Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays to You!

Sun Spirit ~ Orig. Drawing by Kandice Thompson

Happy Winter Solstice my dear friends!

Today is one of the most sacred sabots of the year.  Once again we welcome the birth of the sun.  Tonight the longest night of the entire year and the shortest hours of daylight.  After today we will once again have longer daylight and shorter nights.

The holidays are a time of gathering and a time of giving.  Personally I feel we should practice this type of behavior year round.  For many the economy has put a bind on the financial flow for gift giving.  Look at his as a creative way to express yourself.   Use your intuition and create gifts for your family and friends.  Home baked goods are always a wonderful treat!  Don't limit your imagination to just that thought.  If you know someone that is an avid bird watcher, make them a homemade ornament or small wreath made from non toxic glue and bird seed.  You can also use leftover bacon grease and mix it with birdseed for an excellent suet!  Freeze or refrigerate for best results.  A mason jar filled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar is a great idea for guys with a sweet tooth.  Add simple instructions about placing the mixture on heavily buttered toast for a quick snack.   Mmmm!  I would post some of the gifts I have made for friends & family, but then their surprise would be spoiled if they read this. ;-)

There is a solstice tradition that me and my husband have done for nearly 8 years now.  Each Solstice evening after we have had a nice homemade dinner at the table, we get in the car and go for a drive.  If it is snowing and the weather is not so good, then we enjoy it even more!  We just take things a bit slower and use more caution while driving.  We head out with our winter gear on hand (like snow bibs, gloves, etc).  We make sure we have at least one to five pounds of birdseed with us.  The evening is spent driving around the local parks and taking a walk in the evening moonlight and snow.  This is wear the winter clothes come in handy. ;-)  As we take our walk, we reflect on everything we are grateful for.  We avoid thinking or speaking about any negative aspects.  I usually take along a large cup so I can fill it with birdseed and scatter the seed all around in various areas.  I like to place a small pile of seeds on a picnic table, scatter some under the trees that normally bare fruit in the warmer months and place the rest where the feathered friends are sure to find and enjoy it.  I also like to gift the other animals with apple peals, orange slices and other goodies.  However, some parks consider this littering instead of providing the woodland creatures with treats.  If this is the case in your area, simply find a small wooded area and give the apples and oranges a toss.  The animals will be sure to find them and enjoy it!  On the drive home we'll take our time and most likely go out of the way a bit to view some holiday lights.  It will be a quiet and beautiful evening.  Upon arriving home we'll have a cup of hot tea or coffee, unless we take a thermos with us and drink it all while we are out and about.  The rest of the night will be spent cuddling, maybe a small meditation honoring the rebirth of the sun and then a movie before bed.

Remember that the season is not about what you are lacking or can not give.  Show gratitude, make a list of all that you are thankful for and repeat it daily.  No matter how bad it seems, someone else is suffering far worse than you can ever imagine.  We have freedoms, food, shelters and hope.  Some countries and regions can not say the same.  We are fortunate so please be thankful and show some gratitude.

I want to wish all of my blog readers and subscribers a beautiful holiday season.  What ever your celebration be, may it be merry and filled with memories.  Love those close to you, cherish the little things in life and never take anyone for granted.  We are all stardust, children of this universe that we call home.  Be peace, be love, be the answer you pray for.

~~  Ancient Native American Blessing for Winter Solstice  ~~
We are the Earth
We are the Moon
Come rising Sun
Lead us from the Tomb

Repeat this blessing by singing or chanting while you create the heartbeat of Mother Nature on your drum.  Add bells and humming if you have multiple people.

Kandice ~ Rainbow Tree
Reverend & High Priestess

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Solstice Blessing

Dark of night and light of day,
we honor you in each and every way.
Bring to us your sacred and magical birth.
A shift of axis for our beloved Earth.
The sun will rise and show her beautiful light.
Warmth filling our soul so our spirit shines bright.
A new year of blessings and abundance.
A feeling for everyone of a great oneness.
Unity and love combined.
Celebrating all that is divine.
We honor the sun on this most important day.
Hope, renewal and good things are on their way.
We are blessed to have such sacred life.
This year we will live without strife.
Let us honor this solstice eve and day.
Love and kindness felt from each and every sun ray.

Written by Reverend & High Priestess, Kandice Thompson
~ Rainbow Tree ~

A Sacred Time of Year ~ Tis the Season

The sacred solstice is upon us.  As the darkness of the days seems so long, the time has come for it to change once more.  The rebirth of the sun is upon us.  The days have grown colder and the darkness so very long. The rebirth of the sun will once again bring us warmth, longer days filled with the suns rays and light.  The darkness will fade, bringing an end to the year.  New beginnings await us with the rebirth of our sun.  Without the sun, there is no life.  Thus this time of year we celebrate birth, life and love. 

The magic of winter solstice and the worship or honoring of the sun has taken place since the dawn of human life.  The history and celebration of Solstice predates all religion.  Nothing can exist without the sunlight that feeds the very core of life on earth.  During this time of year we should honor both the light and dark side of the season.  Without the darkness, there can be no light. 

