Updated: May 13, 2021
In a previous post, I wrote about how as a child--when day gave way to dusk--I used to catch fireflies in a jar. As I grow older I realize that this act of capturing the light, or at least of getting close enough to it to feel its warmth and energy, was a healthy habit for me to adopt early. In 2020, in this year of seeing clearly in spite of it being one of the most difficult years for so many people, it feels even more important to honour the ritual of Winter Solstice and get curious about the coming light. Dec 21, 2020, is the darkest day of the year and many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are already feeling the pinch of winter's gloomy days. The title for this blog post is from Mary Karr, award-winning American memoirist and author of The Liars' Club. I was listening to an interview with her on Tim Ferriss's blog and she spoke about how if you're curious you can't be fearful. She also spoke about getting curious about the light and I wondered what that might look like in this year of a global pandemic. To me getting curious about the light means to follow the spark of an idea or to chase a glowing passion you might have for writing, painting, embroidery or archery. Instead of pushing down those things that bring us joy, why not get curious about them enough to see what that light is really about. I agree with Mary Karr that curiosity is the start of magic. You don't need to have the answers and you don't need to put pressure on yourself to make money from this light activity--whatever it may be. Just start with being curious about it and see where it takes you. As a writer, I especially love this time of year because, even though I worship the sun, I also enjoy ruminating on what's next and cultivating the seeds that I've already planted so that, come spring, young shoots and flowers (fruits of my labour) will greet the warm light. Partaking in rituals around Winter Solstice can be especially nourishing for this very reason. The ritual below is adapted from my yoga teacher who I've been taking classes with online since the pandemic. Candle Ritual Write down a vision for what you want for your life, what you want to bring into being. Keep it simple, just a few lines. Hold a candle in your right hand, oil in left, and rub oil on candle from tip to base in one stroke with your left index finger. Keep rotating candle until the candle is covered in oil while you mentally recite your vision. Wrap your candle in tissue or place it in a holder, ready to burn on Winter Solstice. Sit with your candle intently, in meditation and if you must do this in several sittings, simply dip the wick in the wax to put it out, do not blow it out. Once the candle has burned completely, take any residual wax and wick, wrap it in your vision statement and place everything in your wood stove (or, alternatively, place everything in an aluminum pie plate, burn it, and return the ashes to earth or water (lake, river...) Know that all the forces of Nature, all the Beings of Truth and Spirit, all the Universe hear this intent and will unite to help grow this vision of healing and wholeness in your life. May you be well and safe during this time. May you greet and be curious about the light! Happy Winter Solstice!!