Within the Aro gTér Tradition the Jin-sreg most commonly occurs either as a method of consigning namkha to the elements (as here), or as part of an ordination ceremony for those joining the gö-kar-chang-lo'i-dé. Namkhas were completed by all the apprentices including visitors from Lama Rig'dzin's sangha, and our vajra sister Naljorma Tsul'dzin (seen here, appearing to be immolated as the flames are enticed upwards by the offering of ghee).
Everyone managed to complete a weave during the weekend, which was excellent as none of the participants had practised namkha before. With intermittant rain it wasn't certain we'd be able to have the fire ceremony, and for a while the sky weavings were all displayed on the patio. If you've practised a great deal of namkha, especially if you tend to see them arise and dissolve as single weavings, it can be easy to forget how different they can appear even using only relatively simple combinations of increasing and decreasing elements.
The ground had first been prepared with a simple dKhyil 'khor (Skt. mandala). In the style of the Aro gTér Ogyen Rig-nga this is circular, and in the wider mahayoga cycles there are different hearths for each of the four Buddha Karmas - Lé-kyi (Tib. las bzhi / Skt. chaturkriya) - circular for pacification (Tib. zhi ba) square for enrichment (Tib. rgyas pa), bow-shaped for 'influence' (Tib. dbang) and triangular for the wrathful activity of destruction (Tib. drag po). In the Aro gTér the term magnetising is used instead of influence.
Once the fire has started, the sky weavings are added by their creators. The stepped structure of the fire made it possible to insert the namkha vertically, and the flames licked up from their base, rapidly consuming them all. Jean-Michel, master of the hearth, is here placing the latest weave into the flames.
Whilst the weavings are added mantra is sung, and once they are all on the offering (in this case of ghee) is made as the mantra cycles through each of the elemental Buddha families.
Beer writes that the ceremony is traditional for the end of a long Vajrayana retreat, to 'purfiy any faults or transgressions that may have arisen during the course of the retreat'. Fortunately for this first apprentice retreat there were no faults (save perhaps the rain - and that resulting in rainbows in the sky) but nonetheless Drowang said that he had enjoyed the ceremony so much that all our retreats should end on one.
It appears we have established our first sangha tradition.