Integration Strategy Firewalk – January 5th, 2013

Organize and focus the coming year behind a single powerful strategy for your small business, consulting or coaching practice.

Live an integrated life. Make it all work. Your entire life, health, finance, relationships AND career.

Without prioritizing or sacrifice in any one area. Create momentum that will propel you towards success [right out of the gate].

Do you find yourself spending too much time, money, and energy building your business while not getting the results you want?

Do you continuously undermine other areas of your life such as health, family, hobbies, or travel to achieve success in your business?

Make a bigger impact in 2013 without finding yourself pulled in multiple directions on how to get there. Prioritize ideas, both your own and the ones presented to you.

If you are like most people, you go into January with high hopes for the future, and will likely be disappointed by what you actually accomplish.

Take a stand. This will be your year for aggressive business growth. Choose the right approaches for you. Live a lifestyle that actually coincides with the hopes that led to the creation of your own business.

During 2013 Integration Strategy event you will:

  • Move beyond the failures and build on your achievements of 2012.
  • Create an integrated growth strategy for the new year.
  • Develop clear and achievable goals with the help of peers.
  • Achieve momentum that will carry your plans through to fruition.
  • Retain the confidence to know now where you will be in one year’s time.

There will be a firewalk at the conclusion of the event where you will bring together all your strategies and aspirations for the year and fuse them as one when you walk on the coals.

2013 Integration Strategy

Date: January 5th, 2013
Time: 3:00-7:30 p.m.
Location: Marina Village Conference Center (Mission Bay)

Fee: $125
Discounted: $95 extended until Jan 3rd, 2013

You will have a profound “wow” experience that you will remember forever.

Register Here

Firewalk Experience:

Firewalking has been an integral part of many cultures for many centuries. Typically communities Firewalk together as a group to experience oneness and unity as a group.

Firewalking creates an environment of immediacy. It fuses the mind, body, and spirit together into one focus. Creating powerful breakthroughs and new energy. Removing artificial limitations. Releasing the pent-up desire to move forward and achieve success.

The firewalk portion of the 2013 Integration Strategy event will drive home the lessons and make real the promise of the event.


Register Here

Igniting the New Economy and Fulfilling Dreams Now

I attended my first Firewalk in July 2000 after my Life Coach said she would fire me as a client if I didn't make more progress and shift my self-imposed limitations about my life. After many months of complaining every week about my job, girlfriend, difficulties of starting a business and the constant rainy weather in Seattle, she had enough and said I MUST find the next FIREWALK and go DO IT NOW, OR ELSE!

When I got online I found out a "FIREWALK" is a large bonfire, burned down to the ground, raked into a thin bed of hot coals usually 8-12 feet long and then walked on. "Oh god", I thought, "how is this possible".

That fateful night, the moment right before Firewalking, I remember being scared, wondering what will happen, feeling that climbing Mt. Everest would probably be easier and SAFER. But I wanted a new future, I was tired of not making significant progress toward my goals and dreams.

After successfully firewalking on hot coals and not being burned, everything I thought possible expanded and the confusion in my life shattered. That Firewalk Experience transformed my life and opened a new path out from where I had been stuck. Within 6 months of Firewalking, I had left that empty relationship, moved to California and started my business. My life was in motion.

History of Firewalking

Firewalking has been a rite of passage and community ritual for hundreds of years. You can find Firewalking in Polynesian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Native cultures around the globe and still happening today. Originally, it was not a seminar as it often is now in the West. Although, it has always been a moment of inspiration, empowerment and enlightenment tied to the sacred. It is the fusion of Power and Soul.

In Polynesia the fire purified a person before receiving a sacred family Tattoo. In Coptic Christianity and many other cultures it was a test of the depth of one's faith. In most of the traditions the community came together to let go of the past and create a new beginning, honor the gods or God, and connect with the elements.

I'm an ordained Firewalking Priest in the New Thought tradition of Huna. In this tradition, walking on coals brings the mental, emotional and spiritual parts of oneself together as one in a moment of unity, harmony and enlightenment and is experienced in a very real and meaningful way.

Transformation by Fire

Firewalking offers the tangible experience of being purified and transformed by the element Fire. Firewalkers purify their intentions when they walk on Fire, and are left with the purpose and dream of their life and power to accomplish it. They also experience a deeper awareness and compassion for other people. Firewalkers experience dual consciousness: life before Firewalking vs life on the other side of the coals; meandering through life vs walking focused toward ones dreams.

The Firewalk is synergistic, because it brings all the Elements together.

The Wood from the Earth
The Water in the Wood
The Fire combusting with Air and Wood to transform into Energy and released to the Air
All that remains on the ground is a tiny handful of ash (Earth).

When I talk with people even years after they've Firewalked, they say the experience was deeply memorable and an allegory for living a successful life. That the experience provided ongoing inspiration and insight being courageous and free of fear, having laser focus, committing and following through on things that matter, and have deeper spiritual roots.

The New Economy and Dreams Fulfilled

We are using the Firewalk Experience as a tool to help people be free, abundant and powerful to generate success in the New Economy. Because Small Business Owners and "Solopreneurs" are the engine of the New Economy, these insights and experiences applied to sales, marketing and leadership help them fulfill their own dreams and generate a new economic future for themselves and the people they touch.

We have had at least five Firewalk Leaders host about a dozen Firewalks in 2009 in the San Diego area. We are gearing up for a Fall Line-Up of more Firewalks and breakthrough events to ignite their businesses and assist them in fulfilling their dreams. A portion of the proceeds from these events are given to charitable causes in the San Diego area.

Julian D. Bergquist is an ordained Huna Firewalking Priest, workshop leader and coach. He is passionate about facilitating breakthroughs that result in effective relationships and improved communication in business, intimate relationships and with oneself. Find out about the next Firewalk and breakthrough experiences for the remainder of 2009 at Or call 619-573-6638

Dancing with the Fire

Dancing with the Fire

by Michael Sky

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Table of Contents / Previous Section

Tolly Burkan and his wife Peggy Dylan wanted to teach us every aspect of successfully leading firewalk. Since their own approach had been to travel around from place to place, building fires wherever they could, our three-week training would consist primarily of ten public firewalk with a lot of traveling in between, so that we would get a taste of life on the road. Thus, although our group of ten students came together in Sacramento, we spent our initial two days journeying in a motorhome up to Seattle for our first firewalk. This two-day waiting period actually helped me, for I could see little difference between this group of people—all of whom had already walked on fire—and myself. I did not feel like their spiritual or psychological inferior, and I could thus reasonably expect to do as well as they.

Alas, on the day of my first walk, all reason and logic abandoned me. As the day wore on (firewalk always happen at night, which really means that they happen for an entire day) my body became uncharacteristically tense; a low level anxiety took over and gripped me. I was not hungry and I did not feel like talking. I kept thinking of the thousands of people who had already done this. I kept looking at my fellow trainees and seeing of our essential sameness. My mind would be somewhat reassured, but my body grew tenser still.

Midday they showed us a brief news clip of Tolly walking across an amazingly hot-looking bed of coals, and my stomach lurched in protest. I felt as if I had just witnessed an accident victim sprawled bloody across the pavement. I continued to fast and I talked even less. In a notebook I wrote, “I feel like I’m in an airplane, about to parachute into enemy territory.”

At this point, I felt twisted by a combination of fears. I worried that I would severely injure myself. Even worse, I might chicken out, a horrendous thought given the time, expense, and self-esteem I had committed to becoming an instructor. Or, worst of all, I might walk on fire, fail painfully, and limp home a crippled and embarrassed wreck. As evening approached, I found my mind less able to issue up reassurance, and more focused on my fears. My body grew tenser still.

Finally, the workshop began. Fifty or so people gathered, mostly looking as if they had just been told they had four hours to live. Tolly had an intense, yet entertaining style. Working the crowd, he first terrified us with what could go wrong, and then exploded the tension with his wonderful sense of humor. After an hour or so, we went outside and together constructed a large pile of wood, kindling, and newspaper. Then we circled about it, holding hands, while Tolly doused it with a gallon of kerosene and set it aflame. In moments, the fire blasted us with such heat that everyone took two steps away from the scattering sparks and billowing smoke. Definitely not a summer-camp fire, nor even a homecoming bonfire. We beheld an inferno, and if it was designed to frighten, it succeeded.

Back inside we went, and for the next two hours Tolly prepared us for walking. I remember agreeing with most all that he said, while at the same time feeling concerned that I did not really hear anything new. Clearly, I had hoped for some powerful technique or super meditation that would change me from “one who burns” into “one who doesn’t burn” but as time passed I felt distinctly unchanged and increasingly vulnerable. Things gradually took on a surreal air. It felt as if we were all doing drugs together or, again, as if we were all in a plane behind enemy lines, lost in our separate thoughts, contemplating doom, barely breathing.

Finally, the time came. We returned to the fire, which had calmed somewhat into a large pile of glowing embers and smoldering hunks of wood. We held hands, chanting softly as Tolly took a heavy metal rake and carefully spread the coals into a path some twelve-feet long and six-feet wide. With each pass of the rake, sparks flew off in every direction and what little breath we had left became filled with smoke. The heat was still so intense that people moved away from rather than toward the fire, its red-orange glow pulsing, menacing, yet oddly inviting. My mind finally emptied and quieted; I surrendered to the singing and felt transfixed by the fire. My body trembled out of control, as if it were somehow freezing on this warm spring evening. I could feel through their hands the similar shaking of those on either side of me.

Tolly laid down the rake, stepped up to the fiery path, and, with just the briefest pause, walked quickly across the coals. I registered that he took six steps and that he seemed okay, when suddenly another person walked across, and then another. I noticed my head shaking, side to side, as I watched feet sinking down into glowing, red, hot coals. People continued walking, one after another, and our singing steadily picked up, becoming more excited, more vibrant. My mind went blank, while my feet, acting on their own, carried me slowly toward the top of the path. My trembling increased and I sang even louder. Suddenly, I was at the top of the path. Moments later I moved—seven quick steps—I had walked on fire!

I felt overwhelmed with joy and found myself applauding each succeeding walker. The energy between us continued to rise, higher and higher, becoming more and more excited. It was all so beautifully stunning—the fire, the circle, the singing, the stars, the moon—and the wonderful feeling of grass beneath my happy feet. At last a strong shout of joy exploded through the group. Some people hugged, everyone laughed, and then slowly we all filtered back inside.

The funeral parlor had transformed into a circus. A tangible wave of relief rippled through a room filled with happy chatter and excited giggles. We took some time for sharing our experiences, and miracle stories abounded. I became aware of a spot on my left foot that felt a little hot, just slightly painful. Some other walkers seemed distressed also, including a fellow trainee who would turn out to have several bad blisters.

Later, as I called home to assure my wife and friends that I had survived it, feet intact, I began to feel a little let down. Obviously it had been a long, exhausting day. Somehow I had expected

more difficulty; it just seemed too easy. I mean, if anyone could do this, then. . . .

Dancing with the Fire – Chapter 3a


The intelligence capable of orchestrating the diversity of all the cells in the human body is equally capable of orchestrating the diversity of the human family.

Ken Carey

To view the universe anew is to change in feeling and being. Just as there is no mind without body, no spirit without matter, there is no cognition without affect, no observation without personal change, no unmoved mover.2

George Leonard

The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.

James Jeans

It does indeed seem possible that we alive today could witness the beginnings of the emergence of a high-synergy society, a healthy social superorganism. If so, we could be among the most privileged generations ever to have lived.

Peter Russell

Most people wonder “why?” Why stand barefoot before a path of glowing, red-hot embers and choose to step forward? Why  run the risk of serious pain and injury? Why dance and sing with strangers around a fire in the dark; why take part in an ancient and primitive rite of passage; why even ponder such a strange and unlikely activity?

The discovery of fire by human beings, and the relationship  we have developed with it as we have learned to harness  its power and turn it towards purposeful good, marks a major step in the evolution of our species. Fire as made it possible for most of the people of this planet to live in otherwise cold and forbidding climates. It has given to our diets a vast array of foods that, without cooking, we would find unpalatable and of dubious nutritive value. It has enabled us to work creatively with metals, opening an entire industry, from the forging of the simplest tools to the fabrication of the minutest microchips. It has provided the power source and driving force of the industrial and postindustrial ages, the life-blood of our automobiles and airplanes, our cities and factories, our most complex surgical operations, our rockets to the moon.

Even in warmer tropical climates where fire has not been necessary for heating, cooking, the development of tools, or the fuel of industry and transportation, people have known that their lives depended upon fire of the sun and have treated their earthbound fires as offshoots, or little brothers, of that greater fire. Though the choreography has differed from one time and place to another, all primitive cultures have developed and followed certain rituals involving fire. Human culture universally sees fire an essential element for life on this planet, worthy of love, reverence, and thanksgiving, perhaps even of adoration and idolatry, and most certainly of respect. Thus we tend to view the discovery of fire as one of the most important moments in the history of humanity.

Pondering the discovery of fire, I imagine a brave and curious human being coming upon a blaze in the forest or on the plain, quite attracted to the fire’s warmth, to its beauty, to its dancing, flowing quality so similar to water. Such a person would quite naturally reach out to touch this bright, new substance, and thus discover—ouch!—that fire is hot and fire burns.

The discovery of fire involved the simultaneous uncovering of this fundamental law, the simple and painfully obvious truth that fire burns.

Over time, early men and women learned to turn fire’s burning towards purposeful good. They learned to heat their homes, to cook their food, to melt and forge important tools and implements. They learned to control fire, to harness its burning energy and use it, though ever mindful of the painful lesson that, if careless, fire could all too easily burn out of control, changing from life-improver to life-destroyer. This has always been fire’s essential nature: it will burn, possibly for good, possibly for ill, but it will burn. Outside of the firewalking experience itself, the law has always been: fire burns.

