Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. The nadir of the Sun. The Belly of the Dark Goddess. The sacred time to come together and honor the Darkness within and without.
Ritually entering the deepening dark of the Winter Solstice energies we hold the question…
How does the Darkness serve?
Through ritual, story, movement & writing, we give body & voice to the Sacred Self in us who KNOWS Darkness, both its pain and what is wrought from it… The Jewel in the Heart of the Darkness.
Darkness at times is not a pleasant place to reside…
For the Ancients it was a wild and dangerous reality. The regions of our own bodypsyche joined with the suffering in the world are the terrors and dangers we now face. The great paradox is that much is fashioned in the Darkness… wisdom that we otherwise would never seek for ourselves.
In ritually expressing (consciously marking) and celebrating this fact, new places of perception are opened which allow us to access this wisdom and open to the preciousness and potency of living each moment, no matter how challenging.
To prepare for the ritual I invite you to begin now…
Create your personal Winter Solstice altar…
Find items that reflect the season… a white rock, red leaf, black earth, spring or ocean water or melted snow (if you are lucky!) a candle… and prepare a sacred place for them. Always choose what personally calls to you.
Find images that evoke the Darkness for you. Images of the dark Goddess/God, northern lights, an erupting volcano, a photo of you from the past during a particularly challenging time in the past. Allow your dreams and intuition to guide you.
Honor the Darkness by honoring the suffering and pain you have gone through this year… your dark material for the alchemy of your Jewels in the Darkness…
Write the stories of your challenging experiences over this year, make a copy, and place them on your altar. On Winter Solstice, in an honoring ritual… you can burn one copy and use the ashes in the embodied arts ritual recording.
Read myths of the Underworld…
The ones that teach us about the Ways of the Underworld. Hades and Persephone, God and Goddess of the Underworld. The Ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna and Ereshkigal. Psyche & Eros. Medusa. Lilith. These archetypes will support you.
Spend time in nature and soak in the sounds, smells, light of this season…
Doing this regularly will support your bodypsyche as we deepen into the dark and help you establish your bio-rhythms with the rhythms of the season as well as mirror what may feel like your madness to you. Yes, everything is dying or in stasis in nature right now. It’s important to KNOW and SEE this is a natural part of the cycling of our psyche. Nature is our mirror for this… for we are THAT!
And a very important piece… include the collective darkness we have recently experienced through Hurricane Sandy and in the wretched crime in Newton, Connecticut.
Symbols or images of the destructive force of Hurricane Sandy which hit the East Coast and decimated so many communities, homes and lives from which people are still recovering.
And then the more recent event, the heinous crime of the murder of innocent children and teachers in Newton, Connecticut, which has the whole world reeling. We have been cracked open through this darkness. And as Shamanas and Shamans of the deep Sacred Self, we must include this energy in our ritual of Winter Solstice 2012.
You can use photos, or symbolic pieces.
Create a talisman, a death bundle, wrapping the pieces together in black veil or beautiful cloth with crystals on it, flowers, and a candle. Place images of the archetype of Pluto and the tarot cards of the Tower and Death near it. These are the powerful archetypes that are with us.
This event has exposed so many aspects of the dark underbelly of our collective psyche, our nation…
They reveal our shadowy systemic issues… as well as touch on each of our shadows of unconsciousness and complacency.
Radical events like this WAKE us up like nothing else. We feel ill. It feels like too much. We want to contract, get on with our lives, say a prayer and forget.
The key is, we must extract the Jewel in the Darkness for our nation and our personal lives before it disappears into unconsciousness again.
And do engage in this Winter Solstice Ritual any time between December 21st and 23rd. This is the dark passageway of high alchemy with Nature, and its gift to us is support and enlightenment for our bodypsyches, our lives, our families, friends, and the World… thus fashioning the precious Jewel in the Heart of the Darkness.
If you do not have time to do the ritual during those days…. KNOW that anytime you are able to do it, will serve… you and our precious sacred World.
As an added gift… to YOU and to Meeeeeeeeee… please send me what comes out of all your sacred ritual work, and I will witness to it in writing.
my Winter Solstice love to you….
Here, when the danger to his will is greatest, art approaches as a saving sorceress, expert at healing. She alone knows how to turn these nauseous thoughts about the horror or absurdity of existence into notions with which one can live. – Nietzsche