The Magic of the Winter Solstice

It is a curious thing that there is magic in the air at this time of year. There really is! For some the magic centers around gifts and feasts but I have always found the ‘hustle and bustle’ difficult and for many years, before I really understood that the natural energy of this time of year is one of stillness, I would feel depressed and exhausted.

Why Stillness?

SnowflakeAs we approach winter and the shortest hours of daylight, the temperatures drop and the trees are bare. The growing season is over, and while here in the Pacific Northwest it is our greenest time of year, in many places this is a time when the world is a stark contrast of white ground and dark night.

It is also a time of transformation, alchemy and rebirth. Deep inside the earth (under that blanket of snow), and inside trees, preparations are underway for the coming spring. This week while walking I noticed new buds already fattening, and as hard as it is to believe, in a month or so the first of the cherry blossoms will begin blooming.

It is a time for rebirth which is why I love the song “Breath of Heaven” because we do need time, solitude and introspective for rebirth. The long dark nights are an opportunity to reflect on how we have grown over the past year – what we have received and what we have given of ourselves. Doing so, we prepare for our rebirth – for the year ahead.

Winter sets the tone for whatever is next. At this time of year, so close to the year’s end – we naturally review and evaluate the past year, and makes resolutions for the coming one. Although there are several months of winter and the dark time of year left, we begin to set the seeds in late December and early January.

Seeds

The seeds are new ideas, inspiration and experiences, and is also an opportunity to let go of old mind conditioning, thoughts and habits that might hinder our forward movement. Does it mean that Winter is the only time that we can do this work? No, it simply means that the cycles of nature provide us with a natural opportunity to do this work.

The more in tune we become to the cycles of nature, the more room there is for natural healing – why fight the natural order? If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during this time of year, and feeling that something is ‘wrong’, that you can’t feel the holiday spirit, perhaps your spirit is nudging you to find the magic inside.

My own self-care plan is to experience the magic and alchemy of the weeks leading up to winter and to celebrate birth in all its manifestations.

Happy Brigit Day!

This lovely day of celebration marks the turn towards spring, the sleepy awakening of the land and the returning warmth of the sun.

You might know it as Imbolc, Candlemas – or even Groundhog Day. The ancient Irish Imbolc means ‘ewe’s milk’ because lambs were born at this time of year and the ewe’s began to give milk.

In Ireland it was known as Spring’s Beginning – even though February is the coldest month in many places, there is literally light at the end. Yesterday when I was driving to teach my Nia class I really noticed that it wasn’t dark yet!

To me, Brigit symbolises hope, the promise of abundance and plenty. For many it is a time for Spring Cleaning, and making plans. A number of years ago I wrote an article called Spring Cleaning with Intent. It is a lovely way of working with your intentions while cleaning and space clearing your home.

I found some lovely ideas for working with the energy of Brigid at The Goddess and The Greenman

A simple ceremony for Imbolc:

Prepare an area for quiet contemplation with:

  • Candle to represent the sun (or light a fire in the hearth),
  • A glass of milk to honour the returning energy.

Have a journal ready to record insights as you begin this meditation/contemplation: 

Light the candle and take a few moments to be fully in the moment and reflect on why you are here.

Questions to ask:

  • what new cycle is beginning in your life? Are there initiations, beginnings and/or resolutions; what hopes and dreams; what plans are being made?
  • what are you leaving behind, letting go of, discarding? 

~ As you record these in your journal, also turn your attention to ways you can support what is being initiated in your life.

~ Offer any prayers or songs you feel called to. A simple example might be:

Mother Earth, as the light returns and I welcome the return of spring,
I ask for your help in manifesting my plans for this season.

To close this ceremony, take a sip of the milk to honour the life from which it came. Blow out the candle or let the hearth fire go out. Some of the milk can be left outside to nourish any ‘wanderers’, be they spiritual or even the divine 4-legged variety. It is about gratitude and hope for the survival of all.

 © Deborah Redfern 2012. All rights reserved.

 

Dance and Drum Making Workshop – Special Pricing Ends February 25

Dance your bliss! Make a sacred drum! Learn how to live inside the evolving Sacred Wheel of life – the Medicine Wheel.

I am so excited and honoured to present my first workshop in Nia dance, and to be working with my good friend Neshi Lokotz who teaches drum making. Neshi and I trained together in Feng Shui and have supported each other’s work as it has evolved.