Early in life, each of us gets indoctrinated into the nature of fire. We touch the hot stove, the burning candle, the lit cigarette, and we personally discover fire—Ouch!, hot!, this stuff burns! As we grow, we learn to use fire in a myriad of helpful ways, and, inevitably, we pick up our share of accidental burns. Throughout our lives, again, outside of the firewalking experience, we never encounter anything but confirmation upon confirmation of the basic, unalterable fact that fire burns.

Therein lies one answer to the question, Why walk on fire?

Each time a person successfully brings bare flesh into contact with the extreme heat of glowing embers, and does not burn, then he or she demonstrates that we can reverse, suspend, or at least modify this most concrete and unquestionable of natural laws. The fact that fire burns, juxtaposed with the fact of successful firewalking, suggests that human beings can play some role in the formation of physical reality and its governing laws. Furthermore, in opening to that possibility, we must wonder if other natural laws have the same flexibility, and if there exist other unsuspected human resources that we might learn to bring forth.

This explains the draw of the firewalk, its beauty, its lessons, its awesome power: that we as human beings can connect to and play a role in the creative processes of our world. People walk on fire as a way of graphically demonstrating their active participation in the creation of reality. Reality can be shifted, altered, changed, and created anew, and the human spirit can and does play a causative role in such change and re-creation.

This does not just mean that we create change through our deeds and actions, but that we contribute to the continuing creation of reality through the special medium of human consciousness. It means that our thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds matter; that our attitudes, our beliefs, our aspirations, and our dreams matter; that our essential human consciousness matters— makes material; that our inner worlds exert influence in the
manifestation of external reality. A person dancing through hot coals demonstrates: “How I think matters, how I feel matters, my beliefs and desires matter.” The firewalker realizes that the next few steps in her life will unfold according to her own unique way of being in the world. The fire will burn, or not, depending largely upon her own personal responses to her world, and her own personal state of consciousness.

Since the days of Galileo and Newton, we have grown to believe in a universe ordered, structured, and governed by natural laws, the workings of which we can observe, understand, and intelligently manipulate, but which ultimately exist previous to and apart from the human experience. Such a viewpoint draws a firm line between the objective world, which exists external to and independent of human consciousness, and the subjective world, which derives from a person’s thoughts and feelings. It argues that the formation of the objective in no way depends upon the subjective, and that a person’s internal states have no causative effect upon external reality. Indeed, our medical science has only with the greatest reluctance begun to give up its steadfast denial that a person’s thoughts and feelings can have a causative effect upon his or her own body. Most scientists still consider it quite irrational to say that a person’s thoughts and feelings can have any effect whatsoever upon the external world.

This way of looking at the world has enabled us to chart with precision the movement of planets, stars, and galaxies, to know exactly when the sun will rise and set each day, to understand the workings of levers and wheels and pumps and gears. It enables us to drop a steel ball from two miles up and predict to the millisecond when it will touch ground. It enables all of the miracles of modern transportation, communication, and computation.
It enables us to understand the atomic and subatomic structure of matter and to use that understanding to unleash extraordinary energies. All of this and so much more has grown from a worldview which insists upon a firm separation between the internal world of human beings and the external world in which they move, a worldview which makes a great deal of sense, a worldview proven again and again by the very gifts and wonders which it enables. To argue against this point of view—to say that human thoughts and feelings have a creative impact upon the formation of reality—would seem to open a door into chaos and confusion, and to refute the clockwork universe that science offers and so amply demonstrates.

The worldview that I propose does not deny any of the veracity or the validity of science. Rather, it says that science has done a good job of describing the world thus far and we still need to broaden our basic understandings. For instance, at the time of Isaac Newton all of the laws of quantum physics held every bit as true as today. Quantum physics does not deny Newtonian mechanics; it encompasses it and then goes beyond. The successful evolution of the Newtonian worldview eventually enabled the insights and applications of quantum mechanics. Likewise, the successful evolution of quantum mechanics now suggests a new science—one that will successfully blend the subjective and objective universes and that will describe the role human beings can play in the continuing creation of reality.

Physicists first sensed this shift to a new science when, contrary to all of their training, the dividing wall between the objective observer and the externally observed began to break down, along with many of the other basic assumptions of classical physics. Starting with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1905, the tidy clockwork world of Newton and Descartes, with its separately defined objects and its clear cause and effect relationships, slowly unraveled until Einstein himself declared: “It was as if the ground had been pulled out from under one, with no foundation to be seen anywhere, upon which one could have built.” Though many different discoveries and revelations would contribute to this shift toward a quantum worldview, probably none so thoroughly unsettled the scientific world more than the suggestion that total objectivity—the very backbone of scientific investigation and experimentation—was fundamentally impossible.

The quantum worldview so often runs in opposition to common sense that, however well quantum mechanics may accurately describe subatomic reality, it seems to hold little relevance to “normal” reality. For many of us, the natural laws of classical science obviously describe the whole picture in our day-to-day affairs. However, as a wealth of recent literature makes clear, there have always lived people, and at times entire cultures, for whom the quantum worldview has made perfect sense. Mystics and shamans, Taoist priests and Sufi dervishes, yoga masters and Indian healers—for such people the insights and revelations of quantum physics seem neither surprising nor alarming. Indeed, they have been describing the world in similar fashion for thousands of years. And while they may not have developed the technologies of Newtonian science, they have followed more ecologically grounded and environmentally sane ways. Nothing in the quantum worldview must ultimately run counter to common sense, though the senses common to twentyfirst-century Western humanity suffer from such a wide range of imbalances and aberrations that it will require a major leap in understanding to embrace this ancient-new reality.

In their Manual for Co-Creators of the Quantum Leap, futurists Barbara Marx Hubbard and Ken Carey outline some of the steps toward this new worldview. They assert, “Quantum transformations are traditional. Nature proceeds by long periods of incremental change marked by radical discontinuities, such as the leap from non-life to life, or single cells to animals, or animals to humans. Therefore we expect a quantum change to occur
from humans to the next stage. Hubbard and Carey feel that the key to this leap lies in the evolution of the human race to a level of consciousness through which it will actively participate in the continuing creation of reality. They speak of the “co-creative human”—one who has awareness of and alignment with the intention of creation; one who consciously cooperates with the designing intelligence; one who awakens to and makes manifest the next stage of evolution.

This presents a different “evolution” than the one that science has developed for the past hundred years. To the scientist, evolution occurs as a logical unfolding of circumstances set into motion billions of years ago. There happened, according to evolutionary theory, a “big bang” out of which all of the matter and energy of the universe came into being. From that moment forward, things have evolved, one thing leading naturally and linearly
to the next, various chemicals interacting with various other chemicals. Some water here, a few lightning flashes there, and stars evolved, planets evolved, our unique planet Earth evolved, our special earthen atmosphere evolved, non-life evolved into life, life evolved with Darwinian logic, apes into Homo sapiens, and so on. This scenario requires no actual creative intelligence, except perhaps at the time of the big bang. After that, He, She, or
It sat back and rested, apparently content to just watch the show. The death, or at least retirement, of God seems critical to this way of thinking, for the allowance of a continuing creative intelligence, an intelligence still actively participating in the creation of reality, might deny or confound the scientist’s desire to perceive and understand an orderly universe.

The evolutionary perspective that Hubbard and Carey describe assumes a continuing creative process—a divine presence, the will and hand of God—which has organized and directed the unfolding of our world and all worlds from the very beginning of space and time. There probably was a big bang (“And the Lord said, ‘Let there be light!’”), followed by the slow and gradual movement, or evolution, of the Divine into more and more complex forms with greater and greater capacities for self-consciousness. This evolutionary perspective assumes divine intention: to become a world as gloriously complex as Earth, and to become a race of creatures capable of consciously knowing—of knowing that they know—that they embody the Divine, with the destiny to become active participants in the continuing creation of reality.
“Our awareness that God or the designing intelligence of the universe is expressing as us is the ‘open sesame’ of the next stage of evolution. We must not shy away from this profound leap simply because our past experience seems to counsel against it. True, the mass of humanity has thus far demonstrated neither the power, nor morality, nor even the inclination of gods embodied. Evolution means change; we can change. Let’s not be caterpillars arguing against the possibility of flight.

We know that a child, while unable to perform or even imagine the procreative acts of an adult, certainly carries those acts in potential. Given time and proper nourishment, the child will grow, and one day, magically, astonishingly, the child will change. It will have reached its new stage of growth, and a whole new set of rules and possibilities will apply.

Humanity has been such a growing child and now, with all of the fear and excitement of emerging sexuality to a budding adolescent, the world changes within us and around us and calls us to actively play in the greatest sex of all, the creation of reality. As George Leonard writes, “But this new species will evolve…. What was once impalpable now summons us to dismantle the walls between ourselves and our sisters and brothers, to dissolve the distinctions between flesh and spirit, to transcend the present limits of time and matter, to find, at last, not wealth or power but the ecstasy (so long forgotten) of commonplace, unconditional being. For the atom’s soul is nothing but energy. Spirit blazes in the dullest clay. The life of every woman or man—the heart of it—is pure and holy joy.

There have always been those individuals, rare for the most part, who have understood this evolving life of “pure and holy joy” and have been able to practically demonstrate their active participation in the continuing creation of reality. Humanity has recognized these individuals, proclaiming them as Christ and Buddha, or as masters and saints. Hubbard has referred to such people as “evolutionary mutants,” those who demonstrate the next stage of human evolution through such practices as healing, telepathy, manifestation, prophesy, etc. They have lived their lives as beacons, as fingers pointing toward the future, often echoing the words of Jesus: All that I do, you shall do, and more. They have left a wealth of guidance for the evolving human, maps for the evolutionary journey, teachings which may have eluded us in the past (like teaching sex education to a three-year old) but which begin to make sense during this age of transformation.

I like to think of the firewalk as yet another old evolutionary mutant. The practice of firewalking has existed for thousands of years in dozens of different cultures as a powerful teaching for the evolving human. It has served as a graphic demonstration of what people can do, and as a clear and usually unforgettable model of humans interacting with their world in a more evolved manner. Many have found that the simple act of viewing a firewalk, or even a video of a firewalk, has greatly expanded their vision of human potential. The firewalk has further served as a practical course of instruction for those who would consciously pursue and support their unfolding growth. Each journey across the fire offers an immediate lesson in the essential connection of mind, body, and environment. We mostly perceive a firm and solid wall separating our ordinary, pre-evolutionary world from the extraordinary world of evolving humanity. The life of each evolutionary mutant has served to soften this wall, causing breakthroughs, opening windows, and making cracks that the rest of us might peek through, catching glimpses and fleeting visions of our future possibilities.
The firewalk has been a dancing through these cracks, an actual experience of stepping over the border between the two worlds and, if only for brief seconds, breathing in the special vibratory quality of a long promised land.

I believe that the firewalk has arrived here, in the heart of scientific culture, and now, at the onset of a monumental evolutionary leap, because it can ultimately serve as a bridge between the two worlds, greatly reducing the stress and danger of the leap. Firewalkers agree with the findings and conclusions of the Newtonian worldview: that we live in an orderly universe, and that natural laws govern the ways of our world. In addition, firewalkers suggest that a creative process intends the orderliness and informs the laws of nature—a continuing creative process underlies and ultimately causes all of manifest reality. We, as conscious human beings, play a vital role in that process. God is alive and well, humans have just begun to fully realize this, and walking on fire serves as a preview of coming attractions. A major message of the firewalk and theme of this book is that a continuing creative process—which I will refer to as the “co-creative process”—determines the way the world manifests, the very fabric of reality and the laws that govern it. Each of us, to the extent that we consciously embrace our potential, has an integral place in that process. This means that reality arises as more than just the mechanical and linear unfolding of prior natural laws. The combined input of all of the conscious life on this planet continuously creates the world anew.

The difference between the person who walks across a bed of coals without the slightest sensation of heat or pain, and the person who takes one step and experiences searing heat and serious pain, has little to do with the texture of the skin, the speed of the walking, the heat of the coals, the amount of moisture on the feet, or any other external consideration. Though such considerations contribute to the final outcome, ultimate success and failure during a firewalk stems from the individual walker’s internal process, or present-time state of consciousness—the sum total of his or her thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations. Walking on fire shows that our internal world continuously influences our external world, that our thoughts and feelings have creative power, that we play a key role in the co-creation of reality, and that we share in responsibility for the unfolding, evolutionary process of life on Earth.

Of course, we do not have to walk on fire in order to experience our role in the co-creative process. We must, however, consciously step into that possibility—the possibility that each of us shares in the creation of this world. Such a step may well feel frightening, as we venture into an unknown realm with immense responsibilities. Still, if we want to move forward in life, we must take the step. It can so easily lead to dancing.

Dancing with the Fire


My second firewalk came two nights later at the same location.

I collected the release forms that night as people entered the room, and felt myself tense slightly as a pretty young woman named Kathy3 arrived, moving slowly on a pair of crutches. I would only find out later that Kathy was a social worker for handicapped rights, that she worked in her spare time on a suicide hot-line, and that she had a bumper sticker shouting “Expect A Miracle,” but I could tell the moment I saw her that she was a determined and self-sufficient woman who was working hard to overcome the limitations in her life.

As I watched her throughout the evening, it became apparent to me that Kathy had come to firewalking. So I worried when, just before going out to the fire, her husband asked if people with cerebral palsy should firewalk and Tolly recommended against it. I sensed that Kathy did not take kindly to, nor listen to, people telling her what she could not do.

