The clocks go back and the sun takes its place residing in the lowlands behind Dragon Hill. My home officially descends into Winter. This will be our space now until Imbolc when the first rays dance into our living room again.
Darkness. Mystery. Death. When I get here I love it. The Cailleach takes the Muse to the Cave to sleep and dream with her dragon nature. Our souls are called to surrender and remember.
Today is the Samhain new moon. In the Celtic lands it is the beginning of the new year. I feel the calling of the yew moon cycle and the presence of the supporting ancestors. This passage to the Winter Sostice is for me the holiest of times. It can be like a walk with frankincense and sandalwood. It cleans and calms, it aligns and steadies the knowing and the voice of the soul.
Too often the joy and benefits of this season can be marred by business and the frenetic energy a festive season can build here in the West. It is with this understanding that on Friday we opened the Celtic New Year with a fire walk devoted to the Beloved Peace.
I had been listening to my feelings and my senses around holding fire walks. My playful energy has built lots of fun and deeply effective Beltane and Samhain fire walks over the last seven years, but something in me was needing to generate a much gentler space to continue to run them. It was like the fatigue I had experienced over the Summer months had burnt out everything in me that was in striving mode. A different and much deeper part of me is running the show. This is the Rite of Passage from the Initiator energy which has set up the little red drum over the last seven years to the secure and in place energy of the clear and grounded identity which the soul of my work now holds and emanates. It shows.
Into the peace we went. The whole evening was incredible. You can imagine - fire is roaring and passionate energy at its most typical. But here this evening the fire was a curious and gentle friend. The birch which Dave had sourced had been lying in the woods for a long time. It was imbued with earth energy and the stories of this land. The most remarkable scene unfolded as 20 people gathered close or stood away from the two pipes of peace I had built as the fire flutes for the evening. We sang, bodies held kindling sticks to catch light and bring fire to more silent areas of these two birch figures. Mouths blew, hands wafted paper. And then the winds came. It was the most communal design of devotion and tending I have ever witnessed. We each faced elements of our fears and our trust as we got the fire burning. The whole group bonded instantly it felt.
At the end of the evening, speaking with Janet Burke who I trust to tend and read a fire with me like no one else - she makes the fire walks the sturdy wonder they can be - I found her for the first time after a fire walk tired. The devotion we had been showing she had continued for the first hour after we went inside. The fire kept wanting to go out. "Carol," she said "It wasn't until I brought the two sides together that the resistance stopped. Then the fire just went for it. I had to bring the two sides together for the fire to burn." Her words fell deeply in my heart.
When we returned later with infinity wreaths holding sachets of our resistance and built with the medicine of merging as tribe with the infinity mapped for us by the theatre of the night sky the peace out there was palpable. We wandered in masks and gowns mapping the space in between with the ancestors and then took our ribbons of belief for what is true and bright to open for us to the Permission Tree. "All is well. This I know. It is always safe for me to change and grow." The words we sang together sounded as a magical round reaching out through all times and qualities of nature through the night air.
I don't know what the resistance was we were all facing this evening. All I know is we didn't experience that together. It was the lightest and most harmonious fire walk I have ever held. There was sadness and grief, but the sense of togetherness and the ethos that infinity affords infinite possibilities and solutions provided a stable and quietly confident container.
What I learnt was even more that healing doesn't take a sledge hammer to make happen. Healing is a quiet affair that is built on faith, trust and the right conditions to foster belief.
For me the whole day felt effortless. I felt such a blessing from the spirits of this land and this sky who have let me in and have helped me to be the person I am today because I have opened up to relate with them. And to the people who come to this land and work with me and to the teachers, counsellors, children and friends who are teaching me more and more to let down my walls and trust life and death and what our lives show us so that we can move through into a restored world again, I am so grateful.
We crossed the final bed of coals as a tribe holding hands, as visioned by Jan. The chant of the evening sang into the heart of everything. "All I am saying - is give Peace a chance. All I am saying is give Peace a chance."
When you don't know where to go - find Peace. It is always there. Sit with it. Bring others in - everyone wants it really. Don't give in. Stretch out to everything. Peace is everywhere and when you set it as an intention and choose it it is louder and more connective in its silence than the most roaring of passion. But when the passion grows out of this alignment you can expect openings of a magical and powerful nature.
These are the messages from our Celtic New Year fire.
May your new year be full of gentle tending opportunities and support for your soul and may the twinkling stars of the night sky call even more deeply the truth of home to inside of you.
Why not journey or meditate around 5.30 pm UK time to mark the transition into the new year? Embody peace or access infinity through reaching out past the limits of perceived edges shown through our night sky. Set the intention to let yourself feel the experience of whatever peace can mean for you this new year. Authentically feel where the fear presents itself as edges and hand it over.
Surrendering and remembering.
Blessings of the peaceful fire,