What, with the winter solstice, a full moon AND a lunar eclipse, I had to get my girls together for a celebration Monday night. That kind of thing does not happen on a regular basis – hadn’t, as a matter of fact, since 1638. Won’t again until something like 2094. My mom told me that the corresponding powers of the divine feminine during those three powerful acts would be so intense that any prayer or intention set forth would have one thousand times more effectiveness than any other full moon, solstice or lunar eclipse in and of itself.
It was obviously a necessity to invoke the ceremonies my best friend in college and I used to have. The kind where you are not following any guidelines, just your heart and even a half a glass of wine in a plastic water bottle and a handful of almonds become sacred when placed in the center of the gazebo next to a pond in Greeley. Light a few candles and suddenly you are a priestess, waving your hand over the almonds and saying things like, “Goddess bless your nuts” and watching the moon with a profound appreciation for the magic you pretended you felt so hard that suddenly, you really do feel it.
So yes, you might say I have a little experience with sacred ceremonies. And I am a reverend, after all.
We ate an all-raw foods dinner, slurping our avocado soup out of margarita glasses and sipping Pellegrino out of wine glasses. After a quick smudging ceremony outside in which we each had a bundle of sage that we waves around each other and then the drawing of a few Goddess Cards, it was time to get down to business.
I tore a few sheets out of my journal and each of us took two strips of paper. On one, we wrote what we were ready to let go of on this dark night. That which no longer serves – the old stories we have told ourselves, the bitter scars we have carried, the worries, fears and burdens we have beared. The second page was for what we plan on growing in intensity with the increasing light of the sun. And just to make it that much more powerful, we matrika shati-fied that motha’. In other words, we used present tense languaging, as though the things we most desired had already happened, already embodying those words, dreams, desires, goals.
The four of us scribbled away with our brightly colored Sharpie markers.
Outside, we lit a small peach candle and took turns igniting our prayers, beginning with the ones of release. Folded papers dipped down into the flames and we solemnly but happily watched as each page was consumed. All that remained were the soft ashes of each page and a deep breath or two as we felt all that weight lift off our shoulders.
Swaha. Offer it up to the sacred fire for radical transformation. And from the ashes, rise anew.
“I want to open this one up,” my sister said as she bravely unfolded her second sheet. Baring her truest heart and most sacred wishes to the sky, she tipped the paper into the flame. Hell yeah, I thought. Why hide this?!
I held my manifesto over the candle, light burning bright through the middle of my paper. The teal ink looked brown, almost black, backlit as it was and the light made the words in the middle glow. The word “Love” seemed to leap out as the paper caught fire.
My cousin Lo’s burning page settled into soft ashes, leaving one corner completely untouched, as if purposely trying to make a point. “I am in love with myself,” it read.
We all felt lighter as we gawked up at the full moon, still bright white and waiting for the pending eclipse. I was not done yet, I thought. We weren’t done yet.
I snapped my gaze up from my trance on the little peach candle, conduit of our dreams. “Ima get glitter so we can dance around the fire.” No one seemed to be surprised by my declaration.
I distributed little shakers of glitter to each of the girls, tossing some up into the sky and beginning to dance in a spiral around them. Giggling and with glitter in tow, they each began following suit, drenching each other in glitter. Dancing, we blew glitter like kisses out of our palms, sprinkled it like fairy dust on each other’s heads and threw it in great arcs up to the sky above us like holy water. Everything sparkled in the mix of candle and moonlight, a genuine pagan discotheque.
Lo halted her giggling and general frolicking with a gasp. “Look!” she shouted, arms outreached and looking down at her sparkly self. “We’re dancing in the reflection of the divine!”
We were covered in the joy of our intentions. It was almost surreal to look at each other, watching everything glimmer and sparkle like a real-life dream. Honest-to-goodness magic. And it was not all just the glitter.
I looked at the women I stood with. With people like this in my life, how could I ever feel lonely? How could I ever feel any lack when my love for them runs so deep?
Even today after a shower and a solid effort at vacuuming my sister’s house, glitter is everywhere. It serves as a solid reminder of how magic I am. We are. You are. Even on the longest night, the darkest night, the night where even the full moon bears no light – I still shine. Those I love deeply reflect that love back to me and I see them. I truly see them. I see they are letting go. I see they are prepared to receive. I see how ready and willing they are for a change in their lives and how truly worthy they are for every bit of it. And how I could not have asked for better company and support as I practice the same thing.
Sparkle on with your rad-ass self.
Glimmer with the remembrance of your divinity.
Go light something on fire and dance around it with all your heart.