Celebrating the Winter Solstice and Everyday Rituals

December 21, 2021

Mark your calenders – The Winter Solstice lands on December 21st, 2021 and you’re going to want to be a part of this transformational time! On this episode of the GlowJo Podcast, Leanne interviews the spiritual queen herself, Mara Branscombe. Mara is an author, yoga & meditation instructor, intuitive guide, mother and ceremonialist. She is […]

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Mark your calenders – The Winter Solstice lands on December 21st, 2021 and you’re going to want to be a part of this transformational time!

On this episode of the GlowJo Podcast, Leanne interviews the spiritual queen herself, Mara Branscombe. Mara is an author, yoga & meditation instructor, intuitive guide, mother and ceremonialist. She is also releasing her brand new book called, Ritual as Remedy Embodied Practices for Soul Care.

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Leanne and Mara discuss the upcoming winter solstice and how to honor and prepare for such an amazing and transformational day. Mara explains the different elements that go into making a seasonal alter and how family and friends can be involved in the event too!

Winter Solstice is about getting real and honest with yourself. It is a time to let go of what is limiting you and work on what you want to welcome into your life.

If you’re ready to start 2022 nourishing yourself, bettering yourself and prioritizing your goals – this episode is for YOU!

How’d you like this episode? Let’s connect on Instagram at @leannekallal and @theglowjo and remember to subscribe to The GlowJo Podcast to hear all the advice, have all your questions answered, and listen to some really amazing conversations. 

To stay up to date with everything happening at The GlowJo, join the weekly newsletter at www.theglowjo.com

Thank you for being a part of The GlowJo community!  ♥️

[00:00:00] Leanne Kallal: Welcome to the GlowJo podcast. I’m your host, Leanne Kallal and every week I’ll be sharing thought provoking soul soothing and inspiring conversations. From personal stories to insider tips and tricks at the GlowJo you can always find what you need when you need it most. This is permission. Permission to be you, permission to be messy, permission to feel all the feels.

[00:00:30] So what do you say? Let’s do this together. I’ll see you in the GlowJo.

[00:00:39] Hello, and welcome to the GlowJo, I’m your host Leanne Kallal. And this is a very special week, for many reasons. Oh my goodness. It is almost the end of 2021. I cannot believe how fast this year went. Today also happens to be winter solstice. If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, if you’re in the Southern [00:01:00] hemisphere, fun little fact here, the GlowJo now has listeners in 56 countries, which is absolutely amazing. And I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who, whether you’re tuning in for the first time, or you are a regular here at the GlowJo, thank you for joining me here it absolutely means the world to me.

[00:01:21] I’m so grateful for you and the GlowJo wouldn’t be the same without you. And I’m so happy to be on this journey with each and every one of you. This is also a special week because it’s Christmas. If you celebrate and honor this tradition. So there’s a lot going on. We have winter solstice, which is. The longest day of the year.

[00:01:39] And as you’ll soon, find out there’s symbolism behind it. And there are certain rituals and ceremonies you can do to, to really honor this time of year. There’s Christmas, there’s new years, lots going on considering this as such a special time, I had to bring on an extra special guest. Today. I am [00:02:00] honored to introduce you to Mara Branscombe. Mara is a personal friend of mine. I consider her a mentor. I’ve learned so much from this woman. She is absolutely lovely. She lives in Vancouver and it’s hard to put Mara into words. She is this magical being who is so wise, yet grounded and down to earth. And I absolutely love the perspective that she brings to life.

[00:02:25] She is a trained yoga and meditation instructor. She leads online yoga classes and retreats. She’s studied pagan traditions and is trained in rituals and ceremonies. She is also going to be an author. She has her first book being published in spring. It’s available on her website right now for pre-order, which is so exciting.

[00:02:48] I’m going to go get my copy of it. I’m very excited for her book to be released. Mara’s book is called ritual as remedy, and that is just so fitting for what she [00:03:00] embodies and the message that she teaches. And today we’re talking about rituals and we’re talking about the importance of rituals, and how it can be so much more simple than you might realize.

[00:03:11] And I love Mara said, rituals, anything done with intention? I don’t know about you, but I know I can definitely stand to be more intentional. And when I do bring intention to the little everyday things, life can seem so much more fulfilling and so much more magical. And so I’m excited for you to. Listen to this episode, towards the end, Mara shares a couple of ideas for winter solstice, rituals and ceremonies that you can do with yourself and with your loved ones and friends, very simple, very accessible, and a lot of fun.

[00:03:46] So enjoy this episode and I look forward to reconnecting at the end.

[00:03:50] Hi, Mara. Welcome to the GlowJo podcast. 

[00:03:53] Mara Branscombe: Thank you for having me, Leanne. 

[00:03:56] Leanne Kallal: Yeah, it is such a pleasure to have you here and just seeing your [00:04:00] beautiful shining face and beating your presence and hearing your voice, I immediately feel calm and grounded and connected and just so grateful to be having this conversation with you today.

[00:04:12] Mara Branscombe: I feel the same way about you.

