History of Fire
The history of fire
worship is a long and interesting thing. Fire has been a large part
of the human existence for a long time. It has influenced eating,
housing, and religion. Evidence was found in Israel of controlled
fire that dates back nearly 800,000 years. It has to be assumed that
fire was at this time being used as it was later on in human
culture, both to cook food, to warm living spaces, and to worship.
This would mean that the race of Man was using fire as a means of
worship long before evolution had reached its current stage.
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One example of fire being used in worship is through sacrifice.
Humans and animals alike were sacrificed to the fire, meant to
appease the gods that people believed in. This was generally not
done while the sacrifices were alive, but after they had been killed
for the purpose. Sacrifice was seen as having many different uses.
It could be used to make angry gods view humans in a more pleasant
light. It could be used to get the god's attention. It could also be
used as a means of atoning for sins and wrongdoing that had happened
within the community.
Fire worship has also been found as it relates to Zoroastrians, who
worshiped the flames themselves. There were festivals in which fires
were lit and people would have a ceremony to pay homage to those
flames. This was done because a flame could not be polluted in any
sense. The smoke came off of the fire, going up into the sky, but it
could not stay within the fire. This idea of perfect purity was
important and people tried to live their own lives with this
symbolism as a very important point to strive for in the way that
Cremation has also played a large part in fire worship. This can be
seen in ancient India, when a man's wife was often put on the fire
along with his body after he died. There are other examples of this
found in many cultures, including that of the aforementioned
Zoroastrians. All told, this was seen at times as the ultimate way
to give a person's spirit over to the gods. They were being
committed to the fire and were thus becoming a part of the god. This
was a very holy ritual that has continued even into the modern day,
though cremation in modern culture is less ceremonial and
In the end, fire worship was something that was mainly done because
fire was both so important and so powerful. It could be used as a
tool to cook food and heat homes. It could be used as a weapon to
destroy enemy armies and villages. If it raged out of control, it
was impossible for people to stop. They lived in awe of the flames
and worshiped them for this reason. This worship took on many
different forms, but was generally done because of the fire's power.