I'm all goosebumpy writing this. It's with all of the energy I have that I ask the women (and maybe one or two men with heart?) who gather here to honor the Winter Solstice this year by creating a ritual at home or in circle with others in order to release what is of the dated, outmoded ways. Winter Solstice is the shortest, darkest day of the year, which holds the promise of the Light just on the other side of it. On this end, I'm calling it The Mother of All Releasings Ceremony.
If you'd like to make a releasing bundle, as I did for this season's SouLodge participants' kits, here's what you'll need:
A 5x5" square of cotton or hemp fabric
An offering of loose tobacco (I used a very small pinch of tobacco and also some white sage and lavender buds-such small amounts-a little goes a long way.)
Many tiny slips of paper to write your releasing wishes on
A natural fiber cord or string to tie it up with
1. Assemble your plant material on your square of fabric (I chose tattered black linen to represent the imperfect beings we are and also the shadow aspects)
2. Add the slips of paper that you've written what you'll be burning up and away, and roll them up nice and tiny before you add them to the pile.
3. Gather the corners up and tie tightly with hemp twine. It will look like a little ball with pointy tips, or a little black ghost if you turn it upside down.
4. When Solstice arrives on December 22nd, set aside some time and build a fire. If you do not have access to an outdoor firepit, or barbecue, you can burn it outside, in an open space, in an earthenware bowl or abalone shell. The flames will rise, so DO BE CAREFUL and take expert girl scout precautions.
Know that your sisters all around the globe are collectively releasing alongside you, and that we are a tapestry of Women who are paving the way for ourselves to move clearly and confidently from our intentions with this ceremony. Yes, please share what you feel called to at your blog and in your public spaces! I believe that the Earth is ready and willing to take on our emotional dreck and compost it up for us for new and wonderful things to be born from it. Consider making an offering to the Earth of a tiny stone or crystal to thank her for all that she carries for us.
I think it's possible to make this ceremony a biggie. One of the reasons I believe this is because I've been conversing and working with the women of Autumn SouLodge to name (privately and publicly) all that they want to let go of in order to greet 2012 and a shift into greater consciousness with clarity.
I've put my personal circle of women together and we'll be making an AWESOME video to share here to inspire women everywhere to throw the tattered aspects of being into the fire. We're all very keyed up over this and I'll be nailbiting from now until share day. My intention is to raise energy all over the world on December 22nd and make it a celebration of release. I'm seriously laughing as I write this because I feel so strongly about what we are capable of when we can alchemically transform:
Fear into Courage
Not Enoughness into Plenty
Old patterns of behavior into fresh responses and vulnerability
Anger into Cleansing Breath
Sorrow into Hope
Grief into Rebirth
Loneliness into Circle and Support
Disempowerment into Confident Action
Creative Dormancy into Full Expression
Superficiality into True Being
Masks into Love of What Really Is
Shortsightedness into Eagle's Vision
Limitations into Possibility
Projections into Conscious Ownership
Stuckness into Movement
Depression into Light
Bondage into Freedom
Control into a Loose, Flexible Grasp
Obsession into Letting It Be
Anxiety into Flow
Fragmentations into Wholeness
Duality into Oneness
Shame into Acceptance of the Processes of Life
Mistrust into Trust
Judgment into Allowing
You know, the little things that keep us sitting in our own dungeons, stagnant and hungry. There's so much more to name. We've been engaging in a lot of processing around healing, voicing the truth, allowing support/asking for help/asking to be held in silence, and declaring freedoms in the Lodge, and it's been a honor to witness and hold space for the women who are tucked inside, talking, creating and working, and shaking it out. While none of us is walking around living these negative forces all of the time, when it comes time to take action, or when we stumble a bit, these shadowy aspects come rearing up like a viper to keep us inactive. Or maybe shimmying up like old, icky skeletal remains to convince us that we are powerless over that which holds us back.
Imagine if we felt held enough by the Universe, by All That Is, and could shed the old skins to allow a rebirth when the light returns...imagine if we could hold our visions for ourselves as visions for the world and see how what we do as visionary women ripples out and is in alignment with the new consciousness trying to awaken everywhere.
I'm looking forward to carrying the wood to the fire and freeing the stuck bits within myself!
Please tell me if you'll be doing this ritual or your own version of it. I'd like to carry the vision of all of us as we draw toward letting our burdens down. Continuing in the legacy of my teacher and pipe-carrier, Bear Who Dances With the Sky, I'm thrilled to honor the medicine teachings and share them with you here. So much gratitude.