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Making a Portable Ritual Fire

Fire is, without question, a very popular element for all kinds of Pagan, Heathen, and Witch rituals. There is something deeply primal and inspiring about a fire, its particular kind of light, warmth, and ability to consume anything it is hot enough to burn. It also isn't something that's easy to incorporate in most ritual spaces and needs a whole lot of material like wood, tinder, kindling, and a place to put it.

Thankfully there is a simple, effective method for making a ritual fire that's portable, inexpensive, burns cleanly, and can be done safely in most environments. What I am talking about is an Epsom salt and rubbing alcohol fire, a simple and very portable symbolic fire. The only ingredients you need for this are some Epsom salt for coals, rubbing or medical alcohol as fuel, matches, and a simple cooking pot, cauldron, or other fireproof vessel. Once you have your necessary supplies you can begin making your Epsom salt fire.

WARNING: Please do not try this at home on your own and make sure you have a responsible adult present before attempting to make an Epsom salt and rubbing alcohol fire. Please also make sure to have appropriate fire control tools like a lid for your pot and water, just like you would for any other situation involving fire. Make sure to consult any relevant local regulations regarding the use of open flame in public spaces.

Step One: Pour out a thin layer of Epsom salts until they cover the bottom of the pot that will hold the fire. You don't need very much salt to do this, in my example below I only poured enough into my cooking pot to fill around an eighth of an inch or half a centimeter of the pot.

Step Two: Add rubbing alcohol. Pour in enough rubbing alcohol until the Epsom salts are soaked and you have a thin layer of rubbing alcohol on top of the salt bed. You don't need very much rubbing alcohol to get what you need, as you can see in the picture below I only filled the pot until the salt just barely submerged beneath the alcohol.

Step Three: Light a match and brush the lit tip on the surface of the rubbing alcohol. You do not want to just drop the match in, like I did during my first attempt at shown in the picture below, but brush it gently until you see rubbing alcohol start to catch fire.

And that's all you need to do! This method can get you some pretty dramatic results, as you can see in the picture below. It doesn't take very much rubbing alcohol to get a fire that leaps between one and two feet up from the rim of your pot or cauldron.

Your fire will last for around ten to fifteen minutes before you need to refresh it. Your first sign that the fire is running out is you will start seeing dry Epsom salts appearing on the surface of the pot, as shown in the picture below. You can pour more rubbing alcohol in the pot to start a fresh fire once the fire dies down or you have put it out by smothering it with your pot lid.

Do not directly pour rubbing alcohol onto the fire to refuel it. This is potentially hazardous and not recommended.

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