Ariel Frager: What exactly is a firewalk?
Peggy Dylan: Firewalking has been practiced since before recorded
history in various cultures all around this little planet. From
Fiji, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, India, Japan, Bali, Europe, and Africa.
On the North American continent, the Zuni and Cherokee tribes are
reported to still have ancient fire societies. Firewalking is a
continuum of human experience. It has been practiced as an affirmation
of our connection to divinity. It has been practiced in ritual as
a celebration. It has been practiced to allow healers to touch on
the power that gave them the healing capacities. In all cultures,
it is used as an affirmation of physical, spiritual and emotional
well-being, and we find the same in our firewalk.
AF: Why would someone want to walk on fire?
PD: People receive different benefits. For some people it is an
experience of self-empowerment, for others it is awe-inspiring.
Still others have experienced spiritual and emotional healings.
It is impossible to participate in something as powerful as the
firewalk and not be deeply touched. By standing in front of a coal
bed that has burned for hours, and choosing to walk or not, you
are making the choice to embrace an aspect of yourself that very
seldom gets looked at in our culture. The part of us that knows
things our minds consider impossible can be achieved. Its
been called faith, trust, and belief. Once someone has tapped this
knowledge of achieving the impossible, they apply this belief to
every part of their life.
AF: Tell us a little about your personal experience with the
PD: I had an experience of enlightenment when I was a kid. I had
worked with teachers from India as a teenager. My whole life I have
been exploring what it means to be a spirit in form. When I firewalked
for the first time, my foot coming down on the red hot coals was
indelibly imprinted on my mind, because it shattered my previously
held beliefs about reality. It made me realize that my capacities
and achievement were limited by my previously held concepts.
AF: Can you talk about how you interweave spirituality and your
PD: I wouldnt say I interweave spirituality; it is the base
of everything I do. As far as I am concerned, firewalking is a spiritual
practice. My challenge has been making this practice applicable
to everyones life - how to extract the essence of the firewalk
and apply these newly learned, extraordinary capacities that firewalking
teaches, to everyday life.
AF: What is the Fire Initiation Training?
PD: The fire initiation training is a week-long exploration of our
capacities as human beings. The training is based in our spiritual
natures. We use the firewalk and other rituals of empowerment as
the foundation of this exploration.
AF: What benefits would someone receive from attending the Fire
Initiation Training that they couldnt get from a one evening
PD: The difference is the same as snacking on hors doeuvres
and sitting down and eating a full meal. In the firewalk you will
be uplifted and astonished, whereas in the Fire Initiation Training
you learn how to apply these experiences and actually change your
AF: Can you describe how the firewalk and the Fire Initiation
Training have positively affected people who have participated?
PD: If you think of an oil lamp that has a globe on it, and the
glass chimney has been partially blackened from use, the light shining
through to the world will be clouded. The light of the soul is similar.
The glass chimneys of our spirit collect dirt and soot, preventing
our brightness from shining through. The light of the soul is not
diminished but the way it is cast upon the world has changed. In
the Fire Initiation Training, the glass globe is cleaned so that
the individuals brightness can shine through and be fully
Peggy Dylan is considered the mother of the modern firewalking
movement and has pioneered motivational and leadership trainings
since 1976, presenting her unique and heart-felt message through
the metaphor of the firewalk. Peggy will be presenting a one-evening
workshop that is open to the public on Friday March 23, 2001 in
Sandy, Oregon. She will continue with the Fire Initiation Training,
presented by Wings of Fire Seminars on March 24-31. If you are interested
in one of these programs contact Wings of Fire at (503) 224-3868
or firstname.lastname@example.org, or at
Peggy Dylans web site at www.sundoor.com.
Ariel Frager is the co-director of Wings of Fire Seminars and
is pleased to bring the Fire Initiation Training to the Northwest.