2019 – Re-Kindling the Children’s Fire with Mac Macartney

This summer I saw Hopi Native Americans dance for rain beneath a cloudless sky. Within moments of their long dance finishing, the rain answered, and not only over their lands: it quenched a huge wildfire north of Durango, Colorado, from where I had ridden two days earlier. Their richly-costumed, deeply symbolic, stirring dance asks for rain for all people who need it. Some would call their rain-summoning a miracle. The Hopi would say it is the natural consequence of humans uniting as one heart with one wholesome intention. I would say it is both, because when humans unite in such a way, we embrace our power as co-creators. We become magical – a single, humble, powerful soul occupying many bodies. Someone nature hears and responds to.

Hopi friends – lassoing practice on the ranch

In August I was finally back in Devon, Britain, and just missed a book launch by a British elder named Mac Macartney, author of The Children’s Fire – Heart Song of a People. It’s a beautifully-written account of his winter pilgrimage to the island of Anglesey, once the spiritual epicentre of Britain, the island of the druids, all the while exploring a trauma that still defines us – how our Celtic connection to the sacredness of nature was severed during Roman occupation, something Britain later exported, as the ways of empire continued to pass from one country to others. He also asserts the emergence of a new story – our human longing to make amends for having broken faith with nature so deeply.

Mentored by Native American teachers, Mac is the founder of Embercombe, a social enterprise dedicated to deepening our connection to Earth and inspiring people from all walks of life to bravely contribute to a world that honours the Children’s Fire by placing it at the centre of all our activities, science and technology included. To honour it, to become one of many council chiefs, is to make and embody the following pledge:

‘No law, no decision, no commitment, no action, nothing of any kind will be permitted to go forth from this council of chiefs that will harm
the children.’

Put in the words of the Kogi Indians of Colombia, it is our responsibility to care for all living things, which includes our decision to bring yet more children in such great numbers into an already crowded, depleted world that’s desperate for rest, recuperation and some tender loving care. A world whose patience is running thin. Behind all the stories that clutter the news, this is the key issue. As Mac says in the below link, any business or organisation that does not honour the Children’s Fire has no valid reason to exist.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

2019 is a critical year for all of us. I feel it in my bones. We’re being called upon to unite, through the heart, by organising ourselves into councils of elders and to re-kindle the Children’s Fire in all places – to re-form our ancient circles of wisdom and to unleash a golden age like no other. It’s bursting to flow through us, but it requires our permission, which can only be given through togetherness in action.

Imagine that we have only one year left to live. This is the year to live the dream of our hearts, not the nightmare of our neurotic minds. Just do it. Because when we finally meet the ferryman between worlds nothing else will matter. What seem like great sacrifices are in fact glorious letting goes, above all, of the need to please others. Do what makes you feel most alive. As Mac puts it – step towards the most radical, profound, honest and courageous version of yourself. The cosmos will cheer and massively amplify any effort we make. That’s how it works up here. Doors will open. Guidance will come. Life, abundance will flow. Fear not being labelled naïve, for those who give such labels have had their hope and imagination pummelled out of them and need gentle encouragement through our examples.

Glacier National Park, Montana

For my part, I’m planning to tour Britain as I spiral down to becoming local. I wish to know this island more deeply, to connect with some of the brilliant people working towards a sustainable world, and to share what I can with those who are not, helping to restore spirit to the so-called mundane, focusing on quality over quantity and the magic in slowness.

All our journeying has been building up to this garbage-covered golden moment. So let’s dance through the storm of this monumental time on Earth and come together in great camaraderie. We chose to be born in this time and for this very reason – to wake up, to shine with courage, to clear up, to re-beautify, to re-wild this gorgeous planet and ourselves in the process. To restore common sense and reverence. And to have great fun doing it.

See you in the undergrowth.

Faith, courage and love,


The below 13 minute link is of Mac Macartney describing the Children’s Fire. It’s strong and inspiring . . .



More photos from this year – finishing the five year tour up through the Americas


Morning bath – Parque Surrealista, Xilitla, San Luis de Potosi, Mexico


Escaping the Easter madness – Trinidad eco-friendly Mexican villiage, San Luis de Potosi


Huichole boys, mountaintop temple, Real de Catorce, San Luis de Potosi, Mexico


Riding down to Batopilas, La Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, northern Mexico


En route to Batopilas, Chihuahua – feels like northern Pakistan


Copper Canyon, Chihuahua


Tarahumara people, Copper Canyon, Chihuahua


A temple of the ancients, trekking into Copper Canyon


A mural I liked in the city of Chihuahua, northern Mexico


Sedona, Arizona


In a cave with friends, Sedona, Arizona


Bryce Canyon, Utah


Arches National Park, Utah


Arches National Park, Utah


Master mechanic, elder, dear friend – Harry Hill, Mancos, Colorado


Off the beaten track camping, Black Mesa, Colorado – bear country


Black Mesa, Colorado – the morning after being kidnapped by two bears (in a dream)


Nelson, Beartooth Pass, Montana – Yellowstone National Park behind


The ever-plentiful Harley club, top of Beartooth Pass, Montana


Mount Shasta, northern California


Lazing in the meadows of Mount Shasta


Fried salmon and kale with Garth ‘Skywalker’ and ranger Steve


My jacket hanging from a rather large, rather high tree – Jedediah Redwoods, northern California


Crater Lake, Oregon


Great people – campsite in Libby, Montana


Another plunge stop – Kootenai Falls, Libby, Montana – one of the locations where ‘The Revenant’ was filmed


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