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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Firewalk (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gareth
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Scotland
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Just a message to say that I did my first firewalk yesterday, and anyone who gets the opportunity to try this should do it!

And thanks to Drew for drawing my attention to the opportunity as well.

Broken glass next, I think.
Missing_Link
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Very neat! Where in Scotland did you do it, Gareth? I'm based in Fife and do juggling and a few freaky things. Always fancied fire walking. I seem to remember a place near Callander offering it...

ML Smile
Gareth
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Scotland
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It was a sponsored event which was set up in the courtyard of an Edinburgh pub; the events crew are based in Nottingham.
Rodan
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So what's the general consensus on firewalking?
There's a festival in Southern Thailand each year where they do what I would consider a 'serious' firewalk.
The 'walk is made of what to all intents and purposes is a huge pile of barbaque coals raked out to an approx 30ft by 6ft by 18inch path.
This is a religious festival and the 'mediums' who are 'possessed' by the 'gods' walk, hop, dance, cartwheel and even roll bodily along this hotbed without getting burnt or singed.
After the Gods have done their bit they then take devotees/laymen across.
To me, the interesting things about this walk are:
1. That it is very hot.You can feel the heat from this 10 to 15 feet away on a hot tropical day.
2. They are very relaxed about the whole process.
3. I've seen it twice and filmed/videoed it and as far as I know, no-one was burnt or even their cotton clothes singed.

After everyone has walked across the priests throw prayer-paper, like Chinese God Money (Chinese New Year), on the fire. It sits there for a couple of seconds and then ignites.

Pretty amazing to see. Certainly stronger than the western version of a controlled firewalk.
"To assert the impossibility of a fact comes to the same thing as saying that it has not as yet been observed; nothing authorises us to decide that it will never be observed." Joseph Maxwell 1858-1938
Drewmcadam
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Gareth! Just wandered in here and fpound you - excellent - welcome to the club. Hope to see your postings on Penny For Your Thoughts!

<<So what's the general consensus on firewalking?>>

If you get the chance to do it - do it. End of story.
Darmoe
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Ohio
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RE: Rodan's Post on Firewalks

I know I'm about to open a big can of worms that will undoubtedly get the evangelic locks of the forum's "Bash the Psychic's Club" up in the air, but I have to comment...

Contrary to perspectives we, as magicians are told to hold when it comes to this kind of thing, a person with faith can accomplish amazing, unexplainable things. I've done, coordinated and witnessed numerous fire walks amongst other shamanic styled rites (including a Sun Dance)... I've invested a tremendous amount of time investigating such phenomena (along with the standard dangerous cults, haunted houses, etc.) Bottom line is, at least in my book... is that there are things in this world and enveloping our existence that the stage magician, nor science host the ability to explain (and calling something coencidence, accident, lucky hunch, etc. don't count... they're cop-outs for people that don't want to extend merit where it is due. Ironically, modern science will allow for the "unknown equasion" or "influence" factor.)

Now I'm not saying that I think this is all some kind of supernatural thing... I think it's all 100% natural, but it involves the understanding/inclusion of things, many of us don't want to accept, acknowledge, etc. Begining with the power of faith itself.

In regards to fire walkers, I've watched Pacific Islanders walk on hot lava flows too... much hotter than any bed of coals and they will do this day in and out while fasting at times.

Anywho... I just think the obvious needed to be stated... Faith can conquer just about any kind of obstacle and no one has the right to negate the power of such testimony...
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
dekkeret
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Paris
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A good page about FireWalk is
http://www.skepdic.com/firewalk.html
with a lot of links to further info.

Extract:
Walking across hot coals without getting burned does seem
impossible to many people, but in fact it is no more impossible
than putting your hand in a hot oven without getting burned. As
long as you keep your hand in the air and don't touch the oven,
its metal racks or any ceramic or metal pots, you won't get
burned even if the oven is extremely hot. Or, if you do touch
the oven, metal racks or pots, and are wearing insulating gloves
or using "hot pads," you won't get burned. Why? Because "the air
has a low heat capacity and a poor thermal conductivity...."
while "our bodies have a relatively high heat capacity...."
(Leikind and McCarthy, 188). And an insulator will insulate!
Thus, even if the coals are very hot (1,000 to 1,200 degrees), a
person with "normal" soles won't get burned as long as he or she
doesn't take too long to walk across the coals and as long as
the coals used do not have a very high heat capacity. Volcanic
rock and certain wood embers will work just fine.

Also, "both hardwood and charcoal are good thermal
insulators.... Wood is just as good an insulator even when on
fire, and charcoal is almost four times better as an insulator
than is dry hardwood. Further, the ash that is left after the
charcoal has burnt is just as poor a conductor as was the
hardwood or charcoal" (Willey).

Some people do get burned walking across hot coals, not because
they lack faith or willpower, but because their soles are thin,
they don't move quickly enough, they spend too much time on the
coals, the coals are too hot or because the coals are of a kind
with a relatively high heat capacity. But even very hot coals
with a high heat capacity can be walked over without getting
burned if one's feet are insulated, e.g., with a liquid such as
sweat or water. (Think of how you can wet your finger and touch
a hot iron without getting burned.) Again, one must move with
sufficient speed or one will get burned.

Should a person be elated at overcoming the fear of firewalking
and successfully walking through the fire pit without getting
too severely burned? No. The fear is due to ignorance and the
elation will surely turn to bitterness when the firewalker finds
out that what they have accomplished can be done by just about
anyone. On the other hand, those who are depressed because they
could not produce the "courage" to walk the coals might take
some consolation in the fact that with a little knowledge
courage isn't needed.

Olivier
"I can only show you the door, you're the one who has to walk through it."
Morpheus to Neo in "The Matrix"
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