The Winter Solstice, 2001

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Sunset over the Medditeranean Sea, Summer Solstice 1998, photo by Ruth Horodi, Israel

The precise moment the 2001 solstice will be on
December 21, 2001 at 2:22 p.m. EST, 11.22 a.m. PST, (19:22 UT).

Dear Friends and Shamanic Circles

We once again invite you to join shamanic circles around the world in celebrating the Winter Solstice. Friday, December 21st, the first day of the Light Returning, is an opportunity to come together in communion with others, to give thanks for the Sun and the life it brings, to offer our prayers on behalf of the planet and the world community.

Throughout history, indigenous peoples have conducted ritual at this time of year as their part in perpetuating the dance of life. In their respective traditions praying for the Return of Light, the world was built anew. Given the turmoil being experienced in many parts of the Globe, we as walkers on the shamanic path need to keep the faith - to collectively hold the vision of light returning, of beauty being honored, of differences being valued, of knowledge being shared, of love touching all. In times of darkness, holding a vision of Light Returning is essential. Let us come together to pray for renewal, to connect our hearts across land and water, to share our sorrows, to dance our joys, to bless this world for all it has given us and pray that it may continue.

These difficult times can leave people feeling isolated, betrayed, despairing, and yet the suffering and challenges we face as a planet also have the capacity to bring us closer to Spirit and to each other. On September 11th as I journeyed in prayer with other shamanic circles, I was struck by the warm light and love I saw emanating from churches all over the world. The terrible tragedy of that day brought such pain, but also brought us closer to life, closer to what has meaning, closer to Spirit in all its forms. On this Solstice, let us come together in circle and reach out across the world - to those we love, to those we don't know, to those we don't understand. This is a time to keep the faith, to envision the return of the light, to hold the whole in our hearts.

We invite Circles joining us in this celebration to send a description of your plans and your activities so we can continue learning from each other. We encourage you to visit the website before and after the Solstice to draw inspiration from the experiences of others. Through this sharing and joining together in global ceremony, we strengthen the whole and renew ourselves and the planet.

Lanz Lowen on behalf of Shamanic Circles

Please send Solstice descriptions to Dan Jordinelli email:

Recent Postings

January 3, 2002
One by one, in tiny increments,
candle by candle, gesture by effort,
wish by prayer, concern by care,
we feed the life-fires of the so
and light the infinite universe, little by little from within.

Reverence to Her: A Participatory Chant to Invoke the Female Forces of the Universe Present in All People, Mama Donnaâ•&Mac250;s 27 annual Winter Solstice celebration, was held at Bowling Green Plaza in Manhattan, less than one mile from the resting place that cradles the remains of the Twin Towers and all those souls who still lie in its rubble.

It was very much an urban event. The ceremonial circle was delineated by a swath of bright red fabric that we spread down in a large round donut on the cold gray paving stones. In the center was a simple altar A glass goblet filled with water. A vial of oil. A silver bell. Bundles of Native American sage, sweet grass, cedar and tobacco laid in alignment with the four directions. A bag filled with candles. My drum.

People began to filter in slowly, both folks who knew about the event and came on purpose and those who were just happening by and decided to stay. As each person joined us, we welcomed them by sticking a 1" day glo orange circle over their third eye. Everyone also got a small silver jingle bell on a ribbon. Many were wearing something silvery or glittery or bright as I had requested. All in all, quite a festive bunch.

I started by circling the crowd, blessing each person with gold Leap of Faith blessing oil. Reverence. Reverence to Her. To You. When I was about halfway around, two Arabic men stepped into the circle, bowed and presented their foreheads for me to bless. On the other side of the circle, a Chassidic man in full regalia stood just outside the perimeter. He did not participate, but watched with I think sincere interest and sympathy.

Next I the blessed the waters using a mixture of New York City tap and rose water sent from the Middle East. On the sanctity of the waters of the world we pledged to protect our blue planet Earth and clean Her and share Her and respect Her and revere Her. Reverence to Her. To Us.

The director of the American Indian Community House came by with a huge trash bag filled with sage for the ceremony. Everyone got a handful of sage which we crumbled and rubbed all over ourselves and each other to facilitate the purification of our intentions. We did not burn it.

A group of us had been arrested three years previously because of our solstice fires and we did not want to invite any official interference. This year it was more important to light the fires of our souls just as the fires at Ground Zero were finally doused.

Once again, I circled around giving out small reflective crystals that had been part of the sunrise to sunset vigil for peace that I organized at the World Trade Center, my own urban Stonehenge, on the Summer Solstice 1999. It had absorbed the solar energy of the longest, lightest day of the year. It is a powerful talisman to help see the light when times are dark.

I looked around the circle and tears sprang to my eyes. What a glorious gathering. The whole world was right here and we shared the same heart. American Indian, East Indian, Central and South American, Caribbean, Assorted European, Russian, Chinese, Tibetan. Black, white, red, yellow, brown. Babies in slings, little kids, men, women, old folks with canes. Just your normal NYC crowd. Look at us! Just look at us! We ARE the world. We know how to do this. We live together every day. There really IS a chance for peace. Reverence!!!

