Coincidence Or A Burning Ring Of Fire?

Now I’m not a big believer in “coincidence.” I find that when I remain open to the signs and signals from the Universe my life tends to flow much more smoothly.

That said, there are certainly times when I’m better at picking up on those signs even when the “coincidences” are a bit subtle and require some stretching to turn them into signs.

And there are other times when I’m a bit slow on the uptake and I either miss the sign altogether or the Universe is forced to send me one of those unmistakable, “bang-bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer on the head” type of signals that does not need a whole of stretching!

I think you know the kind I’m talking about!

Well last weekend I got one of those.

It began on Saturday morning at the monthly meeting of the Drop In Law of Attraction group. We were exploring the connection between the Comfort Zone and the Law of Attraction. A great topic by the way!

During our discussion, after I had led the group through a visualization where they got to explore the edges of their comfort zone, one of the participants shared that the edge of her comfort zone was a circle of fire surrounding her. I immediately began singing the Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire.” I’m not sure where it came from. I’m not a big Johnny Cash fan and have only heard that song a handful of times. But out it came.

So there’s #1!

Later that night at a housewarming party for a friend who had just returned to Sonoma County, I was playing my guitar and singing along with a few of the party guests. Although my song list is significantly shorter than before my daughter was born, I was doing my best at taking requests. Some of them I could muddle through, most of them I either didn’t know or had forgotten.

And then, out of the blue, someone asked if I could play… you guessed it, “Ring of Fire.”

Now in all my years of leading sing-alongs at parties I have NEVER had anyone request Ring of Fire! What’s up with that?

Someone there knew the basic chord progression and another person knew the lyrics, so we were able to put together a passable version (although Johnny was probably rolling over).

There’s #2.

The next day at our local Farmer’s Market, my daughter and I ran into one of her pre-school friends and her dad, Mike Emerson. Ella and Sequoia started playing a bit while Mike and I chatted.

I knew that Mike was a keyboard player and since I’ve been interested in taking some piano lessons, I checked in to see if he knew of any good teachers in the area. Turns out he teaches as well as performs. Cool.

So as we talked about schedules he said that he wouldn’t be available until late in the month because he’s doing a quick European tour with… are you ready for this? Carlene Carter.

Now if you’re not a Country Music fan and don’t know who Carlene Carter is – I didn’t – she’s the daughter of June Carter – who happens to have written Ring of Fire – and Stepdaughter of Johnny Cash – who as you now know made it famous! And Ring of Fire is one of the songs they play in their shows.

So there’s the magic #3 and Maxwell’s bang on my head!

Yes I got it!

The sign that is. Still working out the details of the meaning. Sometimes with these “coincidences” the meaning is obvious and sometimes not so much. With this one I’ve got some ideas, but I haven’t come to any conclusive opinion.

I do know that I’ve been having fun imitating Johnny’s deep, gravelly voice as I belt out “I fell into a burning ring of fire…”

What do you think? What message is the Universe sending me? I’d love to hear your take. And in case you haven’t heard Ring of Fire, here are the lyrics:

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a fiery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire…

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our’s meet.
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild..

I fell in to a burning ring of fire…..[etc]

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    23 Responses to “Coincidence Or A Burning Ring Of Fire?”

    1. Jonathan Mead on May 8th, 2008 7:29 pm


      My guess is the meaning to this isn’t going to be very literal, but probably more interpretive.

      Rings represent eternity and an infinite loop. No beginning and no end.

      Fire represents passion and (like the song) burning desire.

      Perhaps this has something to do with eternal passion. Finding a deeper meaning behind the eternal nature of your passions and the role they play in the bigger picture of the universe.


    2. Jenny Mannion on May 9th, 2008 7:30 am

      Hi Ed, LOVED this post… I had a similar experience with the author Paulo Coelho and the book “The Alchemist” that popped up like 5 times in 2 weeks…. OKAY — I KNOW there is something there … I am listening — just wondering WHAT the connection is. Funny thing is 2 years ago I probably would have just blown it off but I am still looking deeper into the meaning…. Good luck figuring out “Burning Ring of Fire’s” connection. I don’t know if I ever mentioned but I have listened to your tracks on and LOVE them. Have a great weekend. Gratefully, Jenny

    3. Mike on May 9th, 2008 3:30 pm

      Hi Ed,
      Great post Ed.