For myself, this second firewalk was much the same as the first, though slightly colored with the memory of pain. I felt the same tension throughout my body and the body of the group. The fire seemed just as hot, and the path Tolly raked out looked a tad longer. My mind was every bit as incredulous when the firewalking began, and I experienced the same sense of shifting to a magical, otherworldly reality. I did manage, however, to walk before most everyone else, and thus felt double elation as I reached the other side, unburned. At some point Kathy started moving toward the fire, walking on her crutches really, her legs and feet stiffly dragging behind.

The electrical tension in the circle increased tenfold. Ever so slowly she moved, shuffling into and through the fire, so slowly that at times she seemed stationary, up to her ankles in glowing embers. Each step was a major victory, first carrying her into the heart of the fire, and then slowly carrying her out toward safety. Just at the end of the path she stopped, suddenly, and in the next moment she started screaming. We carried her  immediately from the fire and into the house, and later to a hospital, both feet severely burned, the skin already blistering and peeling. Somehow the firewalk continued, as one crazy person stepped forward in the midst of the terror and started the flow of walkers again. The mood afterwards was subdued, however, as we had little energy for celebration given what we had witnessed. I remember feeling torn. On the one hand, I felt finished with firewalking, and wanted never to take part in such a tragedy again. At the same time, I kept trying to believe that things do happen for good reason and that Kathy’s experience might become an important contribution to my understanding of firewalking.

Kathy would later say that she had been doing fine, feeling neither pain nor the slightest heat, all of the way to that final step. Then she looked down, and the image of her feet buried in burning embers overwhelmed her, causing her to think she was doing the impossible and to hear her lifelong admonishments: “You can’t. You’re unable to. You mustn’t.” At this point she began to burn. She asked that we not feel sorry for her or responsible for her actions, and she demonstrated her personal power by healing in a fraction of the time that her doctors had predicted. She felt truly grateful for the whole experience and stressed that she had in fact walked on fire successfully for all but one step.

12 • Dancing With the Fire

A newspaper reporter present that night had timed the walkers with a stopwatch. He said the average walker took between a second and a half to two seconds to get across the coals and that Kathy had been on them for a full seven seconds before she screamed. So she had indeed firewalked the equivalent of some fifty feet (at that time, a Guinness world record) without burning, and without even lifting her feet out of the fire. Through her extraordinary courage, Kathy had demonstrated what I would come to see as the two primary lessons of firewalking : yes, we can walk through extreme heat without burning; and yes, the fire is hot, we can get burned, and whether we burn or not depends more on our state of mind than on how we firewalk.

I would experience many other “firsts” during the remainder of my training. One night I had my first “cold” walk: I walked through the coals and not only did I not feel any heat, I actually felt cold—an incredible sensation—as if I were walking through snow. The next night I had my first real burn, a screeching pain that sent me to bed with my foot wrapped in a cold, wet towel, seriously debating the value of continued firewalking. I also parachuted out of my first airplane, sat through my first sweat lodge (another ancient ritual), and rappelled down my first rock face, as Tolly and Peggy found different ways to lead us through the lessons of the firewalk. Most importantly to me, one night I chose to walk first—to offer the final words to the group, to prepare the coals, and then to initiate and model the experience by going first. That night went so well I felt confident that I could create firewalks on my own. I felt ready, and excited, to go home and get started.


It began raining early in the morning of Memorial Day that year, and the rain kept up through most of the day. My wife Penny and I were living with two friends in a suburban neighborhood in Concord, just west of Boston. We planned to have the firewalk on our front lawn. We called the local fire department and told them we were having a holiday cookout with an Hawaiian luau-style wood fire. I began to see the rain as a plus, as it would keep our neighbors indoors. I went to the supermarket and bought a case of charcoal lighter, if necessary to keep the fire going.

For the rest of the day we all just sat around the house, shut in by the rain, and quietly freaked out. Someone would stare into a book for ten minutes without registering a word. Or someone would put water on to boil and then stand empty-headed before the tea cabinet trying to remember why. We paced a lot, moving from one room to another with no discernable purpose. We managed some courageous gallows humor, which sometimes worked a giggling release and other times only served to deepen the gloom.

Our good friend Jonathon just happened to show up that afternoon, in town for the holiday. Jonathon is an engineer and the most logical, rational, linear, left-brain I have ever known. When I told him our plans for the evening, he at first became excited, for he only heard the part about my demonstrating the walk. As I slowly made it clear to him that everyone might walk on fire, his eyes bugged out and he started looking for the exit. I asked if he would like to serve as firetender, staying outside and keeping the fire going for us while we were inside preparing to walk. He gladly said yes, happy that he could take part and witness the walk without feeling compelled to do something so utterly outrageous. Evening finally arrived, as did my friends. Once again I found myself sitting in a roomful of people waiting to have root canals without anesthesia. However, this time there was no one present (myself included) who really knew that it would all work out. Fear feeds on fear. If you look to your old friend for reassurance and instead see fear in his eyes, you will tend to feel frightened, which he will spot in your eyes, further frightening him, which further frightens you, which further frightens him . . . and so it went.

14 • Dancing With the Fire

By this time I had come to understand two basic facts about people that almost always hold true at the start of a firewalk. First, we feel disinclined to intentionally move in the direction of pain, unless we have clear social approval, as, for instance, in the case of athletes or dancers. While we might understand and even applaud the marathon runner’s contorted features and occasional shin splints, we consider it quite stupid to intentionally step on a fire and then suffer injury. Second, we have a deep, cellular, instinctive  relationship to fire and its burning nature: virtually every life-form on this planet knows better than to move in the direction of fire, so again, anyone foolish enough to even consider such a practice probably deserves any resulting pain.

Yet my friends and I had our reasons, strong enough to carry us forward in the presence of our doubts and fears, for there we were. Despite a clumsy and halting presentation on my part, the evening progressed and our moment with the fire approached. I told them to take a little break while I went outside to see how the fire had managed in the rain. I found Jonathon keeping his lonely vigil, umbrella overhead, and I took a rake and poked clinically through the fire, attempting to determine whether we had enough coals to do the walk. I felt suddenly blasted with the heat (the fire had done quite well in the rain), with the fire’s electric, glowing, orange burst of energy, and my stomach seized up with the undeniable danger of our enterprise. I took a deep breath, put on a happy face, and went slowly back inside, attempting to emanate all-knowing reassurance. My friends later said that I was white with terror.

We proceeded out to the fire. The rain had lightened to a soft and cooling presence, and a wonderful blessing and balance for our undertaking. We formed a circle, holding hands, except for Jonathon, who stood dry and sensible beneath his umbrella. The singing began. I took the rake and began spreading the coals: all this earth is sacred, every step we take, all this life is sacred, every step we take. As the fiery carpet first spread out before them, I heard a tangible group gasp. Nothing I had said could have prepared them for the intensity of the heat, for the explosion of sparks and smoke, for the solid red-orange sheet of pulsing embers. Minds boggled, bodies trembled, and our singing grew louder, viscerally driven.

I stood before the hot coals, thinking: “Either it works, or it doesn’t, here goes….” I firewalked across, no problem! I was then stunned to see one friend following immediately after, and then another, and another. Whereas the walks during my training had all progressed slowly, half of our group had walked in the first thirty seconds. Whether they had an extreme desire to walk on fire, or an extreme desire to be finished with walking on fire, they were all smiling, and in the space of a minute we had shifted from unthinking terror to exhilarating joy.

I looked over to Penny, who had not yet walked and who was visibly shaking. I had had a dream just before returning home in which Penny had stepped forward and burst into flames. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen. For her part, she had always steadfastly maintained that firewalking was not her sort of thing at all, and that if her husband hadn’t had the temerity to land one in her own front yard she might have forever remained among the blissfully uninitiated. But there it was, and walk she did, smiling brightly all the way into my waiting arms.

We had by then reached the magical shift that most firewalks achieve: the fire had become friendly and inviting, the singing inspired, and the group intensely bonded, with a strong sense that anything was possible. As if to affirm it all and top it with a final encore, Jonathon stepped up to the fire, umbrella still raised overhead, and strolled across the coals with wonderful aplomb, the perfect ending to an unforgettable dance. We were well on our way to an adventure that, years later, continues to provide a wealth of such moments.

What Price Firewalking, Measuring Aka, etc?



Max Freedom Long

Charles W. Kenn, HRA and F. H. F., our good friend who is rapidly becoming the recognized authority on the Hawaii of yesterday, and who gave us the book reporting on the Honolulu firewalking (eg. walking on hot coals) tests some months ago, questions the experimental work of the summer. He writes, as of October 3rd, from Honolulu:

      “Your last Bulletin was interesting. But I still believe that it is not important that we find some logical reason to explain why things happen as they do in Huna. The very fact that they do happen is all that is necessary to know. The Polynesians tell the story of Maui, the culture hero, who succeeded in accomplishing six deeds for the benefit of man, but with the seventh, in trying to find the secret of indefinite earthly life, he perished.  This gives us a deep insight into the ways of thinking of these peoples, as well as the suggestion that they, too, realized that it is folly to inquire into the why of spiritual things, The Huna concept of immortality lies in the idea of ancestor worship, ho`omana kupuna, that a descendant is only a continuation of ancestors, a germ of that spark within him was taken from all ancestors down the line, and the ceremony ofoki piko cutting the umbilical cord of the first born starting a new clan, lahui, is for the purpose of perpetuating that new line indefinitely through descendants in a straight line. … The idea of measuring this or that aka body seems rather far-fetched from where I sit. I presume. that every man has his own ideas about certain things which appear to govern his actions more than what really is or is not basic Huna philosophy. Remember the story of the boy who took his father’s watch apart to see what made it tick, but found that the ticking had stopped and that he could not get the watch together again? Maui, in search of the secret of immortality (his seventh deed), entered the open mouth of the sleeping monster (mo`o) and went on into its insides to examine its heart.. On his way out, having learned the secret, the mo`o awakened and closed its jaws, crushing Maui to death.”

      THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN…HRA Kenn is on firm ground when he objects that the measuring of aka bodies of men and thoughts are not a part of basic Huna (Ho`omana). In self-defense I must make my position clear. Years ago, when I was trying to learn what the na kahuna of many kinds and classes knew or had known, believed or had believed, and did or had done, I found myself up to the ears in the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle mighty few of whose parts matched.

While I learned after a fashion what rites were observed and what things were attempted and what were accomplished, I was not at all satisfied. I wanted to know WHY. I still want to know WHY. I am made that way. And, by the same token, I affirm that UNTIL one knows the hows and whys of any action of body or mind or energy, one is working more or less in the dark. That was where I came in. I'm irresistibly urged to go on down and have a look at the heart to see what makes it tick, to get at the Secret. When and if I come up with that Secret, and it the jaws close on me, I will at least have followed the paths dictated by my particular cast of mind. I am not content at all to know the exact ritual and precise facts of the rite of cutting the umbilical cord of the first born. I want to know how those ancestors of ours got to be na Aumakua and WHY they should be worshiped. At this point in my long search after thirty years I still have not learned exactly how I should construct a thought form cluster to make my prayer, or exactly how to generate and use the mana which I am convinced that the na kahuna used. If an instrument, be it a pendulum, a Biometer or HRA Cameron’s invention, will measure the size and shape of a thought form cluster I make, and. tell me how long it endures or where it goes or how to make it radiate more strongly — even if that isn’t basic Huna — I'm all for it. After all these years of sniffing around in the facts, beliefs and all pervading superstitions, of other men — most of whom have been dead for a very long time — I now want a few simple things which will WORK.

I know that this seems very much like the seventh deed of Maui, and I admit that some of the matters touched upon in our HRA studies are indeed far-fetched in their relation to what we accept as “basic Huna” the Huna of almost no ”whys” at all.


      This quotation from Mark 9:24 describes the state of mental confusion of most of us.

We accept some set of rites and beliefs, affirm our complete faith in their verity and in the fact that if we believe completely, we can get our prayers answered. But, even as the hopeful but fearful father in the New Testament story, we affirm and beg for help to confirm our belief — all in the same breath.

      CHILDHOOD FAITH AND DOCTRINES has been derived for most of us from early BELIEF IN Church training, teaching, contacts and personal observation and experience. As children we have been encouraged to believe, and to pray. Most of us learned very early in life that our prayers were seldom answered. We may have felt a great sadness because of this or because we observed the prayers of our elders go unanswered. In any event, our forming minds received deep impressions of doubt which lasted down the years,

What renews and strengthens? Evidence? Is “seeing believing?” Yes, our greatly weakened belief to both, provided there has not been an emotional reaction in childhood or later, to the lack of answers to our most earnest prayers — a response amounting to an emotional storm which left in its wake a series of fixed hurts and doubts, to say nothing of almost inevitable resentments. To get rid of these fixations or to hurdle them, requires far more than a single convincing piece of evidence showing that God is in His heaven and that He or His angels hear and answer prayer.

Where a at strong set of fixations exist, no amount of pounding with evidence will cause the slightest change. Ancient Huna and modern Psychology teach us this. Then how to “…help thou my unbelief?” Will some Savior do it for us? Improbable at this late date. The only way we know to get rid of fixations is (1) to find them,. and (2) to rationalize their cause and thus drain them off.

      For a number of years I have advocated this approach. I still advocate it. I am still busy using it myself. I have gone back to my early days to search for the origin of my personal fixed doubts. When I find such a source, it always is accompanied by the damning rationalization and complete and irrefutable proof that I first prayed, and that, as a result, secondly, I got no resultant answer. The instant I touch such a sore spot — unhealed for all the years — I am slapped in the face and across the heart by that old logic which is the blind behind which the emotional content of the fixation lurks. That Is why, some years ago, I saw that, at least in the majority of cases, it was necessary to make a fresh start, to find the best possible set of beliefs, to accept them logically and emotionally, and to begin the slow work of rebuilding the crushed belief in a Higher Power, and faith in the possibility of an answer to prayer.

