Every culture from before written history to today’s modern society has viewed fire as both a force to be feared and an element to be revered. Fire or smoke are seen in many religious rituals. Both symbolize a cleansing or renewing force. 

Lighting this fire at the entrance would lay claim to the cave, establish it as their place of residence. Controlled fire was a device of man, essential to life in a cold climate. Even smoke had beneficial properties; the smell alone evoked a feeling of safety and home. The smoke from the cave fire, filtering up through the cavern to the high-vaulted ceiling, would find its way out through cracks and on drafts through the opening. It would take away with it any unseen forces that might be inimical to them, purge the cave, and permeate it with their essence, the essence of human. -Jean Auel, The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth’s Children, Book One): with Bonus Content

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a ritual using fire or smoke.

Journaling Prompt: What feelings does fire evoke in you?

Art Prompt: Fire

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a story that involves use of fire for protection and / or ritual.

Photo Credit: Vincent van der Pas on Flickr

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