Transformative Learning



Circle of Life Rediscovery is working as an affiliate of Helpers Mentoring Society to support this work in the UK. 


2017 Course:


Helpers Mentoring Society in affiliation with Circle of Life Rediscovery are offering a year-long course to individuals to learn the components of how to facilitate The Living Fire Ceremonies. Participants of this course will be introduced to the ways in which fire and the natural elements can be utilised to create ceremonial containers for connection and transformation.

To book and find out about costing Tiers please CLICK HERE 

The Living Fire ceremonies can provide enhanced connection on many levels: it is a means to remember departed loved ones, to honour the ancestors, to remember our ancient relationship with the elements, to reconnect with people, to share stories, to laugh, to cry and as a way to return to inner harmony. Fire can be used to bring about a transformation in times of deep sorrow and to enhance celebrations in times of great joy. It can provide a place to enable the safe processing of grief and as a focal point during Rites of Passage. Fire ceremonies have always been a part of human history and historically been the glue that holds a community and culture together, dating back to when people first gained understanding of how to work with this element.

The Living Fire course is designed to help us return to a healthy relationship with fire and reignite the sacred fire at the center of connected community. It will help develop a new generation of Fire tenders and cultural facilitators. During this course the students will learn fire’s various ceremonial applications from the perspectives of the universal, cultural and various specific lineages of fire tenders.

The teachings will include the following:

  • Fire for life transitions and the challenges that can come with them
  • Rites of Passage at any age
  • Holding of community space for the transitions of others
  • For grieving loss (including the death of loved ones)
  • As a memorial for departed loved ones
  • To connect to the ancestors 
  • For connecting and learning from nature and the elements
  • To support a healthy and happy future for the unborn generations and all of creation
  • To experience a vibrant and healthy community 
  • How to apply fire and the other elements to create personal and community ceremonial containers

The Community Fire:
During the course we will explore fire as the centre piece for connection and transformation. Students will learn how to create ceremonial space and how to apply it in a variety of uses. Students will learn about the universal ceremonial application of fire throughout history, a range of specific cultural applications and receive detailed teachings on fire from North American indigenous lineages. Through these teachings students will become keepers of this ancient wisdom and knowledge. During the year they will have the opportunity to hold responsibility for tending aspects of the ceremonial space and, on a case by case basis, holding facilitation roles.

The Fire Quest:
The participants of the Living Fire will each have an opportunity to undertake a personal Fire Quest and experience this powerful rite. For parents participating in this course, there will be an opportunity for teenage children to also do a Fire Quest. This will be a separate offering and have a separate cost (discounted for parents participating in this course). This offering will be during the September gathering and will be announced in the next months. Many people in the modern world desperately want to live a life full of connection and yet were never given the opportunity to go through any form of authentic rite of passage to support their growth out of childhood. There are many adults who find themselves locked into childlike reactions and limited views as a result. Historically, the role of connected cultures has been to ensure that each community member develops into a healthy and happy “Human Being”.

The ancient cultures hold a deep understanding of the human life stages, as well as how to meet the challenges that come with these life stages. They had processes to facilitate these transitions between the stages and individuals were enabled to unfold and blossom into their own personalities - with their gifts, an understanding of their responsibility, full of vitality and incredible joy. The knowledge and understanding of the importance of rites of passage was necessary to prevent people from stagnating in their growth and personal development and getting stuck in loops of adolescent behaviour, something we often observe taking place in modern societies. How can we help ourselves and the next generation of children to become well grounded, conscious, confident and fully connected individuals? The Fire Quest is a rite of passage which was historically used to support life stage transitions. The quest involves a person being honoured by the community and then sent out from a Community Fire into nature to tend a personal fire throughout one night. During the night, the quester reflects on their life, their gifts, their wounds, and they learn directly from their interaction with the fire and nature around them.

Objectives of the Course:
To develop individuals who are competent to hold Living Fire ceremonies for their communities and a range of ceremonial applications of the Living Fire.

May – Nov 2017

  • May 19-21 
  • Sept 8-10 
  • Nov 17-19

Where: Waldron, East Sussex, UK.

For who:
Adults, Facilitators, Youth workers, Teachers and Parents (Teens offering will be announced later)

Cost & Bookings: 

Please see the Helpers Mentoring Society website for pricing tiers.

How to book:

Please see the Helpers Mentoring Society website to confirm your place. 

Read about our past courses here.

Salvatore Gencarelle (Helper Mentoring Society and 8 Shields Institute), talks about the Woptura Lineage under which he was mentored including reference to Gilbert Walking Bull.   This talk refers to the qualities of leadership, connected relationship, seven sacred attributes and songs.

To find out more about Sal Gencarelle please see: and

Circle of Life Revisited Image Sal Gencarelle
Circle of Life Revisited Image Sal Gencarelle

"The Fire Quest was a strong process for the whole family. The experience gave us all an opportunity to acknowledge, honour and deeply realise the transition into competence and independence that he is making. Thank you Sal for bringing this work and for holding it with such heart and integrity.
Mother of Fire Quest participant 2016

Previous participants:

"This work is like fuel for the soul and has given me more strength and resilience at work, more peace in my life as a whole and a deep respect for these ancient teachings and the Lakota lineage they have been passed down through."
"My perception and connections with nature, the world around me, with other participants and with myself have altered in such deep and healing ways. Difficult to put into words but definitely a life changing experience!"

"The Life Within training has been one of the most powerful classes I have had the fortune to be involved in" 
"Sal is a powerful, patient, humble teacher. He has authenticity having lived on the reservation for many years, he is a bridge between the most intricate ways of Lakota Sioux and the western mind." 
"My connection with nature from this work and Sal's teaching has deepened in ways I never imagined- a true gift and a daily sense of joy."

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