of peace, love & light!
December 21, 2015 11:49PM EST
Winter solstice is a signal to celebrate. For those of us living on the northern part of Earth, this is the shortest day, but then after the winter solstice, the days get longer, the nights shorter.
This season reminds us of the ever-changing flow of life. I invite you to honor this time with a meaningful ritual. Creating a ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle with an intention in your heart to commemorate this pivotal moment and re-kindle your inner fire!
This can take a simple form ~ e.g., family and friends ringing bells together ~ or it can be as ceremonious as bells/systrum being rung after each person in the circle shares a word of gratitude.
Start with choosing a bell to ring or a systrum to shake. Bells can be of varying sizes and types, but, ideally, blend well when rung together. Brass bells and/or jingle bells are commonly available and have long time associations with the season.For a bell ringing/systrum shaking Solstice circle, family and friends gather together in a circle. Each has a bell or systrum in hand. The host or hostess preferably with a systrum in hand shakes it to clear the space and then says a few words about the Solstice being the start of the new solar year... let us ring out the old year and ring in the new year. By shaking the systrum a sacred space is created as an antidote to the world's chaos.
Family and friends gathered might ring bells and shake systrum honoring the directions (as inspired by spiritual practice of many traditions ~ i.e, Native American, Buddhist, etc.) as follows: Begin by facing each of the compass points (North, East, South, West), ring the bells and shake systrum in unison, honoring connections with each sacred direction. Repeat in the three directions: upward, the place of the cosmos; downward, the place of the planet; and center; the Divine within.
In place of, or in addition to, individual direction honoring, ring the bells and shake systrum together to celebrate the familial and friend connections; again ring them in unison to celebrate our connection with the cycles of Nature; and then they ring them a third time in unison to celebrate our connection with life on planet Earth and all of Nature.
Finally, from the oldest to the youngest, each person is invited to speak a vision or wish for the planet for the coming year after which the bells and systrum are played together to affirm that vision/wish. After all have shared, the ceremony ends as the entire ensemble calls out ""Happy Solstice” three times with a resounding ringing of all bells and/or systrum!