Our totally pagan holiday yesterday was a success in the family!
By days end we snapped sticks over our head at the same time (got the sticks on our hike) and 1, 2. 3 good riddance we said together as we snapped our sticks signifying letting go of old ways and we burned our paper of things we wanted to release and then took our brooms and swept the smoke out the door and tossed our sticks out over the balcony to the woods shouting “good riddance”.
The kids read solstice poems and we decorated the Australian potted pine with names of Sun Gods from all cultures far back to Greece and Rome times written on handmade yellow Sun Shapes with shimmering Sun rays, each person drawing from a bowl their namesake and then with the wish for what they wanted to create and experience in 2013, hung their Sun ornament on the LIVING tree.
Extra Sun Ornaments and ornaments of gold butterflies, fairies and snowflakes were available for extra wishes.
I read to each person according to their date of birth the name of their Druid Tree, Druid Animal and Druid God or Goddess associated with their date of birth!
One of my daughters was born on the Solstice 35 years ago so we had birthday cake and gifts for her.
I also gave each family member a little solstice gift and we had solstice cupcakes with one candle representing Sun and candy corn for the Sun’s rays.
Each person was given a small candle in a glass container and each lit their candle to welcome the new Sun King and we celebrated the birth of the new Sun.
Earlier in the day we decorated the woods with popcorn/cranberry garland and pine cone/peanut butter dipped in birdseed feeders for the birds and other treats …fruit loop cereal garland and small bagels dipped in peanut butter and bird seed.
We hung them on the trees while wearing garland on our head! It was fun they said! They want this to be our new family ritual every year!
(they will do x-mas too in a few days… change isn’t easy. I’m glad we’re going to rekindle a Celtic tradition in our family! and that it will be part of our family holiday.)
Happy Holidays, whichever one you celebrate… winter solstice is one in which everyone can participate. After all, we all benefit from the same Sun.
PS — if you are in the southern hemisphere, I hope you’re having a great summer! We’re so looking forward to ours again and the pool re-opening! 🙂
I’m more plugged into nature (such as it is in this concrete jungle) since opting out of the madness of X-mas while focusing more on solstice. I’m very grateful for the line of trees outside of my balcony and for the birds that come to the bird-feeder! Life would may be unbearable without the local trees there and the birds. There are many birds there because I’m sure many homes were lost to building the interstate and the malls. Anyway, I think I’ve always recognized and in my heart held it within my own inner awareness on New Year’s, December 31st. I usually spend that day very quietly and in meditation. X-mas had to be with family—I’d come down from the mountains for the holiday clamor and clatter. This year, however, missing the solitude of the mountains, I’ve turned to the ‘solace of solstice’ if you don’t mind a play on words. The word solstice means “sun stands still” from the old Celtic. Anyway, polarities now are so interesting. As I watch the hustle bustle of the holiday shopping frenzies existing all around me in this city here versus what is happening in nature—quite contrary. At a time when it seems natural to slow down and turn inward, the commercialism gods have people running in circles to meet a deadline, turning up the angst and turning away from nature.
I was just on dictionary.com a while ago and a hyper female voice came out from beyond my opened pages on my laptop screaming about saving 60 to 70% on something or other for X-mas. You can’t get away from the vendors screaming at you to buy something even when you go to look up a word in an online dictionary!
Is it designed this way by some negative force that… well, best not to go into paranoia or conspiracy theories. It’s just that I’m more focused on the trees, the wind, and all aspects of nature these past few weeks. And everything in nature seems to be saying, “It’s time to go within; to slow down; to notice the changes.” Instead, people are focused on a materialism ritual to which they seem to have totally lost the connection to any meaning. Yeah, I know; it’s great for the economy and all that, but….
In order to counterbalance all of that in my family this year (since I’m here and not home in the mountains), I plan to introduce them to solstice. We will go to the woods and hang up birdseed loaded onto pine cones and other gifts for the birds and animals. I don’t think myself masterful enough to entice them to meditate as they are always competing for who is going to talk next and we’ve got a family member who wants to direct everything everyone to distraction; but at least there will be no super stores on Friday. Only a nature hike and then we will sit at home in a candle lit room and do a few other things to mark the change. Wish me luck turning them away from the malls and madness. If nothing else, the birds and squirrels will be given some treats, we’ll all get some exercise and maybe I can get them to notice the trees and naturally growing holly. I’ve a number of little nature rituals planned if I can get them to clamber down enough.
