Fourteen women, candles, intentions, and sharing from the heart make for a magical solstice. I sent evites to my women friends whom I thought would embrace the celebration of the return of the light. The winter solstice marks the longest night and therefore the shortest day of the year. Each day forward we have a bit more light until the Summer Solstice when the cycle turns and the nights lengthen again. I asked them to wear something white or sparkly. I asked that they think about what they would like to leave in the darkness and what they would like to embrace in the light. My final request was that they select a word that best represents their intentions for 2011.
This is how my guests were welcomed. The wreaths were custom made for me with bay leaves and the fresh, crisp smell was as inviting as the candle lit sidewalk. The heart shape above the wreaths is my garden goddess. She stays out year round, watching over my plants and trees. Three early arriving friends set out and lit the luminaries. The recent snow added to the light and the night birds were stirring.
|Candle lit path|
|Owls' eye view|
We formed a circle, each woman holding a white candle. After passing the flame one to another, the ceremony began. We recognized the day and spoke into the circle the names of three friends who could not be present but were in our hearts. All listened attentively as each spoke what was being left, what was being embraced, and her word choice.
Each woman's chosen word beautifully reflected her intentions. I provided each with a locust pod as a keepsake on which to write her word with a silver Sharpie. The seed pod represented rebirth and renewal. I then offered to make a second pod for each woman, marked with her word, that I would add onto a wreath and place in my writing room where I would honor and hold her intention with as my own.