Archive for the ‘Water Meditations’ Category

Winter Solstice Tea Ceremony

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Photo by Tom Check under CC

With endless holiday commercials since late October, shopping and decorating, you may be holiday cheered out by now.

However, the Winter Solstice is a powerful time for connecting with the natural world. In the Yearly Rites section, I wrote about the importance of connecting with the natural turn of the year. It brings us closer to nature and ourselves.

The Winter Solstice (on Dec. 21 this year) marks what earth-based religions call “the triumph of the light.” After the Winter Solstice, the days will start to get longer again. It’s a marker in the depths of cold days that warmth will come again. Burning a Yule log, bringing a Christmas tree inside and hanging holiday lights are all ancient celebrations of life’s triumph over darkness and stillness.

In order to connect with the Solstice, I have a tea ceremony of sorts I like to do that I wanted to share.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is pick out an appropriate tea. I like to pick out a flavor that is closely associated with the holidays. The herbs usually have a close connection to the Solstice. Some of my top choices are:

Peppermint tea: This one is just a given. Peppermint is an invigorating tea that is closely associated with mental stimulation. It is the perfect choice for combating the surly sluggishness of winter.  This one is easy to find in the store, and you probably won’t have the fresh plant around this time of year.  If you do thanks to an indoor garden, however, here are instructions on how to make the tea.

Pine needle tea: In case you weren’t aware, yes, you can make a delicious tea out of real pine needles. It ties into the season perfectly. Evergreens like pine have strong associations with eternal life and bold heartiness. Here are some great instructions with photos on how to make a fresh, natural cup of pine needle tea.

Cinnamon tea: With this classic holiday flavor, you can brew the tea straight out of cinnamon sticks. Here’s how. Cinnamon is associated with vitality, energy, courage and fortitude. It’s the perfect drink as the light triumphs over the dark.

Once you have your tea picked out, the ritual is simple. You’ll just need your cup of hot tea and a quiet place.

  1. Breath slowly and clear your mind.
  2. Think of the cold winter, the silent earth. Picture snow on the trees (or maybe in your area it’s simply a rainy season). Fully picture and immerse yourself in your vision of winter.
  3. Hold the teacup in both hand and feel the warmth of the tea. Think of the days getting longer and picture sunny days.
  4. Drink your tea slowly, and as you do, feel it suffuse you with vigor and warmth.
  5. While still drinking, focus on a key aspect of the herb in the tea. For instance, if you are drinking cinnamon, could your life use more courage?   Is there an issue you are avoiding? Hold the question in your mind. Answers may come and they may not. Don’t feel forced into anything. But when they come, they’re usually pretty strong.
  6. Once your tea is gone, focus on your gratitude for these gifts.

Once you’re done, you may want to go write down any epiphanies. I also find it helpful to just record my experience; it may reveal some wisdom.

Happy Solstice!

Full Moon Water Mediation for Increasing Love and Empathy

For this mediation, you’ll need it to be the night of a full moon, or three days before or three days after, any of those days work. You’ll need a clear night where you can directly see the moon in the sky. There are plenty of charts online to help you determine when the moon rises in your area, I use this one here. The moon has been associated with the loving divine feminine for centuries, as have waterways, and is a powerful associative tool for connecting to your empathetic, loving side. The goal of this meditation is to awaken empathy and love. You’ll only need the moon, quiet and a cup full of room temperature water.

  1. Fill up a (preferably)large, blue cup with water and move to where you can see the full moon.
  2. Hold the cup so the moon is reflecting in the water.
  3. Calm your breathing, let your mind go blank.
  4. When you feel at peace, focus on the water and the moon’s reflection. Watch it for a few minutes, let it suffuse your consciousness.
  5. Now focus on what it means to love, what it means to feel empathy.
  6. Imagine the water starting to glow with white light coming from your hands and the moon as your think about love and empathy.
  7. Drink the water slowly as you focus on the concept of love.
  8. Feel the water as it runs down, imagine it suffusing you with the qualities of love and empathy.
  9. Remember this moment as you move throughout the day and deal with people.
  10. Try to do this monthly, if need be.

Basic Water Cycle Mediation

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Photo under CC

Here is another guided mediation adapted from a ritual exercise for summoning the four elements. You’ll just need peace and quiet, a journal and your own visualization powers. It’s meant to open you up to the stages of water and connect with its levels of power. Through the exercise, you will hone your visualizations skills, reflect on the element and come to know the benefits of inviting the powers of water into your life.

  1. Start by sitting straight with your legs folded. Slow your breathing and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. Keep doing this until you feel utterly relaxed and calm.
  2. Picture a light rain storm, see the individual water droplets. It soaks into the earth, nourishing all. Feel the humidity, the dampness. Everything smells of the heady scent of wet soil. Warm rain droplets hit your skin. Bask in the moment.
  3. You are beside a small stream, a mere trickle over rocks among a forest. It carries rainwater down and away to a distant lake. Animals drink from it. Put your hand in and feel its cool simplicity. Fully immerse yourself for a moment.
  4. Now you are by a large waterfall, the roar of the water from a mighty river majestic and soothing. It falls down into a pool where fish dart about. Watch the waterfall for a moment.
  5. You are on the bank of a large lake. Reeds stand tall, lily pads are off to your left, larger fish dart below the surface among weeds. The water is mostly clear, though a little brown with silt. You put your hand in and it is warm. The sun reflects of the surface in a dazzling array of sparkles. Sit for a moment.
  6. Now you are at the edge of the ocean. The waves hit the beach with a soothing crash, pulling back shells, sand and a crab scuttles past. You smell the salty aroma of the water and walk in to your waist. The waves push around you and you feel the ebb and flow. Stand for a moment and focus on where you are.
  7. While still in the ocean, reflect on the gifts of empathy and emotion: when has empathy helped you, when was a positive, stirring emotional moment?
  8. Now bring it back again. You are at the ocean, then on the shore, the at the lake, the by the waterfall, then by the stream, then in the rainstorm. Take a moment to reflect in the dark about how these stages made you feel. Any thoughts?
  9. Record any insights from the meditation in your journal. You may merely have basked in water’s full splendor, or you may have had an epiphany while you were in the ocean. Sometimes you might have a passing thought that is only understandable later. At any event, it’s worth recording.