Cloths of winter colours - dark blue, black, light blue and gold - set in the
four directions with the gold facing north to the sun.
Scatter autumn dead leaves etc. over the cloths.
some nice background music playing.
ready at the four direction points:
container of water
bowl of earth
the Winter Solstice
solstice occurs on this day - 21 June. It is
the time when the sun is at its furthest distance from us -
is the shortest
day of our year - the day we have the least number
of daylight hours. From today onwards the days will be getting
again and we look forward to spring.
Northern Hemisphere particularly, and in times before electricity,
this time of year was truly a time of living in darkness.
The solstice was really celebrated in a very significant
way as it was the time to mark a change -the sun was turning
and coming back - this meant light and warmth and new growth.
For us here the changes are not as significant. Many things
do change and happen to us though, as the Solstice approaches.
The days grow shorter, there is less light, the weather is
cold (which tends to make us stay indoors more often), some
trees become bare and show their skeletons, the grass dies
off and the bones of the land show through their tattered
coat and we ourselves put on more clothes, looking for colours
to tone with the light, the season, and the weather.
the time to remember how to live in darkness and to have
hope that the light and sun will return. It is the season
when we learn from nature
how to honour the darkness of Life's Mysteries without
to recognise the seeds of growth and nurture them in our
own inner warmth until the light returnsÉ
how to dignify the elder who lives always within us, and
to face our own old age with serenity and faith and power.
learn that even in our darkest moments, health, serenity,
and healing energy are available to us when we focus on them
with positive intent.
then, is a time when we experience yet again the natural
oscillation of all life forms, swinging from one aspect to
the other and then back again, over and over again, just
as we inhale and exhale over and over again, and sleep and
wake and sleep again, and live and die and live again.
us now invoke the elements and call on the Spirits of the
Land to be with us as we gather...
face south and remember the life-force of AIR (a large
We call on the Spirits of the South to be with us today.
the strong southerly winds that push their way north to us
during the winter - bringing the cold to us from the great
ocean and the snow country. We are reminded of the need to
change and adapt as new winds blow - reminding us of new
depth to travel on our journey. We call on the winged messengers
who come and settle in our wetlands at this time. Let the
message of those taking refuge in our land be encouraged.
In the winter fogs let us be reminded to be still and wait
for fogs to lift - to stay quietly and listen.
of the South, thank you for your presence and challenges
- be with us today.
face west and remember the life-force of EARTH (a
bowl of red earth).
We call on the Spirits of the West to be with us today.
heart of the West and the Centre draws us to itself. A call
to explore vastly different, challenging but engaging landscapes.
The seemingly barren country stirs us to dig deeper into
the heart of ourselves - to tap the pure clean water that
rises within. The West reminds us that it too blows cold
and fierce desert winds that keep us alert to change. The
earth provides us with its unique fruits at this winter time
- let us remember there is a season for everything.
of the West, we thank you for your presence and challenges
- be with us today as we gather.
face east and remember the life-force of WATER (a container
We call on the Spirits of the East to be with us today.
blue of the ocean, the strength of currents - these remind
us of the need to forever change and grow and go with the
movements life presents us - the call of the sea creatures
who are not afraid to dwell in the depths; the strength,
beauty and wonder of the whales who pass by us at this time;
the gift of being able to so easily enter the sea to be refreshed
and cleansed; the gift of the moon cycles so closely one
with the oceans.
of the East, we thank you for your presence and challenges
- be with us today as we gather.
face north and remember the life-force of FIRE (a large
candle - lit).
We call on the Spirits of the North to be with us today.
face north we feel the strength and warmth of the winter
sun drawing us out of our winter coldness. We remember the
penetrating, burning heat of summer and the dangers it can
bring. The care of not coming too close to the sun reminds
of the tantalising journey we are on - of being constantly
drawn to the sun but not ever reaching it. We know the ancient
freshness of the northern rainforests and the intrigue of
reefs which remind us that whatever nourishment we need is
always available to us.
of the North, we thank you for your presence and challenges
- be with us today as we gather.
people before they sit to take one of the leaves
from the centre - sit and take some time to reflect on:
a) an inner darkness that has presented itself to you at this time and
b) a world issue (small or large) that causes you sadness, grief, anxiety
at this time...
time with that - then invite people to share with someone
near them... or if anyone wants to say anything before
putting their leaf into the fire.
