The following day we hiked up to one of our favorite hills in the Sandias to try our first sunset agnihotra. Other than the wind threatening to extinguish our fire and J sitting on a good-sized cactus just before we began, I believe we achieved a 'successful' agnihotra and in thanksgiving for not being devoured by mountain lions on the way back to the car last night we performed another at sunrise this morning. This time we rambled no farther into the wilds than the casita porch.
Agni plays a leading role here in the Southwest - shining in the ever-present sun above our heads; inherent in the pungency of New Mexico's beloved chilies; latent in the pinion pine and cedar burned in winter; glowing in the holiday luminarias beginning to appear on rooftops; steaming from the hot stones of Native American sweat lodges; bubbling up from the earth in the water of the natural hot springs — even the people here exude warmth. Mexican art often portrays a bright yellow sun wearing a big smile and more modern variations of the motif grace many an adobe home here - the adobe bricks themselves derived from the heating and drying aspect of agni.
In Ayurveda agni governs transformation, discernment and all metabolic processes and fittingly enough this week we have begun to study its profound role in health and disease.