Fire In Shamanism

Man has aways had a special relation with the fire element. It was through the light of fire, that man saw for the first time his reflection, the shadow of his own body reflected in the walls of the caves, he mistookit as the first hypothesis of this being his own soul. This shadowed reflection might have been one of the reasons that led the early human to start having another point of view about the world, and made him want to paint on the rocks his everyday activity and his relationship with the divine.

In this time, fire started to be the source of heat and illumination in the cold and dark days of winter, it was also the perfect element to change the raw animal meat into a new source of nourishment. Radical changes happen with the coming of fire, changes in their food, in their daily works, to explore new dark paths, to give light in the caves so they could paint and make other kids of art, to wander in the night and also a great change happened in terms of spirituality. Fire helped people to gather around it, and in this way, tribes were formed, and communities start to evolve and spread through the landscape. Mastering the art of the fire was a proof of passage to adulthood and a proof of survival. This also led to the sacred gathering of shamans around the fire, to discuss events and work together.
If we take a look at these shaman gatherings that still happen today, we can see how fire is important in this kind of situation, inside any Yurt, Tipi or other shaman tent. It is the fire that feeds the heat inside the tent, the sound of the crackling fire and the smoke, the first inducing process which heps in the altered state of consciousness or what we call, shamanic trance.
In shamanism, it is believed that the fire is the natural element which helps us to communicate with the spirits and our ancestors, because if you listen close enough, you might hear them speaking to you or with each other, and so the shaman before starting his work, he lights the fire. It is also in the heat of the fire, that the shaman prepares his drum, stretching the animal skin enough so that when hitting thedrum, the sound may be similar to the heartbeat.
Fire was the first element that helped in the creation of the universe and our own world, fire was and still is one of the most important elements.

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