I am cobbling together a ritual for solstice this year.
And I would like company with my ritual, because the whole point of it (for me) is companionship.
So consider this an open invitation to join me, in a form that you like.
What this is about, for me.
Some of the qualities important to me for a solstice-together experiment:
Comfort. I want to be able to do this while curled up in blankets and wearing the fuzziest, coziest sweater I own. Holding a mug of something delicious.
Play. This is about allowing a form to emerge that feels good for me, right now. It is flexible, it can change. No rigid structures, no agenda, no one right way.
Light. You pretty much have to have candles on the shortest day of the year, right? And, as my wonderful uncle Svevo said in his Hannuka postcard (sent on the back of a box of holiday candles)…”Let there be lightheartedness.”
Warmth. Warm heart, warm belly. Contentment.
Quiet. A turning inward. A listening. Solstice is definitely a listening time.
Radiance. I guess this is the warmth. And the light. It just seems like its own special quality. The glowing of all the other qualities. The glowing of them and the receiving of them.
Companionship. Togetherness. Smiles across the room. Knowing that we are sharing this, in whatever way feels comfortable for us.
Discovery. Ritual reveals things. Well, it is a form that allows for pause. Pausing in turn allows for quiet, and quiet allows for discovering the things you already knew but didn’t realize that you knew. This is creating time/space/safety for those Known Things to show themselves.
These make up my compass of Solstice Stones. It is a compass of Gemütlichkeit.
I know I’ve written about Gemütlichkeit here before…
Yup. Found it. From last year:
Ah, the marvelous and vital German concept that combines all that is good from both coziness and comfort.
Think plush rugs soft under your feet. Warm sweaters. Cheery lights. Whatever is snug, cozy, pleasurable to touch and look at.
I want to be the snuggliest cat this December. And I want my setting to invite that kind of contented curling up and turning inward.
That is the feeling I would like for Solstice.
So here’s the plan.
I want my day to include stone skippings, my favorite practice.
And I want it to have luxurious stretching, old Turkish lady style. I want to be a cat.
And I want company. Though of course the people who are keeping me company do not need to do any of these things that I am doing, they can do whatever appeals to them. This is not a prescriptive ritual. It is an exploratory one. So it can be reinvented to take all kinds of shapes and forms.
You can skip some stones with me if you like….
Here are the two questions I am using as stones:
“What needs to be eliminated?”
“What needs to be illuminated?”
I will let these questions ripple out, and I will write whatever comes into my head.
I may ask them a couple of times. Or maybe once will be enough.
And I will let pen move on paper and see what reveals itself. I will find out what I know that I do not know that I know.
What needs to be eliminated? What needs to be illuminated? These are my questions for solstice. These are my solstice stones.
If you would like to do this with me in Portland on the Solstice….
I’ll be at the magical Playground enjoying a day of lovely quiet things. Conducting, napping, stretching, clew-searching, coloring monsters, collage, writing. Almost like a solstice mini-Rally.
The Playground is the most gemütlich place ever, gorgeous lamps and warm blankets. Lots of nooks for napping and writing. A bunk bed and a hammock. A kitchenette. Bring a candle or a tea light!
We’ll be open from 10am until midnight, come for as much as you like. Self-guided, though we’ll skip some stones together, run a late afternoon Chicken and watch constellations on the ceiling.
$40 for the day. $20 if you are part of the Alphabet Carousel. If you want to play, email the First Mate to set this up and reserve a spot.
Whatever you are doing from afar can be a part of this too.
I know the Solstice is crazy close to holidays, and there is much General Madness in the air, so you might only be able to carve out five minutes that day, and that counts too.
You might only be able to pause for eight breaths, and that counts too.
Even if you don’t get a chance to skip the stones, you can ask them out loud:
What needs to be eliminated? What needs to be illuminated?
What wants to be eliminated? What wants to be illuminated?
A ritual doesn’t have to be complicated. See also: this list of 31 tiny mini-rituals I put together last December. Apparently I had ritual on my mind then too.
What I really want to say is this:
Know that you are loved and adored by me.
Know that you are part of this community by virtue of wanting to be a part of it, there is nothing more that is needed.
Happy solstice in advance.
Tomorrow I will be talking about the F Word.
Not that one. Though maybe, who knows.
And a week from Saturday I will be throwing myself into quiet and Gemütlichkeit. Though I may break out some dance moves too. This is likely.
I am one hundred percent convinced that however you join me will be the exact right way.
Happy solstice. Happy solstice stones.
If you want to leave possible solstice rituals (that you do, might do, read about, just thought of, whatever), that is welcome here. If you want to skip the stones now, that is fun too! You can always skip them again, that is the magic of stones.
We could also have a little virtual tea party right here in the comments. I am bringing a pot of Egyptian licorice. The pot is deep blue, and it is beautiful.
Help yourself. Love, as always, to the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers, and anyone who reads.