So- in order to be considered an Alchemical Fire Circle, certain criteria must be in place.
- The AFC is not a money-making adventure, it’s not about Aurum Vulgaram, and, for that reason, finances must be transparent. All the Vortex ones are posted on the website, for anyone who wants to see.
- The AFC is a drug and alcohol free space. The ritual is the sacrament.
- Prayers ties are created by the community and hold the space.
- There is a gate, which people use to enter and exit the circle.
- There are four portals to activate the magic in the Alchemical Fire Circle:
- Air- Voice
- Fire- Music
- Water- Movement
- Earth- Service
An Adept in our tradition is one who can facilitate the circle through all the portals– i.e., be able to: start a chant and get the group singing, deliver a meaningful, memorized piece of spoken word, know enough songs to fill in the gaps and sense what’s appropriate given what is happening with the group, and have excellent communication and conflict resolution skills…
And: play a rhythm on a drum and keep it steady, even if you’re the only one playing, be able to help a new person find their way into the rhythm, have an understanding of pulse and time, know the magic words (as transmitted by Joshua Levin and Michael Wall) and when to use then (‘sup, slow-it, level down, level up, sail out)…
And: know where the gratitude zone is and what planetary orbits are (as transmitted by Jeff McBride and Abigail Spinner McBride) and be able to explain them, be able to lead a spiral dance, and at least one other group dance,
And: know the many aspects of service from how to build and take down the circle, to how to feed the fire, to basic first aid training, to food safety, etc.,
And: the mysterious secret fifth element of Spirit, which means knowing the ritual technology, the crucial elements of opening and closing circles, the seven stage process of Alchemical Transmutation, the three phases of the night and what happens to the group in each of them, the words to the Solar Adoration in the morning, and, for the brave of heart, the words to “and I saw….” (though that last one isn’t required) …
This is a mystery tradition, and to become an Adept can be a journey of many years. It can begin right now… If between the group of you, you have the skill set of an Adept, your circle will turn. If any one is missing, it wobbles…
- The AFC is built on the 7 stage model as created and refined by Abigail & Jeff McBride, with help and guidance on the Alchemical Rhythmatism model, from Dr. Joshua Levin and Michael Wall. There are transitions between the stages as the night goes on, which are co-created by the participants.
- Alchemical Fire Circles are in alignment with our stated positions on wellness/woundedness and healing. http://www.vegasvortex.com/wellness/