    4. Kathy on May 9th, 2008 8:01 am

      Thought I would comment. I looked up Ring of Fire on Google, and found that there is a ring of volcanoes called the ring of fire that circles the edge of the Pacific Ocean. So, it’s below the surface; volcanoes are vents in the earth’s crust; there’s a sort of unity of opposites associated with volcanoes: they cause devastation but also give mineral deposits, fertile soil, geothermal energy. etc.
      This took my search further…volcanoes occur at tectonic plate boundaries, some of them occurring where huge slabs of rock meet in the lithosphere (the planet’s outer shell) and when they subduct, or go under one another, the magma that comes up creates an island-arc volcano (such as along Alaska’s coast)…also, eruptions are caused by dissolved gases coming out of solution, (I like this idea: how does something COME OUT OF SOLUTION? What’s the chemical reaction taking place there?) and are influenced by the amount of silica in the lava–silica content determines viscosity: less viscosity, lava is more fluid, less dissolved gases, less force…all of this is to say, possibly words are doorways into deeper meaning, dissolved within us as concept, because we grasp them with a different capacity, but the only way to get at that capacity is through language or image. Meaning is created in the interval between what we perceive and what we hold in our hearts (nonverbally) as comprehension of the world around us. What I mean is, look for the metaphor in your life.

    5. Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Map on May 9th, 2008 8:02 am

      Interesting experiences that you’be been having. I’d be keen to pay a keen eye to mine, after reading a book on a similar topic by Deepak Chopra.

      Thanks for sharing,

    6. Edward Mills on May 9th, 2008 11:51 am

      Thanks for these excellent comments. @Jonathan: I was looking at this quite literally ( I should know better than that!) and even though I believe there actually is some truth to a literal interpretation, your observations about Eternity and Passion feel right on!

      @Kathy: Wow! There is something there. When I read your description of the geological Ring of Fire I felt an immediate resonance. Your comment is filled with insights to explore:The subterranean – below the surface – nature of this Ring of Fire. The upheaval and devastation caused by volcanic eruptions balanced by the long-term fertility and rebirth. The hardness, solidity and inflexibility of the rocks that form the tectonic plates. And a big area for me to explore is your questions “How does something come out of solution?” That has some interesting alternate meanings that I can apply to my present situation.

    7. Edward Mills on May 9th, 2008 11:53 am

      @Jenny: Great book! I read the Alchemist to my daughter when she was in the NICU for a week after her birth. (I think it was more for me than for her).

      Glad you’re paying attention to your signals. And glad that you enjoyed the songs. Maybe someday I’ll get some more recorded!

      @Evelyn: You’re very welcome. Which Deepak Chopra book are you talking about?

    8. Janis Couvreux on May 9th, 2008 1:25 pm

      I don’t know if this counts or not for your “coincidences” Ed, but Gary Vogensen, here in Petaluma, renowned guitar player, not only locally, but has been with New Riders of the Purple Sage and other famous bands for years, (and he is a member of BNI Petaluma) also tours with Carlene Cartter, and thus probably knows your friend Mike Emerson. Also I’m definitely not a country music fan, but am a Johnny Cash fan–go figure. You should check out some of his music just before he died–he even does a cover song of 9 Inch Nails! However, one of the funniest things I have come across, is a new item of a hemorrhoid medication company that wanted to use Ring of Fire for a commercial. The Cash Estate quashed that, pronto!

    9. Tania on May 10th, 2008 2:12 pm

      Hi Ed,
      What came to me right away was “Lord of the Rings” – any meaning in that story for you?

      Great post,

    10. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work on May 10th, 2008 2:34 pm

      Ed I loved the story now please make sure you come back and tell us the ending. I love singing that song and since you provided the lyrics I sang it through.

      For me it always meant facing the heat and standing tall. When we face the heat or the trials of life we become cleansed. Johnny was not scared while singing it. It was like he always invited the heat because he knew he could withstand it.

    11. Recession Repellent (Have a Spray or Two) | Evolving Times on May 12th, 2008 10:34 am

      […] from an email he just sent out this morning (May 12th). But if you read my previous post on the Burning Ring of Fire, you know I’ve been on a “coincidence” kick lately, so I had to share his email […]

    12. Kenneth King | Destiny Building on May 12th, 2008 6:14 pm

      It’s cool when things like this happen. Let us know if you figure out the meaning associated with it.

    13. Edward Mills on May 12th, 2008 10:40 am

      @Janice: Gary was in my Blogging Class. Great guy. Didn’t know he also played with Carlene. I’ll ask Mike if he knows him next time we talk. And I sure hope that the hemorrhoid medication reference isn’t part of the “sign” I’m looking for!!! 😉

      @Mike: Thanks!

      @Tania: Well, my daughter is named for the Queen of the Elves! So I definitely have a connection to Lord of The Rings! I’ll sit with that one. Thanks!

      @Tom: I’ll definitely be letting you know what I come up with. I’ve already gotten some pretty clear insights – many of them catalyzed by this conversation! Your point about facing the heat and standing tall – inviting the heat because he could withstand it – also rings true. I felt that one vibrating in my body when I read it. Thanks!

    14. chris on May 12th, 2008 11:19 am

      Sometimes the coincidences don’t amount to anything. I mean they are not portentous. It used to feel to me like someone was tapping you on the shoulder to remind you.

