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Monday, 22 December 2014

Winter Solstice Ceremonies 2014

On 2014-12-22, at 10:20 AM, Katherine Gordon wrote:

A Sweet of Solstice

A creep of light
blows kisses at receding dark
we are blessed again,
saved from uncertainty
as sun decides
to embrace us one more time
in the cycle of our lives.
Wassail the trees
feast with friends
feed the needy birds and boys
deer and men,
hide the nag of doubt
that perhaps the heavens
will withdraw the light
that gives us life.
Strive to be worthy.
A silk of sigh, stray of tear,
light-blessed in winter
we can still dream.


Katherine L. Gordon
first increase of light, December, 2014.


Thanks Katherine!
I used to do smudging ceremonies for all the solstices and equinoxes, but I've become a bit slack about remembering to do this in my golden years. Yesterday I did remember, tho, and I drove out to ZenRiver Gardens with Chase. We wandered back to the old quarry site, and had a nice visit with the people who own it. They've built a small chalet carved out of the quarry ruins. Then we headed back to ZenRiver, where I built a fire on the rock outcropping in front of the shaman shack. I took down the very faded prayer flags from the wicker entrance way, and replaced them with a bright new strand of flags. I also took down the string which had been hanging along the front of the shack's porch, and replaced those with a Cuban flag which Sharon, my new 'assistant', had left in the shack. Then it was time to commit the old flags to the wind:

winter solstice fire
flares faded prayer flags
final voyage

I didn't realize how long I've been doing these ceremonies until I Googled the following haibun, from 2005:

Winter Solstice Smudging 2005

Had a great smudging ceremony last nite, altho it's obviously more fun  when Morley joins me. Stated the fire around 11 pm, & had to break a  trail to the chiminea thru a foot of snow. I've gotten so good at starting winter fires, even when my wood is covered in snow, that I had the chiminea roaring in 10 minutes. Had a large, almost empty bottle of Pelee Island chiraz, & made several (many?) trips back inside to take a sip & get warm while I waited for midnite. It was by far the coldest of the 3 Solstice ceremonies so far.

At midnite I did my usual ritual ringing in the 4 points of the compass, & got to use my spiffy new Tibetan bell - great strong sound! Then smudged in incense & rich smoke from the white pine boughs I collected on Monday's hike. When I awoke this morning it took a second or 2 to realize the great smoky aroma was in my hair :) Always feel refreshed & purified after the Solstice ceremony. When I looked out the window at noon all the trees were covered in white hoarfrost!

Solstice morning:
smudge smoke in my hair
hoarfrost on every tree

peace & poetry power!
Chris ... & Chase Wrffffffffzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  (still napping)

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Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "Winter Solstice Ceremonies 2014":

winter solstice-
faded prayer flags

Happy winter solstice, Chris and Chase!

Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 24 December 2014 at 07:59

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1 comment:

Conrad DiDiodato said...

winter solstice-
faded prayer flags

Happy winter solstice, Chris and Chase!