Eve of Winter Solstice

Do you Solstice too?

I’ve unsubscribed from the modern “tradition” of Christmas. Both for religious & cultural/societal rebellion reasons. I simply no longer agree that I need to give people I barely know, barely like, or barely see all year long gifts to satisfy the obligation of exchange. I honor them and their way by receiving gratefully any gift or card I get. AND…I honor me and my way by not giving back out of obligation.

Instead, I Solstice this time of year. To me that means I’ve been hunkering in my physical and energetic cave pretty hard to prepare for tomorrow. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year. I love the extra hermiting and hunkering. I love the extra dark. I love the darker light during the day. I love the extra-empty park on my daily walks with Juniper. I love my Yule tree all glowy in the dark of morning. Anyway…back to focus. To me this means I turn inward and look honestly at what I am doing…what I need…and what seeds I am planting in my soul soil for the upcoming growing season. This is not always a sweet or kind process…but it’s a powerful one. Solstice to me is a time of letting go and naming what’s next.

To me…Solstice time is a threshold time. A time of crossing over. A time of beginning again. A time of letting go and shedding. A time to see how the edges we resist are simply lines to cross of leveling up with focus what is naturally occurring in our Self-evolution. A time of equal and opposites doing their dance of wholeness. My Solstice fire ritual carries this essence. It has 2 equal and opposite actions while being different every single time.

When I Solstice, I make a fire with sacred intent and bless the crap out of it with herbs. As it builds, I burn bills that are too old to keep. I burn the declarations from brave women who have gathered with me all year. I burn the bundles, ties, and scraps. I burn the tissues, the extra herbs, and the things that I don’t want that can be burned instead of dumped. It’s an energetic colonic of both physical shit and emotional shit…and I love the intensity of it. I let the fire get big and I let the feelings inside get big with it. I let it feel itchy and uncomfortable as I feed the flames. #shedding

When there is nothing left to throw in I wait for the fire to find it’s comfy place of warmth and illumination. I drum or rattle. I journey. I dream. I ask. I claw my insides for clarity as I wait for this sweet spot with the fire. I cast this sweet spell (call it a prayer if that works for better for you). I offer it to you to use.

Burn away. Bring to light. Crossing threshold. Welcome clear sight. Standing here...in between. Moving forward...joy in feeling seen. ~Solstice Spell by Nissa Howard

Then begins the claiming what is before me from deep within me. I move, or sit, or do whatever my body needs doing to receive the sensations of what I’m conceiving. This part of my ritual is quite passive…it’s energetic…it’s Self-contained and Self-centered. I ask. I listen. I breathe. I receive.

When I Solstice, I call forth with silence and knowing without know-ing. I tend the fire to remain in warmth and illumination and the fire becomes my scrying tool. My clarity doesn’t need clear vision to go forward…it needs a strong knowing backed by the work ethic of one willing to do the job of Self…even when you don’t want to. Tending my Solstice fire in turn tends to my inner Self.

And…on the eve of this Winter Solstice of 2018…I feel a deep and tremendous stirring that the words I have just written to you are in fact the words I needed to hear to bring more focus, accountability and depth to my Solstice fire tomorrow night. My vision is to inspire you to make your own magic with Solstice this year.

How do you Solstice?

What will you shed?

What are you calling in?

What is crossing over?

What will you take with you?

But that’s not all. Solstice is just the point of transition. It’s the threshold. It’s the edge that is expanding. The threshold of Solstice that crosses over from the dark to the light is that place of conception, which gives the following months of slow transition the time for gestation. For me, Solstice energy…it’s power and essence began a few weeks after Samhain. That is a good month-ish of Solstice being an influence in my body and soul. A good month-ish of deep reflecting in the pools of my dark swamps and shadowy forests. A good month-ish of desconstructing the thoughts and illusions that have taken me off track this year. It’s been a slow, teary, and honest reflection of this calendar year.

