This year I was invited following a talk to organise a Winter Solstice walk. The river Inagh shares its name with a mythical river goddess. She rushes through my ancestral village, forming picturesque rapids near its old stone bridge. Luckily we practiced all the Gaia Touch exercises we needed inside the warmth of the local community centre before setting out.
First we created a circle outside the Falls Hotel, where we can clearly see the old church and cemetery across the valley. We could be standing on the site of an old fort, as the hotel was built over a castle site. I often wonder if the cemetery was a fort. The landscape is balanced with two major high points dissected by a swiftly running water. The Midwinter Solstice is a great time to honour our ancestors and we did a few simple gesture exercises to connect with them.
Honouring the trees
Then we followed the river downstream to where it shortly turned into a beautiful small glen or dell. This was where to winter solstice walk was to take place. En route we passed trees hugging the steep bank beside the path, or leaning quite dramatically over the river. We stopped to do an exercise to perceive the essence of the remarkable trees, and shared our findings, Already the trees were reaching out to our hearts and minds as we expressed gratitude for them.
Healing a tree
As we entered the glen I spotted a small tree that had been cruelly broken by a storm. We dowsed the tree before and after healing and performed the exercise I often use with trees that are hurting- The Healing Tear of Grace.
I took out my tuning forks and selected a couple of combinations of notes to tone to the tree as a group. First we dispersed its pain and we used harmonies to balance it again. Dowsing revealed its aura greatly expanded. Some people sensed a lot of gratitude from the tree.
The Sun Blessing
We walked to the very end of the path where a tree had fallen across the banks… Almost immediately someone spotted a lit candle had been placed in a mossy nook beside where we stood. This felt like a blessing on our work. Pausing on the footbridge we did a silent exercise to take our old world and project it into the new world beyond. We were in effect taking the energies of the old year and transforming them into the New Year, imagining that lay upstream from where we stood. Choosing the concave arch of a huge tree to pause at, I rang my set of tinsha bells to ring in the new. As the bells touched, the sun came out in full pelt upon the spot . From there on the sun seemed to emerge from the clouds each time we stopped to do an exercise. It was magical (and cold!).
Toning the Chakras
Since we were undergoing rebirth we toned the base chakra note and vowel sound before setting off from the bridge. Where the river ran in a tight channel we toned the sacral chakra and also did an exercise to help the elementals in their work. This keyed into our own sacrums, which is the seat of our personal elementals.
We then found ourselves in a deeply elemental area, with miniature caves forming fairy houses among the mossy banks and tree roots. Witches’ broom grew in profusion, which is an indicator of strong fairy presence. We formed a circle and connected with the Middle lower and upper worlds. Once again, the sun burst out as we gathered.
A dog ran through us without any fuss- its owner remarked that this was most unusual. Animals can sense when humans are acting in harmony with nature.
I chose a small island for the heart chakra toning, and again someone sighted a nice coincidence. She pointed out the heart-shaped bright leaves of the first celandine growing by our feet.
At the throat chakra we used an exercise that transforms archetypal energies into creative processes. This action is important for our current year. We can block our creativity through negative responses to our external world. Now more than ever we need to use our imaginations.
A peaceful 2017 to you all!
Finally at the crown chakra we toned. Then we renewed the fairy essence within the human being in a beautiful exercise. We imagined a pair of butterfly wings in each of us, and then imagined it transforming into a white bird of peace that flew from our elemental heart (at the top of the sternum). We sent the birds out into the angelic realms that lay beyond our view, in the long reeds that shroud the Inagh on her way to sea in Liscannor Bay.
Not content with stopping there, we made a circle and repeated our group exercise, adapting it into some fun movements. This certainly stimulated our heart energy! Feeling more whole and invigorated but decidedly cold after our first Winter Solstice Walk, we set off for the coffee houses and art galleries in town. As I left, I was already anticipating Imbolc in early February!
A Happy and Peaceful 2017 to you all!