An intention candle is similar to a vision board in that you use collage as a way to visually communicate and affirm your ideas. It is different than a vision board in that it is not specifically intended to manifest your vision, but instead to offer your purest intentions. Imbolc is a perfect time of year to create one, as we continue to incubate ideas in the deepness of winter, while beginning to prepare for the growth and change of spring.
An intention candle sets forth your intentions. How do you want to experience yourself? What do you want to offer to others? What do you want to share? How do you wish to move in the world? What do you want to celebrate? What do you want to share about yourself?
Each lighting of the candle throughout the year serves as a reaffirmation of your intentions. I use mine to focus and to create sacred space. Lighting it is my signal to myself that I am going to do focused, sacred, centered work.
“Only in the deepest silence of night the stars smile and whisper among themselves.”
As we prepare for winter solstice, I like to share our family’s annual traditions and ritual processes. I’d also love to hear from readers in the comments with their own family traditions! We have celebrated the winter solstice together as our primary family ritual since 2003. There are several elements that remain constant from year to year and other elements that vary based on new ideas or projects that we decide to incorporate for that year.
The following is a brief explanation of three of our core traditions, which is then followed by a full ritual outline for a winter solstice ceremony! Make sure to read through to the end of my ritual outline for links to even more posts with further ideas and information.
“The tools are unimportant; we have all we need to make magic: our bodies, our breath, our voices, each other.”
We had a small family full moon ritual last night and incorporated a simple gratitude ritual into it. The sky was overcast so we couldn't actually see the moon, but my four-year-old daughter wanted to get out glow sticks left over from Halloween. We had SO much fun dancing around with them and making patterns in the dark night! We sang a chant I recently made up:
Hallowed evening Hallowed night We dance in the shadows We offer our light.
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
A recent prompt from Joanna Powell Colbert's 30 Days of Hecate class urged us to look into the palms of our hands and consider our ancestors. Having already given a lot of thought to my more recent ancestors in this course, I felt my attention turn instead to the unnamed thousands of time and space who brought me to this place...
The wheel turns. Our youngest son turned one yesterday. His pregnancy and birth was so closely aligned with the wheel of the year and my pregnancy with him was an incredibly generative time for our business (I wrote and published the Womanrunes book as well as sculpted more than twenty of our sculpture and pendant designs while pregnant with him). I can hardly believe he is one now! Instead of leaping right into my to-do list when he was napping, I sat with my cards and my Divination Practicum workbook. I’m really enjoying the many ways the course I am currently teaching dovetails with the prompts in the 30 Days of Hecate course I am currently taking. Yesterday's assignment was to do a tarot reading using Joanna’s “Elder of Fire” layout. I did it with the Gaian Tarot combined with Womanrunes. I felt like doing this layout was exactly what I needed. I’ve been feeling scattered, drained, touched out, and stressed lately. My kids are all sick and we’ve been what feels like nonstop busy and I’ve been craving down time, solitude, and space to think. My list is a mile long, but I made space for this work first instead of saving it for the oft-elusive “later.” This Elder of Fire layout feels like a really, really powerful layout to do at this time of year and I encourage you to try it yourself this weekend! I was also very interested to see that the rune of the day for me was The Cauldron and then The Cauldron was also the first card for my Elder spread. That is very Hecate-riffic.
She who changes She who expands and contracts She who stretches her limits She who digs deep She who triumphs and fails Every day Sometimes both within a single hour She who tends her own hearth She who comforts and connects and enfolds She who opens wide…
I recently finished reading Under Her Wings: The Making of a Magdalene, by Nicole Christine. A theme running through the book was the concept of “As Above, So Below and As Within, So Without.” I read this book as part of my research for my dissertation about contemporary priestessing. I posed two questions based on this book in my dissertation research study group, but I’d like to invite other responses and experiences as well.