Thursday, December 13, 2018

#Solstice #Christmas How It Came to Be

For the past six years, we've celebrated Solstice. It started when we shared the farm with our son and his wife. The holiday was very appropriate since we lived off the land, we have native American blood, and Christmas is rooted in the centuries-old holiday. Our celebration is a mixture of native American and European tradition.

We left the farm a few years ago, but we've continued our holiday celebration
Solstice 2012

on Solstice. We now have a granddaughter. Last year, she was old enough to grasp the concept and joined in for the fire ceremony. She was beyond cute and touched our hearts when she came up with her own set of things to be thankful for and what future blessings she saw. Quite a feat for a four-year-old.

Celebrating Solstice serves another purpose in that we don't have to share our son and family with anyone else that day. Selfish?
38 year-old-decoration
Yep. We do try to see them on Christmas Eve or Christmas, but it isn't always possible because they give time to my daughter-in-law's family.

I'm going to share with you the fire ceremony. Each year, one of us is the leader. This is the leader's speech as he guides us through the ritual.

The traditions of Solstice mean:
Decorating is the way we ward off the darkness of winter
Evergreens such as the tree and ivy represent the return of the New Year and new growth of both the Earth and within each of

Fire celebrates the longed for return of longer days of sunshine and warmth.

Our Solstice Eve meal is a gathering to share love and foods of our ancestry.

Gift giving on Solstice morning began with the Shamans and continues with our present-day Santa Claus. They gave to us the spirit of giving which each of us embodies.

Solstice 2013
Now we will each choose a direction. We honor the directions of North, South, East, and West to help us focus on the unique nature of Solstice and the wonders that open to us on every side. Remember both the physical attributes of each direction and what is in your heart.

Each direction represents an element or part of nature. Read the general thoughts of that element, and then speak on how that relates to you and your own thoughts.

Praise what you find most precious about the season and our simple festival.

May this Solstice and turning of the season bring us love, peace, and good fortune in the coming year.

The remaining four of us each speak to the direction:

This direction represents Earth.

When you focus on North and Earth, know:
This is the season of cold.
But there is life waiting to germinate and be born.
We are part of Earth.

Solstice 2014
This direction represents the element of WATER.

When you focus on West and water know:
We are reminded of restless seas and wandering spirits.
This brings the blessing of movement.
We are seeking new directions, and we are emotional as the new year begins.

The element of FIRE (think of physical fire and the fire within you)

When you focus on South represented by fire and heat, know:
Heat of life ripens the earth.
Our heat seeks the roots of our life.
With the warmth comes stability.

The element of AIR (the air around us and your breath within)

When you focus on the East represented by air, know:
New life awakens with each breath and spreads through the world in spring.
This is the direction of peace.
Our spirit will triumph.

And then we roast marshmallows and make smores! Can't have a fire without those.

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to you all!

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