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Winter Solstice Suggestions

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  • Windsmith
    replied
    Spend some time outside. That's the best thing that's ever happened to any Solstice ritual I've ever been involved in.

    (Also...sticky-ville!)

    Leave a comment:


  • Lunacie
    replied
    Originally posted by airmist View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts, Cheddarsox, Lunacie, and Novembers River. They are clearly honest and heartfelt.

    It occurred to me that I probably should have posted this question/thread in the Rituals forum, but I came here because this is where I feel most connected and I get in touch with those of you who are also here regularly and whom I respect.

    Thanks again.
    You're very welcome airmist. I don't visit this forum very often, but I do check out any threads that look interesting when I click on "new posts" and this one looked interesting to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lunacie
    replied
    Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
    Yes, thank you Novembers River for addressing that, I did mean it in a metaphorical sense. Referring to an unwillingness to be engaged in life...a mindset (or spirit set) rather than referring to those things literally.

    That being said, I am something of a literalist in my own practice and life, but that is just me. It is my practice, and I don't suggest that what feeds me, and keeps me in a state of awareness is what others should do as well.

    But I do think awareness is important...and that we should encourage one another in that direction, but each will have their own methods that will be most useful and appropriate for them.

    Sorry if I came off as preachy or judgemental. Thanks for calling me on it. I'll try to be more sensitive and AWARE when I post!

    I appreciate the heads up.

    cheddar
    Thank you Cheddar. I was feeling rather sensitive I think so it didn't take much to seem preachy to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • airmist
    replied
    Thanks

    Thanks for your thoughts, Cheddarsox, Lunacie, and Novembers River. They are clearly honest and heartfelt.

    It occurred to me that I probably should have posted this question/thread in the Rituals forum, but I came here because this is where I feel most connected and I get in touch with those of you who are also here regularly and whom I respect.

    Thanks again.

    Leave a comment:


  • cheddarsox
    replied
    Yes, thank you Novembers River for addressing that, I did mean it in a metaphorical sense. Referring to an unwillingness to be engaged in life...a mindset (or spirit set) rather than referring to those things literally.

    That being said, I am something of a literalist in my own practice and life, but that is just me. It is my practice, and I don't suggest that what feeds me, and keeps me in a state of awareness is what others should do as well.

    But I do think awareness is important...and that we should encourage one another in that direction, but each will have their own methods that will be most useful and appropriate for them.

    Sorry if I came off as preachy or judgemental. Thanks for calling me on it. I'll try to be more sensitive and AWARE when I post!

    I appreciate the heads up.

    cheddar

    Leave a comment:


  • Novembers River
    replied
    Originally posted by Lunacie View Post
    I prefer to be insulated to some degree because of my neurological issues, and I certainly enjoy being climate controlled, my life as a sufferer of Fibromyaligia and Arthritis would certainly be more painful and less enjoyable if I had to cope with extreme heat and cold 24 hours a day (and in Kansas we know what heat and cold are truly like). As a child I received all the vaccinations that I was supposed to get, but as someone who doesn't have any health insurance or government health care I don't get vaccinations like the flu shot, or medications for any of my chronic conditions. Life is very real for me in many ways and I am very grateful for the comforts that make it bearable.

    I may not be engaged in life in the same way as you or anyone else, but there are things in my life that engage me that others do not have to deal with ~ or get to enjoy.
    I may be wrong but I don't think Cheddar was meaning that literally. I took it as we should embrace and truly live life as opposed to getting ourselves stuck in the "American way of life"* which is eat, sleep, and work.

    Sometimes we all need to stop and re-evaluate where we are in life. Have we let ourselves get stuck in that rut and stopped really enjoying life and all it has to offer? I know I certainly have at times.

    Thanks, Cheddar, I enjoyed your post. For myself I generally do some seasonal baking (I'm not much of a cook but I do like to make bread and cookies sometimes). As I'm not much of a ritualist the cooking is a nice way for me to slow down and reflect on the year and on the year to come.

    * - I used American way of life simply because I'm American and that's how I relate.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lunacie
    replied
    Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
    I usually use Winter Solstice as a reality check.

    I do readings that remind us, at a very basic level, what we are, what this life is.

    And I offer people a chance to 'connect' to that reality.

    Are people ready to sign on for another trip around the sun, aware of all that entails, of the joys, sorrows, challenges of that?

    Do we accept that we all have in our ancestry saints, sinners, lovers, rapists, midwives, murderers. that the land we live on and work on and raise our food on is holy ground. That people have been born there, and have died there. that our crops have been watered with sweat, tears, blood.

    Are we willing to be open to what is true, even when it's not pretty, even when we'd rather turn away?

    Or are we only willing to be insulated, climate controlled, vaccinated, insured.

    Are we ready to be truly engaged in life, or to just dabble our toes in the shallow end?

    Winter Solstice is, for me, about facing what it is to be mortal and real, and fragile on this planet, an invitation to grab life with both hands, and our teeth as well, and to band together with others to tough it out. To share the joys and sorrows and the whole wonderful messy thing we call life.

