I got invited to partake in a Samhain need-fire ceremony Halloween night. According to the e-mail,
The purpose of the need-fire is to help cleanse or affirm issues or goals one might have. If you have things/issues you wish to be cleansed from your life or if you have a goal you want to attain in the year ahead, create something that repersents that. Even just writing it down on a paper. On the night of Samhain/Halloween place your item in the need-fire. This places it in the realm of Spirit and lets the universe help you attain your goal.
The original purpose of the need-fire, according to various Celtic sites, was to use the fire to rekindle the home hearth as a means of protection for your home during the winter months. Samhain commemorated the life cycle, particularly the end of it. It was considered New Year’s Eve at the time, or at least a tribute to the end of summer.
The bonfire was also the place where people danced around in costumes, told fortunes, and hoped the spirits of the dead would visit. The costumes were also useful as a means of hiding one’s self from the malevolent eyes of trickier spirits who might come looking for trouble.
A quick Google of “bonfire gifts spirit realm” nets me bradleyfalk.com:
I prefer the term bonfire rather than beacon because each bonfire is unique, and a bonfire is a nice place to sit down for a while and watch. A bonfire can be lit for anything you desire. If I could light just one bonfire for you, what, or who, would you want to attract?
People Shopping is a particular kind of bonfire. If your mother is a total—through the bones—bitch, but you crave a protective maternal presence in your life, then order one. There is a woman out there who is hungry to fulfill this role. Many cringe when I combine the word people with shopping, but this is exactly what I mean. This is your life; fill it with who, and what, you need.
In December 2003 I lit a bonfire to find a new Fred Isham (my Native American friend) who died twenty years earlier. Since he died, there had been a hole that no one could fill. I wrote a note that described what he was to me and how I needed it back. Kari Goetz arrived a little over a month later…
I think this friend of mine is mixing a couple different traditions into one, but whatever. It might be fun anyway. I’ll think of something (someone?) I need and let the fire take my desire up and away.