I’m currently curled up in my desk chair, sipping icy water and nibbling on dark chocolate while Pandora plays softly in the background. Recovery from this year’s Solstice ritual – like all the other years I’ve done it – is a stone bitch.
I do the same ritual every year, an all-night vigil from dusk to dawn, and over the years a holiday I used to despise has become one of my absolute favorites. It’s quiet, and introspective, and forces us to follow a schedule set by something more meaningful than a clock.
The heart of my vigil is individual meditation. For me Solstice – the longest night of the year, ending in a brilliant dawn – is all about bringing light to our own inner darkness, spelunking in our inner depths and discovering things within ourselves we didn’t even know were there. Solstice is also a quiet period allowing us to really open up to the Powers. Enough time and focus can help even the most resistant of us hear the whispers carried by silence, and it’s a wonderful time to reconnect.
A lot of internal illumination can occur during the course of a 15-hour-long night.
I went into this ritual with my private ritual of Origination still bouncing around my head. I knew this year would lead to some changes and challenges, and while some I suspected were confirmed others came out of left field. I thought I’d share a bit of it here.
1) This year’s focus will be getting my physical world in order. I’m tackling my finances, getting healthier, embracing a more environmentally-sustainable life, and (as soon as I get transportation) opening myself to new relationships with corporeal people. My Hermit-like retreat will draw to a close soon, and it’s probably a good thing.
2) The Ancestors and especially the Land Spirits deserve more from me than They’ve been getting. I’m ashamed to admit it, but there’s no denying it. This year will see some serious deepening of my devotional practice in those areas, including but not limited to increased offerings and more work in social justice and environmental arenas.
3) I work with 8 deities in addition to my Lady, all at Her direction. I knew going into those relationships that they were temporary, and this year some of them will be coming to a close. The lessons I needed to learn from them are learned and it’s time to move on. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this yet. I also don’t know if I’ll be welcoming an equal number of new deities to my practice or not. We shall see.
4) In the same vein it looks like my prohibition against honoring Gods has been relaxed a bit – for the last 15 years I’ve exclusively worked with Goddesses, with the only exception being Loki. I still don’t work with Anyone my Lady hasn’t cleared, and I need to do some work with this, but I am feeling a very strong pull towards a specific God I’ve not worked with before. That will be interesting all around.
5) I have several projects on the burner – developing my own Tarot deck, producing a divination system I’ve already developed, and revising the curriculum I use with students for possible publication among others. All of those are now officially slated for completion in by Samhain of 2015. *deep breath*
6) Several topics came to light that I’ve avoided dealing with as completely as I should have. That’s being addressed. Yay.
For now I’m enjoying the calm that comes with the next two weeks, as everything slows a bit until January, and I’m already a bit excited about what I’ll discover during Solstice of 2015.
Blessings of the season to you and yours!