Happy Winter Solstice everyone!!
Winter Solstice for those in the Northern hemisphere, Summer Solstice for those in the Southern hemispher, is an especially rich time now for ritual and celebration- all timed with a gorgeous full moon tomorrow and some stellar events. For example, here in the Pacific Northwest, we have been enjoying (between cloudy skies and rains) the Comet Wirtanen. We will enjoy continued meteor showers through this weekend. Yay!
As you know we at Sacred Land Sage begin our New Year’s celebration now, at this time of year- December 21st the longest night, by honoring the transition of Winter’s darkness into light, with the natural cycles in nature around us, and the coming of shorter days and more warmth. Timed with holiday Yule, we are with friends and family, are thinking about joyful celebrations, and hopefully will be able to also get a bit more time for end of year rest.
I love the traditional themes of personal stillness and winter reflection this time of year to reminisce and look back, and I take my cues directly from nature for this. The photos in the collage above show the bounty of our morning walk today. I see; decay and death in old leaves, growth in new fern spores, and buds on rosemary from our recent rains. Yes, amid the decay, our mushrooms and ferns are particularly happy!
This is how I will begin my Winter Solstice mediations and journal entries for the end of 2018 as well: what was beautiful about this year? What was new and fruitful and led to me thriving and expanding? What was difficult this year due to death or endings? What am I ready to leave behind (due to decay)? What have I outgrown?
The old and out-dated are written down on paper and offered symbolically into light and flame with prayers for assistance in removing them. This is common in so many ancenstral and ancient traditions. Plant Spirits I’ll use in my Solstice ritual are strong resinous evergreens Juniper/cedar, and mugwort, and perhaps copal.
Next, we focus on what we invite with the light to come forward toward and into us: abundance, good health, more Love, more self care, less overwhelm, or whatever our body-mind-soul craves to be whole now. We invite with any sweet sage or Plant Spirits; Sweetgrass, sweet herbs. Salt baths are wonderfully self healing and cleansing ways to mark the Solstice this time of year, and are an excellent way to wash away the old, and set intentions for the new.
Winter Solstice is only the first of many opportunities for ritual this time of year where we begin to review the past year and set our intentions for a full seque beyond the threshold, and into the New! Lots more rituals to celebrate between now and the Lunar New Year of February 5th! More on those in coming posts.
Happy Solstice Celebrations everyone!! Enjoy your Holidays!!