If memory serves me well, I believe yoga ashram management ended fire ceremonies after a wayward blob of ghee ignited and destroyed carpeting in the main chapel. I, for one, never thought it made sense to have these ceremonies indoors. Scanning a dimly lit room for fire extinguishers wasn't exactly compatible with being fully present.
But I did like the ceremony, especially the symbolic value of tossing into sacred fire all attachments, woes and other ways of being separated from God.
Decades have passed since that pit stop during my spiritual journey, but this New Year's Eve brought those memories back to surface. As I pondered all that has happened from Y2k through 2009, I found myself chanting Om Swaha and wishing my fireplace worked.