I’ve no doubt the younger ones will get into it; it’s the others, so we’ll see. For the time being, my granddaughter and I are enjoying the various preparations.
Yeah, all right. So there is freaking out just a little bit now. It’s Day #29. If you haven’t figured it out by now… I’m moving. ‘Cats out of the bag’ as of right now. Where in the world did that expression come from and why does it stick? Anyway, there’s the big reveal—I’m moving. Those last two words are pretty funny actually because right this minute, nothing is moving—it’s all just sitting here in boxes and bags and plastic containers.
I’m normally one of those “there’s a place for everything” kind of persons. And last night I walked in circles around piles of containers and boxes looking for the one that contains the light bulbs! I tried not to let it get on my nerves and reminded myself that transitions are like this—temporarily organized chaos!
Riddle me this, says the uncertain part of me. Am I doing the right thing? I have moments where I’m riddled with doubt and then along comes his friend, fear, and their cousin, apprehension. We’re NOT going there with them; this will all be over soon! Besides, I have more than an equal amount of certainty that this IS the correct ‘move’. So, what’s the issue? It has more to do with that Venusian thing of what meets the eye–brown boxes are not exactly eye pleasingly beautiful home decor!
I now realize how much energy I draw from my surroundings! If everything is clean and organized and arranged in an eye-pleasing way with color, shape and balance, when the eyes meet the environment the mind, body and spirit feel soothed—or something. Maybe soothed isn’t the right word exactly. I find myself looking out the windows more lately and while I do this often anyway, I realize that I look away from the boxes to seek feelings of harmony by looking out at nature. At least the trees, flowers and rocks have not changed!
Yeah, I know it’s temporary, but that’s not all that’s going on. I’m blogging in order to try and figure it out—that’s how I work through things if you haven’t already noticed!
I think it has to do with loose ends – too many of those but with just over a week to go, those can’t be tied up and just have to dangle. I have to “let be what is” and be in my own is-ness. And that can feel like letting more of this ‘stuff’ go and just floating away! I’ve released so many things over the past 29 Days. I’ve come across items that I didn’t even know were here and let go of other things by the truck load! All I can say is that I will have a huge tax donation deduction this year!
It’s just being unsettled I suppose—I’m not here, nor am I there. And ‘there’ has a certain unknown quality to it. I have not been in the space yet where I will be living and I find that completely… well, I have to trust and hope and bring sage and sweetgrass to burn, not knowing who was in that space before me. That’s how they do it in the cities now—you rent a space without being in it and then wait for the previous person to move out. Such is life in a rental community!
I will, however, be aquainted with at least some of my neighbors—my daughters and grandchildren! Yay! And that’s the joyful part of all this! No more worries about fog or snow getting up and down the mountain and no more missing their school plays and performances! The pluses outweigh the minuses. Besides, last winter up here was pretty rough all alone—many an eve I longed for a nice warm, cozy (dry!) apartment that’s easy to clean and easy to heat.
All I’m saying is that this is an interesting place that I’m at emotionally and psychologically—neither here nor there. I want to push time forward instead of waiting this last week. I’m ready to go NOW but have to wait for my family’s help. The move-out date was selected weeks ago and everybody arranged their work and travel schedule to accommodate that.
Thankfully there are clients calling for readings and this, for me, is just like looking out the window—I get to unplug from my own life and surroundings and help someone else. It’s an escape for me in some ways.
I am looking at my two angel statue yard decorations sitting nearby. I have them in a strong medal carrier ready for the journey. One is child-like and posed reading a book, sitting on a pedestal; and I have to admit she’s my favorite. The other angel is a larger standup version, holding a bunny rabbit in her arms. Emotionally, I sort of feel like these angels… like I, too, am sitting in a medal cage waiting for moving day to be released from bondage!
In my new place I will have an upstairs balcony apartment with a view of trees–it will be my tree house! And since it’s going to be like a dorm room in amongst so many others that look like those old historic Brownstone’s of the Eastern cities, I’m calling the whole darn apartment rental campus “Hogwarts” (after the Harry Potter School of Wizardry). The Brownstones where I’m moving are actually white and not brown, but it’s the architecture and the campus that’s similar to those of the Eastern cities.