    Anyway...that is what our rituals are always about
    I prefer to be insulated to some degree because of my neurological issues, and I certainly enjoy being climate controlled, my life as a sufferer of Fibromyaligia and Arthritis would certainly be more painful and less enjoyable if I had to cope with extreme heat and cold 24 hours a day (and in Kansas we know what heat and cold are truly like). As a child I received all the vaccinations that I was supposed to get, but as someone who doesn't have any health insurance or government health care I don't get vaccinations like the flu shot, or medications for any of my chronic conditions. Life is very real for me in many ways and I am very grateful for the comforts that make it bearable.

    I may not be engaged in life in the same way as you or anyone else, but there are things in my life that engage me that others do not have to deal with ~ or get to enjoy.

    Leave a comment:


  • cheddarsox
    replied
    I usually use Winter Solstice as a reality check.

    I do readings that remind us, at a very basic level, what we are, what this life is.

    And I offer people a chance to 'connect' to that reality.

    Are people ready to sign on for another trip around the sun, aware of all that entails, of the joys, sorrows, challenges of that?

    Do we accept that we all have in our ancestry saints, sinners, lovers, rapists, midwives, murderers. that the land we live on and work on and raise our food on is holy ground. That people have been born there, and have died there. that our crops have been watered with sweat, tears, blood.

    Are we willing to be open to what is true, even when it's not pretty, even when we'd rather turn away?

    Or are we only willing to be insulated, climate controlled, vaccinated, insured.

    Are we ready to be truly engaged in life, or to just dabble our toes in the shallow end?

    Winter Solstice is, for me, about facing what it is to be mortal and real, and fragile on this planet, an invitation to grab life with both hands, and our teeth as well, and to band together with others to tough it out. To share the joys and sorrows and the whole wonderful messy thing we call life.

    Anyway...that is what our rituals are always about

    Leave a comment:


  • Lunacie
    replied
    Here are some things I'm planning to incorporate in our Grove's Yule Ritual this year.



    Turn off all the lights and have someone ready at each of the Four Quarters
    and someone at the center ready with candles and lighters.
    The narrator reads this:

    "The old solar year has run its course and completed it's cycle.
    So too have some of our habits or traits completed their cycles
    and outlived their usefulness.
    This is a time for shedding that which is no longer needed.
    Take a few moments now to consider which things you would leave behind
    as you go into the coming year.

    (pause)

    As the old year dies away so to will these old ways will fade into memory.
    In the beginning we came from the darkness of the womb.
    There we were created, nourished and prepared for our birth into the light.
    Within us, we still carry that fertile darkness.
    There we hold the seeds of hopes and dreams to come.
    There we nourish our hopes for love, joy and peace for all.
    We shield these tender roots until they are strong enough to come forth and flourish in the light.
    Spend a little time now tending these creations to come.
    Name them, nurture them for they will grow with you and bloom in the coming year.

    (pause)

    As the sun strengthens above, so will our new ways grow.

    (light the candle in the East)
    "As we light the East candle which represents air,
    we are thankful for the air we breathe, the wind that blows,
    and the beauty of the sunrise and the clouds."

    (light the candle in the South)

    "As we light the South candle which represents fire,
    we are thankful for cooked food, lit candles, and warmth."

    (light the candle in the West)

    "As we light the West candle which represents water,
    we are thankful for cleansing rain, water to drink,
    puddles to splash in and rivers to fish in."

    (light the candle in the North)

    "As we light the North candle which represents earth,
    we are thankful for the blessings that come from Mother Earth;
    food, shelter, flowers and trees, sandboxes, the beach and the mountains."

    (light the center candle for Divine Spirit)

    "We light this candle for the infant Solstice Sun.
    One small flame to pierce the darkness.
    A ray of hope.
    A symbol of the Light within us all.
    Light that can never be extinguished.
    Light that will grow in glory.
    Waxing strong, despite the cold to come.
    Light that dispels despair and resignation.
    Giving us a glimpse of golden days ahead.
    Behold the light that can never die.
    Reborn anew in the Solstice Sky!


    Then maybe talk about whether we feel that spirit is immanent in everyone and everything,
    and how we honor the Spirit of the Divine within nature,
    within our family, friends, coworkers, and others we meet,
    and other ways of honoring the Divine Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit
    such as were mentioned in honoring the Elements.

    Leave a comment:


  • airmist
    started a topic Winter Solstice Suggestions

    Winter Solstice Suggestions

    I feel a little silly asking this because there is probably much information already available here, but I didn't find it quite as easily as I thought I would and this is a generalized question concerning winter solstice ritual suggestions.

    The UU church I belong to asked whether I had any suggestions for a winter solstice ritual. They had done a wonderful one around Samhain and I complimented them for it; so I was asked to help this month. :spinnysmi

    For anyone unfamiliar with the Unitarian Universalist church, it is a non-creed based faith community completely open to people of differing belief systems. The one I belong to is very open and holds worship services which are earth based on occasion.

    Because my path has been pantheistic and solitary for 20+ years, I am not immediately able to pick some pagan rituals to suggest to the church. I'm not really looking for a complete ritual as much as just some suggestions as to music, readings, small ritual components that the church might utilize in a generic, pagan, winter solstice service.

    Thank you in advance for any ideas you might give me to pass on.
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