Breathing, Dying, Rising, I am the light.
are now going to enter into a Solstice meditation so...
comfortable position. Close
your eyes and take a deep breath. Release all pent-up energy
and stress. Inhale and exhale again, and sense the sacred
space that surrounds you. Draw into yourself the pure golden
energy of the winter sun. Feel it spread out from you and
it touch your neighbour's sacred space. Feel it spread out
and fill this room with Love and Light and Peace.
or sense that you are in the bush, on the coldest, darkest,
night of the year. You feel perfectly safe and protected.
See the tall grey gum trees around you standing guard with
their evergreen leaves. See the river in front of you - the
water is oh so cold. You hear fish jump. Hear the ground
crackle as you walk and the smell of the gum leaves as you
walk on them. Your nose is cold, but you feel fine... alive,
and brisk, and well. The cold sharpens your senses.
as though you can hear sounds you have never heard before.
Ssssh. Listen for them. What do you hear? (silence) You
can see wonderful things you have never been seen before,
both with your outer vision and your inner vision. Watch
them. What do you see? (silence - allow time)
darkness wonderful visions and ideas and solutions
come to you... answers to problems you are facing. Remedies
Cures for diseases are arriving. If you are looking
for an answer to a problem, now is the time to be open to its
Tell it that it is welcome, and that it can find safe
lodging with you. (silence)
quietly and appreciate the darkness and the clarity of the
cold. Be aware of the energy of life beneath the dark, cold
ground. Feel your connection with the seeds sleeping there,
gathering strength and storing nourishment for their coming
appearance on earth. Feel the connection with the seeds of
your life getting ready to blossom in good health and vibrancy.
In the safety of the dark and the cold, new healthy life
is getting ready to appear.
deeply and exhale. Focus on golden warm light the sun
brings you. Feel it warming you, providing inner heat. See
its light spreading inside you. Feel its golden rays
connect you to all of life... Feel your hands and feet tingle
warmth, as you stand in the dark, cold bush on this
dark, cold night. Sense the halo of warm, nurturing heat that
is now surrounding you...
you have the safety and healing powers of both heat and cold.
Know that you are balanced and whole. Feel that you are safely
rooted into the ground, but that your spirit is free. Know
that both the darkness and the light are safe for you.
on any area that needs healing. Allow the darkness and light
to penetrate that area with healing power. Take a deep breath
and feel both alert and relaxed. Feel safe. Take a deep breath
and say thank you to the powers that be for this feeling
of safety and well-being. (silence)
a deep breath and ask for continued protection for you and
your safety and well-being, and for anyone about whom you
are concerned. (silence)
a deep breath and ask for continued protection for this planet
and all its beings. Take a deep breath and envision world
you are ready, gently open your eyes...
invite you now to come forth and place your leaf back
into the centre - take some fresh seeds and plant
them - these
seeds are a symbol of our hope and belief and courage
to know that from out of darkness new life comes
- a reminder
that we need to recognise the seeds of growth and nurture
them in our own inner warmth until the light returns
- as we gather here for the Spring Equinox may we have flowers
of colour to enjoy!
seeds have been planted people are asked to take a candle
and light it from the SUN candle and stand to conclude
our time together.
the Winter Times: (invite different people to read
know the sun is at its furthest point from us at
this time. We are grateful for the changes this brings and the
this provides us with.
2. We know
this is the turning time - a new journey begins for the sun and
for us at this time.
We honour the chances for the new journeys we need to
take and ask for courage.
3. We honour
the growth, energy and life force of things and concepts we cannot
see, and recognise that
they are manifesting even when
4. We honour
our faith in the silence, darkness and mystery of life, from
which new creation emerges.
5. We honour
the places of the cold, dark, silent, safe incubation - the earth,
the sea, the human
heart, the human mind, the
womb... where life,
solutions and inspirations find the nourishment and fertile
space in which to begin their journeys.
6. We honour
and reclaim our hope in the face of darkness and trouble, knowing
that the seeds of change are always
7. We honour
our staying power, collectively and individually... for having
the energy to "see" something through until the end,
despite the struggle and darkness.
8. As the
sun begins its journey back to us again, we honour our moments
opportunities of rebirth.
honour our journeys and say THANK YOU for all the stages
and seasons of our lives - may we be blessed with hope and
peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace of Christ, the light of the world to you.