Winter Solstice 2014 – Ritual

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Winter Solstice 2014

Aligning with Nature

 

Winter Solstice

Today we celebrate the Winter Solstice or Yule as it is known in the Wheel of the Year. The Wheel of the Year is the calendar system that was used in ancient times. This system is based off of the solar and lunar cycles, and allowed human beings to stay in close connection with the Earth energies. The Winter Solstice was celebrated by the Celts, the Egyptians, Romans and Nordic people. It is much different from our modern Gregorian calendar which tracks time in a linear and almost mechanical way. It seems as though with the rise of the patriarchy the wisdom of Mother Nature which was once apparent throughout the planet, was been suppressed and hidden away along with our own awareness of our individual feminine connection and identity.

Beneath the physical changes of the seasons such as trees losing their leaves in the autumn or flowers blossoming in the spring there are also deep earth energies shifting. This shifting affects us all whether we are conscious of it or not. By learning to reintegrate the Wheel of the Year, we are more able to track the subconscious growth, feelings, and changes that are always occurring beneath the surface.

The Winter Solstice marks the darkest day of the year and the longest night. The sun has been waning since the Summer Solstice in June and now stops and changes directions. This symbolizes the darkening of the external world and the expansion of our inner reality. It is a time of faith and rebirth, of planting roots, letting go, and reflecting on all we have learned in this last cycle. The return of the sun shows us that we are once again shifting and may start to bring our inner wisdom out of the unconscious into our physical reality.

Winter SolsiceToday is also a New Moon in Capricorn. It is very auspicious for a New Moon to fall directly on the Winter Solstice. This combination of energies will greatly enhance each other as New Moons are the perfect time for new beginnings, new dreams and new intentions.

So how do we harness this energy and ground it into our physical reality? By using ritual.

Ritual is one of the most powerful tools we have and while most people would say they don’t use rituals, they are actually unconsciously performing them everyday. Bathing, exercising, cleaning, even smoking are all rituals!

There are infinite ways to perform ritual, some are extremely complex and traditional,and some are very simple. The complexity of a ritual is not nearly as important as the intention and personal power we put into it as well as our ability to remain fully present in the moment. The purpose of using tools such as candles, incense, oils etc., is that we are engaging all of the senses which adds more power to the intention.

Since most people reading this are not likely prepared with a cabinet of magical supplies, I have made this ritual very simple and accessible. Remember that these rituals can be adjusted to fit any beliefs or customs, however the first rule of ritual is always, do no harm. [/elements_animation]

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Winter Solstice/New Moon Ritual

 New Moon Magic [/elements_animation]

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What you will need:

A quiet, private space where you won’t be disturbed.
1 small white candle
1 small piece of paper + pen
a flame resistant container (to burn the paper)

(Optional: Sage or Palo Santo, incense, music, any objects or photos you find sacred)

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1. {Intention} – Setting an intention is the most important part of any ritual. It is recommended to spend some time in meditation and journaling is also a great tool for this. You can ask yourself questions such as, “What can I do to encourage the rebirth of spirit and joy in my life and the lives of those around me?”* Once you have pondered, make a list of everything that you are ready to energetically and physically release from your reality. This can be anything i.e. physical illness, depression, fear, anxiety, attachment, iudgments, people, etc.

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2. {Clearing Space + Grounding} – It is important that your energy field and your space are clear before starting your ritual. If you have sage or palo santo, you can burn these to cleanse the area. I recommend taking a salt bath before starting as well. If you don’t have these supplies, that is fine, you can always use the power of your intention.

Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Invoke whatever Inner Power you call to, (Higher Self, God/Goddess, Source, Angels, Spirit, Nature, the Universe… etc.) Intend that a shield of light be placed around you and the room. Declare that the space you are in is now sacred and that you are only open to the working with the highest energies for your highest good and the highest good of all concerned. Imagine your legs and lower body are growing roots. Feel them pull you down and harness your being deep into the Earth so you will be able to stay grounded during the rest of your ceremony.

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3. {Invocation} – This is the part of the ritual where we invoke the Inner Power to help assist us in planting our intention. If you find it helpful to write a poem or prayer that works great, but it is also perfectly fine to say your words clearly in your head. Allow yourself to breathe deeply and bring awareness into your heart space. You should feel the energy levels in your body rising.

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4. {Releasing the past} – Take your small piece of paper stating the things you want to release and light it on fire. Place it in your nonflammable container and meditate on the flame. As it burns, it symbolizes the energies releasing and leaving your energy field. I like to take a moment of silence here before moving on to let it really soak in, as often times the things we are releasing have caused us pain and hardship in one form or another.

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5. {Candle} – Take your unlit candle and hold it in your hands. Using your imagination or words, pour your intention into the candle. Sit and let your energy flow into it for a few minutes, or until you are guided to stop. Put the candle down and light it. Meditate on the flame. The flame is a symbol of our inner spirit, and when we light a candle in the darkness, it reminds us to maintain hope within.

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6. {Gratitude} – Give thanks to the power or deity that has assisted you, and gratitude towards Mother Nature for accepting your offering and intention. Acknowledge and affirm that your intentions have already happened and that the Universe is now conspiring to help you towards your goals.

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7. {Closing} – You can sit back and let the candle do it’s work. It is best to let it burn completely, however if you need to leave the building the candle should be extinguished using your fingers or placing something on top of it rather than blowing it out.

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There are times of sowing and times of harvest. This is where faith comes in, as the seeds of intention we plant today will most likely take time to fully flourish. We set our intentions today with the understanding that the sun will rise again and will provide the energy and nourishment needed to nurture and achieve our goals. When we begin to observe the parallels between our subjective life experiences and the changing earth energies with tools such as astrology, the celtic calendar, etc., we will finally be able to let go and trust the flow. There is less need to stress when we trust Nature is guiding us.

Many blessings to you and yours on this Winter Solstice!

-Mackensey
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*Creating Circles & Ceremonies- Zell-Ravenheart [/elements_animation]

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