In a sort of countdown to Winter, we turned our backs on the circle for the last three minutes of the darkest time of the year. We shook and shouted and released all of the darkness that is in our heads and hearts that prevents us from seeing the light. The light inside of us, the light around us and the light that we bring to the world.

At exactly 2:21 PM EST we turned back to the circle and each other. Dont you know that the sun that had been creeping along the pavement in its western descent entered the circle and touched the altar? Reverence. Reverence to Her. We chanted and drummed and danced and shouted. Reverence. Reverence to Her. Reverence, Reverence.

When we finished chanting, we set our intentions on returning to the life of the city and all worldly things with the light of spirit strong in our hearts. Directing our energy always toward the positive. Being the light in the world. To help us, I passed out yellow Chanukah candles so that people can light them when they need some light during the dark days to come. And finally, we sealed our pledge and ignited our light withlots of party sparklers twinkling with Reverence. Reverence to Her. Reverence.

Brightest blessings,

xxMama Donna

******************************* Donna Henes, Urban Shaman presents:

New and Full Moon Drumming Circles and other Celestially Auspicious Occasions, Ongoing Spirit Support Group Sessions, Public Celebration Events, Life Cycle Ceremonies, Seminars, Ritual Consultations, Spiritual Counseling, Life Path Coaching, Mentoring, Reiki Healing and Balancing, Tarot Readings, and a Spirit Shop.

For further information, a list of services and publications, a calendar of upcoming events, and a complimentary issue of Always in Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles. contact:

MAMA DONNA’S TEA GARDEN AND HEALING HAVEN PO Box 380403 Exotic Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403 Phone/Fax 718-857-2247 Email:

December 21, 2001
Subject: A Ceremony of Renewal

Dear Ones,

It’s Karla McLaren again, with a message about tomorrow’s solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest and darkest night of the year, and many cultures have created rituals and celebrations to honor the darkness and welcome the light. Tino (my husband the Fire element) and I are planning a Water-to-Fire Solstice ritual tomorrow, and we thought you’d like to know
about it–and perhaps create something like it yourself.

Tomorrow on the 21st, we’re going to welcome and ask for the assistance of the five elements and God, and throughout the day, we’re both taking a sheet of paper and writing down all the things we want to release. At sunset, we’re going to burn that paper and then bury the ash in our compost pile (outside in the dirt will do if you don’t compost). This is essentially a real-world version of the energetic skill of burning contracts. We use our compost pile for rituals, because its job is totake garbage and turn it into fertile soil. Excellent metaphor! Also, the Winter Solstice is about going down into the earth and into the darkness–which is what we do when we bury the ash. This day of release and burial is also a sadness and grief ritual–which helps us wade into the water.

During the rest of the tomorrow evening, we’re going to sit with the feelings, and ask for our dreams to give us a vision of what we want for the coming year (this is the Fire part of the ritual). Then, on Saturday morning the 22nd (22 is a very magical master number, for you Pythagoreans out there), as soon as we wake up, we’re each going to take a fresh sheet of
paper and write down what we wish for–either from our dreams, or from our visions and wishes for what we want to accomplish and experience in 2002.

When this list is complete, we’ll each roll up our paper and burn it in our own small ceramic bowl (it’s very important to release our fiery wishes so the spirit world can begin to work on them), and then take a small pinch of this ash, mix it in some spring water or juice, and then drink it so that it can become a part of us. Then we’ll thank the five elements and God or their assistance, and go on with our day. That’s the ritual–very simple, but very grounding.

Tino the Fire element wants to point out that more visions and dreams and wishes will continue to percolate up in the next week or so after the 22nd– and he suggests keeping fresh paper and pens handy so we can capture the visions as they come. I’m planning to keep this second list going until the 31st–and to burn it at sunset on that evening, and mix a bit of its ash in some sparkling cider or champagne–so I can really be ready for 2002 when it arrives. Fun!

That’s it from here. Best wishes from both of us!

Karla and Tino

rom: Laughing Tree Press []

December 19, 2001

Dear Circles,

We will gather at Thu, Dec 20th 7:00 pm.
We will ask to the spirit for pass this winter each.
And prayer for peace all Beings in this world.

Love and Blessings to all,

Hideki from Japan.

December 19, 2001

Hello everyone, Greetings from Tucson, Arizona

The Tucson Bear Circle will meet on Saturday, December 22nd to celebrate the Solstice. We meet with our families and share a hearty meal to warm ourselves in this time of darkness and sustain us until the light brings warmth back and thaws the Earth so the seeds we planted this fall can grow and manifest.

Together, with our entire families we will drum, sing and dance in a mesquite grove and honor the cycles of seasons and the gifts they bring in our own and the world's cycles. We will ask for clarity and focus for the time coming in how we can help bring light to these dark times. We will honor the mountains, trees, sky above and earth below and give graditude for their beauty and sustainance. And we will send prayers winging across the world, mingling with the prayers of many for peace and mending the wounds with all our relations.

Lori Levine Tucson, Arizona

December 17, 2001

winter solstice all night prayer gathering

Hi all my wonderful friends,

This is Guenther. Just letting you know if you are interested in a beautiful and meaningful all night ceremony of prayer & vision for the future call or e-mail Maria Yraceburu in Alpine.

