How to make your own Mystic Celebration

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Location: Springfield

How to make your own Mystic Celebration

Post by cimerianarcania » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:38 am



Be aware that the space you move in is ALWAYS sacred, to begin with. But
frequently, we contaminate it with our own negative thoughts or negative
baggage we are carrying. We want to make sure that a Ceremony is done in a space that we have remembered with Sacredness, not to make the space more sacred, because it was sacred to begin with, but to REMIND OURSELVES THAT ALL THE SPACE WE MOVE IN IS SACRED, ALL THE TIME.

Once you decide where you are going to hold your Ceremony, accumulate the herbs or essences to cleanse its atmosphere or aura and rededicate it. Some herbs have traditionally been used to do this. The Druids often used Cedar boughs or Arborvitae boughs. The Native Americans still use Sage for smudging and cleansing. The scent of Pine and Rosemary has often been used in actual cleansers because of their abilities to cleanse and purify. Lavender used to be used, and is still popular, everywhere from hospital rooms to church, because its scent is so purifying, stabilizing and relaxing on the nervous system, while the plant actually has antibiotic ability. DANCING WITH THE WHEEL also mentions Echinacea, the purple coneflower that at one time covered so many pastures, because of its proven ability to medically eliminate infection in the human system; the common, sweet Red Clover, which offers not only nourishment to human beings, but is one of the herbs thought to help remove tumors and stagnation from the blood, and Trillium, the three-petalled flowering herb, for its purity.

When I do a Winter Solstice Ceremony, the participants and I go out into our own yards and our own neighborhoods and look for the herbs and plants that grow locally that are still green. Whatever is still green in the midst of December, has Life Energy. That is what we bring into the Ceremony place to cleanse it. Right now,  I can still find Chickweed, Lavender, Thyme, some Parsley, some Lambs Ears, some Hollyhock leaves, and some Lemon Balm. Some of my Ceremony friends still have Sage, Mint, Birch, Barberry berries, and Sumac Berries. Select what you can find that speaks to you, or use the traditional Sage leaves, or buy a bundle of Sage Smudge Leaves in a New Age or Health Food store.


In some places you can buy special coals which you can light, and then when you throw some of the dried herbs on them, they flare up and the scent fills the room. If you cannot get your hands on any fresh herbs, buy some dried ones, or buy some essential oils, such as Sage or Lavender, and add a few drops to some pure water in a spray bottle. Or use incense sticks, but make sure they were made with the pure essential oils of the plants, and not synthetic scents, which can cause headaches, and have no plant power at all.

Remember, that the plants bring full universal power with them: the earth
they grew in, the water that cleansed them, the minerals that fed them, the
sun that energized them, and the winds that caressed them all come in with
them to grace our homes and our lives.

Then, using fresh herbs, or spraying your scented water into the air, or holding your incense stick, start by cleansing the air around the ceiling of your space. Then work your way down the corners of the room, from the ceilings to the floor, then around the baseboards and the windows, and, especially, the doorways. Tune in to the feelings of energy you get as you do this. Wherever you sense that special attention is needed, give it. If you are using a lit Sage Smudge, the smoke is often wafted around with a feather. Be sure you have fire-extinguishers on hand if you are indoors, or that you keep anything lit in a fire-safe location or in sand, etc. Keep little children away from any flames, as always. It is appropriate to say,
"With these members of the Green Standing People, or with these herbs, I
purify this space and remember that it is sacred. Together we drive away any negative energy from this place, and rededicate it to whole and positive energy."

When you are finished cleansing and purifying the greater space you live in, it is appropriate to cleanse and purify the space around your person and around each other. This is a moving and centering experience and helps create the ceremonial mood that is necessary. I like to start at a person's head, and circle the herbs around him to her, from top to bottom, saying, "The Sacred space around you is now cleared of any negative energy. You are standing in a Sacred space that is pure and healthy and that supports your Physical and Spiritual Energy, right here, right now."

When everything has been purified and sanctified, it is good to stand quietly for a few seconds, probably in a circle, and breathe deeply three times, envisioning the purity entering and lodging in your inner space.


