What to do at the Winter Solstice


(I wrote this Winter Solstice 2019) 
This year I resolved to do a Solstice ceremony. I always mean to, and occasionally I manage to light a candle on the solstices or the equinox and mutter a few words or so - but if I'm completely honest, I know it's a bit lacking and more me 'mouthing' a ritual rather than doing anything meaningful. So this year, I do what always works best for me, and I asked as many people as I could (on facebook), if they would like to come to Byparken in Roskilde, Denmark (where I live) and join with some singing and meditation to celebrate the return of the sun. Now, I like to sing, and something happens when I sing sacred songs with a group of people, that doesn't happen when I'm at home singing them to myself! So, also where possible I like to gather a captive audience so I can sing something to them, and see what happens!! This year, I sang 'Long night, dark of the sun' (which you can find on youtube, it sounds great with a drum, and these kind of slightly monotonous and repetitive chants, lend themselves best to bringing in powerful and healing energies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wel9CHRCjpY)

But let me go back a little. I chose to meet up in this particular park. Roskilde has a very interesting energy grid system. I am, what I suppose you could call, an earth worker. By this I mean, I work with the flow of the energy in the land. I am able to 'read' the energies, and know where the flow is broken or blocked, and where the flow is going well. (I've called myself an 'earth-whisperer before!) I am able to 'see' power places (which are not necessarily where you think they are going to be!) I get a lot of assistance from the elemental realms, and I experience the land as a consciousness, which can be awake, completely unconscious, or many states in between! This particular place in the park, has  a very high energy. There are other places in the town that have a much 'lower' energy, but I don't mean this in a bad way, they are just different places on the spectrum, and I love them all equally. One part cannot do without the other, and all are needed equally - just like you probably feel you would rather have all the parts of your body, if you can!

Part of the reason why the energy system, and ley lines/ energy lines in the town are so interesting is because Roskilde has a system of springs running through it. To the right of the picture, where we started the ceremony, is a stream that runs through the park, that has water from 3 or 4 different springs in it. Anyway, I digress (sorry, this is one of my favourite subjects, and I can get pretty boring about it, just like any enthusiast!). So this particular place already has a very high energy, but recently we (me and some other healers) have been working with clearing some pretty unpleasant energy in the local area, that needed to be cleared, before we could work any further with expanding the grid in the way that it wants to go. The place near where we are standing in the picture above is ready to expand out, and there is a portal just in the trees behind that will open when the conditions are correct. It's exciting stuff! I don't ever decide what needs doing per se, but follow the guidance that the land gives me. Usually it takes me a bit of time, because I need to have the time, resources and energy to follow these things through. And earth work is often slow work, much more slow than working with our own energy bodies, because it is a much larger being that we are working with than our little bodies!

So, I had an ulterior motive for holding the ceremony here, (to bring more light in to assist the expansion of the grid) but one that I felt would augment our work in the ceremony. And with this kind of work 'we give to the land, and the land gives to us'! We are the connector, in our physical bodies (and all of our different energy bodies) between the earth and spirit. As we call in the light, it flows through us into the land, into the earth - but also the earth has something to give back and the flow goes both ways.

We started with singing 'Mother I feel you under my feet', and we sang it through a couple of times. The first time we sang it, we were coming together as a group, and then the second time, I asked everyone to really concentrate on the ground under their feet, and feel themselves connected to the earth, and then the 'grounding' really began... At Christmas many of us experience alot of stress. Getting ready for Christmas, getting all the jobs done in time, managing all our responsibilities at work. And this year, we have had the extra task of spiritually finishing all the undone tasks of the last decade!! Before we can fully call the light in, it's necessary to get as grounded as you possibly can - just like a tree, the thicker and stronger your roots are, the more light you can take through your leaves from the sun!! And the dance, and the singing did this for us!

On the way to meet everyone that morning, I walked through another park, which is next to where I live. Now this is a place that also has springs and ley lines, and is very elemental. I walk there nearly every day, and have been able to, in co-creation with the different kingdoms, been able to create an energy matrix that I call a 'landscape clearing temple', that is very slowly and gently clearing the landscape! So when I go there and stand on the clearing vortex, it helps me shift blocks which are coming up in my process, and stay grounded and present in my body, as well as helping me release my stress and tension - I also greet each time the trees there that I have a special relationship with, and the elementals (nature spirits/ landvættir) that live there. But this day, as I walked through 'my places' where I go to each day, to my surprise I had a clear image of the landvættir lining the path and cheering! They were so happy that we were going to do a ceremony on the land! (I was actually feeling a bit nervous on the way there, but by the time I had gone through this 'little parade', I was laughing and chuckling to myself by the time I got there!) For me, doing a ceremony on the land, is something that I, personally get much more out of than if I do it inside at home, because the energies are amazing. It hadn't occurred to me that the land needs it just as much. But the more I think about this, the more it makes sense.

I am a student on a 2 year Seidr  course (Nordic shamanism), and I have been reading scores of books on the northern tradition. It is just SOO interesting! But anyhow, one thing I have read about (and had already had contact with because one of the springs vibrates to the energy of Nerthus) was the tradition of taking a chariot around in the fields to make it fertile.
But what I hadn't expected was when I sang the 'return of the sun' song, that it would be so powerful. I mentioned before I sang it, how important it would have been to people of Scandanavia calling for the return of the sun, that this was literally a 'life or death' situation for them. At the winter solstice, they would be looking at the dwindling food reserves, and knowing that if they weren't able to have a good crop the next year, then they and their families could starve. They needed the sun to return. Their life depended on it. But just as I have always seen rituals to the day and night (such as they had in Egypt) through the 'modern day eye' as  a bit unnecessary - after the all the sun will come up in the morning won't it, whatever we do or don't do?!....after singing the return of the sun, I realised that I have missed a deeper esoteric reason as to why we need to do this! Because as I sang the words of the song (oh sun return, turning wheel, hope reborn) and beat the drum, something powerful was happening. The song, our shared intent, the drum, were calling powerful forces to us, forces that lifted us up, and moved through us . and I believe will help us for the highest good, and also the land, because these energies also went into the land. We were calling the light of the sun back into the earth! (and into our bodies, which are made of the earth.) It was strong, it was powerful, and it was very tangible and very real. Maybe we don't need to sing to the sun to make summer return the next year, but maybe the sun has more to offer us than just food! There is so much that we don't understand about the science of subtle energies (although this information is probably out there in some esoteric mystery school, or book - but I haven't had time to read all of the ones in the world yet, lol!). I have done practices through my healing work that call in the power of the sun, but this was different. I have 'known', as you get these knowings from very deep inside yourself, that the solstices and equinoxes are powerful portals, just as the full/ new moons and eclipses are as well, but I haven't entirely known what to do with this information as yet. After this experience out on the land, I am getting a clearer idea. I am not terribly good at being the kind of entrepreneur that creates a thriving business in the material sense that we understand it, but I am the kind of spiritual entrepreneur that understands what the land needs in order to thrive, and cultivating energies in this way, through healing and ceremony, is definitely a form of abundance!!!  

Rachel Goodwin is a channel and healer that lives in the sacred town of Roskilde in Denmark and is training as a Seiðrkone (Nordic Shamanism). To see more about her Seidr work and her sessions go here


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