Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Live fire

In Serbia, during certain ceremonies, like when first fire is lit in the new house, the fire has to be lit using the "old way" (rubbing two pieces of wood against each-other). This process is known as "pulling living fire out of the wood"

Interestingly, the man who is about to perform the fire ritual, to "draw living fire out of the wood" had to have abstained from sex for a period of time.

Fire is male principle (Sun, Fire, Heat, Increasing, Yang) as water is female principle (Earth, Water, Cold, Decreasing, Yin). I wrote about how Yin-Yang relates to Earth-Sun climatic system in my post "Yin and Yang".

This is direct link between Fire and Male Fire. In Slavic mythology both are represented by Jarilo (Slavic young sun god) whose name means brightly burning, raging, young, green. He is the one who every spring brings "living fire" back into the world.

I talked about Serbian rituals related to building new house and moving into the new house in my post "New house".

The name"living fire" is very interesting. The only other "living fire" I know about is Deified Fire, Agni. And in my post "Triglav, Trojan, Trinity, Trimurti, Agni" I talked about Serbian belief, recorded in the Epic poetry, that Serbs came to the Balkans from India...Agni was said to be "hiding in a cave" from where he had to be summoned into the world. This is fire drill, instrument used for  "pulling living fire out of the wood". 

You can see that the initial smouldering amber is created inside of the hole made by the fire stick. Is this the "cave from which Agni had to be summoned into the world"? 

This is another reason why only men are allowed to summon "living fire"...

In Serbia, living fire was believed to have medicinal properties. This is why it was "pulled out of the wood, summoned" when both people and animals had to be protected from dangerous deceases. Animals were walked between, or around fires which were started with "living fire" to be purified. People jumped over these fires "for health". Ash scraped from "Agni's cave" was mixed in water and given to sick people as medicine...

During "pulling of living fire" ceremonies, if a man who was operating the fire drill couldn't make fire   from the amber three times in a row, he would step away from the fire drill saying: "It is not meant for me to make the cure". Then some other man would go to the fire drill and try himself...

This use of living fire as a medicine is interesting because when Agni came out of his cave, he was told that he will be "the purifier"... 


  1. The famous coach of Ohio State University football, Woody Hayes, was firmly of the opinion that football players should refrain from sex the day before a game.

  2. Men killed the game with the blood-drawing spear that spun to embrace the ember; women made the embryo with blood-flowing socket (azocatl in Aztec). Fever purifies disease, fire prevents ripe food from trotting (dehydrates & smokes) like sunlight. Smokey incense purifies air against flying biting insects.

  3. Is 'living fire' the same as the 'need-fire' of English traditional customs?

  4. There's information here about Slavic, Celtic & Vedic "fire churns": giant fire drills used for ritual fire starting

    Neid Fire, Need Fire, Neid Fyre, Force Fire, Teine-​éiginn​, Tein'-éigin, Tein eigin, Notfeuer, Nodfyr, Nedfres, Nedfri, священного живого Огня


    Hindu Vedic fire churn

    Fire churning" or "churning of arani" (Agni Madhanam) is a friction fire method in India, similar to the strap drill , which is made from the Banyan tree, and it seems to be specifically for use during Hindu Vedic fire rituals.

    The fire sticks are called the Arani.
    The Fire Churn is also known as the Agni Manthan or Arani Manthani.