Thursday, December 5, 2013

Winter Solstice Blog Hop: Healing Midwinter Ritual

Today I’m sharing with you a healing Winter Solstice ritual. The holidays can be a hard time for many of us. You may feel stressed out by unfulfilled (and unfulfillable) expectations, or be upset by unpleasant memories of past holidays, or be missing loved ones who have passed on. It’s hard to enjoy the season when something heavy weighs on your heart. This ritual is simple but it’s powerful. I hope it helps you find a way to feel more comfortable and more whole through this time of the year.

Read through to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter a giveaway for one of two signed copies of my latest book and to find more participants in the Blog Hop and more giveaways!

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Winter Solstice Healing Rite

What you will need:

- Small pieces of paper or card you can write on. Old holiday cards, cut into pieces the size of the palm of your hand, are a good choice. Have at least a dozen of these on hand.

- A pen, pencil or other writing instrument in a color and style that remind you of the holidays.

- Earth. If you have access to an outdoor area where you can dig in the ground, and the ground isn’t frozen solid or inaccessible because it’s covered with several feet of snow, that’s your best choice. But the dirt in a potted plant will work just fine, as will a bucket or bowl full of potting soil. The important thing to remember is that, once you have completed the ritual, the soil needs to remain undisturbed until the holidays are over, preferably until Spring Equinox (watering the potted plant is fine but digging in the soil around it is not). You will also need a tool with which to dig a small hole – a trowel will do but you can get away with using a large spoon if your Earth resides in a potted plant or a container of loose potting soil.

- A time and place where you can be undisturbed and can feel safe and private. Turn off your phone, shut the door, ask family or roommates to go out for a while, whatever it takes so you can feel comfortable. If you wish, light candles and incense, turn on soft music or whatever else will help you relax and focus on the task at hand. You can perform the first part of the ritual indoors and then go outdoors to complete it if you’re using an outdoor area for access to Earth, or you can do the whole thing outdoors, provided the weather is agreeable.

The ritual:

Set the pieces of card and the pen out in front of you. If you feel a connection with deity you may call on that Power now, either aloud or silently. Earth gods and goddesses in particular can be very helpful for this ritual. You may also ask your higher self, guides, guardians and the universe itself to aid you. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and allow your mind to roam over the subject of the winter holidays. Let the feelings, thoughts and memories come up as they may. Do not judge them but just observe them. 

After a few minutes of this, begin to focus on the aspects of the holidays that bring up feelings of sadness, discomfort, anxiety or anger. As each aspect defines itself in your mind, write it down on a piece of card. Be very specific here. Name names, include dates and locations, and specify the emotion that accompanies each one. Teasing out exactly which sentiments each aspect triggers can be difficult but it is also a healing act just to define and acknowledge how you really feel.

It may take a while for you to define the activities and memories about the holidays that make you feel bad or they may come tumbling out faster than you can write them down. There is no wrong way to do this. Allow yourself as much time as it takes and also give yourself the freedom to feel whatever you feel. Often we make ourselves even more miserable by trying to live up to other people’s expectations about our emotions (You shouldn’t feel that way! or Aren’t you over that yet?). While actions can certainly be right or wrong under various circumstances, emotions just ARE. However you feel is however you feel. Give your emotions some room, then legitimate them by writing them down.

Once you have written down your uncomfortable and distressing feelings about the holidays, look back over the cards. Read each one. Acknowledge that is how you honestly feel. When thoughts pop up telling you to judge your emotions or to blame them on yourself or others, allow these notions to pass on through your mind and dissolve away. This ritual is not about judgment or blame. It is simply about your feelings and giving yourself the opportunity to heal.

This time of year the Earth is dormant, quiet and peaceful. This is the most grounding season of all, the time when the Earth swallows up discordant energy and dissipates it, gifting us the serenity and calmness to move through our lives from day to day in peace. Now take the cards on which you have inscribed your emotions and carry them to the Earth you have chosen to use. Place your hand on the soil and feel its steadiness. We are of the Earth. It provides our firm foundation, our grounding. Offer thoughts and words of gratitude to the Earth as you dig a hole just large enough to hold your stack of cards. Lay the cards in the hole and cover them up, giving those emotions to the Earth, grounding them. Allow the feeling of peace to settle over you. Thank any deities or Powers you have asked for aid and put away your tools.

This ritual will not magically erase all those uncomfortable emotions but it will give you some space, some peaceful room in which you can just be. That, all by itself, is healing. Strong emotions are like live electrical wires, sparking on everything they touch. Electrical circuits have ground wires for a reason. The Earth is our ground wire. Allow it to drain off the excess so you don’t ‘fry’ this holiday season.

I bid you peace.

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This post is a participant in the Winter Solstice Blog Hop. As part of the festivities, I’m holding a giveaway of TWO signed copies of my latest book, Ariadne’s Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern LivesIn Ariadne’s Thread you will find, among others, a more complex Midwinter ritual that is also very healing.

Ariadne's Thread

If you would like to be entered into the giveaway, please  make sure you have liked my Facebook page then leave a comment on this blog post no later than December 13 (and please make sure there's a way for me to contact you so I can let you know if you won). I will use to choose the winner on December 14.

Once you’ve left your comment on this post, you can follow the Hop to another blog where you’ll find more interesting seasonal posts and fun giveaways.

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