The dead of winter is not the time for resolutions; it’s resilience time. Save the resolutions for springtime when new growth is in the air and the success rate of those resolutions will go way up.
The winter of the soul is when the barest of our human branches are buffeted by the harshest elements of life to test our resilience, our will to live, our ability to thrive, to endure, withstand, to defeat fear-based thinking, to overcome the temptations of the ego, to surrender to God and what is.
The “elements” that storm us are our buttons, triggers, wounds, walls, pits, dungeons, battlegrounds, cemeteries – all the places in our lives where someone has left the scene unforgiven.
The dark night of the soul is a veritable winter wonderland of resentment, guilt, anger, anxiety, despair, failure; everything that keeps us from being loving.
The last picture in the slideshow – a breathtaking shot – has an accompanying quote:
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
But, as long as we connect to our roots, we have life everlasting. And abundant life.
Burning Bowl Ceremony
Now is the time to release everything in us that keeps us from expressing our most authentic self. The forces of nature are with us. And then, with our cleansed and purified selves, we begin the march toward Spring, toward new life, radiating with self respect from having endured the soul’s storms, and more than ready to face, resolve and complete just about anything life brings us.
The Burning Bowl Ceremony frees us of our deadwood….useless or burdensome persons or things.
This New Year’s cleansing ritual can be done either on New Year’s Eve, or can be part of the celebrations on New Year’s Day.
It’s a cleansing ritual that can be done any time of the year when we feel the prompt to celebrate releasing and letting go of anything we don’t need….the deadwood in our lives.
Make it as personal or social as you like; add your own ceremonial touches to make it a special event for you and anyone who participates.
Our meditation group did this ritual a few days ago during our weekly meeting and it was powerful! We chanted and sang as we each threw our mistakes into the ceremonial pyre, leaving us all feeling purified and cleansed of all that we no longer needed.
Our family loves this ceremony! It’s simple, powerful and fun! Even young children can participate; invite them to let go of bad habits such as nail biting, gum popping, or chewing with their mouth open.
First, write down everything in your life that you want to release, whether it’s negative personality traits, an unhealthy relationship or a meaningless job.
Part one of this article explored what each of the Zodiac signs needs to cleanse for the New Year.
Write down everything that needs releasing, forgiving and letting go in your life. This can be as simple as a one word release or pages of deadwood.
Now, ceremoniously tear the paper(s) to shreds.
Then, set up a simple and safe method to set your deadwood on fire, either by using a candle inside a big soup kettle, your backyard BBQ, or a simple fire pit in the ground.
We’ve often had fun letting our deadwood go up in smoke in the safety of well over a foot of snow in our yard!
If you are not able to set your deadwood on fire, the ceremony can be just as powerful. You can drown the pieces of paper in water, crumble them into the trash, or stomp on them.
As each piece of paper is given up to the fire, you can use the Sanskrit term they use during homas, fire ceremonies, to add a potency: “Swaha!” The original word is: svaha, and it means, “so be it,” which is what “amen” means.
Singing, chanting, dancing and prayers can add to the ceremony. We often chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Hallelujia’ during our ceremonies.
Witness your deadwood being set on fire and released from your life; watch as all your mistakes and the past goes up in smoke as you bring in the New Year!
There’s a story about Thomas Edison that always inspires me. Edison is standing outside watching as his laboratory, engulfed in flames, goes up in smoke. He calls to his son to go get his mother so she can see. As they watch together, he tells them, “Now, all our mistakes are gone!”
Happy and prosperous 2013 to us all! Antum Salimoun! Bonne Annee! Sanah Jadidah! Felice Anno Nuevo!
For information on holistic astrology, visit me: Holistic Wellness Center, www.holisticwellnesscenter.biz.
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