Here I am, back again. Writing from Slovenia. My husband and I moved from Norway to Slovenia, and then again within Slovenia. We’re now in a small, lovely town with more sunlight than my Norwegian-self think is normal for winter. It is wonderful, but somehow it makes me think a storm is coming. It’s almost like being back in California, though much colder of course.
I like going for walks, watching the mountains. And I feel I’m settling down now, slowly. So many things have happened, and it’s been hard for me to find the quiet within myself to write. And whenever I do write something (I have several unpublished drafts) I feel afraid to share it. Perhaps I’ve been a bit raw, feeling vulnerable. Scared of not being enough, or too much. All of that stuff. But 2017 brings new beginnings. A new year, a new cycle.
The Winter Solstice
I don’t want to move into the New Year without mentioning the Winter Solstice. It was especially beautiful this time around as I celebrated it with friends, on the top of the mountain, above the clouds. It truly felt like we were in a different land, farfarabove everything and everyone else. In a different world. We climbed the mountain beneath an orange sky, and at the top, we did a ceremony together. We sang and watched the sun come up. I remember the pink edge of the clouds and how they stretched out like an ocean below us. And the incense, drifting like smoke above the ground around us. We were all robed in white and yellow, and a friend stood in the center of the circle, dressed as the Divine Mother. She lit a candle as the sun rose, and it felt like magic. A gift. I’ve always wanted to celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes as long as I’ve known they existed. And now I’m finally part of a group that brings that old magic back to life.
Christmas was also beautiful and spent among friends. I felt I was given small gifts of moments, of meaningful discoveries. Gifts of love. And I went for a walk in the dusk of Christmas Eve, standing for a long time under the Christmas star, praying, hoping. Asking for help. I always feel sad on that day, missing my family. I just can’t help it, even after all these years. I always feel broken open and hurting a bit. But I was reminded that I’m very lucky to have received so much love growing up. It fed me and helped me have hope in life, and in other people. I still feel I’m carrying that love inside of me, like a golden seed.
Wishing everyone a beautiful 2017. I would love to hear from you. How are you?
You’re being given it all, the wind whispered. Everything you dream of is here; it is at your doorstep. Open the window to let in the light, and your new life, away from your prison.
But I’m not ready, she gasped. I’m still not good enough.
And yet it is given. You asked, and here it is. We love you.
Give it all up, all your worries and troubles and imperfections. Give it all to the God and Goddess and let them carry you. Spring is here, and it’s here to stay in your heart, blossoming into summer. Let it all go. Your new life awaits.
I sat among the trees, by the lake, under an almost full moon. I walked home in the gathering night, towards the light of a tiny silver star, and heard it whisper to me.
Make a wish it said. Now on the eve of the equinox, make a wish for your new life, for everything you want to leave behind, and for the dream of something new. Be quiet and see this in your heart, and you will be guided. Brighter days are ahead, the snow is melting, there is no need to hold on to winter.
I gathered my wishes like flowers inside of me, and kept them there, to be released like petals on the wind.
It is the day of the equinox, and the sun has just cleared the treetops as I sit by my window, drinking hot black tea, dandelion coffee. We got up early, before dawn, my husband and I. We had found a spot close to us where we could see the sun come over the mountains, and went there, walking along a snow clad road, seeing the horizon painted pink, a crow flying over tall pine and fir trees.
It would be a clear, beautiful day, the sky a faint blue behind us. The clouds glinted like gold above the mountain tops, and I gazed at them longingly, hoping to see the sun rise into view. It felt like such a long wait, and I grew colder even through my layers of wool, even though there was no wind this time around. I was so grateful when it finally did rise, round and yellow, rays stretching across the mountains, the ice, into the forest behind us. I closed my eyes and took in its warmth.
I feel sleepy now, but I don’t want to return to bed because the wind is in the trees and the light is coming, washing down the hill. I love to sit here while it filters into the kitchen, the room smelling a bit like coffee as I make my second cup of dandelion brew.
I saw one of my tulips, cupping evening light, pink and white and golden. A moment of intense beauty, gone in an instant.
