Wildfire: Necessity and Power

I’ve talked several times about the importance of fire in the lodgepole pine / pine beetle cycle, of how fire must come to kill of the beetles, and to open the cones to bring new life.

Here’s a summary of that cycle for those unfamiliar.  The cycle begins with the rebirth of the forest after a fire.  Out of the cones, new lodgepole seedlings sprout.  There are very few pine beetles alive.  As the years pass, the trees grew and slowly a new forest forms.  The trees reach up toward the sky, underbrush growing below.  The animals live beneath.  Each year, the lodgepole drpp two types of cones, a normal cone that opens as it dries, and a cone that only opens in fire.  Slowly, the pine beetle population grows.  Each year they lay their eggs beneath the bark.  The eggs hatch, the larva grow, then become pupa, become adults, all the while feeding on the tree.  The adult beetles emerge and look for a new tree.  A female finds a tree and starts burrowing into the bark and begins giving off pheromones that attract other females and males which mass attack the tree and trees near it.  The beetles have a special structure on thier heads that carry blue stain fungus. At the beginning of the boring, this structure infects the tree, and the fungus prevents the tree from producing resin, the tree’s natural defense against the beetle.  The males fertilize the eggs and the females lay them, beginning the cycle anew.  Between thr lavae and pupae eating thd wood and the fungus blocking the tree’s ability to get water and nutrients to the wood, the tree dies.  And tree by tree, the lodgepole die as the beetles increase in numbers.  Dead lodgepole are very flamible, and as the number of dead trees increase, so does the chance of fire.  When it reaches a point, and fire starts, it races through the forest, destroying the dead trees, but killing the beetles within them, and opening the cones, allowing the rebirth of the forest and the completion of the cycle.

We have been nearing the end of that cycle in much of the Western US and Canada for a long time.  In at least Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Eastern Wasington, Eastern Oregon, North Eastern California, and Alberta, maybe other states, at least 65% of the pine are dead from the beetle.  Near Laramie, here in South East Wyoming where 60 MPH winds are common, about 80% are dead.  It’s been since the fires of 1909 that many beetles have been killed.

So we come to this year.  Typically in this part of the country, fire season is late July to late September when the snow starts to put them out.  The fires started in late May this year.  Last major snow in Laramie is usually late May.  It was late June last year, but early March this year.  Typically the Laramie River crests second week of July.  It was last week of July last year, but second week of May this year.  Typically, Spring rains are from May to
early July.  Last year they were late June to early August.  This year, March to May.  Typical late June, early July temperatures are in the high 70s, and if it breaks 90 at all, it’s in the second week of August.  Last year, it didn’t break 80 until around then.  This year, we’ve have 90+ temperatures for the last two weeks.  It’s a very very dry year, much hotter than normal, normal strong winds, no rain to speak of for most of the last month.  Perfect conditions for fire.

Fire.  The classic elements place earth as heaviest, then water, then air, then fire as lightest.  Earth and air are passive, water and fire active.  The order of heaviness is mirrored in the Kabbalah worlds.  The highest world, the World of Emminations, is the World of Fire, and Shin, the Mother of Fire.  Below that is the World of Creation, the World of Air, and Aleph, the Mother of Air.  Next is the World of Forms, the World of Water, and Mem, the Mother of Water.  The lowest is Malkuth, which contains Fire, Air, and Water, but is the only world containing Earth.  The three upper worlds is the first Breath.  Breath is made of heat, air, and moisture, all combined together.  But heat rises, up the the World of Fire, and moisture condenses and sinks as the temperature drops, sinking to the World of Water, leaving Air between.  You see a similar thing in the symbol for Aquarius.  You see two sawtooth waves, one above, one below.  The space between is Air, for Aquarius has always been connected to Air.  Traditionally, below the lower wave is Water, the oceans and lakes and rivers and streams of the earth.  Above is traditionally the water above, the water that falls from the sky, rain.  It’s the Firmament separating the two waters to the Hebrews, though this is Greek, not Jewish, relating to the Greek Flood Myths.  But the upper wave can also be seen as the boundary between Air and Fire, the starlight and fire above the Air.  Rotating the Kabbalic Three Worlds and Three Mothers, you get Three Pillars.  It rotates to the right.  Fire, Shin, Emminations, becomes the Right Hand Pillar, Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Chesed, Pillar of Mercy.  Water, Mem, Forms, becomes the Left Hand Pillar, Pillar of Water, Pillar of Geburah, Pillar of Severity.  And between them, Air, Aleph, Creation, becomes the Middle Pillar, the balance between the two.

