Tag Archives: spirits

DIY Winter Solstice Ceremony

I’ve been anticipating Winter Solstice for weeks, another chance to cleanse myself of dark inner voices and illuminate them with hope and renewal. When I participated in the Horror Writers Workshop 2015 in Transylvania I learned that burning a bonfire with intention keeps evil spirits from harming your property or family. Bonfires in Bran are rather small and quick burning, but sufficient to send intentions into the darkness. And people there light fires frequently to ward off dark energies.

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I’m planning a very simple celebration that will be personal for me but not too heavy for guests. To keep it simple I’m following the guidance of  Stacey L. L. Couch in her blog post How To:  Winter Solstice Celebrations. Couch says you need just these activities and she expands on how to accomplish each:

  1. Fire to light up the darkness. Any sort of fire is OK like even a candle or incense but an outdoor fire is preferred.
  2. Go outside, at least for a little while to experience the dark where it exists – outdoors. Turn off all lights except your fire to really feel the darkness around you.
  3. Offerings to burn in the fire. Invite guests to bring offerings, too. Stacey has some brilliant simple ideas about this so please check out her post. I bought oysters to roast over the fire and I’m writing a letter to someone who died but I still have something dark inside I want to tell him, to let it go. One guest is bringing cookies.
  4. Gathering of friends. You can go it alone but inviting new and old friends brings a community together. I’m keeping my gathering small, just 5-6 of us this first time. We moved our date to Friday to work with everyone’s schedule. It’s close enough!
  5. Quietude, prayer, and contemplation. I’m thinking a moment of silence and then sharing poems, quotes, or songs will fill this element. It can be serious, light or humorous, or all of it. I’ll ask  guests to bring some and I’ll dig some up, too. How many songs can you think of with Sun in the title or lyrics? “You might as well be walking on the sun”, “You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Good day Sunshine”, “Sunshine on my Shoulder” . . .
  6. Sources of light. Candles, holiday lights, flashlights, matches, whatever bring about light in the darkness. Stacey says, “And may you remember the infinite light of your divine essence once again.”.
  7. Prayers for the Season. Stacey offers a couple of short prayers you can use or find your own or make them up.

This may seem like a lot but I think it can happen in about 10 minutes if you want it short or you can make it as long as you and your guests like. I hope you take some time today or this week to recognize the darkest time of the year and that the sun will bring light more and more each day. Please tell me how you plan to celebrate Winter Solstice. Read more to see how one brave woman used her imagination to create her ceremony.

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A friend who lives with a serious illness sent me this ceremony this morning. Let your self imagine your ceremony if you can’t have it in reality. Images can be very convincing.

“The morning of Winter Solstice 2016, and a new beginning.

I woke up unusually early with a negative feeling, one that was probably with me when I went to bed. I had fallen back into a pattern of attempting to force the truth from someone. Instinctually, I know this will not happen within any number of days set by me, if ever. So it felt as if I was already living the disappointment.

Wanting to feel better, I thought of the blog Kay Addington McDonald recently made about smudging and how smoke removes negative energy. The idea of this practice reoccurred in the story of Charlotte Pope’s daughter, Marston Blow, when she used sage liberally on herself and the Indians during the violence at Standing Rock.

Being in my cozy blankets, not having sage and it being dark outside – I used my mind to visualize as I’ve been taught in guided meditations by Jodie Lea and Renee Silvus [local yoga teachers]. I saw, the sage wrapped tight and burned down to a fat stick with a smoldering glow. I imagined that by my or some other hand, the smoking sage was made to circle me at and below the root chakra. Slowly, it was brought up and around my chest, neck and then my head. By this time, I felt free of the issue if not for my attention and intention alone.

In my mind, I stood and held the sage over my bed and let it drift about my room and then walked through my small home spreading smoke and letting all negativity disappear with it. I did feel better, but wasn’t able to fall back to sleep. So I made coffee and left a message for this person that allowed them to continue in whatever place they are, but without me.

I acknowledged that I slipped into initiating talk even if it wasn’t right because it’s hard to lose a friend, but that I’m learning to honor myself. I also explained the requirement of truth for me, even in a friendship because it is part of respect and love. I wished them well in their grief from a personal loss that has exaggerated both our shifts, and offered to be available should things change in a manner that becomes appropriate.

I’ve got changes to keep making in the New Year, and want to start my Winter Solstice in a manner that represents that.

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Anticipation

 
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Episode 1, In which LaWrynn pokes through the portal

LaWrynn picked herself up and stumbled to hold her balance against the gusts. “Crap!” she thought. “If I had claws I could grip onto . . .” Thunk! Something slammed into her. She wobbled but this time she recovered more quickly. She reclaimed her space only a little further down the corridor.

“Not on the ground. Definitely not on the ground”, she muttered, sensing that there was no up or down in this blasting wind. She hovered for a moment, the best she could, and then stretched for the edge, any edge out of the way of oncoming forces. Incomplete forms whirled in circles, those unsettled souls so ungrounded they constantly twirl about as spirits, like they did in their lives. She needed to hang back and take stock of her situation.

She had been pushed before onto paths she wished she hadn’t taken, though she was glad for many of those wayward trails. This push felt more like a pull growing ever stronger, pulling faster and faster like a current in a rip tide. LaWrynn felt she was being sucked into a vortex she could not resist.

“If I can dodge thingamabobs that come hurling through this ruckus and keep myself steady, I’ll like to see where I can go”.  She considered a new adventure. She felt the mightiest draw to jump back in and let the speed and danger dash her to the other world. She hoped this time for a chance to live in that tangible place  again. She had peered at it many times before through thin veils between her spirit world and the world of mortality. But she doubted she would touch it once more. She felt she could not inhabit that world one more time. It was like looking through a window and not being able to join what she saw. And not certain she wanted to go there.

How long had she dwelled in the world of souls and spirits and sprites, of angels and demons, and things that were things and yet had no identity? An instant? An eternity? Time had no meaning, and all those things, including LaWrynn, had no form. It was what she knew and felt she understood.

She let go her grip. Now she tossed and thumped in a current she could not control. Thingamajigs heaved through space; things with shapes and substance.

Her world had no real forms. Material things simply were not present and not needed. Macaroni, socks, tea cups, bicycles, hammers  – what need? No obstacles to being, just being, that was her reality. Her world was without surfaces and shapes and forms and weight; without bodies; without hunger, hurt, and hindrances.

Smack! “Ow!” The sensation of pain! Whack! She grabbed onto the spinning water can that had smacked her, lifted herself up its slippery round side, and clung to its handle loop. It was spilling water, real water, not the idea of water, the real stuff. She had seen water before but now she could feel it. Cool, wet, what a feeling!

LaWrynn rode the can in the flurry, wind tumbling with water, spinning too fast for her liking. She held tight with one hand and reached out with her other arm for a hold on the next open door in the passageway. “Get me outta here!” she screamed and let go of the handle to use both arms on the door jamb. She swung her leg out and pulled herself through the portal, away from the swirling force.

Dizzy, she lay in darkness on a cool damp mound of dirt. Ground! “On the ground? Definitely on the ground!” she assured herself, free from the disturbing uproar. She had poked through the portal, back into the world of humanity once again.

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Read more stories about LaWrynn here.

https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/lawrynn-storie…nd-celtic-lore/

LaWrynn Answers the Proust Questionnaire
https://skybluedaze.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/lawrynn-proust/