My interest has moved to personal feng shui: if our bodies are the homes of our soul, how do we feng shui that ‘house’? Working with movement and sound is the highest energy I know of to do this work:

Working with the dance of breath and sound you enter into the world of energy where the body is the transmitter to move energy in and out of the sacred in your everyday life. Your own body can be an instrument for space clearing, for inner healing, ritual, and inward journeys.

The drum has been Neshi’s grounding ally over the past year. She feels the most joy in sharing the sacred art of drum making. These drums are of the highest quality and are more valuable than anything you could buy, because your heart, soul and intentions are placed in it from the beginning of its creation. A drum like this is powerful medicine to use for space clearing, for ritual, or even private meditation and inward journeys.

Tying both of our presentations together is the Sacred Wheel or the Medicine Wheel. 

The Medicine Wheel is a tangible tool to help a person to understand how the intangible aspects of life and nature affect them. The wheel can help you to understand how you fit into your community. This is about a lifestyle as well as a cultural belief system, about how to live inside the evolving Sacred Wheel of life.

For more information on our Workshop you can go directly to our Sacred Travelers site: Drum, Dance and The Sacred Wheel. There is $100 off registration fee if you register before February 25th and you won’t want to miss it!

© Deborah Redfern, 2011. All rights reserved.

Autumn Equinox

Silvery Moonlight

A balance of night and day, a balance of light and dark
Tonight I seek balance in my life
as it is found in the Universe.
A black candle for darkness and pain
and things I can eliminate from my life.
A white candle for the light, and for joy
and all the abundance I wish to bring forth.
At Mabon, the time of the equinox,
there is harmony and balance in the Universe,
and so there shall be in my life.

~ Anon.

How Space Clearing Works

Space clearing is a ceremony of purification with ancient origins across many different cultures, but in understanding what Space Clearing is, it helps if we first have an understanding of what we mean by the word ‘space’.

Space = something physical that we define as being ours — our area on the desk, or our own room.

Space = something non-physical, something we sense. We might say for example that someone is ‘in our space’. Usually meant negatively that someone is disrupting the energy we prefer to have around us. 

Energy is the Key

In both cases we are talking about our energy fields. An energy field is a vibration. People often have difficulty with the concept of energy and vibrations because most of us can’t see them, but almost everyone can feel them. We might not use the term ‘in my space’ to describe an uncomfortable feeling, but we have all been in places where something felt off – in other words we picked up negative ‘vibes’. What is being picked up on is the ambient energy left over from people and events. This ambient energy is emotions.

Emotions

It is interesting that people can often tell what happened in a room before they got there. For example if you go into a room after there has been an argument, most people can sense it. How long the imprint stays depends on the pattern. A one-time argument isn’t likely to leave much of a pattern, but a life-time worth of emotional pain will leave an imprint, as would a one-time trauma. Having your home robbed, heaven forbid, is an example.

Energy vibrations also run through seemingly solid objects and gives them a history. Antique furniture, for example, often have definite personalities and energy patterns imprinted in them. Just touching them can give off feelings of sadness.

It is important to note that we pick up on good emotions as well. There are places that just feel good to be in. Most often I encounter them in places of nature. But people’s homes, offices, shops and restaurants also have good vibrations, especially if they are kept energetically clear on a regular basis.

Most of the time when I do a Space Clearing, there has been no energy work done on the house.  Once the energy imprint is lifted and purified, the owners can definitely keep the energy clear themselves.

The reason for this is that happiness and joy is a higher energy field than one of sadness, grief, anger, loneliness –  that is, any energy pattern that feels negative. These higher emotions are actually easier to keep intact.  What I do as a Space Clearer is change the energy pattern so that any negative elements are removed and then consciously put back that higher energy of happiness. Normally these are the home owners’ intentions and all the good things the envision happening to them in the coming weeks, months and years. 

The space is blessed and dedicated to the present owners’ wishes and dreams for their lives. Years ago in some communities, home blessings were as common as spring cleaning. Some Space Clearers call this a Blessing Ceremony and traditionally this was done when people move into a new home. Today we also provide this ceremony to help people consciously fill their homes and working places with tangible reminders of the joy and happiness they wish to honour in their lives.

© Copyright Deborah Redfern, 2010. All rights reserved.