Winter solstice 2017

Winter solstice 2017 01

A table with a water view as darkness descends over the ocean. A seaside restaurant. Alone. This is how I chose to celebrate the winter solstice. I plucked a few delicate pink daisies from the garden at the caravan park where I’m staying, and picked some dandelion seed heads from the park as I walked to the beach. And I asked the waitress if I might have a little candle for my table and a tiny bowl of water for my private solstice celebration. She was happy to oblige.

Earth, fire, wind, water – all Universal elements decorate my table for my solstice ritual.

Just look at me go. Confidence and love for the being that I am, without the slightest look sideways to see if there are any strange looks from others. This is ME. And this is also a celebration of the ME that I have become. Living authentically.

Winter solstice 2017 02

My day began at dawn, on the beach with the sliver of moon and morning star shining down on me, walking alone. The pre-sunrise sky was brilliant, fiery, and I felt so blessed to be amongst the beauty of nature. My being infused with joy. I AM joy. I sat on a cushion of seaweed, contemplating.

[At the restaurant it is now dark, and in my view I can see an elderly white-bearded man riding his ‘gofer’ with a pizza box on¬† his lap. I LOVE that. I love to see people enjoy life ‘their way’, not giving up when all seems lost. Smiling happily, I send my love to him, and he’s gone.]

Contemplating where I’m at and where I want my journey to go. Only briefly though, because I’m at a very good place in my life, and my immediate future needs are simple: ie continue on my path of inner growth and awareness. It’s exciting, fruitful, satisfying, and a warm loving place to BE.

Traditionally and historically, the winter solstice recognises and celebrates the season of change on the shortest day of the year. A time for spiritual transformation, turning inward for quiet introspection. New hope. Fresh plans. Feeling and expressing gratitude for the life-giving light and warmth that is the sun.

My meal of local calamari with local wine has been my celebratory feast for one tonight, followed by a scrumptious ice-cream and chocolate dessert (why not?). I voice my prayer of thanks privately, but out loud:

Thank you for the warming winter sun; thank you for the knowing darkness; thank you for the ocean view as I celebrate; thank you for the fresh local produce; and thank you for the growing awareness that is now Me.

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As I walked back to my cabin under a black moonless, but starry sky, I blew the dandelion seeds to the breeze.

Gratitude. Namaste.

The Magic of the first frost of winter

Blog frost 3

I stepped outside of the caravan. Mother Nature was waking up ever so slowly, taking her time rousing from a deep slumber. Not a wisp of breeze. Not a puff of cloud. The rising sun laid its lukewarm fingers on the earth, and the earth responded with thousands of sparkling points of light.

Dew drops, frozen in the depth of night, are now twinkling prisms of coloured light. They melt to liquid sunshine, dripping, pooling to form trickling streams hidden in the undergrowth. Shards of glass dissolve. Tall grasses droop under the weight of glistening icicles, and the fallen autumn leaves are no longer red, but frosty white.

Earth’s creatures stir, turning heads to face the sun, soaking up its vitality.

Ribbons of fog float beneath the mountains, drifting to the rhythm of Mother Nature’s breath. And steam wafts from the swamps and dams, dissipating, evaporating, until mirrors reveal themselves in roadside paddocks.

Mother Earth shudders, shaking the moisture from her back, offering her animals and plants a drink of the purest water, and gets on with her day.

Blog frost 2

So frozen is the lawn, that my footsteps don’t disturb the crisp white sheet I walk upon. A gleaming, twinkling wonderland of white and muted shades of Earth’s clothes greet me at every turn in the road.

Magical moment after breathtaking moment. Gratitude consumes me. I feel so blessed to experience and appreciate the wonder of nature’s artistry.

Blog frost 1

A ritual in a paddock

1 Ritual fire and stone ring

I hadn’t performed or participated¬† in a ritual before. Rituals are a regular part of my daughter’s life, so I enlisted her help.

Generally she coincides  her rituals with the appropriate moon phase or her solstice feasts. The moon emits powerful energy, and if harnessed for the greater good of all, can enhance your life. In simple terms, the full moon is for releasing unwanted energy, while the new moon is for drawing desired energy to your life.

The moon was not in the right phase, but as I regularly celebrate the changing of Mother Nature’s seasons, I planned my ritual for the transition of autumn to winter. Change.

My aim was to send entrenched detrimental behavioural patterns off into the infinite expanse of the Universe so that I have room to adopt healthful and rewarding practices which I can develop into habits.

We prepared our sacred place. A tiny fire surrounded by a decorative ring of Earth’s treasures – pebbles and shells – all enveloped in Tracy’s circle in the paddock. Trees and grass, amazing clouds. A magical setting amongst nature.

A candle, representing fire, faced south. Incense burned to the east, symbolising air. Water was sprinkled to the west, water being the third element in Creation. And two crystals pointing north, representing earth.

2 Ritual fire in sacred circle

Earlier, we’d both written out negative issues that we’re both passionate about working hard to replace with positive behaviour. We wrote them with intention and love. As we spoke out loud our written words, we offered them to the fire. The fired took them, reducing them to a grey ashy veil. The breeze lifted them from the flames and carried them off into the wilds. The Universe claimed them, and we requested they be transformed into energy to be used for the benefit of all.

We prayed. We expressed our gratitude. And then we meditated.

We hugged, and walked home, leaving the beautiful stone circle as a gift to the Universe.

Magic. A totally beautiful experience.

3 Ritual fire spent