    15. JC on May 12th, 2008 2:11 pm

      Ok, I don’t know if you still see this, but I got to thinking about this article after I read it, and then “coincidentally” noticed different references to “ring of fire” later. Often, the article wouldn’t even MENTION “ring of fire” until I got partway down and then it would just randomly reference it.

      A Google search turned up nothing but articles on either Johnny Cash or the PACIFIC Ring of Fire. Both of which I ignored but felt compelled to come back to after reading the comments of an article I’d responded to earlier that day about the big earthquake in China. The commenter actually SAID “Ring of Fire” in reference to the earthquakes in China and Chile’s volcano. And it got me thinking – weren’t there recently a spate of earthquakes on OUR west coast, as well as Utah, and even up to Alaska?

      Perhaps this will have no meaning for you whatsoever, and perhaps it was actually meant for me or someone else (as just the fact of knowing ABOUT this means nothing to me either). The only thing I CAN tell you is that I, myself, have been trying to become more grounded and to start meditation (hard, as I tend to be hyperactively-minded!), but have still felt spacey, as if something isn’t quite right. All of these stories have also made me cry, and I’m not one for tearing up (though I’ve done so more since having my daughter 3 years ago!). I’ve also been learning more about Lightworking and trying to find my “purpose” (as I was recently told that my daughter and I were both Indigo, and upon learning about that, it FELT right), and connect with a higher consciousness.

      I CAN tell you that upon reading what Kathy said, that I’m going to look into the Ring of Fire thing closer. But I also feel that I should tell YOU to look into it as well, which is why I felt this need to comment and convey that the connection, to me, also “felt right” (if that makes sense. Now I just hope that you’re still reading these comments! 🙂

    16. chris on May 12th, 2008 10:15 pm

      Don’t get drawn into the trap of seeing a pattern in a random series of dots. It just means you are ignoring all the other things that are happening.

    17. Edward Mills on May 13th, 2008 5:07 am

      @JC: I’m still reading the comments. And there is something about the vocanic Ring of Fire for me as well. I’m still putting it together. And I’m glad that you’re getting something out of this as well.

      And if you’re wanting to start meditating, get more grounded and explore Lightworking you might want to check out the Energetics of Attraction telecourse that begins tomorrow.

    18. Edward Mills on May 13th, 2008 5:12 am

      @Kenneth: I’ll let you know.

      @Chris: I have to respectfully disagree. While it COULD be a random series of dots, our Reticular Activating System is extremely good at picking out the specific dots we need to pay attention to from all the millions of possible dots of information that are available to us. Certainly there are times – and I’ve been guilty of this – when we try to “read” too much into a single “dot.” And like you said, sometimes a dot is just a dot! But when this many dots come together, I, for one, take notice of the pattern and the message/lesson it holds for me.

    19. Does Love Complete You or Awaken You to Your Own Completeness? | Evolving Times on May 13th, 2008 4:35 pm

      […] this, but I’d love to hear what you think. I’ve really enjoyed your comments and insights on my Ring of Fire “coincidence” and want to open some space for you to share your thoughts here as well. Share […]

    20. Martin on May 15th, 2008 1:10 pm

      Edward, I’m really glad to see this note again as I deleted the previous message as soon as I’d read it first time around. But, how spooky is this? I read your note in the morning, deleted it, but whilst looking at the TV guide THAT EVENING, I noticed that there was a documentary about Johnny Cash called ‘Ring of Fire’!

      Haven’t got a clue what this means other than it’s another amazing coincidence!

      Just thought I’d let you know!

    21. Edward Mills on May 15th, 2008 2:25 pm

      @Martin: I hope you watched that show!!! 😉

    22. SJDuchess on May 20th, 2008 11:34 pm

      Hi ed,
      I don’t know about ring of fire but here’s another string for you:

      A couple of hours ago I had a discussion with an internet friend about coincidences/synchronicity. He’d just blogged about it after I said I felt lucky to have met him because I learn so much from him. His take was that luck is rather related to the order of things… our contact with each other has been rife with synchronicity… I don’t want to make this too long. I replied that “coincidence” hasn’t been in my life for a long time, I always take them as a sign in front of my eyes to pay extra close attention.

      Then I somehow made my way to Digg which I only plugged into earlier today (thanks to another very long and unlikely string of events, again, trying to keep it relatively short here), and ran into your diggs and liked them and added you to follow.

      Then I clicked on the About link and well I really love Mike Emerson, and was really excited about his touring but sad that I won’t see him playing with Mike Schermer, and here I found your writing about coincidences being messages. And your mentioning Mike Emerson was the tap on the shoulder again. So now I guess I look for / wait for more clues, but since you happened into the string, I thought I’d let you know… 🙂

    23. Chris on May 22nd, 2008 9:53 pm

      After looking at these coincidences for more than 50 years I can tell you they don’t lead anywhere. Just acknowledge them as a little tap on the shoulder – a reminder that perhaps there is more going on than you understand – but don’t start to put them together looking for some kind of message. That way lies madness.
      Best regards

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