It's the night of Dec 21 from 8pm to 8am the 22nd, Celebration for the Winter Solstice. Honoring Bears Healing Right of Darkness in traditional ancient ceremony.

The picture gives details, phone number and e-mail contact to get more information.

The cost is $75 which will be used to upkeep and maintain all the wonderful things being done to rehabilitate and preserve the life and flight of our beautiful great birds, the hawks, owls, ravens, eagles, etc.

Hope you decide to be there. It will be a special night. Thanks for listening.
From: Maria Yraceburu

December 17, 2001

Taiguey (Good Day) to All My Relations:
This is an invitation to our Winter Solstice Areito in Nyack , New York. Please share with your communities.
Taino-Ti, Beike Marie NanaMaguey Ku Karey Spiritual Circle, Inc.
Caney of New York

You are cordially invited to attend a Winter Solstice Areito

Sponsored by
Ku Karey Spiritual Circle, Inc.
Caney of New York
at the
New Age Center
One South Broadway
Nyack, New York
Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 8:00 p.m.

Come and celebrate with us a time of Peace, Unity and Harmony among all people as the lights of a new season begin to appear. May we continue to weave our strengths together. Please share this flyer with your communities and bring food to share. This is event is alcohol free.

For more information contact: Denise KeiaRix, Public Relations Chair for Ku Karey at (845) 735-2469 or contact Beike Marie NanaMaguey at (917) 217-3940.

December 17, 2001

Marina del Rey

Hello All,
You are invited to Solstice Drumming circle at Morgan Radfords house in Marina Del Rey at 8:00 PM on Friday the 21st. We will be drumming on the the beach so dress in layers!!

We will be journeying to the spirit of the Winter Solstice to see what messages it has for us. Afterwards we will have a potluck so bring something along to share. Prior to our drumming Morgan will be having her regular Friday night world peace meditation that starts at 6:30 PM and ends at 7:30. So try and arrive around 7:45, Morgan will be leaving her sliding door open. If you are interested in the meditation or need directions to Morgan's,

CONTACT: Morgan at (310) 301-0163 or, for more information.

December 16, 2001







Donna Henes, Urban Shaman presents:

New and Full Moon Drumming Circles and other Celestially Auspicious Occasions, Ongoing Spirit Support Group Sessions, Public Celebration Events, Life Cycle Ceremonies, Seminars, Ritual Consultations, Spiritual Counseling, Life Path Coaching, Mentoring, Reiki Healing and Balancing, Tarot Readings, and a Spirit Shop.

For further information, a list of services and publications, a calendar of upcoming events, and a complimentary issue of Always in Season: Living in Sync with the Cycles. contact:

PO Box 380403
Exotic Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403
Phone/Fax 718-857-2247

December 16, 2001

Dear Circles,
Four of us in one of our Santa Cruz Drum Circle met and made some plans for our Solstice Circle this coming Wed., Dec. 19th at 6:30. Two Circles will be joining together.

The governing images from which our ceremony evolved were:
Increase of Light both within/without Winter Darkness Sun and Fire Brightness
Music...(Drums, rattles, bells, Tibetan bowls, flutes, voices)
Images of the WTC, Afghanistan,
Israel Prayer for the Hoop of all Beings,
Honoring the Great Green Elders of this ecosystem (the Redwood trees) as a way of honoring all Plant Beings---especially the Evergreens which are such a traditional part of Solstice ceremonies around the world.

We saw a centerpiece with many, many candles, the 'World' in the middle rather than a single candle, and lots of crystals to amplify our prayers, songs, drumming, and rattling ----with the intention of sharing both among ourselves and sending 'out' on behalf of the Whole world.

There may be at least 63 candles representing the people and homelands of those who died Sept 11 (which included people from Afghanistan) plus four candles for the 'pillars and powers' of the four cardinal directions. Included on the centerpiece was some object each of us brought that represented the Solstice to us...

Thus: from the images above we wove the following ways to spend our evening together (also knowing something spontaneous might arise):

*After taking off shoes and coats (etc.) and getting comfortable in Circle,
*Entering a time of Silence in the Darkness
*Silence will end with sound of Tibetan Bowl, lighting of candles and playing of flute to call in Light, Sun, and Joy
*Drumming, Singing, Calling in the Spirits
*Sharing about the object we each brought
*Tending the Hoop of the Whole
(Here we saw taking the usual 'garlands' that are hung around Christmas trees and this would be our hoop. We each will tie some ribbon on the Hoop - this being our prayer for whatever we 'are wishing' that would bring more Peace, Health, and Joy to this each of us will have an opportunity to offer our prayers)
*Honoring the Redwood Trees (or the Tree of Life)....we will go outside....and wrap this garland of prayers, this hoop, around a Redwood Tree we have bought which will then be planted on the Land.
*With candles burning, we focus on the World, and 'sound' our healing hearts for the Whole.
*End with - flutes and Tibetan Bowls
*Sharing food together.

Carol Proudfoot-Edgar
for Santa Cruz, California Drum Circles