Deck The Halls! It’s Almost Yule Down Under!

So here in the Southern Hemisphere we’ve not long celebrated Samhain and now we turn our thoughts toward the coming Winter Solstice. This year I’ve had the honour of being invited to celebrate at a friend’s home (so no feast cooking for me this Yule! I might be slightly pleased about that), and so I offered my services in writing the Yule Ritual for the celebration. As my friend has invited some people who are more so open to the idea of Paganism rather than actually being Pagan, I was asked to keep the ritual simple as we didn’t want to scare them off. I decided to share the ritual with my readers here. I have omitted calling the quarters and haven’t added any details regarding circle casting so you can you make it as elaborate or toned-down for your non-Pagan friends and family as you want. I am happy for you to take this ritual for your own personal use but please, if you re-publish it, please credit the source… thanking you in advance.

I also hope to include the pictures from our celebration in a future blog post.

The following ritual can be adapted for solitary ritual. Please always exercise caution when using candles/flame.

Yule Ritual 2016

written by Athena Dragonfly

Facilitator: “Welcome. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. From here on in the days begin to lengthen. On Solstice Night the Goddess prepares to give birth to the Sun/Son. As the sun rises in the morning, she welcomes the arrival of the sun/son, and we rejoice in the promise of Summer’s return.”

Cast Circle.

Facilitator: “As the Sun begins to make his return, and the darkness begins to retreat, the time for releasing and letting go of what no longer serves us presents itself.”

Hand out pieces of paper and pens.

Facilitator: “Spend a few moments thinking about things that you want to let go of, then write them down on the paper.”

Light candle in cauldron.

Facilitator: “On this Solstice Night the Oak King & the Holly King have done battle, and the Oak King has emerged victorious, his reign over the waxing half the year begins. Now we begin to welcome back the light in the lengthening days as the shadows and darkness begin to flee, we say farewell to the trials of the year past as we release and let go the things that would hold us back or slow our journeys.”

One by one each person steps up to the altar, meditates a moment on what is written on their piece of paper, then sets fire to the paper, dropping it into the cauldron with intent that they are letting go of whatever it was they wished to release.

Facilitator: “Universe please hear our intent, we have now let go of what no longer serves us so that we may enter this new year with new goals and a clear, unhindered path ahead. So mote it be.”

All: “So mote it be.”

Open circle.

©Athena Dragonfly aka The Crystal Brown Witch

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My First Experience With Cranio Sacral Balancing & Myofascial Release

Dear Readers,

I, myself, am a Practitioner of Holistic Therapies, and as a result I have connected to other therapists from other modalities under the holistic banner along the journey. One of the many perks here is the opportunity to sample a range of treatments, and a range of different techniques from different practitioners (everyone has their own unique style).

In more recent times I have been blessed to make the acquaintance (and resulting friendship) with a lovely and very knowledgeable lady by the name of Heike Weber. Heike, among other modalities, practices Cranio Sacral Balancing & Myofascial Release. When my mother and I sat and listened to Heike very passionately speak about these therapies, we became very intrigued and eager to receive a treatment as it all resonated with us. You can read more about Heike and her business Still Point in her introductory blog here.

As a sufferer of osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, my body often feels stiff, sore, achy, and rigid. Not knowing a lot about Cranio Sacral Balancing or Myofascial Release, I went into my treatment with no real expectation, I just wanted to experience Heike’s treatment. I thought perhaps I might feel the effects a couple of days later as is often the case with these sorts of treatments. However, I noticed the positive effects from the moment I attempted to sit up on the massage table, a movement that usually takes me a few goes and a lot of effort to achieve, seemed to happen with ease! My body instantly felt more limber and I noticed that I was able to take the steps down the path to the driveway so much easier than I had on a previous visit to Heike.

But what really blew me away was when I went to pick up my mum after her first treatment with Heike. My mother has been becoming less and less mobile over the years and can barely handle walking the distance to the letter box from her front door unaided. I had assisted her up the path steps to Heike’s but she now barely needed any assistance to descend. My mother who had not been able to lift her arm above her shoulder for some time could now fully extend her arm above her head! It blew me away to say the least. Mum reported now being able to get out of the lounge arm chair so much easier, and just generally move much easier than before. Mum’s health issues are quite complex and so I won’t go into them here, but the improvement was very noticeable and Mum was very pleased with the results.

I highly recommend Heike of Still Point. Her professionalism and intuitive nature are surpassed only by the amazing outcomes of her treatments. If you are interested, you can check out Still Point’s Facebook page here. Heike is also part of the team (along with myself and others) at Gateway Holistic Healing.