Winter Solstice Cleanup Sumup

Stonehenge Winter SolsticeBecause this was such a tough year for me, I asked a good friend of mine to help me clear away the negativity, hopelessness, and frustration that seems to have settled around me, infecting everything I do.

My friend, who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, calls herself a “practical witch.”   She told me that we could do a cleanse of negativity as the moon kept on waning, which this month happened to end right on winter’s solstice.  When I asked my practical witch what I should do to prepare, she told me “shower.”  I surreptitiously took a sniff of my underarms, but she quickly explained, “I just do things the practical way.”

The plan: to make a list of things I want to remove from my life and burn them in the special mini-cauldron my practical witch had made out of a kitchen utensil.   Then spa: deep massage or facial so as to reinforce that idea of release and surrender, and some quiet meditation afterwards.

As this plan was shared with me via email, I quickly responded, “You had me at Spa. That’s all you had to say.”

Witches look into the book

So I drove up to my practical witch’s house and I had no trouble coming up with about two sheets of paper full of things I want to get rid of, from injuries and diseases to frustrations in my career and ugly personal flaws.  We went out to her porch for the burning in the kitchen pot/mini cauldron.

“The moon is in scorpio,” she informed me, which apparently has a reputation for getting things done by hacking and burning, “so we have to sweeten it with Vanilla.”  I watched my  list of problems catch fire and thought, burn, baby, burn.

Then we got a massage. Then I was happy.

Then I remembered that there were a few things I forgot to burn. So I contacted my personal witch who told me  she “leaves a lot of room for editing and mistakes,” and instructed me to simply burn those things and add them to the other ashes when I’d get rid of them before the new moon.

Joel decided to join in the party.  He made his own list of things to burn, including a strange itchy problem that makes him miserable and that seems to have no apparent source except maybe stress.  We burned our woes. We dropped the ashes into the river.

Then we both got massages, but not before I got rid of 13 pairs of shoes, a nearly a closet-full of old purses, wallets, and assorted junk that for reasons I can’t really explain I have saved for over 15 years.  And then, I somehow got the cleaning bug and cleaned out my office, too, which I thought would never happen.

I mean, I thought the three piles of books and papers that I’d stacked up on my desk and that forced me to find a new table to set up my computer were going to be there forever. But I was wrong.

Then, just to be spiteful, I took pictures of my cleaned up place, and Joel’s which is as clean as it ever gets and will remain as such forever more.

Here’s the cleaned out closet and my office:


And Joel’s:

IMG_0374 IMG_0373

The itching went away (for now) and the massage was wonderful. Both times.  So now I hope that the new moon and the new year will fill my life with positivity:

“A place and a way to prosper, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and materially.” So mote it be.

Published by laura

I'm the author of two short story collections, a story cycle, and a collection of short memoirs. I am an educator, literary translator, journal editor, and writing coach.

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