Armor against fresh frustration and the danger of awakening and strengthening the old fixed doubts, lies, at least for me, in having in hand and ready for use at all time, a LOGICAL EXCUSE OR REASON by which to explain to myself WHY I made a prayer action and WHY I got no results. Huna has been a godsend to me. It tells me (1) what I have to do, and do correctly, to make a successful prayer-action. It tells me the conditions that will or will not permit the proper action on my part the limitations under which I must be willing to work. I must not hurt another. I must not have a guilt sense to prevent the low self from making the contact with the Aumakua and sending the mana, the carefully readied thought-structure of the condition desired, etc. (2) I must keep doubts from entering in as I make my picture of the desired conditions lest the structure contain the things I desire to avoid, I must water my prayer-plant in the Aumakua garden each day with the water of mana. I must not change my picture — pull up my plant to see if it is taking root. I must hold the faith unfalteringly, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and, if the game is worth the candle, year by year. (3) I must make certain that I do not mention my prayer-action and the follow-up to someone who will curse the entire project with a sneer of scorn or word of doubt. This is to be avoided at all costs. Mental attitudes rub off of one of us on to another like soot and black contagion. The slightest whisper of doubt will hit us with trip hammer force as powerful suggestion because old doubt fixations are so easy to revive. The need to “go into your closet to pray” is a very great need indeed. Nothing Is so fragile as the thought picture of the prayer, so easily shattered -or so brilliant with the light of Faith and that Love whose overshadowing we must come to know as Real beyond reality.

To the simple mind of an islander — a kahuna of yesterday – there was I grant you less need for the elaborate rationalization and complete understanding which are an utter necessity for me. He had not been treated to such large doses of a religion which bad retained outer form but had lost its workable knowledge of both low and high magic. Perhaps, as a child, he had seen the prayer-actions made, the rituals gone through, careful step by careful step, and had seen the gods respond and the fire-walk made possible. Contrast such a proof ,such a powerful physical stimulus, with the vague or even contradictory answers to prayer in Christian circles . Even a simple belief must be based on something, but a belief complexed by fixations resulting from repeated failures in demonstration cannot be rebuilt except on new and massive foundations of proof and repeated proof. I would that each of us could perform the rites and be given the proofs of fire-immunity before every major effort of prayer.

      Lacking an ever-ready firewalk for proof, to help my unbelief, I grasp at all straws. My need is immediate, not a matter of tomorrow or something to talk to death or fritter away in speculation, I sit twice, or more often at times, each day in the TMHG ritual, and I have the burden on my heart and the uplift under my spirit, of the needs of those who work with me.

Some of my friends are ill, a few are blind, many are in trouble of one kind or another. Anything that will bolster up my faith and help my unbelief is priceless. If Verne Cameron can let me make a thought picture of a vase on a shelf, then find it with his gadget and measure its size and outline its shape tell me how long it remains there as a real structure, that helps me to know that Huna is right. —my accepted belief — and that I can and do make forms by thinking, actual and substantial forms, even if of matter too fine to be seen by the eyes or felt by the hands.

The same can be said of every bit of corroborative proof that there are thought-form-structures, that things do radiate a form of energy, that invisible cords do connect people, things and man with his Aumakua…Heaven knows that I have one answer to prayer after another; and that hardly a day. passes without the arrival of letters telling that my friends are getting definite answerers to their prayers and to their TMHG prayers in which we work together as a congregation through telepathic aka thread contact. These proofs would be far more than sufficient for a simple and unhampered mind which remained a stranger to the doubt fixations I have known, but for me, such proofs need to be renewed as the offices on the altar, daily, yes, almost hourly.

No, not basic Huna — but for me, basic necessity.

The First Huna Firewalking

by William Tufts Brigham
as Transcribed by
Max Freedom Long
and originally published in
Recovering the Ancient Magic


     Dr. Brigham, in his earlier days, made frequent trips to the “Big Island,” or Hawaii. There were many kahunas working there at that time. In the course of his investigations he made friends of a number of them. He posed as a haole, or white, kahuna, and discussed beliefs and methods with the brown magicians on intimate terms—trying always to get from them the secret of secrets which they guarded so carefully.

      Among his kahuna friends were three Hawaiians who knew the fire-magic. They used it mainly to prevent lava flows from damaging the property of clients. One of them had been called in by Princess Ruth at the time the town of Hilo was being approached by a slow-moving lava flow. Everything had been done to stop the encroaching mass of lava, which was kept hot by the burning of self-generated gases in its substance. In a doughlike mass, and with a wide front, it continued day after day to tumble slowly forward, rolling and grinding, toward Hilo. Stone walls were built in front of it and promptly torn aside and absorbed.

      A large number of men spent days throwing earth and rock into the flow to thicken and stop it. Even water was ditched to a place in front of it. Nothing availed. Closer and closer it crept, destroying everything as it went. The Princess came from Honolulu by ship. She met the fire-kahuna at Hilo and went to the face of the flow. There she cut off locks of her hair at his direction and, while he recited the proper invocations, threw the locks into the slow-tumbling mass.

      It is recorded in history that the flow went but two rods farther before stopping. The town was saved. This old kahuna and two others had agreed with Dr. Brigham that they would demonstrate their fire-walking art when opportunity offered. They also had promised to let him do some fire-walking under their protection.

      At a time when the volcanic mountain Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii, was active, Dr. Brigham happened to be close at hand. I will present the story as I reproduced it from my notes a few days after he gave it to me. As he tells the story, see him: a huge old man in the eighties, hale and hearty, although recently having suffered the loss of a leg; mentally alert, enthusiastic, eager, humorous, and withal very earnest. It is night and he is seated in a great easy-chair beside a ponderous oak table which stands in the center of a long low room.

      “When the flow started,” related Dr. Brigham, “I was in South Kona, at Napoopoo. I waited a few days to see whether it promised to be a long one. When it continued steadily, I sent a message to my three kahuna friends, asking them to meet me at Napoopoo so we could go to the flow and try the fire-walking.

      “It was a week before they arrived, as they had to come around from Kau by canoe. And even when they came, we couldn’t start at once. To them it was our reunion that counted and not so simple a matter as a bit of fire-walking. Nothing would do but that we get a pig and have a luau (native feast).

      “It was a great luau. Half of Kona invited itself. When it was over I had to wait another day until one of the kahunas sobered up enough to travel.

      “It was night when we finally got off after having to wait an entire afternoon to get rid of those who had heard what was up and wished to go along. I’d have taken them all had it not been that I was not too sure I would walk the hot lava when the time came. I had seen these three kahunas run barefooted over little overflows of lava at Kilauea, and the memory of the heat wasn’t any too encouraging.

      “The going was hard that night as we climbed the gentle slope and worked our way across old lava flows towards the upper rain forests. The kahunas had on sandals, but the sharp cindery particles on some of the old flows got next their feet. We were always having to wait while one or the other sat down and removed the adhesive cinders.

      “When we got up among the trees and ferns it was dark as pitch. We fell over roots and into holes. We gave it up after a time and bedded down in an old lava tube for the rest of the night. In the morning we ate some of our poi and dried fish, then set out to find more water. This took us some time as there are no springs or streams in those parts and we had to watch for puddles of rain water gathered in hollow places in the rocks.

      “Until noon we climbed upward under a smoky sky and with the smell of sulfur fumes growing stronger and stronger. Then came more poi and fish. At about three o’clock we arrived at the source of the flow.

      “It was a grand sight. The side of the mountain had broken open just above the timber line and the lava was spouting out of several vents—shooting with a roar as high as two hundred feet, and falling to make a great bubbling pool.

      “The pool drained off at the lower end into the flow. An hour before sunset we started following it down in search of a place where we could try our experiment.

      “As usual, the flow had followed the ridges instead of the valleys and had built itself up enclosing walls of clinker. These walls were up to a thousand yards in width and the hot lava ran between them in a channel it had cut to bed rock.

      “We climbed up these walls several times and crossed them to have a look at the flow. The clinkery surface was cool enough by then for us to walk on it, but here and there we could look down into cracks and see the red glow below. Now and again we had to dodge places where colorless flames were spouting up like gas jets in the red light filtering through the smoke.

      “Coming down to the rain forest without finding a place where the flow blocked up and overflowed periodically, we bedded down again for the night. In the morning we went on, and in a few hours found what we wanted. The flow crossed a more level strip perhaps a half-mile wide. Here the enclosing walls ran in flat terraces, with sharp drops from one level to the next. Now and again a floating boulder or mass of clinker would plug the flow just where a drop commenced, and then the lava would back up and spread out into a large pool. Soon the plug would be forced out and the lava would drain away, leaving behind a fine flat surface to walk on when sufficiently hardened.

      “Stopping beside the largest of three overflows, we watched it fill and empty. The heat was intense, of course, even up on the clinkery wall. Down below us the lava was red and flowing like water, the only difference being that water couldn’t get that hot and that the lava never made a sound even when going twenty miles an hour down a sharp grade. That silence always interests me when I see a flow. Where water has to run over rocky bottoms and rough projections, lava burns off everything and makes itself a channel as smooth as the inside of a crock.

      “As we wanted to get back down to the coast that day, the kahunas wasted no time. They had brought ti leaves with them and were all ready for action as soon as the lava would bear our weight. (The leaves of the ti plant are universally used by fire-walkers where available in Polynesia. They are a foot or two long and fairly narrow, with cutting edges like saw-grass. They grow in a tuft on the top of a stalk resembling in shape and size a broomstick.)

      “When the rocks we threw on the lava surface showed that it had hardened enough to bear our weight, the kahunas arose and clambered down the side of the wall. It was far worse than a bake oven when we got to the bottom. The lava was blackening on the surface, but all across it ran heat discolorations that came and went as they do on cooling iron before a blacksmith plunges it into his tub for tempering. I heartily wished that I had not been so curious. The very thought of running over that flat inferno to the other side made me tremble—and remember that I had seen all three of the kahunas scamper over hot lava at Kilauea.

      “The kahunas took off their sandals and tied ti leaves around their feet, about three leaves to the foot. I sat down and began tying my ti leaves on outside my big hob-nailed boots. I wasn’t taking any chances. But that wouldn’t do at all—I must take off my boots and my two pairs of socks. The goddess Pele hadn’t agreed to keep boots from burning and it might be an insult to her if I wore them.

      “I argued hotly—and I say ‘hotly’ because we were all but roasted. I knew that Pele wasn’t the one who made fire-magic possible, and I did my best to find out what or who was. As usual they grinned and said that of course the ‘white’ kahuna knew the trick of getting mana (power of some kind known to kahunas) out of air and water to use in kahuna work, and that we were wasting time talking about the thing no kahuna ever put into words—the secret handed down only from father to son.

      “The upshot of the matter was that I sat tight and refused to take off my boots. In the back of my mind I figured that if the Hawaiians could walk over hot lava with bare callused feet, I could do it with my heavy leather soles to protect me. Remember that this happened at a time when I still had an idea that there was some physical explanation for the thing.

      “The kahunas got to considering my boots a great joke. If I wanted to offer them as a sacrifice to the gods, it might be a good idea. They grinned at each other and left me to tie on my leaves while they began their chants.

      “The chants were in an archaic Hawaiian which I could not follow. It was the usual ‘god-talk’ handed down word for word for countless generations. All I could make of it was that it consisted of simple little mentions of legendary history and was peppered with praise of some god or gods.

      “I almost roasted alive before the kahunas had finished their chanting, although it could not have taken more than a few minutes. Suddenly the time was at hand. One of the kahunas beat at the shimmering surface of the lava with a bunch of ti leaves and then offered me the honor of crossing first. Instantly I remembered my manners; I was all for age before beauty.

      “The matter was settled at once by deciding that the oldest kahuna should go first, I second and the others side by side. Without a moment of hesitation the oldest man trotted out on that terrifically hot surface. I was watching him with my mouth open and he was nearly across—a distance of about a hundred and fifty feet—when someone gave me a shove that resulted in my having my choice of falling on my face on the lava or catching a running stride.

      “I still do not know what madness seized me, but I ran. The heat was unbelievable. I held my breath and my mind seemed to stop functioning. I was young then and could do my hundred-yard dash with the best. Did I run! I flew! I would have broken all records, but with my first few steps the soles of my boots began to burn. They curled and shrank, clamping down on my feet like a vice. The seams gave way and I found myself with one sole gone and the other flapping behind me from the leather strap at the heel.

      “That flapping sole was almost the death of me. It tripped me repeatedly and slowed me down. Finally, after what seemed minutes, but could not have been more than a few seconds, I leaped off to safety.

      “I looked down at my feet and found my socks burning at the edges of the curled leather uppers of my boots. I beat out the smoldering fire in the cotton fabric and looked up to find my three kahunas rocking with laughter as they pointed to the heel and sole of my left boot which lay smoking and burned to a crisp on the lava.

      “I laughed too. I was never so relieved in my life as I was to find that I was safe and that there was not a blister on my feet—not even where I had beaten out the fire in the socks.

      “There is little more that I can tell of this experience. I had a sensation of intense heat on my face and body, but almost no sensation in my feet. When I touched them with my hands they were hot on the bottoms, but they did not feel so except to my hands. None of the kahunas had a blister, although the ti leaves had burned off their soles.

      “My return trip to the coast was a nightmare. Trying to make it in improvised sandals whittled from green wood has left with me an impression almost more vivid than my fire walking.”


      There you have Dr. Brigham’s story. You will now doubtless be interested to know how a scientist tried to figure out the reason for his being able to do what he had done.

