This Thursday we'll begin by practicing the Three Touchings of the Earth. The touchings bring us back to recognize our connections with (1) our ancestors and descendants--the vertical; (2) our fellow beings, earth, and universe--the horizontal; and (3) life and death--the circular. The touchings invite us to open our hearts to these elements of our experience and of ourselves. For those of you who were able to attend last week, the third touching very much connects with the lovely and moving discussion we had about loving in the face of impermanence. (Thank you Annie!)
For our discussion, we'll observe the winter solstice, as we wobble merrily along on our little orb circling the sun. Julia will invite us to discuss and consider some of the questions contained in the excerpt below.
We look forward to seeing you Thursday evening. If you cannot come, we wish you a joyful, peaceful holiday filled with warmth and love.
Julia and Scott
some excerpts taken or adapted from Celtic Devotional by Caitlin Matthew
Once again, the Winter Solstice of the year is upon us. The season when we honor the closing of circles, the Northern Quadrant of the Medicine Wheel, the White Buffalo, the White Owl, the Ancient Spirits and Wisdom among us and within us. The season when we learn, from nature, how to honor the darkness of Life's Mysteries without losing faith...how to recognize the seeds of growth and nurture them in our own inner warmth until the Light returns...how to dignify the elder who lives always within us, and to face our own old age with serenity and faith and power. Once again we learn, that even in the darkest moments, health, serenity, and healing energy are available when we focus on them with positive intent.
I tune the hearthsong of my soul, loving words upon my lips...
light-giving songs upon my heart...
life-bringing praises upon my eyes...
The music of comfort resound in the souls of all beings,
Preserving them in peace,
As the sun and moon renew themselves this night.
I give thanks to the Wise Powers of the Universe that have protected me this day, this season, this year; may their blessings attend me wherever I go, and a special blessings to those who have touched my life, who are now in need.
I look to the unfulfilled places in my life, may my Ancient Wisdom Teachers show me how best to prepare these as fields where I may sow seeds of hope, especially. ... I ask, both for myself and others, may self blame, disappointment, disappear, self-doubt be transformed by self-confidence, hopefulness, an awareness of my potential, and Love.
QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING WINTER SOLSTICE SEASON
What am I endeavoring to manifest now in my life?
How can I change my thought patterns, to empower my goals?
What old connections could I release now, for my highest good?
Where can I turn for the best sources of Inspiration and Solutions?
What wisdom is seeking to reveal itself to me at this time?
What are the best ways that I can refresh myself, physically and spiritually?
How can I show my appreciation to others more effectively?
How can I show my appreciation to my Self more effectively?
What new idea has seeded itself this winter, and how can I best nurture it to fruition, as the earth nurtures her seeds??
What are the imprisoning fears that I feel ready to release?
What are the serenity landmarks or symbols of my Spirit Home? Of my Earthy Home?
What parts of me will awaken as the rebirth of Spring arrives?
How can I best focus on the my blessings this season?
How can I turn negatives into positives?
How can I make the best use of this lifetime??
ACTIVITIES FOR WINTER SOLSTICE SEASON
Remember happy childhood winter memories
Honor an elder who has passed on and re-establish your spirit bond with him/her.
Walk outdoors, and honor the Green Standing People's visible "bones" of the winter season.
Honor the living creatures that survive the winter season because of their own efforts and ingenuity.
Honor the stones whose patience carries them through the cold and dark, without flinching.
Welcome the returning sun, every morning or evening, as the days lengthen.
Look for the first signs of spring growth, and rejoice.
Bring into your home, as decoration in food ingredients, edible plants that have stayed green and alive all winter. They have absorbed the energy of the earth and rain and wind and sun. Now you can absorb that energy as well, with gratitude.
Know that you are Blessed.