The Spring Equinox 2016
The equinox is approaching, step by step, inch by inch. I went for a walk yesterday and felt a sadness in the sky, in the setting of the sun that I couldn’t quite explain. I sat on the ground for a while, gazing down on the lake, crusts of ice breaking, sparkling like diamonds, and up at the towering trees above me. I kneel sometimes, lifting my arms to Father Sky, putting my hands on Mother Earth. I feel guidance being there, among all the wild things.
It felt like the world was opening up, blue and wonderful, cracking at the edges to let light in, the birds soaking in new warmth, singing from hidden places as I go on my walks, or listen from my spot by the window.
I feel new life blossoming within me, the promise of spring, of white delicate flowers and tiny green leaves.
I feel I’m honing my listening skill, the inner ear hearing whispers in my bones, in my soul. I’m daring to trust, one tiny step at the time. I read this book which inspired me greatly, made me wonder about angels and spirit guides, and if we’re ever truly alone. Maybe there’s always someone walking with us, even if we can’t see them. But maybe we can sense them? A touch of love in our hearts, a feeling saying they understand, that they’re with us, protecting us. For some reason, I always felt protected, even when my life was falling apart.
Have you felt this too?
I wish I could gaze through the veil to the other side, but I’m a little afraid to. I think I read the world through feeling and sensing, and I’m trying to trust this language, words being spoken to me in my bones, my heart, an inner knowing.
Goddess of Fire
I see Brigid tending the sacred fire, dress in white, glowing among the shadows, her golden hair tumbling over her shoulders, down her back. Her eyes smiling at you, making you think of a clear blue river in spring, under the breaking ice.
She beckons you closer. A fire Goddess. What does it mean to carry the fire within?
She sang in the darkness, threading her needle through a tapestry of gold, of shining stars on a black canvas, silver threads winding through them, shining and touching the world with love. She did it for the Goddess so that she might step closer to the Great Mother, to the Earth, to light.
I write and then go out to drink again, cupping my hand to the beauty of the forest, whispers in the wind. Fill myself up until I’m brimming with voices, crystal clear as a stream flowing. Bringing home little gems to put to paper.
Sometimes it feels I have no strength to write, but other times I do, and it’s because I’ve taken the time to breathe, to see and listen, contemplate something secret and unseen. Opened my heart to the sky, the earth, a world filled with beauty.
Other times I just have to start, be open to the trickle, to something coming through me, a few slow drips, sometimes less, sometimes more. To show up at dawn, in the evening, and write without pressure, putting judgement aside.
It helps me to read the words of others, the magic that others have felt and experienced. This is the book I’m reading right now. It makes me yearn for rituals, to walk between the words, to see the Goddess in everything.
I want to sing in the darkness, like the nightingale, of beauty, of a path through the night, of a world beyond this one.
Of a sheer shimmering veil, so thin, moving in the breeze, letting through light and beauty, like snow falling through your window. One moment, a closing of the eyes and you could be there, appear as though by magic, standing by a streaming river, under autumn trees, and a sky like sapphire, whispering of more, so much more, of magic and wonder. A whole new world, a path through the forest.
Casting the Circle
She cast her circle under the full moon, by crystals glinting in the silver light, and knelt hugging herself, praying to the Goddess, calling upon the light, upon the angels, and the sacred power of the night. She brought her hands to her heart, and then to the heavens, seeing the moon through her window, floating in the sky, in the lake.
She got up and went to her cupboard, pulling out jars and wax, and sweet smelling oils. Her room was bathed in light as she worked, and she hummed softly to herself, chanting a melody of magic, a hum to the Goddess as she made her moon candle, strewn with gems and silver threads. She put her hands to her heart, then to the candle, blessing it, praying over it. She felt white magic going into it, and it seemed to glow, as though lit from within, or perhaps it was the moon playing tricks. She strewed rose petals and chamomile, and a little sage over it, letting the herbs blend with the wax, then kissed it, smiling to herself. Gently she picked it up and brought it to her altar, lighting it. She sang softly, knowing this was a magic of love. A flame burning for love of the true self, of the spirit, and beauty growing out of darkness.
Her chant continue into the night, and then she fell silent as the moon set behind the mountains, and the first grey of morning lit the trees.
