In 2018, I was blessed with the opportunity to walk on fire in the Sedona desert with 50-60 other women under a potent full moon, a fire moon in the sign of Aries.
I have never shared this story…until now.
Even though Friday’s Full Moon was in Cancer, we are deep in fire energy right now. This feels like a potent time to share this experience.
In September 2018, I was attending a retreat and facilitator training program at Sedona Mago Retreat Centre with HeatherAsh Amara. At the time, my friend, teacher, and soul sister Ang was working with HeatherAsh, but she was not expecting to be at the Sedona weekend. Until about a week before, she was called and asked to go.
It felt so divine that she was going to be there with me.
I had dreamed of walking on fire for some time. I was full of fire energy and I had these grand visions of dancing on that fire and owning it. Fire meeting fire.
As I neared the retreat centre on Friday, I could feel snake medicine coming in (my relationship and journey with the snake has been potent, powerful, and terrifying. The tattoo on my arm serves as reminder of the healing, transformative, and alchemical magic that this shadow medicine has brought and continues to bring into my life). I parked my rental car, checked in, took my bags to my room, and made my way to the hall where we were meeting.
As I walked down the path between our rooms and the hall, there it was; the snake. He was huge. Just sitting there by the path with his head raised; he was waiting for me. I stopped and took a deep breath and stood there with him, eye to eye, breath to breath, heart to heart, not allowing my fear to take over. When he was ready, he went on his way and I went on mine.
What a greeting to a weekend that would change my life in ways I didn’t even know at that time.
When I shared my story with HeatherAsh and others who have attended this retreat centre many other times, they all remarked that they had never seen snakes there before. They didn’t even know there were snakes on the property.
The next day, there was a lady set up selling beautiful malas and this one mala immediately grabbed my attention. I picked it up and looked at the card; snakeskin agate.
That mala was meant for me, and it was going to join me on the fire.
That Saturday night, we walked, drummed, and chanted to the fire site where the cedar was burning hot. I remember Ash remarked after that she was actually concerned for a moment by the heat of the fire because it was burning hotter than she had possibly seen before. But she trusted the energy that was coming in to meet us women.
I stood and watched as woman after woman received her call to dance on the flames. Then my moment was up. I took a deep breath and stepped out on to the burning coals. I was ready to claim my space and own this fire. My masculine warrior energy was soaring. And then I felt it. The searing pain in my left foot as it burnt. I quickly made my way to other side and retreated into the darkness.
“What the fuck just happened? What did you do? You stepped into a burning fire and burned your foot to a crisp! Now what?! What made you think that you could walk on fire?” These were some of the many things screaming in my mind as I stood there in so much pain, I could barely hold my bare foot on the ground.
I welled up with tears. Why did I get burnt? Why aren’t these other women burning? The ones who are dancing across the flames over and over again. What the hell?
I stood there wondering where Ang was, quietly calling out for her in my mind. She felt my calls and was searching for me around the fire. She approached me and could see the look on my face, one that she recognized. She wrapped her arms around me and held me as I cried and told her that my foot was burnt.
I noticed something happen while she held me in her arms. The pain completely went away. As she released me, she gave me instructions. She told me to go to Ash, as she would guide me as to what to do next. She also pointed out that I was not the only one who got burnt. Somehow that gave me a sense of relief that it wasn’t just me who did something wrong.
I found my way to Ash, my left foot back in excruciating pain. I could barely walk. She provided direction. The fire was teaching me something. There was a message here and I needed to turn inward and work with this powerful, alchemical element to listen and understand. She told me to ask where I needed to go, what I needed to do, and then breathe into the pain, breathe into the burn, and listen.
There was a willow tree down at the lake. I knew immediately that I needed to make my way down to the willow and place my feet in the water. I found Ang again and told her what I was doing. She pulled me in and held me in her arms one more time, giving me love and encouragement.
And it happened again. While she held me, my foot stopped burning. “Ok,” I thought, “there is something to this.”
I made my way down to Mama Willow, back in tears questioning if I could even get down there with how badly my foot hurt from the burns. But I made it down there, I placed my feet in the water underneath the willow in the light of the moon, and I began to breathe. Up through my feet, through the burns, and into my heart.
What is it that I need to know? What do I need to hear?
I could hear the whispers. It was my left foot that was burnt. My warrior showed up at that fire. The masculine. And that fire ripped right through the warrior and shook up the goddess. The feminine. The left side of the body.