I can say with a certain amount of certainty that for me, 2018 was a year of conflict. My Solstice reflecting has brought me this understanding. My bones and body reacted with a “fuck yeah!” and so I can begin the process of owning my role in it while claiming my right to change it. (these are some pillars of ReWilding Wholeness…doors open in March) #shamlessplug

All year I’ve been keeping my heart forward and my eyes on my work. Early on in 2018, conflict began picking up in my relationships. Probably due to a backlog of avoiding, isolating, exhaustion, and a need for new agreements.. As the winds of conflict hit, I consciously returned my gaze to my work and kept the clean up to myself. As I reflect on this, I can feel the weight of it being carried all year long…like a sack I carry on my back…getting heavier and heavier as I kept moving forward. If I’m honest, my dislike of what I judge as drama or gossip kept my mouth shut. And since I’m being honest, I can also see how the fear of not handling things in a way I’m proud of kept me in a mini-state of avoiding showing up with my needs or thoughts in the resolution. And an even deeper truth is one of a carcassed agreement to the story of “trust no one”. (the bones I’m picking in ReWilding Wholeness) Yeah…that one pings to say…so this is where the medicine and magic is at. Through the ReWilding Wholeness process, I get to declare and tend to a new agreement that is ready to live and fuel my life. For me, the opposite of “trust no one” is both “my needs matter”, and “I can trust myself”. Lately, this has been my guiding light through the mis-steps of this last year.

Like I said…I have been keeping things quiet in my conflicts this year. Sometime in November, I was chatting with a friend who I hadn’t talked to all year. We were checking in, catching up, and doing an overall “what’s been going on this year”. I found myself naming that this year has been one of a lot of conflicts. And I didn’t think much of it…it was just my truth. A truth without judgement, story, shame…just a naming of what has been my experience. Then an interesting thing happened. Within a week a deluge of conflicts started to whammy me. Inner conflicts. Outer conflicts. Past conflicts. Little fires of unexpected conflicts. Did saying it out-loud give the conflict more power? Words have power. Did naming it unleash it’s full fury?

Maybe.

Or did naming it call out that keeping small and quiet in conflict is no longer medicine?

Maybe.

It could be something else too. And what I want to share is…the reasons of “why” aren’t as mobile & liberating as the showing up differently in it. Once that deluge began, I found myself standing longer in the conflict. Reflecting before reacting. Responding with what I need or what I felt or what I am observing. It’s been scary. Scary to risk fracturing or loosing a cherished relationship. Scary to feel the fear of yet again, not feeling accepted by those I love. Scary with insecurity that I will add to the reasons I’m not good enough. And sadly, the scariest of all being “on the other side of this is love, connection, understanding, healing, and self-knowing”. Let me be clear about something…the best of these scaries is the one that leads to the good stuff. All scaries are true. The one that holds personal power and TRUE moving forward is the one that makes me stand for the allowing of love, connection, understanding, healing, and self-knowing.

All this intensified conflict of the last month has been brought about beautiful shifts. Insightful lessons. And proof of growth. There have been severed connections, strengthened relationships, broadened perspectives, deeper understanding, and a grander tolerance for human-ness in my Self and others. Conflict is a great container to show up differently as a pseudo-laboratory for discovering and experimenting with the behaviors, actions, and choices that express who we are, instead of who we were. As I reflect I feel an unfamiliar brand of gratitude and fortified confidence to continue to show up more fully in conflict.

Through it all, I am taking with me a heart to trust myself more, and to keep my heart open to love and be loved after the conflict. This will serve me well as I continue walking through the remaining conflicts that are currently under repair…and the ones that are on deck. Through it all, I’m learning that there is a difference between gossip and processing my side of conflict. I can talk about it without talking about who. Because it’s not about “who” in the end…it’s about me shifting the shit and changing with the change. Through it all, I am learning that it’s not about changing what’s outside of me…it’s changing what is inside of me.

One thing I know for sure is, I will never figure out how to do things better if I never try…make mistakes…reach out with repairs…and find gratitude in the lessons. Reflecting on my 2018 theme of conflict I can painfully see how many times I didn’t show up fully in what I know for sure. AND…like I say…”don’t shame it, do something about it!”. Owning these things brings me a seeing of what I can do different, and therefore evolve and grow.

Oh, Solstice…you do have a way of pushing new life into by being. I will continue being swaddled in Solstice introspection and welcome the comfort of owning the growth. Until the stirrings of Imbolc begin…you will find me in the swaddle of Solstice energy…gestating these new concepts to nourish who I am and how I show up in conflict.

Inner Exploration Prompts:

  • What is the title or theme of your 2018 story?

  • What has come out of it’s darkness this Solstice?

  • In what ways can you show up differently to make medicine from the poison?

Blessed be,
Nissa

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