Something filled her up, like the touch of rose, and she sat shivering, crying, salty tears running down her face. She felt the air was full of the fragrance of roses, of softly colored things, among autumn leaves and the first frost. She sat for a long time, afraid to move, afraid to leave the thread of peace that had been gifted her. She whispered thanks to the moon, to the Great Mother. She felt the Goddess smiling, – a warm glow at her core, in her heart, in her bones, and she remembered that she was a priestess, a daughter of the Goddess, and even though it was difficult, she wanted to live that way, it was the path she had chosen. But she begged for strength, for her wounds to heal, and finally closed the circle.
She went outside and breathed in the crisp morning air, and went barefoot across the field, in her white dress, kneeling by the stream, drinking deeply. Sunlight played in the water, clouds drifting overhead and she rolled over on her side, gazing into the sky, into a morning breaking forth, the last stars fading, the moon hidden by the day. She felt her wishes, her dreams, the magic of the night floating upwards out of sight, hidden, yet visible in the flowers soon to spring forth at the touch of the Goddess. She smiled, as though from relief. Her prayers had been received; she had drank from the potion of healing. The Goddess was with her.
I felt pretty down this morning, but I got up, and as the day drew closer it turned golden and green, and even the sky lost its greyness, painting itself a gentle blue. And I drew a deep breath, as though life was returning to me.
My dreams have been strange and murky, and I wonder if it’s because I haven’t been honoring them, haven’t been writing them down. The full moon is approaching and I’d like to prepare a small ritual for myself, put flowers by the statue of the Goddess, filling my altar with pink, red, orange. It is fall after all, and I’d like my home to reflect that, before winter, before a time of silver and white.
I’ve never truly honored the moon. I’ve looked at her from my bedroom window, but I’d like to bath in her glow, and call upon the Goddess, upon the angels, and to ask for strength, guidance, protection. I’d like to touch something sacred from my own small spot in the universe, to reach deeper, to see beyond the veil, to listen for whispers in the silence all around me. Blessings.
On the morning of the Spring Equinox, my husband and I walked up the hill together, under the fading stars. We wanted to get up high so we could see the sun rise above the mountains. We tracked through snow some places, losing the trail, walking by instinct, until finally finding our way to our spot by the ruins of an old stronghold. Only a few moss covered rocks remained now.
We dressed in white robes, pulling them on top of our winter coats, and sang a mantra together. The sky turned pink, and brightened. The clouds shone like gold above the mountains. We waited, and waited for the sun to show itself, and I started to feel cold, and impatient, but I did not want to leave until I could see it fully. It felt important to stay. So we did, in the wind, sitting, watching the sky. And then finally it came, the ball of fire above the clouds. I felt so happy and relieved. The trees, moss, heather, stones, were all bathed in golden light. It was beautiful. The moment, the energies felt special, sacred. I wanted to soak it all in it. I stayed for a while longer, lingering in the cold as long as I could. I wanted to gather it all in my heart, and carry it with me, those precious, golden rays of the Equinox.
Back home I took a long, hot shower, and was still shivering when I crept under the covers for a few hours more of sleep.
Later in the day we went on a road trip to visit a circle of ancient, mysterious stones, a few hours away.
No one seem to know their true meaning, but I thought I felt something as we climbed that green hill, and walked into their midst. I sat there for a while, as the sun started to set behind the hill, trying to read what I was feeling.
A few days later, as my experience had settled more into me, I wrote this:
As I walked among the stones, I thought I felt whispers of what once was, as though the veil was very thin, separating the past from today, thousands of years between us. And yet it felt like it could have been yesterday.
I sat for a long moment, feeling a touch of sadness, a longing for a time when nature and beauty was honored, protected, and love and light was like precious gems to be gathered and shared with others.
Do You Remember?
Do you remember the winter light of the solstice? The woman in blue, standing in a circle of frostbitten stones. The silence of the dark morning, the last stars fading at the rising of the sun.
Do you remember that long moment of reverence? Knowing what the light meant, to the world, to your soul. Can you hear the singing? Feel the sense of wonder, and relief as the first rays reach you, warming your skin, a little, in the depth of winter.
Do you remember when everyone felt the meaning of the sun, and could read the stars, the rain, the mountains, the earth. When the world was an open book of teachings to be honored, understood. When one sapling, one tiny flower could mean so much, carrying a message of light, from the universe, the gods.
I’m sitting on the step outside, listening to the evening, the little stream, the birds, the rush of the water fall across the lake. Tomorrow is the spring equinox. I will get up early to greet the sun, wearing white, praying. I feel hope for what is coming, for new things, for the light returning.