      “It’s magic,” he assured me. “It’s a part of the bulk of magic done by the kahunas and by other primitive peoples. It took me years to come to that understanding, but it is my final decision after long study and observation.”

      “But,” I objected, “didn’t you try to explain it some other way?”

      The doctor smiled at me. “Certainly I did. It has been no easy task for me to come to believe magic possible. And even after I was dead-sure it was magic, I still had a deep-seated doubt concerning my own conclusions. Even after doing the fire-walking I came back to the theory that lava might form a porous and insulating surface as it cooled. Twice I tested that theory at Kilauea when there were little overflows. I waited in one case until a small overflow had cooled quite black, then touched it with the tips of my fingers. But although the lava was much cooler than that I ran across, I burned my fingers badly—and I’d only just dabbed at the hot surface.”

      “And the other time? “I asked.

      He shook his head and smiled guiltily. “I should have known better after that first set of blisters, but the old ideas were hard to down. I knew I had walked over hot lava, but still I couldn’t always believe it possible that I could have done so. The second time I got excited about my insulating surface theory, I took up some hot lava on a stick as one would take up taffy. And I had to burn a finger again before I was satisfied. No, there is no mistake. The kahunas use magic in their firewalking as well as in many other things. There is one set of natural laws for the physical world and another for the other world. And—try to believe this if you can: The laws of the other side are so much the stronger that they can be used to neutralize and reverse the laws of the physical.”

      In this case we have an instance in which the magical control of heat was of such a nature that it did not protect the leather in Dr. Brigham’s heavy boots, but did protect his feet.

      This feature of the case is interesting when we remember that the soles of the author MacQuarrie’s shoes were undamaged in his firewalking. All in all, it would appear that fire magic works in strange ways which are little related to the “laws” of Science.

      I affirm that I have proved that the case for Magic is properly grounded on such facts as anyone so desiring may investigate.

      Instead of investigating Magic, Science has chosen to scoff at it, and either try to explain it away or deny its existence. I further affirm that the child of Science—the Scientific Attitude-is guilty of a grave offense against the layman.

      This offense is grave in that it is utterly unjustified and in that it has fostered a misconception so deep-seated that it is now all but impossible for the average layman to bring his conscious mind to bear on Magic because of the prejudicing complex in his subconscious mind.

      Max Freedom Long

Te Umu-Ti, A Raiatean Ceremony of Firewalking

The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 1893


Miss Teuira Henry, of Honolulu


[As no member of the Council has been privileged to witness the ceremony described herein, the Council cannot undertake to guarantee the truth of the story, but willingly publish it for the sake of the incantation.] 

The ti-plant (Dracana terminalis) is indigenous to a great many islands of the Pacific, and the leaves being long and broad, are widely used for wrapping purposes by the natives in their method of cooking food. 

The ti-leaf, in the Society Group, was supposed to possess great magical power, and was much used for wands, or as garlands, by warriors or priests, and was also said to have enabled fugitives–by waving the branches before them– to fly over precipices and ravines away from their pursuers in troublous times. The yellow leaves are very much used in decorations, and have a sweet smell. It is stated that the ti-plant has been held in high esteem also by the Hawaiians, and is still supposed to possess great virtue. 

The ti-root is frequently two feet long, and varies from six to ten inches in diameter. It has something of the texture of sugar-cane and its thick juice is very sweet and nourishing, but it requires to be well baked before eating. 

The ti-ovens(firewalking pit) are frequently thirty feet in diameter, and the large stones, heaped upon small logs of wood, take about twenty-four hours to get properly heated. Then they are flattened down, by means of long green poles, and the trunks of a few banana trees are stripped up and strewn over them to cause steam. The ti-roots are then thrown in whole, accompanied by short pieces of ape-root (Arum costatum) that are not quite so thick as the ti, but grow to the length of six feet and more. The oven is then covered over with large leaves and soil, and left so for about three days, when the ti and apeare taken out well cooked, and of a rich, light brown colour. The ape prevents the ti from getting too dry in the oven. 

There is a strange ceremony of firewalking connected with the Umu Ti (or ti-oven) that used to be practised by the heathen priests at Raiatea, but can now be performed by only two individuals (Tupua and Taero), both descendants of priests. This ceremony consisted in causing people to walk in procession through the hot oven when flattened down, before anything had been placed in it, and without any preparation whatever, bare-footed or shod, and on their emergence not even smelling of fire. The manner of doing this was told by Tupua, who heads the procession in the picture, to Monsieur Morne, Lieutenant de Vaisseau, who also took the photograph* of it, about two years ago, at Uturoa, Raiatea, which being on bad paper was copied off by Mr. Barnfield of Honolulu. All the white residents of the place, as well as the French officers, were present to see the ceremony, which is rarely performed now-a-days.

* The photograph of fire walking event referred to is evidently taken from a sketch by hand, and is not therefore a photograph from life. –EDITORS.

No one has yet been able to solve the mystery of this surprising feat, but it is to be hoped that scientists will endeavour to do so while those men who practise it still live. 




E tapea na te rima i te rau ti, a parau ai:"E te Nu'u-atua e ! a ara, a tia i nia te haere nei taua i te Umu-Ti ananahi." Mareva na, e atua ïa ; e mau na te avae i raro ; e taata ïa. A hiotia ra i te vairaa o te umu ra, e a ofati i te rau ti, – mai te nao e :"E te Nu'u-atua e ! E haere oe i teie " nei po, e ananahi tatou atoa ia."Aruru ra i te au ti ei tautoo tahutahu, moemoe i roto i te marae, mai te ota-ataa i roto i te rau fau, e ia vai i reira hoe ai rui, a naô ai te poroi atu :-"Ae! a ara, e te Nu'n-atua e! to " avae e haere i te Umu-Ti. Te pape e te miti, e haere atoa. Te to'e uri, ma te to'e tea, e haere i te umu. Te ura o te anahi e te ruirui o te auahi, e haere ana'e; na oe e haere, e haere oe i teie nei po e ananahi o oe ia e о vаu ; e haere tana i te Umu-Ti."   TRANSLATION. Hold the leaves of the tt-plant before picking them, and say"Oh hosts of gods! Awake. arise!. you and I are going to the ti-oven tomorrow."If they float in the air, they are gods, but if their feet touch the ground they are human beings. Then break theti leaves off and look towards the direction of the oven, and say :"O hosts of gods ! go to-night and to-morrow you and I shall go"Then wrap the ti-leaves up in hau (hibiscus) leaves and put them to sleep in the marae where they must remain until morning, and say in leaving :-Arise! awake! Oh hosts of gods! Let your feet take you to the ti-oven; fresh water, and salt water come also. Let the dark earth-worm, and the light earth-worm, go to the oven. Let the redness, and the shades of the fire all go. You will go, you will go tonight and tomorrow it will be you and I ; we shall go to the Umu Ti." (This is for the night.) 
la aahiata ra, a tii a rave mai i te rau ti, a amo e i te umu roa, a tatara i te ineineraa o te feia e haere i nia i taua umu ra; a faatia ai i mua a nao ai :—E na taata e tahutahu i te umu e ! a ta pohe nal E to'e uri! e to'e tea ! te pape, te miti, te aama o te umu, te ru'i- ru'i o te umu, a hii atu i te tapua'e avae o te feia e haere nei, a tahiri na i te ahu o te roi. A mau na, e te Vahine-nui-tahu-rai e ! i te tahiri, e haere na taua i te ropu o te umu !  When the ti-leaves are brought away, they must be tied up into a wand and carried straight to the oven, and opened when all are ready to pass through ; then hold the wand forward and say :—"Oh men (spirits) who heated the oven! let it die out! Oh dark earthworms! Oh light earth-worms ! fresh water, and salt water, heat of the oven, and redness of the oven, hold up the footsteps of the walkers, and fan the heat of the bed, Oh cold beings, let us lie in the midst of the oven, Oh Great-woman-who-set-fire-to-the-skies! hold the fan, and let us go into the oven for a little while!"(Then all are ready to walk in we say: 
" Te hii tapua'e tahi !
Te hii tapua'e rua !
Te hii tapua'e toru !
Te hii tapua'e ha !
Te hii tapna'e rima !
Te hii tapua'e ono !
Te hii tapua'e hitu !
Te hii tapua'e varu !
Te hii tapua'e iva !
Te hii tapna'e tini !
Te Vahine-nui-tahu-rai e !
poia!" Haere noa 'tura ia te taata, mai te ino ore na ropu, e na te hiti o taua imm-ti ra 
Holder of the first footstep !Holder of the second footstep !Holder of the third footstep !
Holder of the fourth footstep !
Holder of the fifth footstep !
Holder of the sixth footstep !
Holder of the seventh footstep !
Holder of the eighth footstep !
Holder of the ninth footstep !
Holder of the tenth footstep !
Oh Great-woman-who-set-fire-to-the- skies !
all is covered ! "Then everybody walks through without hurt, into the middle and around the oven, following the leader, with the wand beating from side to side. 

The Great-woman-who-set-fire-to-the-skies, was a high born woman in olden times, who made herself respected by the oppressive men, when they placed women under so many restrictions. She is said to have had the lightning at her command, and struck men with it when they encroached upon her rights. 

All the above is expressed in old Tahitian, and when spoken quickly is not easily understood by the modern listener. Many of the words, though found in the dictionary, are now obsolete, and the arrangement of others is changed. Oe and taua are never used now in place of the plural outou and tatou; but in old folk-lore it is the classical style of addressing the gods in the collective sense. Tahutahu, means sorcery, and also to kindle a fire.



"The natives of Raiatea have some performances so entirely out of the ordinary course of events, as to institute inquiry relative to a proper solution.

"On the 20th September, 1885, I witnessed the wonderful, and to me inexplicable, performance of passing through the ' Fiery Furnace.'

Firewalking Ground:

"The furnace that I saw was an fire walking pit of three or four feet in the ground, in a circular form (sloping upwards), and about thirty feet across. The excavation was filled with logs and wood, and then covered with large stones. A fire was built underneath, and kept burning for about a day. When I witnessed it, on the second day, the flames were pouring up through the interstices of the rocks, which were heated to a red and white heat. When everything was in readiness, and the furnace still pouring out its intense heat, the natives marched up, with bare feet, to the edge of the furnace, where they halted for a moment, and after a few passes of the wand made of the branches of the ti-plant by the leader, who repeated a few words in the native language, they stepped down on the rocks, and walked leisurely across to the other side, stepping from stone to stone. This was repeated five times, without any preparation whatever on their feet, and without injury or discomfort from the heated stones. There was not even the smell of fire on their garments."

Initiation Into na Po`e Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki

(Initiation Into the Body of Firewalk Priests)


by Ho`anoiWahinenuiho`aLani


   The: "Are you an idiot?" Test

 The body of the course of initiation I took seems to have been based on two major activities a day, nearly all of which are terrors. And unlike Disneyland thrills, the dangers were all too real.

I’m going to describe to you some of the things we did, but in doing so I am deliberately leaving out major and utterly essential material, without which a person trying these tests will be hurt or harmed or mutilated or killed in an awful way. Why?

Because that’s what would probably happen to you anyway if you tried these things on your own. If you want to do the things done in the initiation of a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, then find one to initiate you! Or tlak to the Mo`i of the Hunians about that Path.

So to be redundant: Don’t try to do these things without the spiritual guidance of someone who can already do them, and is willing to initiate you.

If you do try it without a spiritual master to guide you, then you ARE an idiot. Don’t bother writing to me from your hospital bed, if you should survive, I will be unsympathetic.



 "Paranoia strikes deep" the old hippie song says, and you know, reality is so complicated that you just can’t but wonder if something isn’t going on sometimes.

I say things sometimes which make me wonder about myself. One can always resort to the idea of e ho’oulu ia, your Aumakua or Divine Nature whispering things into your unsuspecting ear. But even that begs the question.

The Poe Aumakua of Huna exist. They have existed since the last three Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki prayed to them to find someone to carry on their lineage.

They found Dr. William Tufts Brigham and tricked him into coming to the islands where he eventually walked on the fire of a recent lava overflow.. Then when Dr. Brigham was about to check out, they found Max Freedom Long and tricked him to coming to the islands, where Dr. Brigham eventually initiated and adopted him into his sacred lineage.

Then when Max was about ready to pop the cork, Dolly Ware, and E. Otha Wingo and I were pulled in and Max adopted us, although we didn’t know each other. There are others too, William Glover being one who could make that same assertion of adoption even if he might be in the  Dreamworld now, and be sustained.

But the plans of the mighty often go astray. Same for the Po`e Aumakua who are our guardians. Dr. Brigham dropped the ball. He passed on the stories of his initiation, but not the Firewalk itself. He had let our fire die out, and no one had the courage to approach the sentient fire again whilst he lived.

Kahuna Nui Max felt the loss of the sentient fire like an itch from an unknown place in his mind. Like the fear that you can’t find your car keys, even though you are holding them in your trembling hands.

Then the Po`e Aumakua was antsy and frustrated. In all of Polynesia the sacred fires went out one by one, and there was nothing they could do about it.

Then by 1949 there were only two Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki left in all of Polynesia, none of them Hawaiian. So Te–nui Arii–peu, one of the two remaining, came from the Society Islands to make a Firewalk to try to raise money for passage to get his stranded Island folks home. Another trick and trap by the Po`e Aumakua?

This was to be a series of Umu style Firewalks. Which means they are done on white hot rocks instead of glowing embers. Which means that they invalidate David Willey’s thesis about fire not burning because of low conductivity. Many HRA (Huna Research Associates) came for it. One of our members, Charlie Kenn was chosen by Te–nui Arii–peu to be initiated into the lineage, and a good start was made, but the Kahuna died before it could be finished. And Charlie never walked on fire again as far as anyone knows.

