image by Ristoria
Every year I get together with my two best friends, along with our significant others, for a Yule party. This year it landed on December 16th. We did the usual eating, chatting, gift exchange and cookie exchange. (All of which are some of my favorite things, I mean PRESENTS!) This year however, I thought that it would be fun if we all lit lanterns that we could release and let off into the night sky.
My thought was that we could write what we needed to release for the New Year, and then let them go, being taken away by flame and wind. It was cold as hell, but we all wrote what we wanted to release on the lanterns, one per couple, and bundled up and headed outside. It was a little windy, but we had enough time between breezes to release the lanterns.
My soon-to-be wife and I went first. I’ll admit I had no idea wtf I was doing. We read the instructions, and I started lighting the damned thing upside down. Amid scoffing from my friends, saying I didn’t know what I was doing and that I was going to light myself on fire (thanks guys,) I figured it out.
Once I got it righted and it started to fill with hot air, something clicked. For a bit it was just me and the flame. We all agreed to take a few minutes, while it was filling, to concentrate on what we wanted to release but all I could think about was this incredible feeling I was having. I loved this flame, the energy pouring into this lantern. Even though this was the first time I’ve ever done one of these I instinctively knew when it was time to let it go. It floated away, and left me with a sense of longing.
That said, I helped the other two couples with their lanterns, somehow becoming the one to light the flames, and to let everyone know when to let go. It felt good. I’ve wanted to do another one ever since that night, but the trees around my house keep me from it. That and apparently these are illegal in my state, so I’m thinking of how to find that feeling of lighting a lantern, and sending it off into the air.
Something about birthing this light, and tending to it, but then releasing it to the world is very powerful for me, and incredibly spiritual. I haven’t felt that alive during ritual in a long time. My soul is crying out for more flames, but not just a simple candle lighting and tending. Something bigger is calling me and I know that becoming a Fire Priestess (a term of my own making, in this context) is what’s next for me.
I was a flame tender for a Brighidine group for a while, but that sort of structure isn’t what I’m looking for. So, as of right now I’m a little lost. More research is needed, but most of the time my google searches end up with either video games, Game of Thrones or Brighid results. *sigh*