This was about deeper healing of the feminine, my inner goddess, work I had been committed to since my marriage had come to an end in 2016.
I kept hearing the words “tender heart” and “leaking energy.”
I simply sat and soaked with that and using my breath, repeated the mantra “Clear, heal, transmute, and release.”
When I felt like my time at the lake was complete, I offered my gratitude and made my way back to my room where I was to follow further instructions from Ash. I had intuitively brought a bar of lavender peppermint soap—two of my top plant allies to this day—and my roommate had Himalayan Salts. So I soaked my feet and washed them with the soap, wrapped my left foot in a wet cloth, put on wet socks, and laid in bed. I continued to breathe and called in my guides asking for assistance.
I had a good sleep and as I woke in the morning, sat up, and made my way to the edge of the bed, I felt the nervousness creep in as I thought about peeling off the socks. How bad was my left foot going to be? I slowly took off my socks. Right foot first. It was fine. And then the left. I peeled off the sock and then took back the cloth.
I almost gasped in shock. I could not believe what I was seeing.
There were no burns. No blisters. No marks. Not even red spots.
How? How was that possible?!
There was no pain, just an odd tingling sensation reminding of the journey I had just taken with the fire the night before.
I was in awe. Disbelief. How could this be real?
I was reminded of the word I wrote for my intention on Friday night: EMPOWERMENT.
The fire burnt me so that I had to drop into my heart, my feminine energy, and heal it. I had to see, feel, experience, and believe in my own power, not just as a fierce warrior, but as a magical goddess. That fire wanted me to believe in myself, my gifts, my magic. It was showing me the power that I carry every day in all of life.
When I got home, I wrote the following in my journal:
“I trust, surrender, fall to my knees, and lean in. I don’t want to live this dream any more. It’s time to let go. That part of me can soften into the goddess. Fluid, flowing, glowing, loving, and sexual. It’s time to let go. Trust. Trust and surrender.”
You see, up until 2016 with the dissolution of my marriage, my life, and essentially my entire being, I lived in fight or flight. I was always in warrior/masculine energy, to my detriment. It was survival mode. It was protection. My heart was so soft and broken, my warrior would do whatever was needed to make sure no one touched it. This wasn’t a healthy way to live.
A huge part of my journey has been learning how to lean into my softness and vulnerability as a superpower. Embracing my feminine, balancing my masculine, and allowing my tender heart to be open and serve as my guide. To allow myself to love and to feel. Reclaiming my energy, my being, all of me, and repairing the energy leaks so they could no longer harm and hurt me.
This has been an excruciatingly painful and yet beautiful journey. And that fire catapulted me on to the path of truly opening to the divine feminine masterpiece that I am.
I was initiated on that fire and to this day, every time I touch and wear that snakeskin mala, it reminds me of this experience.
A month after the fire walk, in October, I decided to move back to Creston. The boys and I were moved by December. And my life was about to take a trajectory I never could have imagined.
The journey of softening into the feminine and opening my heart has not been an easy one, especially for someone who spent most of her life feeling like her heart was never safe. The stories and beliefs that I have unpacked around that still creep in to this day. Healing is not a one and done endeavour. It’s ongoing movement on a spiral and we never know when moments will strike us that trigger us to dig deeper into our roots and further clean our foundations.
I still have moments where my survival and protection instincts want to kick in to put up my walls and harden my heart. But I know deep in my core that this is never the answer. When I feel that desire to harden, I breathe and soften. When I feel the walls coming up, I lean in and surrender deeper instead. When my fierce masculine comes in striking and my Kali fire is raging, I step back, let go, and allow my heart and goddess within to take the lead. I lay down my sword, my matches and gas can.
Our hearts are magic. We are magic. Everything is energy and our power and abilities are far greater than anything most of us can imagine, see, or understand beyond our self-limiting doubts, beliefs, fears, stories, and conditions. When we begin to break through those barriers, incredible things start to happen. I have personally experienced this over and over in my life time and time again.
My days are filled with magic and remarkable events. In 2016, if you had told that broken, hurting woman who first walked into circle and didn’t even know who she was or why she was there that she would be standing here right now, she would have never believed it.
And here I am.
I’m about to turn 42 coming into a year that has a pulsing, tangible, alive energy to it that I can’t even put words to. As I wait to embark on a trip that I have dreamed of for 25 years, the jungles of Costa Rica are calling me, the fire energy and snake medicine is running strong, and fuck you guys, I cannot wait to see what comes next.
It will be nothing short of magical, this I know.