Sacred Fire captured by Sergiu Vălenaș via Unsplash
Sacred Fire captured by Sergiu Vălenaș via Unsplash

3.2 Decolonising Self_ A Collective Poem

The Bones of Our Sacred Fire

In Session 3 of our Winter Season on the topic of “Decolonising Self” Terrellyn Fearn and Vanessa Reid invited us to sit in circle around a sacred fire. We reflected on the following questions:

What do I need to surrender to?
What do I want to come into a deeper relationship with?

Vanessa captured our sharings and interwove them into the tapestry of this beautiful poem.

The Bones of Our Sacred Fires


I look down to the ground of my ancestors’ roots

to speak to the votana (plants) and allow them to heal me

I feel my grandfather and our ancestral vines at my back


My heart breaks open when I feel into my ancestors

My family is lighting up as we discover more,

and acknowledge our past

Waking up! We are alive, noticing and perceiving


It’s hard to grasp all this with the mind

Grief kicked me out of the efficiency lane

It needs so much resource; the truth is that it needs more space


Wait a bit and see what gifts come


I am done done done with the internalized patriarchy

I surrender to the Mud and the Earth of the Mother

That’s where I want to be


I am centering the fire right now

It’s transformed me with a deep longing to connection to what matters

These simple things of love and breath

To come into contact with life and with death

I’m letting go of being anything other than myself


I come from warriors of truth and honesty

Would I be a different human in knowing my ancestors & what they fought for?

I feel the blessing for my women line who made space for me

so I can open the door and healing for those after me


I have deep feelings, rememberings and knowings

And I have deep un-certainties and un-knowings

It’s easy to get lost and forget the wider connection of inter-connectedness


LOVE… could be as simple as Love?

I am touched and grateful for the profoundness of the heart

I can feel the connection with the spiritual and the sacred

I will not hold myself back for fear

I surrender to all the love that I feel for everything that is alive


Our bones have deeply anchored knowing

When you don’t know where you are going,

you go back where you came from


Where do I belong?

Where do WE belong?

The red moon over the silver lake

Kinship friendships of deep belonging

Weaving the village

The roots go deep and wide

Connecting to my local place

The place at the essence of humus of all life


I want to surrender to what comes after

To the longings and integration

The life-giving compost

To these dark and strange soils


The Great Fires

Lineages lost

How to excavate the griefs and stories and heritages?

Show our honest kindness and kindest honesty

Listen to our poems with open hearts

And deepen my own creative fire


The logs and the wood we place on the fire are our ancestors bones

The white Thunder Beings are with us

The fire is burning down so fast

It’s doing the medicine


~Vanessa Reid capturing our collective poem

January 24, 2022