I pretty much knew from the get–go that I had been called to return the sentient fire to Huna, but I could never see how to do that. Never dared to dream that I would actually pull it off.

The major thing which blocked me was the fear of what would happen to those who followed me into the fire. Afraid of their pain, their loss of respect for me and therefore my ultimate disservice to Huna itself.

Then a Methodist Minister friend of mine, Rev. Larry Olson talked to me about it. While I was scared for my own self, I was far more scared for the others. I had Charlie’s book, I had been named after the goddess of the Firewalk, I knew my intention—but saw no way to proceed. I didn’t, and don’t yet know how to protect anyone from being burned.

Larry asked me if I could build the fire, do the chants, and get myself to walk. I said that I could do those things. Then he asked me what part I intended for God to play in the whole thing?

And the only answer is that after a certain point you have to give up and let yourself fall into the arms of your Aumakua or Divine Nature or allow yourself to be hurt or even die. But if you are sustained than you actually know what anyone else can only speculate on. Although many will tell that they "know" about the religious or spiritual, these are only speculations for the most part.

That opened the Path for me to enter into the sentient fire as a priest of it. To search out, finally, a kumu to initiate me into the Firewalking.

Now it seems so far away; I sat listening to my kumu while he played a videotape by the number–one leading debunker of the Firewalk. On the screen is a photograph of the 1949 Firewalk in Honolulu, and led by Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki ,Te-nui Arii-peu! That’s pretty damn strange, don’t you think? The camera which took that photo was being held by a member of my religion. That photograph was copied from an obscure publication published by my religion, and created by Max Freedom Long. With whom I sat and talked over matters with in 1968.

In my lap was the Firewalk Handbook my kumu made up for us. In it, and not for that reason, is a photograph of the founder of my religion—Huna—Kahuna Nui William Tufts Brigham.

Surrounding the photograph is an article written by my kumu Max Freedom Long himself on the Firewalk!

Makes me feel strange or as if I am caught up in a drama far greater than yourself. Like going into a stranger’s home, and knowing everything that is in his refrigerator without looking, since it is the same as yours. You don’t say anything, of course. If he didn’t believe you, you’d lose respect in his eyes. And if he DID believe you, he would have to be awfully gullible.

So I sit there in class and gripe about David Willey improperly using that photograph, but don’t mention the impact of having all these Huna icons surrounding me. Like a crazy man, I am seeing Huna vectors everywhere I look now. How did I end up being the temporary focus of something beyond me? I just wanted to be a Chiropractor. Or am I just Paranoid with delusions of grandeur? Lala-land for sure for the Lanimeister.

But this story and all continues anyway…

Well I got back from the Firewalk Initiation. I returned well, as does Kahuna Keonaona who accompanied me. She is such a trooper. I present her with such unusual vacation opportunities.

There are lingering effects. Some kind of secret cognitive dissonance going on in my mind. Mostly I notice it when I am falling to sleep listening to the TV news. I sort of jar awake over and over as the subject turns (in my mind alone) into Fire walking. Then I say suddenly, for example, "what does the trouble in Palestine have to do with the Firewalk?" then I turn over and slip into the arms of Morphius once again.

There is far too much to try to remember.


Closure # 1

 You have to understand about dogs. Each breed is made for a specific purpose.

The most ancient lineage of the Dog beings are the Lhasa Apsos of Tibet. They were bred to be sacred. To do exorcisms on their own. To telepathically sense danger to their Lama from hidden bandits, etc.

They are fellow participants with humans in some Buddhist religious ceremonies.

It is they who decided to join the Huna Heiau. My little guardian and companion now is "Buxton", my little, shaggy, Lhasa Apso.

Our kumu, Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Michael McDermott, DD, told us about the only animal he had ever seen do a Firewalk.

A lady had been coming to several Firewalks he led or was at. She walked and was healed of her partial paralysis.

At one point, her little dog, quite independent of her, walked the glowing embers. No blisters, no rush, his hair which he dragged thorough the embers wasn’t even singed. That little dog was a type of Lhasa Apso, called a Shi-Tsu!

Of course …

That was the only time he ever saw or heard of an animal do a sacred Firewalk.

Kahuna Lani and Kahuna Michael McDermott

 Closure #2

 During the initiatory week we were shown David Willey’s video on Firewalking. In it he, the world’s leading "antichrist" of Firewalking or "debunker" starts off with showing a photo of a Firewalking event.

His assertion is that glowing embers have "low conductivity", hence, fire doesn’t burn. When I showed him photos of Firewalking burns, he just slid over the material.

In 1949 the Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Tu-nui Arii-peu came to Honolulu and put on several Firewalks. This was attended with many HRAs (Huna Research Associates).

This wasn’t an "American" style Firewalk, but an "Umu" style Firewalk. Done on large stones heated until they are white hot. The stones are very heat conductive. If there is an Umu style Firewalk, then David Willey’s thesis is blown to pieces, and remains where it started. It is a lie. Designed to prevent people from experiencing this sacred, and frequently life-transforming event.

Now, one of the HRA was chosen to return the sentient Fire to Huna, and started to be initiated, but the Kahuna died before he could complete the training.

He put together a little book on the Firewalk and put in it eight photos from the Firewalk he had taken.

Now bear in mind that David Willey’s thesis depends on the idea that no one walks on hot stones. When I put this in an e-mail to him, he denied that it was possible. I didn’t pursue it. After all I didn’t know. HRA Charlie Kenn’s little book was published by my religion, the Huna Press in 1949. It was never reprinted. It is a little obscure publication produced by a little religion many years ago. But in it are photographs which disprove the entire "Scientific debunking" of the Firewalk.

Can you imagine my befuddlement when upon starting the David Willey video, he starts off with one of the photographs from that very same book!?

Then the slime and spin starts. There is no attribution or credits given to the source of that photograph, which is us. It is never described nor explained. David Willey merely ignores it. Ignores a photograph which discounts all of what follows!

How bizarre, unwholesome and arrogant. To spin your story to pretend that you are being confirmed by that which would in fact debunk YOU if the audience only knew the story behind the photograph!

So much for Science and its Scientists …

The Spirit Dancers

 It was the last Firewalk of our long week of experiences which seemed to place us all in some kind of borderland between mundane reality and sacred reality.

It was Kahuna Keonaona’s turn to make the fire bed. It was to be a big fire. The stack of firewood became smaller as each night’s Firewalk took its toll on it. But there was still a lot of wood there. More than we had ever burned before. Our kumu didn’t want to haul it back from the hideaway we were doing these things at, so he decided we would use all that was left.

I had wanted to blow a firebreath on the fire to start it, but when time ran out, we just used a Butane lighter.

Once it was started, Kahuna Keonaona made the Polynesian religious and ceremonial drug, `Awa, for us. I had created a simplified yet still formal ceremony to take it.

We drank the `Awa, and made the formal claps and oblations to the fire.

Keonaona and I chanted the "E Ho Mai" Chant.

Then the "spirit dancers" came. I was the first one to see them. I asked another haumana there, Ed, who had walked about two or three dozen times if he had ever seen such a thing. But he had not, and was full of wonder too.

Our kumu has done many hundreds of Firewalks in the last decade and more. But he had never seen anything like it before either. Never heard of it in all his travels with other Firewalk leaders.

It was a big bonfire. There was little smoke, but what there was would collect at the edge of the bonfire and go downhill to the earth.

Arriving at the earth, it would collect and rise as a pillar of smoke, bending and dancing all around the fire. Mostly one at a time, but sometimes two or three.

They would circle around the fire. It was beautiful. Keonaona tried to get a photo of them, but I don’t think those kinds of things photograph. If they come out, I’ll post them.

Then Keonaona raked out the coal bed. Man what a job that is! And this was by far the largest and hottest fire we had had.

It was viciously hot. It was the second deepest bed of glowing heat, about six inches deep. About four feet wide and about fifteen feet long.

It was shaped sort of like a Kidney bean (which is sort of shaped like a Kidney, I suppose).

It was scary. Really scary. When I looked at the shimmering glow, there was a face clearly to be seen looking at me. When I reached my mind into the fire, I could feel the same challenge I had faced all week, it seemed to say, "Try to pet me if you can. See if I love you and accept you, or tear you to pieces. Maybe I’ll protect you from harm. Maybe I won’t. You have to be a man here. It isn’t safe."

Our kumu announced that to honor the fire, this was to be a nude Firewalk, for those who decided to go without any pretense of artificial protection. Most of the haumana got nude, I wasn’t so disposed. My loss. But I just don’t feel that I’m that decorative in the buff.

I walked through the fire. It was my only walk that night. I was accepted, but the fire also bit me several times in a playful way. I’m not sure now, I might have walked twice. After a time of fright, day after day, they all begin to concatenate.

There was the supernatural protection, and the blisters were completely healed by morning, and no residual tenderness remained.

One of the nude haumana ladies slowed down on her walk, then simply stopped and stood in the fire. She walked three times that night and there were no symptoms. In fact on that night, I was the only one whom the fire had kissed (other people may remember things with small differences).

One of the major sources of peace, Ed, a nude Firewalker that night, slowed his walking until it looked like he was in slow motion. No symptoms.

Our kumu stood in the fire too. The fire accepted him for a minute, then got tired of the game and bit him a little on his left foot only, to get him off the firebed.

One of the finest things was that every night he faced the sentient fire he was scared. Boy did I feel at home with that!

Whatever else you may hear about it, don’t ever take it for granted! It isn’t safe! People who are scared stiff usually do just fine. Those who believe that fire doesn’t burn, the fire enjoys teaching them something new.

It isn’t safe. But it is sacred, and many if not most enjoy the acceptance and supernatural protection of the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani, through their own Aumakua.

What is a "Firewalk"?

The word "Firewalk" is an idiom. That is, it is defined as really a phrase meaning something else than what appears on the surface. A Firewalk is anything which requires the sacred fireimmunity to be present to accomplish the task without undue injury.

Normally and usually when Firewalks are presented to the public they are done on fire made sentient. But this is only a small example of the protective miracle of Fireimmunity. Unfortunately for me, just about all Firewalks require you to actually endanger your life to see if "God" or your Aumakua or the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani or Jesus or Allah or Krishna or Miriam or the Saints Constantine and Helen in the Christian tradition of the Firewalk, etc. will save you.

It isn’t a game, although it can and should be approached with a cheerful heart. It is a serious thing. It is dangerous. If your God doesn’t do something to save you, you will really be harmed.

But if you pass through the test you will actually know yourself what you could only have guessed before. You are known to the Universe, or however you conceive of God. And you are precious and if approached in the PROPER way, it will respond to your cry. BUT if you are arrogant or do not approach it correctly, the sentient fire will hurt you and injury will become your teacher. It doesn’t seem to make any real difference to the sentient fire. It doesn’t seem to get coarse or cross with us. If our soul is on the mark, it saves us from harm. We are arrogant or distracted, it burns us. No problem.

 Why Firewalk?

Oh, that’s easy for me. But you’ll have to find your own need. For me it is the ONLY way to actually prove the nature and character of Reality all around us.

I have spent my life doing religious healings and exorcisms, but they all require you to be sick in body or mind or spirit for you to actually feel the Grace or mana of Io. If you were well, this knowledge was beyond your grasp. Now it is here. The Truth stands before you, if you have the courage to grasp it. Otherwise your fear will lead you away from it.

The Fire walk has been said by some that it is a metaphor for life. It isn’t. Life is a metaphor for the Firewalk.

I stood at the edge of the Firewalking pit. My body shaking in the fear. I melt my mind into the fire and it challenges me to love it, and take what consequences I may have to live with. It may hurt me greatly, for REAL!, or it may love me and hold me harmless (as it usually does for the Firewalkers). But my fear isn’t a joke. Isn’t a metaphor for anything else. It is real. And has perfectly sensible reasons for its existence. My "normal" life isn’t this clean cut. My reality not so quick and personal and very real. A few people have to be hospitalized after a Firewalk in which they didn’t listen to their own heart. A few people die in the sentient fires each year (usually not in the USA).

No. If I am afraid to ask my boss for a raise, if he denies it, he won’t also cut off my feet. If anything, life is a metaphor for the Firewalk. I am beginning to see now why some tribes worship the fire. I never really saw faces in the fire before…

The only common denominator is the fact that we allow our fears to block us. And here the fear is very real. We stand at the edge of the raging inferno. Our fear blocks us from passage. Suddenly someone we know overcomes their fear and calmly walks across the fire. We are encouraged. We slowly overcome our fear, and wonder of wonders, we are sustained.

What it looks like on the outside isn’t what it looks like on the inside. On the inside, you can’t really think too much. You’re trying to remember the mental steps to take. You remember that you have to surrender something. But what?

You feel a sudden wind which no one else can feel. It comes for you alone. You have to actually STOP your body from walking into the fire if you listen to your fear. You have to actually stop yourself from your arising fear, to not prevent your body from walking. Your body will carry you over the fire harmlessly if and only if you have already gotten your duckies in a row, then give up completely in faith.

There is the fire before you. There is a feeling of a spiritual wind. You hammer your fear for a second. Then the fire is behind you.

And I'm wondering, how did it get behind me? People are congratulating me. Why? What happened? Did I miss something. Are my feet OK? Am I hurting anywhere?

Others now who were behind me have found their courage. They too face their fears. They seek to overcome their fear. To master their own lives, oddly, by submitting them to their God; in whatever name or guise it has for them. Sometimes the fire will nip at them to teach them they are a little off. Or throwing up some arrogance or distraction or thinking that the fire doesn’t burn.

My kumu calls these bites, "symptoms". That is so much more friendly than "burn" isn’t it?

