Our Northern European ancestors lived in a harsh, unforgiving world where it was dark and cold almost half the year. They revered the gods and spirits of the land. They honored and respected fire because it was essential for survival. And in fact it still is, even if we in modern times have forgotten that. We are arrogantly disconnected from it, perhaps even forgetting about the necessity of its presence.
When was the last time you honored the spirits of fire when you flipped on the light switch, adjusted your heater's thermostat or enjoyed a bowl of steaming soup?
Fire is never still. It creates through destruction and in that destruction smoke is released. The earth breaks things down slowly through rot and decay. Fire breaks things down rapidly to the smallest of particles.
Some ancient cultures have stories about how humans stole fire from the gods. Not so for us of the Northern Traditions. Fire was always a part of our world. In fact it is part of our creation story.
Fire is alive; we can never master or contain it. And just like the ocean, we must never turn our back on fire nor take it for granted.
Two runes that are intimately connected with fire are Nauthiz and Cweorth.
Here are the poems I wrote for them. They are part of the collection of my 33 original rune poems found in my book the (un) familiar.
'summoned by need
gaunt from starvation
from the cave
you are a hungry rune
fueled by bitter necessity
fierce with determination
sparks ancestral memory
ancient fires ignite'
it is you
fire of Surt
who consumes the gods
in the end
your concern is
what must be
burn my flesh away
leaving only ash'
A great resource of information about Spirit Work In The Norse Tradition is the book Neolithic Shamanism by Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova. Chapter 7 The Red World is about the spirits of Fire.