Fire.  What does Fire do?  It consumes, and converts matter to heat, matter to energy.  It is inherently distructive, yet that destruction produces heat and energy, which are necessary for life.  The Sun is Fire in it’s most powerful form, consuming, destroying, and creating, and life on earth is impossible without the heat and energy it produces.  In the Chinese classic elements, Fire creates Earth, as, when it burns wood, it produces ash, Earth.  Wood creates Fire, as Fire burns out of wood.  Fire controls Metal, as it melts it and allows it to be worked.  Water controls Fire, because it extinguishes it.

Fire.  There are two professions that depend on Fire more than any other, that intrinsically depend on it.  And both are some of the oldest professions, and necessary for human survival.  The first is cooking, for you can’t cook without Fire, whether wood fire, gas fire, or electricity.  The other is smithing, the working with metal.  Without smithing, there are no tools to farm, no nails to build, no weapons to hunt.  Well, primitive ones of each, but smithing is what allowed expansion and progress, the ability to do more than just survive.  And without fire to melt or soften the metal, there is no smithing.  The Smithcraft is very closely tied to many Witchcraft traditions.  As makes sense.  Smithery is magic.  You take one thing and change it to another, and only initiates, only those knowing the secrets of the craft can do so.  The secrets were passed master to apprentice, father to son.  Many traditions are connected to Tubal Cain, the first worker of metal, the first Smith, in the Biblical record and in many parallel traditions.  Some are connected to Wayland, the legendary Smith in Northern tradition.  Some are connected to Hephaestus of the Greeks, Vulcan to the Romans, the Smith of the gods who crafted Zeus’ lightning bolts and was kicked out of Olympus by his mother Hera for being weak.  Smiths are very much connected to the craft.

Fire is very real here in the Western United States at the moment.  The trees that have been awaiting fire are burning in many places.  There are two fires near to home, one about thirty miles to the west, very near my working site, making it off limits, and one to the north that is much larger but without as much potential for a bigger disaster.  The one the the west is just over 10,000 acres but borders many hundreds of thousands of dead trees.  As of the moment, it is 95% contained, which is good news.  The one to the north is almost 100,000 acres, and 65% contained.  The whole valley has been covered with smoke for a long time, first from the Colorado fires, and lately by the local fires to a much larger extent.  Fire is real, and Fire is dangerous.

Though the trees need to burn, to kill the beetles, to renew the forests, large fires burning the whole west are dangerous to the people living here, to the ranches and houses, to the people I know as my people.  It is necessary for the fires that are inevitable to burn for a bit and be put out, instead of burning and burning and burning.  Both Let-It-Burn policies and putting out every fire are bad options, but sometimes all the technology of man can’t control a fire.  Only nature can put it out, can control it, can direct it.  So sometimes the approach isn’t technology.

Wildfire

Note:  This is a Grimr spell with Feri and 1734 influence.  It is keyed to me and shouldn’t be used as is by anyone else.  Please feel free, however, to draw from it or adapt it for your own purposes.  If you do so and would like to share your creation with me and/or the results, please email spellsandrituals at grimr.org.

IN A DARK ROOM, FACE THE DIRECTION OF THE FIRE.  LIGHT A CANDLE IN FRONT OF YOU.  CLOSE YOUR EYES AND TAKE BREATHES, PULLING IN POWER AND ENERGY FROM WHAT IS AROUND YOU.  WHEN YOU’RE READY, OPEN YOUR EYES AND STARE INTO THE FLAME.  LET YOUR EYES UNFOCUS.  THE CANDLE FLAME REPRESENTS THE WILDFIRE, IS THE WILDFIRE.  REACH OUT THROUGH THE FLAMES OF THE CANDLE INTO THE WILDFIRE.  VISUALIZE TWO DOORS DECORATED IN BURNING TREES.  THESE DOORS ARE THE GATE BETWEEN YOUR CANDLE FLAME AND THE FLAME OF THE WILDFIRE.  THIS IS MORE THAN VISUALIZATION, THE VISUALIZATION IS MERELY A TOOL TO HELP YOU SEE THE DOORS THAT ARE ALREADY THERE.  OPEN THE DOOR.  REACH THROUGH AND LET YOUR CONCENTRATION AND INTENT FOCUS ON THE FLAMES THROUGH THE FLAMES.  NOW BEGIN.

