I have thought about this subject a lot since starting this blog. I never thought that I would write about it because it is just about the first if not only thing that other people write about when adding their thoughts on survival. The more I read and watch people with their methods of starting a fire with a bow, the more I feel there is much being left out. I feel that there should really be two parts when talking about fire by friction (and every Earth based skill). I feel that all the information is very important, so just bare with me.
Before we can give thanks for fire we first need to reflect on fire itself for a moment.
Up until recently, fire has been a significant part of the human experience. Fire purified our water and cooked our food. Fire has been the catalyst for story telling and passing down traditions to the next generation. There have been few friends like fire throughout time. It comforts and protects the lone traveler out on his own.
By taking solid sunshine, water, wind, and soil in the form of wood to create fire we are in fact connecting ourselves to the Earth and stepping into a very sacred act that has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. It is not strength that will bring forth fire but careful preparation and a thankful heart. Approaching this gift of fire as a sacred act will not only allow you to have fire more consistently but will become a very powerful part of the creation and enjoyment of the fire.
I like to get everything ready including the fire setup with plenty of wood near by so I can take care of the fire. I then get my tender bundle laid out beside my bow, spindle, handhold, and fire board. I like to take a moment to reflect on all the different aspects before me that will bring forth my fire. Giving thanks that I can be here taking part in this living tradition, I start forming the coal over the tender bundle.
When the coal is formed, I take the tender bundle and hold it out and above my head blowing gently. As the smoke raises to the heavens, I give thanks. Soon, I see the glowing center getting stronger and hotter. With one last breath, I breath from deep within myself and watch the birth of a flame come to life in my hands. I cannot write the joy and emotion of that moment. It can only be experienced. As I add the flame to the fire frame and feel the warmth grow in front of me, I give thanks.
To many of you I know you may be thinking that you could get a fire with out all the "giving thanks" and you would be right. It is possible but listen to my words now...all the times that you have practiced and given up without fire, you could have had it if only you asked for the fire with a grateful heart. I know because I have felt the difference in my own practice.
*Many thoughts and aspects of fire I learned at the Tracker School*