwsoulquest@gmail.com

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We honor the people––past, present and future––of the Coast Salish Tribes,
the Snohomish, the Skagit, the Tulalip and the Klallam peoples,
upon whose traditional lands this work takes place.