The Children's Fire

The Children’s Fire

With Mac Macartney and special guests Nigel Shaw and Tommy Crawford

A walking pilgrimage to call on the ancient wisdom of the land and what it means for each of us.

15th June - 21st June The Children's Fire Book Now

Times: 2 pm Saturday – 4 pm Friday

Fee: £795

The Children's Fire

The Children’s Fire has been the beating heart of Embercombe since its inception in 1999. Mac Macartney’s new book, ‘The Children’s Fire, heart song of a people’ was published last year and we’re now very excited to be offering this 6-day deep immersion into the meaning and full implications of this ancient teaching.

Wider society has its own story and we do, of course, contribute to how this evolves, however, the Children’s Fire pledge begins with the individual. What would it mean if I were to make a pledge to the protection and wellbeing of our human children and the young of all species?

In our homes, workplaces, communities, schools, universities – how do we link back to the ancient wisdom in our past, to make it relevant for the world we live in today? What guidance can we find from other wisdom traditions relevant to our own context and time? How do we find our way to a truly profound sense of reverence and sacredness – in our homes, our lands, the way we see and live our lives? What does it mean to belong and find deep connection to life?
Explore these questions and more as you find your way along the invisible path, close to nature and in council with each other.

Join us on this pilgrimage onto Dartmoor as we call on the ancient wisdom of this land to uncover for each of us as individuals and as a travelling group what it might mean for how we chose to live. We will set an intention for ourselves then we will walk, share, learn from our experiences and others we meet along the way and finally return to make a pledge.

Is This For You?

This course is for those who love the earth and are committed to a pathway of on-going enquiry into the challenging mystery of living generous, courageous, peaceful and dynamic lives that honor the gift of our humanity.

What You Can Expect

You will be part of a small caravan of people who walk into the shrouded mystery of moorland that was once inhabited by ancestors who knew sacredness and walked as keepers of the Children’s Fire. Together, as a community, you will navigate the path, take care of each other, manage disagreements and different perspectives, camp, cook food, and come together as a travelling band of fire keepers. You will arrive in hidden valleys, receive gifts from unknown others, and deepen your understanding of what it might mean to tend the Children’s Fire. Towards the end of your journey you will come together in council, enquire, listen, and learn. Finally, and only if you wish, you will take the pledge of the Children’s Fire.

Note: This programme does involve spending time outdoors, walking a few miles on most days, camping, communal living and extending the boundaries of your own resourcefulness.

This residential course can also be taken as part of a year-long programme – details to be announced soon.


Mac Macartney

In 1999 Mac founded Embercombe. At which time he was also the founder and CEO of a leadership consultancy for corporate executives operating internationally between 1989-2005. Over a period of twenty years Mac was mentored and coached by a group of Native American teachers. During this training and ever since he has attempted to bring two worlds together – an ancient world view that emphasises relationship, interdependence, and reverence for life with the huge challenges and equally huge opportunities of the 21st Century. You can find out more about Mac’s work here.

Mac Macartney

Tommy Crawford

Tommy’s stories include breaking the world record for the biggest consecutive striptease, disrupting Milan Fashion Week with some beautiful trouble, choosing poems over jumpers to keep him warm in a forest in Devon, and a magical moment with a fox. He is a poet, artist, and fountain of ideas. During his time with Greenpeace he led a pirate band of communicators to create a new organisational story, was Creative Director of the global Detox Campaign, and still made it home in time for tea and crumpets.

Tommy Crawford

Nigel Shaw

Nigel Shaw has produced a highly regarded and diverse collection of recordings over the last 30 years. His gentle and soul-filled instrumental works, and ability to infuse his music with a powerful yearning for wild nature, have come to define his unique approach to sacred sound. Classic albums such as The River and Requiem: Well of Souls continue to be significant and widely appreciated decades after their initial release. More recently he has composed a series of albums that honour the sweet and raw ancient moorland landscape: Dartmoor Journey, Dartmoor Roundhouse and Dartmoor Symphony, which received its orchestral world premiere in 2010. He has created and directed strong, musically dynamic projects with the albums Ancestors (inspired by the songs of the indigenous people of the Siberian Arctic) and Exile (which honours the human experience of being displaced from home and tribe). His work has encompassed wilder strands of dance music as co-founder of the festival bands Riven and Global. He also performs with Bamboo Cedar Oak, a brotherhood of master flute players that also includes Guillermo Martinez (USA) & Hiroki Okano (Japan).

Nigel Shaw

Upcoming Dates & Booking

15th June - 21st June The Children's Fire Book Now

We aim for all of our courses to be as inclusive and accessible as possible – please contact us for information on paying in installments.  

There are also a limited number of bursary places available for this course at £595 on application.

If you have any questions please call +44 (0) 1647 252 983 or email

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