Compassionate Communities – Solstice Gathering

December 18th

Beccles Road, Holton

Saturday 18th December 2021
1.00pm to 3pm
at Kaliwood, Beccles Road, Holton, Ip19 8NQ

Following on from our Samhain gathering 31 October, we re-convened in Kaliwoods, two days before the Winter Solstice to continue our conversation, reflect on the year, remember those we have lost while we prepare for the shortest day, along with the certainty of days lengthening with the turning of the wheel.

At a Radio Suffolk interview the previous day Kevin, Rachel and Mell were asked by Luke why do we not like to talk about death, and feel uncomfortable with it. Kevin replied, yes, we talk and celebrate openly birth, marriage and other life events, but this one, dying, which is certain, is much more hidden. A consequence is that the planning is not done, the event is ambiguous and contentious and suffering is inevitable. It does not have to be this way.

We met in our circle around the fire. Kevin Vaughan from the Pear Tree Fund, and Rachel from Kinda Education, welcomed all to the woods. Mell from Kinda Education welcomed us with a story of how the deer bought back the sun in her antlers, before she and Shona called the spirits of the four cardinal directions— North, East, South and West, each with its element Air, Fire and Water.

With a much shorter time, with a shortening day, we offered three possibilities: Compassionate Conversations with Guy and Shona in the warm cabin, weaving with Kally beside the fire, and a tour of the solar system.

Music played, with Pete Vicky and Marion. Conversations began, weaving wove.

Professor Patrick Moore, reincarnated, his side kick, Jane, Prof Sam (specialising in the first few seconds), Neptune Bo, and Mythology Leon – with unexpected interjection from Ryan – all led us around the solar system around Kali wood. From Mercury, Venus, Earth Mars, under the astral belt to Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and final to the debate about why not Pluto. It all started with the 23 degree tilt – why we have a solstice and seasons.

A fire procession around the wood in gathering dusk and soft mist, led by Theo took us to the cabin around the fire and under a human archway, back to our circle. Here we wrote on paper our reflections on the year, and burnt them in the flame. Some said them to be heard, others kept them to the flame.

We bid our farewells to the year, taking away with us two bulbs of anemone in soil to plant hoping for the new growth in the new year, when in two days time, the days will begin to lengthen.