We are living in dark times. It is not just that this is the darkest part of the year, but the world around us appears to be a reflection of bleak hopelessness and despair. Misogyny, bigotry, and hatred for “other” have become normalized and legitimized. Our water protectors are being dehumanized, attacked, arrested. Wars are being waged based on corporate greed and corruption. Children are dying.
There is so much to be outraged about, and yet, if we choose to remain in a state of perpetual anger and fear, reacting rather than responding, blaming rather than offering compassion, we will lose a precious part of ourselves. Yes, we must stand against tyranny, we must speak out against injustices, but we must ever be mindful of the fact that love will always trump hate. We cannot remain silent, but we can speak and act from a place of love and compassion.
We are living in dark times, but the Winter Solstice offers a promise, a promise of light’s return, a promise of hope. The Winter Solstice is a reminder that the dark times are ending, new life is emerging. We can make of this new life what we choose.
Ritual to Release Anger and Negativity
Close your eyes and breathe deeply, each breath taking you deeper and deeper within yourself.
Visualize yourself walking along a forest path. The frost and snow twinkle, a reflection of the dark sky above. It may be night time but the Moon and stars shine so brightly, the path is easy to follow.
In the distance, you hear the call of wild geese as they herald the presence of the Ancient Crone known as the Cailleach, Goddess of Winter.
You come to an outcropping of stone, and see, sitting upon it, an old woman. She is the Cailleach, blue-skinned and wearing a robe of purest white. She invites you to join her and asks you what it is that you are needing to release in your life right now. These may be long-held beliefs, recurring patterns, old habits, unhealthy emotional attachments…
Take as much time as you need to list all the things you feel are taking up valuable space within you, the things you would like to release. When you feel ready to leave, thank the Cailleach and slowly come back into your body. Write down all the things that you are wanting to let go of.
Place your paper in a cauldron or firepit and set the paper alight. As the paper burns, feel yourself growing lighter, feel the void left behind from this release. You have now created sacred space within, to be filled with love, light, compassion, or anything else which ignites your passion.
With this newly-born lightness of being, go into the world and share your love, your light, your compassion with those who may need it the most.