Three Styles for “Doing Fire”: A Review

In this current historical time, fire may be the most elusive and alien element for current humanity to understand. It is all around us, yet we barely acknowledge its presence: a spark of combustion ignites mechanical engines; electricity surges through our homes and powers our communication devices; gas or electric stoves heat our food. Fire is everywhere around us, unrecognized as the Divine Element it is, remaining foreign to us as an expression of the Divine Power it is.

A conscious relationship with fire, as a conscious relationship with all the elements, invites its divine energy and power into our lives. Yet, when our relationship with the elements is unconscious, the elements respond to our unconscious thoughts. The current state of humanity’s mind-set is one of lots of unconscious thoughts that are lonely, angry, hostile, violent. The elements respond to these thoughts through the environment.

As Marge DeVivo puts it:

The most important point to be made with Fire Purification is this: (in a natural world, where fires are not set by people with intention to harm others). If enough people would consciously choose to do regular fire purification, it would eliminate the wildfires and destruction through fire that we see so often.  Energy bodies get overloaded (mostly with anger/rage) and then the fires rage. The fire burns up the rage.  It allows for clearing things out so they start again fresh and new.

Since we are responsible only for our own sweet selves, we can take responsibility for our own anger/rage and transmute it through these fire purification methods, plus teach others about it so more souls will do the same, for the good of all humanity.

It is the nature of the elements to purify energies that are not aligned with their (and our) Divine Being. The destruction we are seeing with the elements in the world, is a large-scale purification.

We can temper the “destruction” of the purification process by changing our relationship to the elements through our personal relationship with them in our lives.

Here is a review of three options to “do fire” in your life, to increase your relationship to it and consciousness regarding it every day.

Option 1, “The Leonard Orr”.

This way of doing fire is the most simple of the three: build a fire and sit next to it, sleep with it, just hang out. The source can be gas, wood, candles (see note below for a candle holder made for this purpose), just about anything (though the experience changes with the type and amount of fuel).  Doing mantra also adds to the experience (as it does with everything!).

Pros: Very easy. No thought involved. May be done at any time. The fire does all the work, and you gain the benefits. There is always the option of bringing greater intention (or not) to this practice.

Cons: Requires a fire pit, fire place, or several candles. Requires more time than the other options: at least an hour, but more is better. Requires careful attentiveness to fire-safety and proper extinguishing.

Option 2: The Homa

The Homa is a fire ceremony, using a square, copper vessel (“kund”) or a large constructed fire pit (“dhuni”) and making offerings (food, incense) with accompanying mantras.  It differs from The Leonard Orr because it has structured content, and differs from Option 3, The Agni Hotra, which has a greater degree of precision. The Homa can range from very simple to very complex—the Haidakhan Fire Ceremony that Marge does is very structured and elaborate. However, in its simpler forms, the Homa offers a sort of “Middle Way” between the other two of doing fire.

There are many different types and styles of Homa ceremonies. Often, they can be very complex and intricate, with detailed instructions about what exactly to do and when to do it. This type of precision comes to us through generations and generations of Hindu Brahmins, following the teachings of the Vedas. But, also through those generations, the original instructions and structures have been adapted to the various sects and the needs of the time.

Adaptablity and flexibility characterize this method of doing fire. The ceremony can be personalized to fit a personality, an occasion, a commitment, or a personal spiritual practice. There are certain suggested principles to be followed, like which mantras to use, using the kund, using only dung or wood as fuel, having only copper contain the offerings, and using dung and ghee to light the fire, etc., but even these things are really just form and structures—and if a form or structure is going to get in the way of your relationship with God as Fire, abandon the form or structure, approach with sincerity and reverence, and  build a relationship with God as Fire as best you can with what you have at any given moment.

Pros: Adaptive and forgiving (you can’t “do it wrong” when the approach is sincere), takes a short time (from 20-40 minutes), can be structured simply, so it’s easy to follow and build a more-conscious relationship to God as Fire through invocation and mantras (unlike The Leonard Orr).

Cons: Requires some special tools: kund, ghee, incense, wooden matches, possibly dung. Requires  knowledge of mantras or access to recordings of mantras. Requires a willingness to be intentional and structured in a method (which may require some investigation, learning, and experimentation). Requires a private space (backyard, garage, home fireplace, etc.)

Option 3: Agni Hotra

Agni Hotra is a fire ceremony performed precisely at sunrise and sunset, using very specific mantras and offering specific substances (organic rice and ghee) to the fire. Like the Homa, it uses a square copper vessel. Unlike the Homa, dung must be used (no wood).

Pros: Very quick—only about 5-10 minutes, with the sunrise or sunset. Easy, once you get the hang of it (see cons).

Cons: Requires precise timing for building the fire and getting it lit at exactly sunrise or sunset, which is not as easy as it sounds, in my experience. Requires an app or other resource to know exactly when sunrise/sunset occurs at your location.  Requires dung, the kund, and the organic offerings. Requires a private space (backyard, garage, home fireplace, etc.)

I have explored all three of these options and in my next article, I’ll describe my own journey so far “doing fire”. Each of option is very powerful. All of them clear energy. All of them raise your consciousness regarding your relationship with God as Fire. Each does have unique characteristics and qualities, and I encourage you to explore all three options to see how they affect you, and to discover which one feels best for you. If you’re not certain how to start, begin with a simple candle and watch the flame for a bit of time each day. Let the fire lead you.

If you have any questions at all or if you want some encouragement just to start, let Marge or me know.


Peggy Santangelo makes candle-holders that are safe for sleeping with the candles. She can be contacted through her website:

Leonard Orr’s book Fire gives his experiences with fire:

A comprehensive website on doing the Agni Hotra:


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