The original story of Santa Clause was based around solstice eve.  Winter solstice is the longest night out of the entire year and the shortest day.  It was believed that this is when Santa made his magical flight to bring fruits of plenty to those deserving.  The original legend also states that Santa was more of a woodsman and wizard like being.  He brought gifts of plenty to the forest creatures who were scavenging the woods for food under the snow and cold winter nights.  He scattered bird seed, tossed apples here and there and provided the creatures with a delightful snack.  Most likely he also made them gifts that would provide shelter or a blanket to be carried off from a momma to her nest of babies.  The story and legend have survived for thousands of year.  The story of Santa even predates Christianity and Jesus. 

Did you know that 'Christmas Trees' have only been popular in the past 200 years.  In many cultures it is sacrilegious to kill a tree for the purpose of personal amusement and decoration.  You would be going against everything that the season stands for.  Not a very good way to honor life and nature.  The alternative is a fake tree, but for many this is a personal or environmental issue.  The chemical treatment the artificial trees receive is very toxic, especially when thrown out n the trash a few years later.  Many people, including myself can not be around artificial trees because of the toxins they release.  It can cause major breathing difficulties, rashes and in some cases a more severe reaction.  Personally I opt for either a poinsettia plant (now known to NOT be harmful to pets) or I create a nice winter themed alter.  This year I opted to do both.  My winter alter has a live plant in the center.  Another alternative, and perfect for most is to simply buy a live tree that is in a pot and will be planted in the warm spring months.  To me, this is the only way I feel a tee should be done at this time of year.  I would love to do this myself but I am one of those people that is highly allergic to pine trees, their sap and the pollen they create.  If you opt for the live tree that will be planted later, consider making homemade and edible ornaments for the tree.  Use bird seed, suet, natural fibers that birds can use in their nest and so on.  When the tree is planted, birds will automatically be drawn to it and thus you will have gifted nature as well!  This is truly a gift that keeps on giving year after year.

For many of us this time of year can pose to be emotionally hard.  For me personally it is the very first year without my father and my mom.  My dad passed away extremely unexpectedly this February.  Since then my mother has been fortunate enough to love again.  She has also moved on geographically to honor and cherish her new love.  We are happy for her but will dearly miss her being part of the holiday celebrations and rituals as well.  For me this will be a hard holiday as neither of my parents will be here physically.  It is a reminder that we suffered a great loss this year, both emotionally and financially.  My husband and I had the worst possible year finically.  We lost everything in 2009.  My father and my aunt passed, my mom moved, hubby lost his job, our home was reposed and foreclosed upon, they came a week before Thanksgiving and repossessed my truck and continue to threaten the car.  We hope to keep the one remaining vehicle we have.  It was a scary year and I am honestly glad it is coming to and end!  Please know if you are suffering, you are not alone.  We have all dealt with some amazingly hard life changes this year.  The holidays can be a harsh reminder of them.

In our household we celebrate solstice as an end of the year and a new beginning or birth of another.  We let go of our issues and hardships, knowing the universe will have them and see fit they no longer cause a problem.  This makes room in our life for new and wonderful memories and events.  We must let go of the past so we can live for today.  Tom (my hubby) and I have big plans for 2010.  He is currently opening up his very own automotive shop.  He's been restoring, custom fabricating and professionally painting some of the most classic and custom cars and trucks for over 25 years.  After the economy went under and we had to move because of dads death and the house being foreclosed upon, Tom decided it was time to venture out on his own.  He's 45 years old and tired of working for someone else when he has more experience, knowledge and schooling.  We hope the business takes off soon.  We have had a bit here and there, but I hope with the new year this business venture will take off and make him a happy man.  Please know Tom is environmentally conscious and using the most friendly products available on the market.  If all goes well we will eventually make sure the business is run on wind and solar powers only to top it off.  Check out the website I created for him to show the shop, a gallery of past clients and so on:

As for me, I am venturing out as well.  For a while now I have done freelance photography for myself.  I was honored with being internationally & nationally nominated with a few of my photography images.  I never made more a couple bucks here and therefrom print sales, but I loved it.  I've decided to take it a step further and actually open a studio in my home to do photography sittings & sessions.  This is my passion and my love, to be behind the camera (and in my organic gardens in the summer).  If the universe allows (and why wouldn't it if I love it and have all good vibes towards my photography) I will be booking my calender up with clients & customers for portrait sittings.  As I said, the new year is coming so we are going to be brave and venture out on our own for financial freedom.  I too have updated and created my website to accompany this new plan.  I've also got ALL my original paintings 1/2 off for the holidays and Oracle Readings on sale! ;-)

I am working on writing a winter solstice blessing and possibly a ritual that you can do or take part in.  I hope to post it yet today or possibly tomorrow.  As soon as I finish writing it, it will be posted here. 

~~ To all my readers and subscribers, Thank you for hanging in there with me.  I haven't been on the blog much but I am going to make it vital to have it regular once more.  ~~

All my love,

Kandice ~ Rainbow Tree 
Reverend & High Priestess