Now that I have a fireplace in my home I expect my ashes of community to get a longer pedigree. We had ritual fires for both Yule and Christmas, because a fire in the fireplace just makes everything better.
The last time I tried to post a list of my ashes turned out pretty messy, so now that I know how Google Spreadsheets works with blogs I won’t be doing that again. Not only are there missing columns, making it impossible to read the list, but the post lacks any context other than the introduction to the list itself. It’s a fine introduction, but I picture someone happening upon that post as they surf the web and . . . just surfing away. Hopefully my writing will get better, like fine eggnog.
So I keep my own list of ritual ashes someplace where it can be found, but that kind of convenience has confused some people. I’ve had people offer to send me ashes from distant fires – it’s a kind and generous offer, but it defeats the purpose! How I want to get the ashes from powerful, moving, and stupendous ritual fires is by having you collect them and then put them in a fire when I’m there. I am always honored when I am permitted to put ashes into a ritual fire, and it’s even more exciting when someone else does it too! I was at a fire once when five or six people stood up and recited the pedigree of the ashes that they were adding to the mix – that’s pretty intense!
I love the mystic quality of the 30,000-year unbroken tradition that led to modern Witchcraft, whether or not there’s the slightest evidence that it’s true. I think the Ashes of Community can, or will, have that same romantic power; I just love the thought that the ashes in my little container includes remnants of rituals in places I’ve never seen. I want someday to have ashes from rituals that took place before I was born, but I don’t know if anyone’s got any ritual ashes that old – I may have to accept 1990 as the most ancient date for this tradition.
Nevertheless, if you attend a ritual that I’m at, bring a little box or a film container or a ziploc bag and you can get some ashes that include the fire we lit for our Yule celebration, and the one that kept us company during Christmas dinner. I hope you’ll bring some of your own Yule log ashes and share, but I’ll give you some just for dancing at the fire with me.