Beginnings, Creation, Ingress (REPEAT THREE TIMES):

By fire burning,
Both wild and free,
I call your names,
I call to thee,
Boreas and Notus,
Zephyrus and Eurus,
Tettens and Carenos,
Lucet and Node,
Nordi and Sudri,
Austri and Vestri,
Hapi and Imsety.
Duamutef and Qebehsenuef,
Black Mother and Shining Flame,
Star Finder and Water Maker.
Four bright stars,
That are as one,
Four winds blowing,
Come to me,
Four stones resting,
On the edge,
By water and soil,
All are one,
This valley is mine,
By right and deed,
In Nimue’s bosom,
We start this thing,
As fire started,
By human hand,
We start the process,
To end again,
Bring the wind,
To turn about,
To move away,
From beetle blight,
Bring the rain,
To put it out,
Pour down moisture,
To cool the drought,
Soil from which,
The trees did spring,
Draw back the ashes,
Bring new life,
Fire, destroyer,
And bringer of life,
Pull back your hand,
In morning’s light,
Four bight stars,
That are as one,
Four winds blowing,
Come to me,
By fire burning,
Both wild and free,
I call your names,
I call to thee,
Exitium in initio,
Ponebatur.

Centre, Sustaining, Congress (REPEAT SIX TIMES):

Cool breeze and rainfall,
The temperatures drop,
Moisture and rain clouds,
The wind brings relief,
We all know the fire,
Is destined to come,
Needful and necessary,
A bringer of life,
Beetle killed lodgepole,
For thousands of miles,
Only the burning,
Can bring an end,
But houses and ranches,
People and beasts,
I stand for protection,
I stand for their lives,
As this burning candle,
Is controlled and contained,
I declare limits and boundaries,
Control of the flame,
By Mari’s sweet presence,
The boundaries stand,
This far and no further,
And turn it around,
Rain will fall gentle,
And limit the flame,
Wind will blow it back,
A binding hand came,
Earth will fall silent,
Asleep in the rain,
And fire will turn back,
Moving inward again,
Cool breeze and rainfall,
The temperatures drop,
Moisture and rain clouds,
The wind brings relief,
I stand for protection,
I stand for their lives,
Exitium in initio,
Ponebatur.

Endings, Destruction, Egress (REPEAT NINE TIMES):

All things that start,
Must come to an end,
The candle that’s lit,
Must soon be put out,
A fire contained,
With no place to go,
Shall eat up its fuel,
And burn itself out,
By four names we bind,
By four names we loose,
The fire that started,
Must soon be no more,
Boreas and Notus,
Zephyrus and Eurus,
Tettens and Carenos,
Lucet and Node,
Nordi and Sudri,
Austri and Vestri,
Hapi and Imsety.
Duamutef and Qebehsenuef,
Black Mother and Shining Flame,
Star Finder and Water Maker.
Four stones the border,
Four stones the edge,
What’s started and limited,
Must reach and end,
Lodgepole that’s burned,
Is lost in the wind,
Fire that’s extinguished,
Makes room for new life,
Cones that open,
In the destruction of death,
Grow to new life,
A snake eating its tail,
Beetles are gone,
And with them the trees,
Sacrificed on altars,
Under sweet Ana’s knife,
New life comes slowly,
And sprout from the seed,
Beginnings from endings,
New life it brings,
By four names we bind,
By four names we loose,
The fire that started,
Must soon be no more,
All things that start,
Must come to an end,
The candle that’s lit,
Must soon be put out,
A fire contained,
With no place to go,
Shall eat up its fuel,
And burn itself out,
Exitium in initio,
Ponebatur.

STILL FOCUSING ON THE FIRE THROUGH THE FLAME, EITHER BLOW OUT THE CANDLE OR SNUFF IT OUT BETWEEN WET FINGERS.  SIT IN SILENCE AND DARKNESS UNTIL YOU FEEL RELEASED BY THE SPIRITS.




FFF,
~Muninn’s Kiss