In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
~ Albert Camus
The 2011 Winter Solstice occurs on December 22nd at 12:30 AM EST.
I’ve noticed a pattern of deep significance in the events of my life and how it relates in timing to important occurrences in nature. The ceremonies of my life are in accord with the rituals of nature. I would not have it any other way.
Today is my holiday. My holy day.
I would like to think that many of the seasonal celebrations of this time of year were and are inspired by the historical and natural phenomena of the Winter Solstice. One in which we pay even more attention to the cycle of the sun, as it relates to the earth, to ourselves and to spirit.
As we transition into this next phase of time, I would encourage you to use this metaphorical hibernating time as a way to dream. Dream your heart out. Dream your thoughts out loud. Dream your fears and hesitations away. DREAM SO BIG THAT YOU FREAK PEOPLE OUT!
I observe the Winter Solstice with my own rituals. They are highlighted in previous post which are linked at the end of this post and I would encourage you to take the time to explore and read those posts. They are among my favorite on Sociology of Sheena.
This year’s Winter Solstice coincided with a new phase of my pole movement journey. Most significant moments of observation in nature coincide with one of my many dance and movement classes, therefore I am not surprised that today was no exception. I took my first of six courses in pole dancing with Amy Kim at Shockra Studios. I will have to elaborate on that class, AMY the powerhouse and my recent experiences at another time. Its more so the fact that this new moment happened today. The fact that I was so in tuned with my body, that I moved in new ways and that I found even more articulations and expressions with my body on this beautiful day just makes me want to dance and never stop, EVER!
I suppose going forward I will just have to be more intentional about creating solstice celebrations that involve movement, music, drumming and the power of the female body. It is written and so it must be. Yes, Solstice and Equinox Movement Meditations & Celebrations must be created for 2012!
Shifting gears, this year, I want to encourage you, if you want, to ritualistically approach this day.
1. Release and Live. I believe the only way to move forward in total freedom is to release anything holding you. It does not mean forgetting. It does not mean absolving. It does not mean condoning, erasing or even allowing for mercy and grace. We can work on mercy and grace on another day. Today is about releasing the hold. Because once the power of the hold is released, you are in total freedom to move, explore and to live. Write down what you need to release. It could be a thought, a person or anything. Write down whatever isn’t serving your highest good. Write it down. It could be one thing or one hundred things. In your own way and timing release it in a manner that you see fit. You can burn it, rip it to shreds, paint over it, bury it, drown it, or tie it to a balloon and let it fly away. Just Write. Release. Live.
2. Scribe Your Thoughts. Take the time to write out everything. Reflect on this past season, dream on this new one. Write morning pages. Write evening pages. Write all the things you want to do and all the things you have done. Write your thoughts out. Get them out your mind and move them to paper. Scribe your mental observations. Reflect. Ponder with a pen about what has been and what you will manifest into being. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few prompts that you can take in any direction that you want. 1. What are you most looking forward to leaving in the Autumnal Equinox that has just passed? 2. What are you excited to explore during the Winter Solstice? 3. What gives you immense joy? 4. Who are you? 5. What is nature saying to you at this very moment?
3. Cultivate Sacred Space. Make your entire home a sanctuary. Let every square inch be a holy space; one in which effervescent love covers everything. Purge what you will. Move. Polish. Shift. Make your home a beautiful altar. Let your home engage all of your senses. Aesthetically make your entire home pleasing to you. Home is HOLY. Make it so that is always! If you need suggestions on cultivating a sacred space, I’ll share a few. When you wake in the morning, what is the first thing that you see besides the person who may be beside you? Be intentional about making sure that when you open your eyes, what you see is something you love. When you open the door into your home, what is the first thing that your eyes focus on? (In wanting to feel immediate peace when I walk into my home, I made sure the first thing in my line of vision was my buddha statue, my favorite books, my oil burner and dried flowers in a vase. I always feel good seeing those items right when I open my front door). What does your home smell like? Burn a new incense scent. What colors are highlighted in your home? Clear the clutter. Let more light in. Dust your floorboards. Make your home a place of joy, love and holiness!
4. Natural Vibrations – Nature is key. Find ways to incorporate all the elements in your home. Light a candle. Fill a vase with water. Grow a plant. Open a window. Find literal and metaphorical ways to allow for Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Bring natural elements from outside into your home.
5. Body Language – Move your body. Relax your body. Love your body. Remember my disregard for grace as it related to you needing to release things in order to live in point number one. Now is the time for grace. Apply every ounce of grace you can summon to every inch of your wonderful, natural body. You are a sacred temple. Yes, home is a sanctuary but YOU, you are the holy of holies! LOVE YOUR BODY. Give yourself a spa date at home. Pour milk and honey in your bath. Exfoliate your skin. Turn your favorite song on and dance. Feast like a goddess. Treat your body like you are a god and/or goddess. Everything is perfect and as it should be.
6. REMEMBRANCE – Remember those who have gone before. Our ancestors. Our elders. Our loved ones. Remember what we lost but what is also always here. Today I remember James. I remember Maura. I remember my Grandma Veola. I remember their love, their significance and how they are always. Energy can not be created or destroyed. They and we are always.
These are some of my suggestions for ritualistically approaching today. These can be done everyday, at least I believe so. Every day should be a moment of significance. Every moment should be intentional, passionate and thoughtful. So think holy. Be holy. Live holy. Eat holy. YOU ARE SO PRECIOUS and WONDERFUL.
Enjoy the Winter Solstice. We have shifted into a new season. There are literal, metaphorical, emotional, spiritual, sensual, sexual, physical and metaphysical reasons, shifts and dynamics occurring. Be in tuned with that. Tap into that power. Channel it and live fully in it!
WINTER SOLSTICE MUSING
Everything and all is divine.
It is all connected and I am a part of it all.
Every bit of natural wonder is a part of me.
I am acutely aware of the life giving power of the sun and I adore it.
I am thrilled with the lull of the moon on my body and I celebrate it.
Every season serves its purpose. Winter is just as significant as Summer.
I acknowledge it. I take it in. I love it all.
I am spirit. Nature is spirit.
Everything is divine.
I am divine.
I am a divine warrior goddess deeply
in tuned to mother nature
and all of her wonderful gifts & offering
including this lovely Winter Solstice.
LET US LOVE WINTER, FOR IT IS THE SPRING OF GENIUS ~ PIETRO ARETINO