I know happiness and boundaries are within the self and not the environ and this is what I am actually being reminded of here in these last 8 or 9 days–let’s call it a week; that sounds much better!
Part of my spirit is here, some of it is going over the switchbacks down the mountain yet another part is emotionally and mentally unloading boxes into the new place! I’m everywhere! And at the same time I am saying goodbye to this house and property that has sheltered my soul for 9 years—maybe there are too many days left to say goodbye! No, I’m not sad about it especially when I remember how wet and cold this house was last winter despite my best efforts to keep a fire going!
No more wondering if the firewood person is going to show up before I run out; no more worrying if the fuel oil is getting too low; no more pulling weeds, trimming bushes and mowing the lawn, no more shoveling snow to get out of the driveway, no more this or no more that. That’s the known; but I have the unknown before me.
My rent will nearly double and I’m not used to being around humans in a rental community; there’ll be an exchange of birds, bunnies and the like for humans. Lots of them! I will be less country and back to being “citified” again. I’ve already had a few encounters with city duck-mentality! (not pleasant) Will it be a challenge to make these adjustments?
Yeah, I think too much and besides I’ve got clients calling and other tasks here needing my attention so I should end this.
But before I do, I know there are others out there in cyber world ( like me) who are also in the midst of a transition. I’ve been in this state numerous times in my life—after all, I’m 64 years old and ‘been there, done that’ is a phrase I’ve used a lot. I’ve moved a number of times in my life and so I’m no stranger to it; but it’s been a while and I’d forgotten this feeling of being neither here any longer and not there yet.
It’s quite like floating in the ethers—no gravity, nothing to ground in to but one’s own is-ness. This is how death will be when the time comes; my own body will be like these boxes and containers. Yeah, okay young readers will think that’s morbid, so no more talk about that.
For those who may, like me, be in between this or that and not here anymore really but not there either—in other words, in transition… for you and for me, let me toss the coins and ask the i-ching for a word or sentence or two to help us while we’re in this phase.
Well, we received Kua 57. It is called “The Gentle” or “Gently Penetrating”. It is ‘The Sun’, doubled and is also called ‘two winds’—the first wind disperses negativity and the second wind changes attitudes. The guidance is to take small steps toward the completion of small goals and be patient and persevering. The message of this Kua is also about taking “the middle way” or the “middle path” and remaining gentle and free.
“Gentleness is flexible and free and not burdened by the maintenance cost of keeping a high-profile.” That line makes me laugh a little bit considering an email that I received this morning which was really a spam advertisement. If you are in my type of profession you know how you receive trick emails which at first seem as if someone would like you to be a guest on a radio show only to find it is gimmick to sell you a thousand dollars’ worth of radio time!
I thought about it for a moment actually now that my living expenses will be higher—but that’s just not who I am. It’s strange though because my natal chart indicates that my soul’s purpose is to work or earn a living in the public domain (10th house) by bringing Peace and Spirit in a grounded way onto the Earth. Well, that’s a whole other blog now isn’t it? Anyway, each time I consider doing a big public attention-getting blitz of some type, the end result is turning from it totally.
Well, according to this Kua 57 I probably shouldn’t even publish this blog entry—it reads this way: “This is not the best time to make sweeping changes or to announce future plans.” I was tormenting myself about how to create a new class (in astrology) last night and then I thought about tarot classes and totally revamping my current psychic class, doing a better job with at least the sign up page. Yeah, on and on it went and so I get it—let go of the idea of sweeping change right now. Just get through this move first, silly!
ADVICE FOR HANDLING A TRANSITION: During any transition the focus should be on adaptability as one remains tuned in to subtle and shifting energy currents of change. Keep a steady pace and make a routine as best as you can—do things that do not involve the mind too much.
HOLD THE VISION AND BE WILLING TO WAIT. Don’t be overly confident or doubtful either.
Stay on the path of least resistance for now and merge with the meandering course of the Tao in any way that it shows up right now!
One final word from the i-ching: in order to see the bigger picture when we are in transition we must periodically create some distance between the self and the forest. Only then is it possible to see the trees and where we stand in relationship to them.
Let “Is-ness” be the only “business”!
Feel better? C’mon we can do this! Its only death and rebirth after all.