Venerated by all human cultures, Fire is still today part of a
ritual practised in various parts of the world. From India to New Zealand, from the
Balkans to Malesia, from Spain to the Fiji Islands, it takes on different forms,
the most common of which consists in walking over a bed of hot coals.
In "Il mondo magico" (The Magic World) by ethnologist Ernesto De
Martino, we read, "... R.U. Sayce certifies: walking over cinders seems to have
little or no effect on the feet. I examined the feet of several persons one-half
hour after the ceremony and I could find no trace of burns... At times, I am told,
one or two little blisters can remain as the result of deficient faith and imperfect
preparation..." Throughout the world, shamans are considered "Masters of
Fire" and this type of ceremony is often prepared for numerous reasons such
as purification through fire or to assure a good harvest.
|"Lo sciamanismo e le tecniche dell'estasi" by Mircea Eliade
Mircea Eliade, Rumanian historian of religions, says that shamans,
medicine-men, are not only "masters of fire," they can also incarnate the
spirit of fire. In his book, Shamanism and Techniques of Ecstasy, he writes, "
A large number of 'primitive' tribes conceive magical-religious power as something
that burns and designate it with titles that mean 'heat,' 'burn,' 'very hot'... In
the Russell Islands, 'heat' is an attribute of magicians... The witch-doctors and
witches of Australia avoid consuming substances that burn: indeed they already possess
a sufficient quantity of 'inner fire'..."