Upon no occasion are all of us "kissed" by the fire or have any symptoms on the same night. On almost no occasion are not at least one of us bitten in playfulness and instruction by the fire.

But even then there is the sacred and disturbing fireimmunity. The blisters disappear later that night. In the morning, normally, nothing remains of the hurt.

I have never in my life before had a blister disappear on me. In the sentient fire, it happens all the time, to all of us. I wonder why I find this also disturbing. Again I feel the mental sand and floor of my reality shifting. It sort of numbs my mind. Each morning when the night before I had symptoms, now there is nothing on my feet to give testimony. There is no soreness left in them.

The Firewalk of the Arrow

All my Firewalks scared me. I can overcome my fear usually about them. But the fear never goes away. In my ignorance beforehand I had imagined how things would be. They didn’t turn out that way. What a surprise.

I had thought it might be a hunting arrow. But it isn’t. The only others I’ve used are target arrows, but this isn’t one either. The metal point is shaped like a metal leaf. It stands off from the shaft a little.

Something in-between a hunting arrow and a target arrow. It is new and obviously a common commercial arrow.

I had imagined that there would be a slow pressure. I would never have thought that it would demand speed. I thought there would be some warning if the fireimmunity failed and so one could stop the process. I was wrong.

Usually the nock of the arrow is braced against a wall. The point of the arrow is placed in the small of the neck, right there just below the Adams apple. In that little "v" shape on the lower front of the neck. The fireimmunity state achieved. And then a quick thrust of the whole body into the arrow.

If it is a scientific thrust, your neck will be punctured, your throat pierced. If you don’t die from asphyxia or blood flow into your lungs, you might survive the trip to the hospital. but Martial Arts students will recognize that spot as the most lethal part of one’s body.

Nothing can save you but your God. It is simple. Your God protects you or you die or are badly wounded.

Our kumu, Michael McDermott decides he wants to be looking at us during this, so that he can do the best he knows how to open us to our deity’s miraculous protection.

I can’t really believe this is happening. I recognize the danger. Nothing here is faked. There are no tricks. It is real. Too real.

He holds a board up to him. I place the nock end of the arrow on the board. The point I place on my neck. Then apply a little pressure to hold the arrow in place, and let my hands drop down to my side.

Michael is talking to me, I’m trying to follow what he is saying, but I really can’t, the sudden fear is too great. I feel a sudden wind at my back. I don’t make my body move forward, but I don’t prevent it. I feel my body’s motion. There is a loud report. I’m looking down at the pieces of my arrow now on the floor. People are congratulating me. Why? I don’t really know what happened. It all seemed to happen so fast.

I am really beginning to feel sorry for Keonaona. What have I gotten her into now? An odd vacation opportunity I have presented her with.

The Firewalk of the Broken Board

When in the Fireimmunity state, one can’t be broken, so one can break other things. One of these "other" things are boards, roofing tiles and rocks.

Michael had some boards, and so he decided that that would be just a nifty thing to do that afternoon.

I’m just like everyone else, until I actually experience a thing, I conjecture about it. And when I actually experience it, it is quite different from what I imagined.

I didn’t like the idea of breaking boards. I imagined that the boards would break if you just gave then a harsh look. Boy was I wrong.

If you think that breaking a board is so simple, go outside right now and try to do it. but your hand is more likely to break, or your wrist before the board does.

Our Kumu got up to demonstrate it for us first. The sound of the collision on his hand against the board echoed off the walls of the large classroom we were in.

But the board remained whole. Time after time he did the same thing, only to have the same result. He thought that he was "failing" in front of us. But that wasn’t the case. Not even close. It took a lot to convince me that boards didn’t just fall apart!

Another lady tried her hand at it, and she too failed several times. This was also very instructive to me.

Then it was my turn. Getting my mental duckies in a row. Setting my body. Then giving up into the Fireimmunity. There was a "pop" and the board was lying in pieces on the floor.

Everyone broke their boards, but for some, it took them more than one try. They weren’t in state deep enough.

Why did Michael fail to break his board until about his seventh time? It remains a mystery. All I know for sure is that it was only because of that that I became convinced of the verity of the experiences.

The Firewalk on Broken Glass


I had been worried about this test since I had first heard about it about six months before the actual event took place.

There are two reasons why it held so much emotion, other than the fact that it is just rational not to walk on broken glass shards if at all possible.

There was a series of films that I saw after my graduation from high School. They were all called the "Mondo Kani" films, or something like that.

In one of them, there was a vignette about a small medieval city in Italy. Here on Easter morning, the local Catholic older boys wake up early and leave their homes. They have prepared wooden disks with pieces of broken glass. The movie showed close-ups of these brave boys tapping the glass pads onto the soles of their feet. Their flesh shreds. Their blood flows. They run through the village up to each home’s door, then from there to the town’s Cathedral. When the folks leave for Church that morning, they see footsteps in blood going from their door to the Church. Symbolizing Jesus’ walk to the crucifixion.

While I appreciate them. It still makes me shiver to see them tapping the glass shards into their feet.

Another time I was still living at home. My beloved sister Sharon had married and moved out. My brother-in-law was a glazer and came over one night to replace some cracked window glass we had. He did his job and left. I went outside, barefoot, to see what he had done. It was night. He couldn’t have known about the pistol shaped and sized piece of glass in the grass.

I stepped on it and it completely penetrated my foot except for the upper layer of skin. It was stuck in there, and I had to grab it by its handle and tug it out.

But everything seemed to be OK. Mom went to bed, and a little later I went into the kitchen to graze on whatever I could find.

As I stood with the refrigerator door open, I felt some stickiness on the floor. This annoyed me. I looked down and I was standing in a deep puddle of my own blood.

Boy did I freak out. My shout woke up mom, and she came in a panic to see what was wrong. Standing on the wound had simply opened it up.

I still shudder at that one too.

So my poor little Unihipili has been traumatized by images of bloody feet.

In some of my dreams of the last six months, I see myself and others leaving bloody footprints after the Fire walk on Broken Glass.


 Glass Shard I walked on

 Now it was time to go from those metaphors into the reality of it. The pit of broken glass was before me, and the other haumana there.

Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Michael McDermott, DD (which Keonaona says stands fro Dare Devil!), has made a pit from a sheet of plywood about 4 feet x 8 feet by about 4 inches deep. This has all been lined with sheet metal. He pours broken glass shards from a 50 gallon drum he has to save the glass in.

He starts to talk to us. He always seems to be our combination loving older brother and Prison Guard. The more he talks the more I want him to talk. So long as he talks, I don’t have to walk on it! I still see flashes of bloody footprints. There is a part of me that wants him to stop talking. This is the part of me which wants it all over with. No matter what the outcome, just get it over with!

There seems no part of me that is enjoying this or is really, Then he slowly really happy about it all. No part which is excited.

Then he slowly walks across it. He had the Fireimmunity and is unharmed. Then a lady haumana goes for it. I am ashamed that I was a little relieved that she took the initiative.

She did a perfect job. Even started to dance in the glass at the end. She was unharmed. I don’t remember now if Keonaona went in front of me, or behind me.

I "saw" Wahinenuiho`alani throw a beige blanket over the glass to protect me. This was a thing that happened. For some infantile part of me, it seemed to be of no comfort.

I let it be like standing before the sentient fire. I just stood there before the glass shards. In time I felt a spirit wind blow my soul across the broken glass. My fear arose to suppress by body from following, I suppressed my fear. But I didn’t try to walk or not walk. My body was on the other side of the broken glass, but I don’t really remember doing it.

I just remember starting to take a step where a tiny tower of glass found the ball of my foot. I became aware, but surrendered. All my weight came down on that knife, and my skin remained intact.


The Firewalk of Body Piercing


I don’t know why the Fire walk of Body Piercing should have the effect it does on me. Perhaps that, unlike the others, it is devoid of all possibility of deceit or mistake. And, of course, it is ugly.

Anyway it is very simple: your kumu hands you a 5 inch needle. You talk to your body to let it know that this isn’t a punishment of any find. You enter into the fireimmunity relationship. You push the needle through your hand. There is no pain nor blood.


 My Firewalk needle, a little bent from use


 Actual size, more or less

Simple. I sort of failed it though. The fireimmunity was only partial, and there was pain, VERY much pain when I was coming out from the inside of the palm of my left hand.

Our kumu then had the pin remain where it was for about ¾ of an hour. My hand fills up all golden like, all warm and tingling with joy and deep pleasure. I would love to have my whole body feel that wonderful, but it would require so many needles piercing me at once…er, forget it!

Then he had us pull it all the way through. I don’t know why he wanted it to come out in that direction, instead of being pulled out. But anyway, there no pain in it.

When he read this, he sent me this:

"Thanks for reminding me. I meant to tell you the following story in class, but I forgot to. I learned the body pierce from Steve Bisyak.

 "The only place I ever saw Steven pierce his hand was the one place we pierced in the class.

"I started pushing beyond my own limits by piercing my face, ears, lips, nose, tongue, arm, etc. and Steven found that pretty freaky & bizarre – i think it scared him.

"Steven explained his viewpoint to me and his logic was as follows: because the end of the needle is so much wider than the point, it's not possible (that's what i remember him saying!) to pull it all the way through.

"I wanted to experience a complete "passing of the metal" all the way through flesh, not just put it in and then pull it out. Also, if it was not "possible" i wanted to know for sure by my own experience

"When I was able to run the needle completely through my hand instead of just put it in and pull it back out, this experience created an additional feeling of legitimacy in the experience for me personally. It just felt more valid to me as a "mind over matter" exercise."

It was grim to look around the room and see all these flashes of long steel hanging out of everyone’s hands.

But there was a few moments of pain for me in it. So I took the needle home with me. I'll have to do it until I am competent in establishing the sacred Fireimmunity.

And for practice, it is a LOT easier than a Firewalk on fire, or even a broken arrow.

Oh yeah, there was no blood. And except for that one moment, no pain. But there is a sensation to it.

The Firewalk with the Rebar

I wasn’t scared of this test, maybe that’s why it almost did me in.

You’re seen rebar, it is those iron/steel large rods sticking up out of concrete constructions. Indeed that what its name, "rebar" stands for: "reinforcement bar".

The length is cut into thirds, each length is about 6 feet long.

It’s easy. You stand at one end of it, your bud stands at the other end. You both place the ends into your "v" at your neck. You both lean forward a little to trap it in pressure than let go and put your hands down. There’s a little patch of clean cut sweat sock between the end of it and your soft neck. It just helps protect your neck from the sharpness of any metal pieces.

When you see your bud go into Fireimmunity and you feel yourself do likewise, you both walk forward towards each other. One of two things happens. If there is supernatural protection, you both keep walking until the ends of the rebar are bent into a hoop and you hug each other—or the rebar collapses your windpipe (Trachea) and you die of asphyxiation, or you might be fast enough to back off to relieve the pressure before you are clearly damaged.

It starts. Suddenly my fear pops up and stops my walking. Fireimmunity fails. The rebar is choking me. I quickly pull back. Choking and coughing. Keonaona is watching me. Worried.

I recover. My breath returns and I’m game again. I didn’t invest all this fear to get nothing in return. This time everything works as advertised, and I get to hug and get hugged by my kumu Michael.

You can imagine just how happy I was to "demonstrate" to Keonaona there, just how good I was to do it first!

Now it is Keonaona’s turn. She and her bud do it correctly on the first try! I’m so proud of her.

Opening night—Our First Firewalk


I’m writing this backwards in time for some reason.

In the main, I have been recounting the terrors for your amusement. There was a lot that wasn’t terrifying. Although I think that this is because Michael just couldn’t think up BOTH how to make it fearful and still actually do it.

This is one such thing which we did that wasn’t life-threatening:

How to Unshrivel a Raisin

God has killed every animal that has ever lived. I ran into a militant vegetarian in my Firewalk initiation last week. He asked Keonaona if her compassion went down to the animals. She said yes. He then asked her how she could eat meat. She asked him if his compassion extended to Carrots? He went ballistic and blew up.

During the initiation we had a meditation of transformation involving our relationship with a raison. We each had to put a single raison in our mouth for half an hour and pay attention to it. We could do anything with it that we wanted to but swallow it.

First it was all wrinkly and tough. Then it began to expand into an almost grape sized mass. Then when I bit on it, it filled my mouth with grape juice!

During the quiet of the half hour, my mind saw an image of a dinosaur chomping on a bunch of vegetation of some sort. The voluntary sacrifice of the vegetation's life to sustain a higher life struck me. And how it goes all the way up to us, layer after layer of clean and honorable souls sacrificing their temporary bodies so that others might live. Libido (The Good) all the way down.

And our Doctrine of EVO-CON, and how this chain of sacrifice leads up to us. And McDonald's fast food restaurants. The many twists and perturbations of our lives. And how one reaches out to the souls of the bodies—both animal and vegetable—which were sacrificed to sustain us.

A Hunian "Grace":

"I humbly bless and recognize and appreciate every being who has given it's life to sustain me and everything else throughout all time."


Opening Night—Our First Firewalk cont’d


Well, now that I’m almost at the end of this series, I’ll start from the beginning of our trip. We had flown up for this to the State of Washington, next to Microsoft, in Redmond. It was late at night. We really had no idea of where we were going. And we were hungry. We started to pass a Denny’s restaurant, and stopped for dinner.

I asked Keonaona if she had brought her cell phone. I wanted to call our kumu and let him know we were late but still coming. She had brought it, but it was WAY out of its useful territory, she said. A different phone company entirely. She can make and receive calls only from California and Nevada unless she makes a special arrangement.

I felt more antsy, so I asked her to call him on it anyway. Our kumu Michael McDermott answered immediately. She was nonplused, it shouldn’t have worked. Michael drove down to lead us back to the hideaway camp where we would be for the week’s initiation.

