Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice wishes

According to the local library, it is a New England custom to observe Winter Solstice, which occurs at 1:08 AM on December 22, by making a solstice wish. Here's what to do:

Take a five-inch square of parchment paper and write on it in red ink the word that best represents the trait you wish to have born in yourself when the sun is reborn. Take three holly leaves and place them in the center of the paper. Fold the paper closed with the holly inside. Then light a red candle and light the paper from its flame. Voila, your wish will come true.

I don't have any real parchment paper, just some stationery described as parchment. I don't have a red candle either. (How could I be without a red candle at Christmastime, you might wonder. I both love and fear candles, and my fear that someone will burn the house down usually wins out over the romance of candles.)

I do have a pink birthday candle, and I have some holly, but I don't have my word yet, the one that I have to write in red ink on the paper, to best represent the trait I wish to have born in myself.

I am thinking maybe "productivity" or "efficiency." While I get involved in lots of activities, I don't always do them as well as I should. This specifically applies to practicing and generally to cleaning the house.

Maybe "energy" or "discipline" applies better to cleaning the house and doing all that other stuff that is not so much fun as playing the cello (and to practicing), but it also applies to nurturing creativity.

More "talent" would be helpful, although I think this relates to "discipline" and "efficiency."

This is sounding a bit like a New Year's resolution, but I think the idea of the solstice wish is that you don't have to expend the effort to stick to a resolution; you just automatically become a better person when the new day dawns. Sounds good to me. I just have to think of the right word in the next couple of hours. Hope the pink candle works--and doesn't burn the house down.

Happy Solstice to you, however you may or may not celebrate it.


cellodonna said...

Interesting custom. As I fall asleep tonight I will try to think of a word, although I won't be observing the exact ritual you described.

I celebrated today by listening to Vivaldi's "Winter" and baking cookies.

Maricello said...

Hi Donna, I actually performed the little ceremony at 1:08 AM. (I was up practicing for my church performance.) I had to fan the smoke a bit so as not to set off the smoke alarms and wake the family. The practicing seemed to go better afterwards. :-)
Meanwhile, speaking of quaint customs, I still haven't gotten a tree, but I have made half a zillion Christmas cookies.

melissa said...

Oh well, I'm a little late. Maybe I could use punctuality as my word. :)

Maricello said...

Hi Melissa, A quick check on the Internet reveals many many variations in solstice rituals, so perhaps a slightly delayed celebration is fine. I like "punctuality," as I tend to have a problem with that. :-)