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The People Behind Fires Rising at Four Quarters

Fires Rising is the shared effort of a group of dedicated volunteers from the Four Quarters membership who call themselves Co-Laborators.

Labor - It is hard work, putting on the Great Work.
Lab - It's an experiment, and Fires Rising is our Laboratory.
Orate - We gotta be ready to speachify, preachify, testify, and electrify!
Ora - That is Latin, and it means we gotta pray.
Collaborate - No one can do this all on their own, we have to work together.

Current Co-Laborators include Argon Jon, Aase, Xan, Gwen, and Dragonwolf.

Our Founders:

Fires Rising was brought to Four Quarters in 2004 by a group of people who came for four years to teach Alchemical Fire Circle technology.  We, the Co-Laborators, work diligently to continue their teachings and traditions.  You will most likely hear us talk about the four people below - their skills, talents, spirituality, rhythms, and songs continue to inspire us.  "I have such a teacher..." -Rumi

Further reference articles appear below.

SpinPortraitWebAbbi Spinner McBride

Abigail is a renowned musician and teacher of percussion, hand-drumming, dance and magic. She is a High Priestess of the Family of Fire, and she is the song writer behind many of the chants we sing. She has released several CDs of original music: Songs from the Center, Enter the Center, Fire of Creation, and Family of Fire.


jeffJeff Magnus McBride

Jeff "Magnus" McBride is a performance magician, alchemist and educator in ritual theater, known around the world for his extensive magical work with masks. Jeff is also a founder of The Mystery School of Magic, the McBride Magical Arts Center, the Vegas Vortex, and FIREDANCE.



LevinJoshua Levin, Ph.D.

Joshua has traveled the world following and sharing in the mysteries of drum, dance, and chant. Together with Deborah Nervig, who is a skilled dancer, Joshua is the co-founder of Sacred Arts Circles and New World Rhythmatism. He is also a skilled painter, and a cultural anthropologist and college professor. Best of all, he is the proud father of a son named Jazz!

MichaelWallMichael Wall
Michael Wall is a drummer, chanter, and educator, and committed to reminding the fire circle community that the frame drum, conga, and other sacred sounds and instruments play a valuable role in the all night journey. Michael is the co-founder of the Hawaii Fire Tribe Gatherings and Sacred Arts Circle - inspired by the power of drum, dance and song as portals to heart-filled magick and sheer ecstasy!

Considerations for
the Alchemical Fire Circle
at Fires Rising

WoodcutAlembecSMLLet us envision co-creating a safe, magical experience for everyone in the Fire Circle. In support of this vision, we offer these thoughts for your consideration.

· The area contained by the torches and prayer flags is Sacred. Please remember people are focusing on magickal work. To avoid distraction, we take conversations outside and away from the Circle.

· At the Gateway to the Circle, we may smudge one another or ourselves with sage smoke as a purification rite. All are invited to breathe, ground, center, and be aware we are entering Sacred Space each time we step through the Gate.

· The flow of energy moves around the fire. During moments when we wish to be still, we pause near the outer edge of the Circle, taking care to avoid standing between the drummers and the Fire.


EarthSMLThe Magic of Fire circle
by Jeff Magnus McBride and Abbi Spinner McBride

I. Fire Circle Introduction     II. Alchemical Traditions
III. Community Considerations        IV. The Elements
V. Observing The Great Work        VI. Metals & Planets

I: Introduction

    Since the dawn of time, human beings have gathered around the fire to make music, to dance, and to weave magic in the fire light. In the past fifteen years, there has been a resurgence in our Western culture for this type of ritual, a reawakening of the shamanic spirit. What is happening during the course of an all-night fire? After observing the ritual process for a number of years, and comparing stories and experiences with others, we have found that the alchemical model is a useful tool for understanding the all-night sacred fire circle ritual.


AirSMLFires Rising Orientation
An Alchemical Alignment

 Finding Our Way ‘Round the Fire

"The Tao that is written is not the Tao"

This familiar quote reminds us that words can only reflect the actuality of the fire circle. We hope you will do your best to read this Orientation "between the lines" and meditate on the possibilities implied within.

The fire circle can be thought of as a microcosm of the daily world we live in. We define our Circle as a unique expression of that reality by ringing the outer perimeter with prayer flags, to remind us that the space within is Sacred, and co-created by all of our intentions. Please enter through the Smudge Gate, a place to be cleansed and purified. Breathe, center, and be aware that you are entering an extraordinary realm each time you step through. Linger a moment and prepare yourself to engage artfully with others, evoke healing energy, pray, do personal magic, or simply celebrate the multitude of blessings in life.


Further Thoughts on Alchemy

firecirclealchemybookThe very nature of alchemical language is intentionally cryptic. Even our modern word gibberish comes from an Arabic alchemist's name, Jabir -- whose cryptic alchemical notes were incomprehensible to the uninitiated.

"Universal Fire Circle Alchemy explores the metaphors and symbols of alchemy to create an experiential laboratory for safe and sacred play. We enter the vessel as individual elements. As we dance the sacred fire, we separate ourselves from that which separates us from ourselves and others. Dancing the fire, we deepen our relationships and forge lifetime connections. By playing, praying and blending together, we share our heart songs, offering our joys and tears, individuals dissolving into a solution. As we refine our work and play, in the liquid embrace of rhythm and community, we discover the deepest mystery, a mystery that has been called the elixir of life, and the philosopher's stone. The Fire of Nature accelerates our growth, transforms our consciousness and lovingly evolves those of us participating in this Great Work. Alchemy is the magic by which we are transforming the leaden or heavy experiences of our lives into golden realizations and spiritual illuminations."
--J. Magnus McBride

"Alchemy is the ancient art of transformation. Alchemy presents a paradigm of transmutation, from the leaden to the gold, from the gross to the subtle, from the raw to the cooked, from the first matter to the philosopher's stone. It transcends all religious and cultural boundaries, and is an accessible map for seekers. By drawing on metaphors from alchemy, we are able to better understand the deeper workings of the fire circle."
--Abbi Spinner McBride

"Alchemy is the gentle acceleration of growth through the use of the fire of nature."



Drum Circle Etiquette
    by Gunga Doug

   There is a sacred relationship between the elements that create a fire circle. The drummers, singers, dancers, witnesses, our traditions, our ancestors and the Fire itself meld together in a dance of energies that is simultaneously greater than all its parts and as intimate as a trance. Each of these elements is a necessary part, and no one piece is greater than any other. It is the interplay of relationships between the elements that creates the magic, and opens the caldron of transformation that is the difference between a fire and a magic fire circle.


Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary 190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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