On this longest night of the year, we aim to release the dark and call back the light with respect to the seasonal change but also symbolically within ourselves. Here we offer a ritual and a beautiful, heartfelt blessing we hope shines a light for you on this Solstice night.
Although Solstice traditions vary around the world, most (in the Northern Hemisphere) mark the longest night of the year with a celebration of light and fire, a rebirth of the Sun....a symbolic "Return to the Light".
To prepare the way for the turning of the Wheel of the Seasons, may we suggest a ritual or intentional cleaning of your home-space. No matter what traditions you honor, this can be a wonderful way to cleanse and renew your energetic and physical space.
Start by separating out all items (especially clothing) that you no longer use or need. Clear all knick-knacks from your home's surfaces and do a deep cleaning (ideally with a blessed broom) to clear your home of all dust, cobwebs and negative energy that may block the coming year's success. As you sweep, you may wish to use this chant:
As I sweep and sing this song
Useless items be now gone
Clear out now-you cannot stay
Make room for brighter days
For all fabrics that can be cleansed, take them down and hand or machine wash … drapes, upholstery, etc. In the rinse cycle, consider tossing a bit of thyme in a sachet or a clean sock to cleanse and renew. You may wish to chant:
Rinse away the blocks in life
Rinse away all stress and strife
Replace the void with happiness
Prepare the way for new success
Cleanse your surfaces with lemon juice, or a solution made from the tea of lemon balm or lemon verbena to clear and dissolve negative energy. Add 1 cup of herb to 3 cups boiling water, allow to steep for at least 10 minutes, As the herb steeps, you may wish to chant:
Lemon herb fresh and lemon herb tart
Dissolve negative energy - make it part
From all that comes within your reach
Clear out old energy, I beseech
Add 1 cup of your lemon/balm/verbena tea to your favorite soap (any natural dish soap or Murphy's soap is nice) to cleanse away the gunk and grime from woodwork, windowsills, doorways, baseboards and other surfaces.
-Cleanse all mirrors and glass surfaces to see life clearly.
-Remove all negative energies from your home by smudging with the herbs of your choice. White sage is popular but there are many others like cedar, pine, rosemary, mugwort, etc. that are not in danger of over harvesting. If you are attached to White Sage, please find a source that is consciously cultivated rather than harvested from the wild.
As you smudge all over your home, you may wish to chant:
Herbs & smoke, my helpful friends
Protect me and mine from negative ends
Block all but helpful energy
As I will, so mote it be
You can seal all portals (sink/shower drains, toilets, etc.) from negative energies by squeezing pure lemon juice into them.
Thus, you have cleared the way for your holiday celebrations and positive success in the New Year!
Fire of Sun with light so warm
With good fortune, our lives now charm
Open possibilities and windows of opportunity
Fill our environment with new success
And with positive energy, this home please bless!
**Adapted from the lovely ritual by Dorothy Morrison**
Whatever customs your family embraces, we wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!
Take a Moment for Meditation
You can find a wonderful guided meditation by Julie Peters here
Get grounded and give thanks to your body with these simple yoga stretches.
Blessing for the Longest Night
All throughout these months
as the shadows
this blessing has been
It has practiced
walking in the dark,
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.
So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.
You will know
the moment of its
by your release
of the breath
you have held
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
in the company
of a friend.
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.
This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you will be walking
toward the dawn.
© Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief. janrichardson.com