After going back inside I keep my window open, so that I can hear the song of that one bird, that seems to only sing in the early morning and evening, – those moments of in-between. I will just sit for a bit, and listen.
Today felt like a day outside time. It moved along so slowly, perhaps because I got up early, and wasn’t very tired. It felt like a soft, quiet day, with a grey, overcast sky. But there was a light behind the clouds that made me gaze at them in wonder, feeling that I was drinking in beauty.
I bought myself deep pink roses, that reminds me of kisses. I made myself a white pillar candle in honor of the spring equinox, and of the solar eclipse, and let it burn throughout the day.
With the eclipse happening I felt the energizes changing, the sky darkening. Something told me to stop what I was doing and just sit, to be in that special, long moment. So I did, feeling slightly agitated inside, but happy to relax for a little bit. I could see my anxiety, tiny flutters in my stomach, and I managed to ease it a little. I softened into myself.
My husband I had a moment together outside, as the eclipse was at its darkest. It felt like the beginning of twilight. We held hands, watching the sky, the lake, the mountains. Two eagles circle far overhead, and we could hear their cries. It sounded like one was calling the other. It felt like their cries carried some secret meaning. Perhaps they felt something happening.
We went back inside, and watched the light returning. I could see the sun shining on the other side of the water, and I sat down for another moment, just taking it all in.
The sun is up, though it still feels a bit dark, the sky heavy with clouds, mist floating across the treetops. I hear birds singing quietly, and somehow their voices seem even sweeter than the chorus of spring and summer. Winter is cold and dark, and the little light there is feels precious. There is a certain beauty to the sleeping world, and to going within, resting, reflecting on what is important, on what we’ve been through and what we dream will be.
The Winter Solstice
I celebrated The Winter Solstice in Greece, with friends. We met long before sunrise, having some way to go to reach the beach, and I felt a sacredness in the air, a need to be very quiet, to not disturb that special feeling that permeated everything. It felt as though the world was holding its breath, waiting for something very special and sacred; – the return of the light.
We reached the beach where we had made a circle of stones in the sand; – grey, brown and white. We put on our special robes, lit the incense and waited for the sun. We sang, our gaze on the horizon, yearning for the suns warmth in the cold of the morning.
It was very special for me, to see the that ball of fire rise out of the ocean. I live by mountains, and by the time I see the sun it is fully born, yellow and bright. But as it came out of the waters, I could look at it fully, admire its beauty as it slowly rose into the sky, growing more and more brilliant until I had to advert my gaze, and close my eyes.
We stayed on the beach for a long time, reflecting on things in our own way. I felt filled with those special energies of the Solstice, and with a touch of love, as though the divine was very close. It was a turning point for me, as the Solstices and Equinoxes always seem to be, a time of new lessons, new things to learn, and in all that beauty and joy, there were also painful feelings, wounds that needed to heal.
I feel very grateful to having been allowed to visit that special place, and to remember how much I love the sun, how bright and beautiful it is, and how it changes everything, the world without and within, how it brightens my mood and makes me want to sit outside for a long time, just watching the light on the trees, on the grass.
Sometimes I need to get away to be able to reflect and see things more clearly. Now that I’m back I want to do things a little differently for the new year. It’s good to be home, though some challenges were there waiting for me, as I knew they would be. But I feel more eager to tackle them now.
Before dawn I went with my husband into the forest. We walked for a while in silence, and well hidden among the trees we slipped on white robes with golden sashes. Then we faced the direction of the sun, knowing we would not be able to see it because of the heavy clouds; yet still the morning brightened around us.
We sang a few mantras together and just contemplated the forest for a while. I began to feel dizzy and we sat down.
I opened myself up. For a moment I thought I could perceive golden rays of energy shimmering on the trees, the moss, on everything around me. Then they were white. White and gold together, coming down from the sky and touching every little thing that I could see. I was amazed. I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it.
I sat soaking it all in for a while. I remember the stream, the soft moss at my feet, the sound of birds.
Eventually we slipped out of our robes, put our heavy jackets back on and returned home. We were both tired and fell asleep on the couch for a few hours. Then I spent some time reading while he continued to rest.
Did you do anything special for the Equinox? Is there any way you would have loved to spend it?