CHAPTER 4

FIREWALKERS: MOVING CAUTIOUSLY BUT QUICKLY

                  Fear is the freaky troll under the bridge that leads to achievement.

—RICHIE NORTON

It is summer solstice in the Spanish village of San Pedro Manrique, located in the autonomous community of Castile and León, and thousands of visitors have gathered to watch the annual firewalking ritual. At the center of the town square, villagers carefully prepare an open fire pit approximately ten feet long and three feet wide. They comb, level, and stoke the live embers to a peak temperature of 777 degrees Celsius (1,200 degrees Fahrenheit).

Despite the long distances they have traveled, spectators from around the world are not allowed to participate; only villagers are permitted to walk ...

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