Altar | Winter Solstice. Process, Pause.

Winter Solstice, an altar to witness process, and a pause.

After an afternoon of soft talking and journalling by the fire, we chose a card from the dark, beautiful Wanderer’s Tarot. Dreaming into the darkness of midwinter.

The Hanged Man.
Still, silent, and faceless.
in suspense.

Let this Solstice, this pausing of breath between the movement towards darkness, and the coming counter-movement towards light,
let it be still.

Let us be here, now, in this moment. Nothing more.

Let us be present.

From the Wanderer’s Tarot by Casey Zabala

And we got out the paper and paint and created small art works for the altar.

I doodled a spiral, lacing back upon itself, black India ink and water swirled. A simple love-song to process, to the spiraling, cycling beauty of my life, to my non-linear journey and this, this tiny moment, this millisecond, this day, among it all. A moment to witness and to sit with it all.

My tiny stone has been carried in my pocket since an ‘artits’s date’ back in November. It is a reminder that creativity is always within me, that observation is art, that the sunset starling murmuration at Aberystwyth pier is always there for me, that I can make things, create things, purely for pleasure, for play.

Holly, for midwinter, for luck and prosperity, and for it’s bright, brilliant red berries. This sprig was a gift from a beloved neighbour, the soul of our street.

Later, when the wine was mulling and the fire was crackling outside in the wind and rain, and friends sat around the kitchen table painting and drawing and laughing about their years, one friend gifted me a candle. We went up together and placed it on the altar.

A reminder that wherever I am in this journey, whatever is happening, I am not alone.
I belong to a community, to many communities.
I am held, loved, witnessed.

It is not one spiral, it is many, many spirals, all of us cycling in and around each other’s lives, all of us in non-linear process. All of us stepping forwards, stepping backwards, flying, stumbling, floating, trying.