Caves, crystals or other appropriate minerals or stones, sunflowers, owls, white buffalos, winter herbs, sun figures or pictures, seeds, earth, rocks (because they are the most patient and enduring "people" in the Sacred Circle of Life. They teach us how to just BE.), yellow round fruits like lemons or grapefruits, lemon flavors, figurines or dolls capturing old age, photos of ancestors or grandparents, etc. Be aware that any symbol that is meaningful to you, in keeping with the meaning of the winter solstice, is appropriate. I try to create the mixture of the darkness and coldness of winter and the promise of the arriving sun by placing a mirror or  aluminum foil...something reflective, on a low bench, such as a piano bench, and
standing crystals and geodes on it. I surround it with white candles which will be lit during the ceremony. People place their own symbols on it as they enter, because the Altar needs to be representative of everybody. Nearby, we have baskets of lemons and sun hangings to add at an appropriate time.


According to the book A DRUID'S HERBAL, plants are brought into the house at
the time of the Winter Solstice to assure the Woodland Spirits that they can find safe refuge with us during this period of darkness and cold. Plants that were, and often still are, brought in at this time, include:

1. Yellow Cedar (Arborvitae) for cleansing and purity.
2. Ash, considered an herb of the sun, for protection.
3. Bay Laurel, to bring the light of the sun into the house and ward off illness.
4. Blessed Thistle, an herb still used to cleanse the blood, for protection, joy, and prosperity.
5. Chamomile, an herb still used for its ability to soothe and cleanse, for love and purification.
6. Frankincense, an antiseptic herb, used symbolically to bring purification and protection.
7. Holly, for protection and to symbolize the co-existence of human and plant spirit and life.
8. Juniper, for love and protection.
9. Mistletoe, for healing, peace, and beautiful dreams.
10. Pine, for peace, healing, and joy.

The Altar can be a low table or a bridge table. It does not have to be fancy. It can be a board on the floor or a windowsill. It can be the floor itself. It can, of course, be the earth. If you are re-creating a Medicine Wheel on the floor to do your Ceremony (more on that at a later date), you might want to place the Altar within it, in the North section of the room.


The Winter Solstice is a Ceremony honoring both darkness and light. Some like to refer to it as the battle between darkness and the sun, but I prefer not to think of it in terms of war but in terms of natural, peaceful, progression. In terms of yet another example of the oscillation of all life forms, swinging from one aspect to the other and then back again, over and over again, just as we inhale and exhale over and over again, and sleep and wake and sleep again, and live and die and live again.

Traditionally, in many part of Europe, the Ceremony included lighting huge bonfires to lure the sun back to earth, perhaps in the hope that if he, Grandfather Sun, were happier among his own heat and light, he would find it here, or perhaps to show how the puny attempt at temporary heat and light was not enough. At any rate, to this day, members of Scandinavian communities still light the fires at Winter Solstice to express hope, joy, and a sense of Community effort. In many places, keeping the fires burning through the nights or through the dark times was considered a sacred thing to do, just as the Yule log is still lit in many fireplaces today. Eleanor Roosevelt felt that it is better to light one candle than to curse the dark,  and that is what people have tried to do for centuries, during the darkest
part of the year.

For our Winter Solstice Ceremonies, I once bought 13 inexpensive glass candle holders. I always have a dozen white candles and one bright yellow or golden-colored one. Each person lights one of the white candles, making his or her own relevant statement or wish. Then one person lights the yellow one, in tribute to the returning sun, to hope, to life, to the Wisdom and Silence of Winter and the Return of Light and Growing Things Manifesting.

If you have people who can supply live music, that is wonderful. I like to use heartbeat drumming on a drum. There are also wonderful tapes or Cds with fitting music, perhaps with bells, or winter sounds. Favorite seasonal music is often appropriate. However, I avoid music with definite connections to particular religions or holidays because people of many different beliefs or non beliefs are often present, and the Winter Solstice celebrates a part of our Natural World, rather than a particular doctrine.


The two most difficult times of a Ceremony are settling down to actually begin, because most people feel a little silly about creating Ceremony in the familiar surroundings of an apartment or den... and then to give up its power, and actually end. I suggest people leave all outer garments, purses, packages, etc. in a room other than the Ceremony Room. Make sure they have everything they will need: glasses, pens, etc. in the Ceremony Room, so they will be able to relax and concentrate. IT IS UP TO THE LEADER TO SET THE MOOD AND BEGIN THE CEREMONY. If you have set up a Medicine Wheel, you will probably want to sit around it or inside it, depending on how large it is and how many people you are. It is always appropriate to sit in a circle of some kind, although you will need to adapt to the space available.
Hugs, MJ

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