The next morning is a blank to me. That night our kumu put on our first Firewalk. I had walked on fire before under the auspices of Tony Robbins. She had never walked on fire before.

He prepped us as well as he could.

I stood at the edge of the firepit. I was barely in control of myself. Odd. I thought I would be more in control of my mind.

There was a full moon, it was directly behind the end of the firepit. It looked as if the moon was pulling me forward. Wahinenuiho`alani was pulling me into the fire. I could feel the spiritual wind, and I didn’t stop myself. I walked across the fire. The sentient fire lovingly accepted me. The coals were glowing red hot, and the hot heat on my face, but the embers felt cold. Everyone else walked too. I walked a second time. This time the embers were warm. I walked a third time, and the heat nipped at me. Lightly hurting me. I decided that the fire had decided that I had walked enough for that night.

Another haumana, a lady, also walked three times that night. Her experience was the exact opposite of mine. Her first walk had been hot, the second warm, and the third, which almost burned me, was cold.

On another night, which one I no longer remember, our kumu wanted to have a very deep layer of embers. So he made it about 6-8 inches deep.

It was the first time when the hot coals rolled over the tops of my feet, they felt very hot. At the end of the Firewalk, I accidentally walked into a Bramble Patch and the tops of my feet were badly scratched.

Later on that night when we were all in a hot tub, The soles of my feet began to hurt. I reached down and felt a thorn in my sole. Keonaona got it out. In doing so, she discovered the blisters on my feet. I had been unaware of them, there was no pain.

There were two young men who showed up for that Firewalk that night with some others. One was David and the other, Mark. David was tall and lanky and Mark was a little shorter and more muscular. Both were handsome with good clean spirits.

During the night, I felt the need to smoke my pipe, and wandered off a little to do that in contemplation. David saw me, and came after me, asked if he could stand with me. I said sure. He was some kind of computer system administrator, but he wanted to go into massage. He was asking me about the Hawaiian "Lomilomi" Massage. Wanted to know its history. I told him a lot about it. I told him about the style of Lomilomi I practice. He couldn’t imagine how you massage someone without denting their skin. So I took his arm and put some Lomilomi into it. He was impressed, and we returned to the fire.

This happened towards the end of that evening’s Firewalk. Everyone had walked by him. He had walked on fire about six weeks before, but now his fear had arisen for him, and he had returned to the sentient fire to face it one again. For a long time, he just stood at the edge of the firebed, and couldn’t walk it.

Then turning away, he asked our kumu, Michael, if he could break a board like he did last time. He needed to experience to focus his intention to overcome his fear.

Michael obliged and got the 1 inch plank and held it in front of him. David went into Fireimmunity and the board shattered like it was window glass. A chunk of the flying board struck Michael in the face, even setting his glasses askew.

I watched as an instant later Mark was at his side, appearing to adjust Michael’s glasses, but I saw Mark surreptitiously checking his fingers for blood. Michael was a little stunned at the force used to dissolve the board, and probably didn’t even notice Mark’s checking him for wounds. But he had already shown us, inadvertently, his Service commitment earlier that evening, when Keonaona faced the sentient fire for the first time.

She had been afraid, this was her first Firewalk, and she didn’t know what to expect, but knew that fire burned. And that the slightest touch of the fire would bring her pain and damage.

She had kept asking Michael where he was going to stand, etc.

Finally he understood that she was asking him to save her when she burned, and Michael, brought her into Malamaka`opuahiki or Enlightenment by saying to her, "This isn’t about your relationship to me, but about your relationship to the fire." Keonaona became enlightened for a moment and could face the sentient fire, really for the first time. Now the Way was open for her to walk, but she still had a lot of residual fear that she didn’t need. I saw Mark come up to her and reassure her, and tell her that if anything happened, he’d jump into the fire to save her.

With that, she strode harmless across the fire.

Mark had been serious, and even before I could get to her, Mark was there hugging her. Mark hadn’t walked yet. not that night, not on any other. He knew it was a dangerous thing to do to, but he didn’t know if he would make it. But he knew through instinct, as I knew through tradition, that he was taking the station of a sacred Firetender. This meant that if he jumped into the fire, there would be no Fireimmunity for him. If he jumped into the fire to save someone, he would sustain bad burns on the soles of his feet. We both understood that.

That’s what I meant that he had a clean spirit. He had never met us before. Never been to a Firewalk before. Would take pain for Keonaona if he had to, to assist her to attempt to walk the firebed.

But that was earlier. Now we had come to the end. And all, including Mark, had walked on the fire, all but David. He stood transfixed at the edge of the firebed for twenty minutes to a half hour. That was a long time for us just to stand and watch him stand there. Finally people started to really want to leave, but didn’t want to abandon David either. When I sensed this, I spoke to David and told him that if he continued to want to brave the fire, that I’d stay with him all night or until the fire went out. But that if he had decided not to walk, then we should go now. I told him that in no case should he walk if his soul was telling him not to. That there would be other Firewalks for him if he didn’t walk that night.

David just stood there silently staring with, it seemed to me, horror reflected in his eyes. I was afraid that my presence was a possible distraction to him, so I turned my back to the fire, so he couldn’t see me watching.

Then he walked. Perfectly and straight! I hugged him, we all did.

He did was all a great service that night. We might have also been in his shoes any night like that. He took that burden upon himself so that we didn’t have to be the one who was stuck in his fear. Many times during the initiation I was to take that onus, as well as everyone else too.

David performed that service for us that night.

In her first Firewalk, Kahuna Keonaona had received a small symptom, so had our kumu.

At 3:00 am she suddenly awoke from her sleep because the pain had suddenly ceased. Reaching down, and then later by light, there was no trace of the blister.

She had not received it in the Firewalk itself. The moment you finish, the fireimmunity fades. If there is a "Clingon" or spark clinging onto your foot, it will burn you at that point. She had had a small clingon. She had still had a little fading fireimmunity, so it didn’t hurt her as badly as a burn normally would.

Now I had my first symptoms. I could now feel the water-filled domes. In the morning there was no trace of them; neither visually, nor by sensation.

Umu and The Sweat Lodge

We arrived on a Friday night. Saturday the initiation started and that night was the first of many Firewalks, implements during the day, and on fire at night.

Sunday was very different. Michael had decided that we should be as pure of spirit as possible for the remaining time we would be there. He decided to have a "Sweat".

This was done in his home, because it had the Sweat Lodge, and it wasn’t portable. This was my first Sweat.

Because of the frailty, we had decided that I would just participate in the first two "rounds". There are four rounds to a regular Sweat, and each one gets hotter as more red hot rocks are brought in.

Some of the rocks were small, about the size of a double fist. But most were a little larger than a football and a little smaller than a basketball.

Once inside the Lodge, the door is closed and you are in complete darkness.

The second round was way more intense. Now we could see all the rocks glowing red with their heat.

I knew that in Honolulu in 1949 the rocks, about the same size had been white hot, and the earlier Firewalk by Kahuna Nui Brigham was on a self-luminous lava overflow. I couldn’t believe that anyone could walk on such rocks. I’m not sure, but they looked even more menacing to me than the firebed I had walked through three times the night before.

Michael told me I could walk on those rocks right then and there. I decided not to.

I asked him if he had ever walked Umu style (over glowing rocks), like the ones I saw in front of me.

He told me that he had. That he had arranged it himself. I asked him if he had had any symptoms? But he had not, nor anyone else who had walked that night. "But", he said, it was very challenging.

I looked at the glowing stones, and wondered at the career choice I had made

The First Huna Firewalk since 1949

There is a fine Huna Practitioner, Steven Varro who has held Firewalks at some Huna (HRI) conferences. He even tried to get Otha’s wife to walk on fire, she refused.

When I talked to him about it, it was clear that it wasn’t a Huna or Polynesian style, but a sort of Tony Robbins style of a Psychological presentation. Not anything to do with Huna, apparently. But he is really a fine gentleman.

One of our members of the Huna Heiau, Lamaku Schmall drove all the way up from the San Francisco area to offer service to us in the Firewalk I was scheduled to lead, scheduled by our kumu.

Kahuna Keonaona and I spent the morning of the initiation by giving a seminar on Huna. She led in the afternoon a process of "Conscious Dreaming", a technology she is proficient at.

We built the fire, and set it. We all went back inside, and the three of us put on a formal `Awa Ceremony. I did the chief part, Keonaona made the `Awa. Our kumu was gifted with an `Apu`awa (a cocoanut shell cup especially made for `awa), and Lamaku served it.

The type of `Awa was the "Mokihana" which was picked out for us by the farmers who supply the `Awa used in our Huna Heiau Church, John and Rebecca Fowler at Nuka Hiwa Farms in Hawaii. It served us well.

After everyone had had the `Awa, we all went out to the Firewalk — the fire now sentient.

Two of the haumana did the actual raking out of the glowing embers. As my health is irregular, they chose to help me. They helped me so much that they ended up doing it all!

Keonaona and Lamaku and I chanted into the fire.

Several other people had showed up for the Firewalk. I handled this is the same as all the Firewalks I put on. I will make no effort to get the public there, but if someone comes, they will be welcome and I won’t charge them or turn them away. (Or maybe some also showed up for the first Firewalk, I’m not sure now.)

I tried to set their minds into lokahi with Wahinenuiho`alani, and their Aumakuas.

This was the first time I was to lead it and be the first to cross it. If all went well, I’d tell the others how the fire had responded to me.

It went well. It welcomed me with great love and kindness.

It the first of the truly sweet fires.

It was wonderful.

No one had any symptoms from it. It wasn’t rambunctious at all.

When you walk to the other side of the sentient fire, you will have found something which no one else who has not traveled that path can ever know.

The plans of Io are advanced both in peace and in war. When it is time to party-down and have fun, and when it is time to be the courageous one. In the Light and in the Darkness,

Io abides.

-Kahuna Lani


 How To Do Your Own Firewalk:


 How To Do the Trick

"There must be a rational explanation!" I know, I’ve heard it all my life. What this really means is: "There isn’t any real magic or God left in the world. This meaning must be a mistake!"

But it isn’t. There is a Priest of the Sentient Fire, a Kahuna I Ke Umu KI. What or who is that? A person, usually trained for it, who can elicit the awareness of God in the fire. Turn it from a Scientific fire into a Religious Fire. And while usually trained and ordained and called to that purpose, anyone who can do it is a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, even if they have never heard of anything like that before.

By some means or other, actually respect and intent whilst making the firebed. Respect and aloha for it when it is made, invokes a goddess which Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long calls an "externalizing lesser manifestation" of Io. The goddess named in the Huna religion as Wahinenuiho`alani (or to simplify it: Wahine [woman] nui [great] ho`a [sets fire to] lani [the sky] wahine-nui-ho`a-lani).

It can happen that a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, or by any other name hasn’t had the grueling and very dangerous initiation we’ve had, and still do it.

Once the Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki has created the sentient fire, he or she then helps the haumana who will walk, to get their physical and mental duckies in a row.

When all this is done, there is one final instruction, and the haumana is left alone with his fear. That final instruction? "Give up to your God your protection. Nothing else suffices."

Then the sentient fire will look into your heart and judge you of your purity. And if the Kingdom inside you is secure, you will feel what I call a "spirit wind" pushing you into the fire. You will walk on wings if you walk then. But also in that moment, your fear will arise and try to stop you from the Firewalk.

It is then that Io is testing your courage.

The whole of Malamaka`opuahiki is founded on koa or courage.

But it is not the fearless one who has courage, he is simply insane or underchallenged. No, to have courage means to experience fear and do what you intend to do anyway.

I used to resent the Psychological presentation of the Firewalk in the New Age movements. Now that I have actually experienced it, I can see what they are talking about. They reduce the religious implications to make more bucks and haumana, which is silly; but it isn’t silly at all to focus on the overcoming of fear. In many ways, fear is the fulcrum of the experience.

And at the grossest level, that you are saved from the burns with the overcoming of your fear is the teaching. That there is "something" (Io) out there, which, if approached with intention and faith, will save you, supports you in the strangest of ways.

Some of my Christian friends I’ve talked to about the Firewalk, use the idea in their Bible to say that they must not test God. But this is pure sophistry on their part. It isn’t God who is being tested, it is them.

But if the judgments of your God, Aumakua or Io or the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani, or anything else, are so strict that only a very few can make the cut, then the fear and backing away would be more understandable.

But the aloha of Io is bountiful. When approached correctly, everyone gets across the sentient fire unharmed. Those who do the Firewalk many times, will be reminded that the fire burns if it is not respected, but unless a person is way out of integrity, or startled out of Malamaka`opuahiki, they will walk in safety, hand in hand with their god?

And what do they really learn? What do they really know then which everyone else can only speculate and have "faith" in?

They know what any others can only guess at, that if they reach out in the fire, they will find a hand to hold. They will literally walk with their god. It isn’t a trick. It is a reality.

When they get to the other side of the sentient fire, they will find that their god walked them, and like me, they will wonder how the fire got behind them.

Firewalking: The Psychology of Physical Immunity

By Jonathan Sternfield

Firewalking Picture Gallery



Seattle fire walker Dan McHale tests his immunity to burning in a variety of ways, among them, firewalking across red-hot firebeds on his hands. Repeatedly, he has been able to make such passages without any injury whatsoever, and, in the process, has challenged the skeptics’ theory that the fire walking can be safely performed only because the feet are tough and callused.

Manawanui: I met Dan McHale before I ever knew about firewalking. I was looking for a backpack for long distance hiking. He owned company 3 blocks from where I went to college making the sturdiest and most comfortable packs I had ever tried. A little heavier than I wanted. I didn’t find out about some of the things he did to push the envelop in the firewalking movement until later.