Hearth-Fire as a philosophy, and more broadly, as a simple concept did not emerge fully-formed from the head of Zeus akin to Athena. It emerged over generations of personal and communal discoveries. It began as most journeys do – with a single step, a moment in time, an epiphany!
It was the end of the summer in 1976 and I had been playing with my friends in a small baseball diamond around the corner from their home. At the end of day with dusk approaching, a slight breeze picked up. It felt chilly, which, while unusual for late August, was a harbinger of Autumn to come, but more importantly, a reminder that my teenage summer was ending and an important chapter toward adulthood was beginning.
As my friends were walking out of the field, my attention was drawn to an unusual, glistening light among the trees. Everything else seemed dull and gray by comparison and the air, as I said, chilled, but that spot was warm; and I felt the presence of divinity. I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t see anything but sunlight amidst the trees. I felt closer to the divine than at any moment in my life and my attention was riveted by it. Nature was not merely the place where I would feel closest to the divine, but at one with it. Nature and divinity were one and I was one with Nature.
There are many religions in the world, many creeds, many philosophies, and many theologies, but what discovered me that day, and what I discovered, was a oneness with the world around me that was foreign to everything I had ever been taught, that I had ever read, and that had ever been approved by the authority figures in my life.
In brief, Hearth-Fire is an ethical and life-affirming nature based spiritual path, a shamanic path, a Pagan path, a magical path. It is a path with leaders but no rulers, teachers but no gurus or masters. Teachings but no dogma. Associating with Hearth-Fire and by extension shamanism, Paganism and magic isn’t something to which you convert or change. It’s awakening to who and what you are as a natural being, a Child of Mother Nature.
In Hearth-Fire, through regular local services and activities, and regional events, we purpose to tear down the walls that separate people and to build bridges of love and understanding where those walls have been. We intend to make the world a little better place by healing it one heart at a time in ever widening circles of affection.
Most importantly, we maintain that since we are all descended from one great soul whom you may think of as the unitary source of all being, Mother Nature, Pan, Shiva, Vishnu, or simply God, we share in divinity; and are, therefore, all soul mates. We need not search for one soul mate. We are surrounded by them; and, through love, we have the opportunity to find our way home to the divine.