by Cayelin K Castell
Fire Come Forth Set me Free
Kindle the Fire that Burns in me. (repeat)
Burn away what is not Love,
Burn away what is the past,
Burn away what will not last,
Light the path ahead.
The above lyrics are typically sung at Solstice but are great to sing anytime – especially if you are doing any kind of intentional ceremony for this, or any New Year. There are many New Year points where this type of ceremony may be useful. For example, your personal New Year begins every year on your Solar Return (birthday).
I personally find it is a great practice to release anything that stands in the way of your intentions before stating them in a ceremonial setting. Offering up whatever holds us back from living our true purpose and heart’s desire, to the alchemical fire is always a great way to begin once you have your sacred space in place.
Setting Sacred Space
There are so many ways to do this. The important thing is to find what works for you. Calling the directions. Smudging. Setting up an altar. Calling in your guides, archangels, master teachers and being of light that work with you. Are a few ways to set up your sacred space.
Once you have set a sacred space through whatever means works for you then it is time to release whatever is ready to be released. You can do this by writing out all the things that you are ready to let go and whatever is no longer working for you. This may be things you have outgrown, like points of view, belief systems, and habits. This may be one or more things you no longer desire in your life, such as certain kinds of relationships, work, volunteer projects etc.
You can also write down any limiting attitudes, addictions, expectations, pain, grief, and judgments that are holding you back and you are now ready to release.
Once you have come up with a list of what you are ready to release, the next step is to offer it all to the ceremonial fire you have created for this purpose. If you are doing this ceremony with others you might take a few moments to talk about what you are releasing and support one another in letting go and opening to a new way within you.
Once you have burned what you are releasing you might choose to add another step by taking the cooled ashes from what you have released and toss them into the air, preferably somewhere outdoors, to be carried away on the winds of change. Or you can put them in a stream or river or some moving body of water that symbolically carries them away.
The important thing is to do whatever will work best for you in symbolizing the completion of the release process.
Once you feel complete with releasing, you are ready to begin crafting and writing your intentions or what you desire to manifest in the New Year. I like to write these intentions in the journal I am using for the year.
You can also write them on paper and throw them into the alchemical fire. I have also done both, writing the longer version in my journal and then picked a few key words and tossed them into the fire as a way to activate them.
Then you can take these cooled ashes and offer them to the Earth…maybe at sacred spot, or bury them in your garden, or place them under a special rock as a way to symbolically plant them in the Earth with the intention that they will grow and flourish over the next year and beyond. (see picture to the right of the medicine wheel)
The reason for taking these ceremonial steps in whatever way feels most alive and connected for you is that it helps you to begin the manifestation process. Manifestation is the result of what we think, or dream about, what we talk about with feeling, and what we do or what inspired actions we take.
Ceremony is a way to engage all three of these elements of manifestation and the more we are engaged the quicker our intentions will manifest. Sometimes I don’t need much to feel that my intentions are clear and activated. Then there are times I find it helpful to create even more symbolic and active steps to move through any challenges I am having in getting fully aligned with what my heart’s desire and intentions truly are.
Signs in the World of Form
Another way to energize your ceremonial intent is to ask for signs in the world of form that are clear indications that your intentions have been received by Spirit and are already actively finding expression. The signs may come in the form of medicine animals, or unexpected good news related to your intent, or other synchronicities that are beyond probable, letting you know for sure the magic is at work. If I don’t get signs within the time frame I asked for – then I know it might be useful to re-engage the ceremonial energy to help shift whatever is in the way.
New Year’s Divination
Something else that I like to do is draw cards (Tarot, Animal, Angel, Sacred Path, Sacred Geometry etc) or pull Runes, or do both, to further tune into the energy of the upcoming year as it relates to me personally. I usually write what I get in my journal as well and am often astounded when I go back at the end of the year and re-look at what I drew and how those energies played out for the year.
These are just a few ways to ceremonially begin a year, either a collective solar year (solstice), a calendar year (New Year’s Eve and/or Day), or personal solar year (birthday). If you have a special way of engaging this time please feel free to share in the comments as this could be a great way to get further inspired and connected to times of endings and beginnings through ceremony and intention.
One Final Invocation
This poem by Dr. Suess came leaping into my awareness as I was writing the January Timings and so I am including it as an invocation to the Places we can all go in this coming year…
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.
You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.
And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!