A Solstice Ritual

A common theme this fall/winter (maybe every year?) is learning to be with discomfort and with the things we cannot change. To be still and patient in the face of very real fears of scarcity, feeling abandoned or isolated, and the palpable-ness of our grief. How do we be present in the face of that? Especially living in a capitalistic world that demands constant with only the promise of being valued. The answer is within us. Someone recently told us that we were born with all the tools we will ever need. And while it doesn’t necessarily account for the complexities of oppression and power and privilege, there is a truth there. The answer is within.

And so, on this, the darkest of nights, an offering to you, queridxs. Of reflection and stillness. A ritual of breath, integration, and release. To find our answers within – as individuals, and collectively. As part of the work and greater picture of healing ourselves, our ancestors, our communities, and our futures.

Try to breathe in/out for multiple counts and hold the space between each breath in and out. (Ie inhale for 3, pause for 1, exhale for 4). Some of these reflections may take more than a count, three counts. You may sit with any/all points for as many breaths as you wish. We also wish to acknowledge that breathing exercises may not feel like a good fit for everyone and, especially if you have survived trauma, breathing exercises can be challenging and even triggering. You know yourself. Proceed in whatever ways feel good.

…here we go…

As you get comfortable, breathe in a note of offering and gratitude for la luna. For the flow she offers us, for the reminders and affirmations that we can continue to shapeshift, and that shifting and change are natural. Offer up thanks to the ancestors, to the original stewards of the land you are on, and to all the spirit guides that you call upon.

As you hold that breath, if it feels safe, allow that holding to be a physical reminder of the discomforts and challenges of this season. We may feel at capacity or stuck in certain areas. Where do you notice that restriction? Or un-ease? *As a reminder, you don’t have to feel into it any more than feels comfortable.*

On the exhale, breathe out any attachment to the notion that our healing is comfortable, palatable. Yes, comfort does exist in healing, and healing is so much more than one sensation. Fall/winter (and especially solstice) will remind us of this.

On your next inhale, breathe in a moment of acknowledgement and holding space for the darkness. Solstice asks us to be present with an absence of light.

As you hold the breath, imagine the inner workings of your lungs. Just now they’ve cycled you through a few breaths. Nourishing you. All in the dark.

As you exhale, recognize and release any connection to binaries. Darkness does not always equal “bad,” just as light(ness) does not always equal “good.” Nature, our existence, is too magnificent to be categorized as either or. We are both and. We are even more magnanimous than language can even comprehend.

Breathe in a moment of reflection for your last year. Honor what you grew, what flourished for you and yours. What are you excited about? What makes you smile? What could have only happened in connection and together-ness?

On the pause, hold space for all the things, dreams, ideas, themes, and people who did not continue this journey with us.

On the exhale, simply say, “goodbye.” Or “until we meet again,” “I/we release you,” etc.

Breathe in and now reflect on the challenges of the year. The lessons.

As you hold the breath, ask yourself where is there stagnant energy that you need to release and relinquish back to yourself. Are the ripples from these lessons imposing too much into/onto your being?

As you exhale, ask for a release from any desire(s) to control what is out of our ability to control. We are only responsible for ourselves. And we are responsible to one another.

As you inhale again, ask the ego to move aside so that you may be humbly present with yourself.

On the pause, reflect on the what ways you may have contributed or hindered your own self in the lessons of the previous year.

Breathe out to help release patterns or ways of being you wish to no longer carry with you into this new season. What will you make room for as you prepare for the new year? What will grow and flourish in the new year because you have called to release these things?

Take a few final full breaths and again offer thanks to the moon, the ancestors, the original stewards of your land, and any other spirit guides you sit in ceremony with. You can take a few breaths to continue imagining what seeds you are sowing for the coming year, or you can save that for the coming new moon.

Ease your transition back from this ceremony by moving your body, drinking water, or in other ways that feel good to you.

Enjoy your solstice, dear ones. May you be infused with and surrounded by warmth, nourishment, companionship + love — all of your days.

Michelle CastorComment