[00:04:14] Leanne Kallal: Yeah. You’re someone. So for everyone listening, Mara is someone who, oh my gosh, I probably met you five or six years ago by now, which is crazier. We’ll see five, maybe four or five years. And I was just immediately drawn to this woman. Such incredible work in this world. I think of you as a, like a medicine woman, healer guide, ritual ceremony, expert author. So why don’t you take this opportunity to just share more about you and the work that you do in this.

[00:04:44] Mara Branscombe: Okay, thank you so much. Um, well I would consider myself a guide, a teacher, a learner of life, a spirit seeker. My work began [00:05:00] in the yoga meditation training and world it then, also I’ve been trained in the pagan tradition, to do rituals and ceremonialist, , even before my yoga training began actually.

[00:05:14] So I feel very honored and in touch to have, been trained under something called sisters of the shields, and that was. In fact before I was even 20 years old. So I was cosmically gifted with this training that came out of nowhere and I found this incredible set of teachers.

[00:05:32] and then yes, I have done shamonic training and I wouldn’t call myself a Shama and I would never do that. I love to work with people and I love to bring people to, realize , their full potential and to work with energy medicine in the body to work with intuition.

[00:05:47] And, you know, really it is to stay current in our own evolving process. The biggest thing in life is change. And so how can we meet ourselves with that energy of change? I’m also a mother and [00:06:00] have two daughters. So you’re working with all these mediums of life and bringing ceremony and ritual lives right inside my heart. 

[00:06:09] Leanne Kallal: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you first. Thank you for taking the time to just share more. And when I was thinking I’m like, how do I describe Mara? She’s a magical woman. So thank you for sharing that. And I just have to say that I absolutely love following you on Instagram. You share your quotes and things that are going to be in your book. I think that we can talk about later in the episode, but one of the things I love seeing the most is what you do with your daughters and the different alters that you make and the different rituals that you have incorporated in your day-to-day life.

[00:06:41] And that’s what we’re talking about today. 

[00:06:43] Every month when there’s a new moon and a full moon, Mara holds these beautiful rituals, via zoom online. And then you do things for the solstices and the fall and spring Equinox.

[00:06:56] You are someone who I look to to see like what’s going [00:07:00] on in the world, what’s going on with the cycle, what’s going on with the season, you’re my go-to lady for checking in to get a pulse on what’s going on with the energies and the cycles and the time of year.

[00:07:11] We’re recording it before, but this episode is actually going to be released on the winter solstice. So I do want to talk about that and what the winter solstice is and why it’s important and how we can honor it. But before we do that, I want to have a conversation on rituals and ceremonies. And 

[00:07:26] I really believe that they’re so important and that in our north American culture, they’re not honored as much as they can be. 

[00:07:35] I lived overseas before. I lived in Malaysia and there was Malaysia Malaysians, Chinese Malaysians and Indian Malaysians. And so it was a cultural melting pot, like I’ve never experienced before because there’s all of the different religions and different traditions from these regions of the world and the rituals and ceremonies we’re absolutely incredible and so special. And it opened my eyes to how other cultures [00:08:00] live and how we don’t have that as much over here. And so I’d love to just open the floor and have a conversation around rituals and ceremonies and why they’re so important and how we can start to really incorporate them into our day-to-day lives or at least into our monthly or weekly lives..

[00:08:17] Mara Branscombe: Yes, I absolutely agree and, you know, we have an opportunity to now create these traditions for ourselves. I talk about this a lot in the book. my book is called ritual as remedy embodied practices for soul care ritual as remedy and so just, yeah, take that, tuck that into to your heart rituals, remedy a ritual can be anything that is done with intention.

[00:08:41] for everyone listening, rituals, anything done with intention, it could be as simple as lighting a candle every morning. And calling in your gratitudes and visualizing your day, the way you would like to go, that can take under five minutes to some more, a bigger honorings and ceremonial expressions, which we’ll get [00:09:00] to later about talking about the winter solstice, for example, and how to honor that and how to mark these times.

[00:09:05] And so ritual is so important because it tethers us to the sacred. It allows us to remember that life can be extra ordinary, that we can move beyond the mundane of the daily grind. And we can welcome in these they’re almost like ephemeral, ephemeral, fleeting moments. We’ve all had these feelings. It’s like a whoosh inside, you know, it’s like, ah, when your breath, it’s a swoon, when your breath gets taken away, similar as when your intuition flashes before you.

[00:09:39] And it’s like, time stands still in these moments when time stands still, we recalibrate. And if we do not give ourselves those opportunities, perhaps we continue to dash from here to there to respond only to life’s dramas to [00:10:00] respond only to the busy mind. And so we need to recreate these rituals for ourselves and for our families, for our friends, whether it’s birthdays.

[00:10:12] How do you want to celebrate your next birthday? How can you make it a little bit more ritualistic? There are many ideas you can just start with what’s meaningful to you personally. And, you know, that could look very different than hosting the dinner party that you do every year. It could be asking everyone to meet you in the forest and bring an offering for the altar.

[00:10:32] And so they’re so important because what’s happened in our Western culture is we have moved away from, a tradition of religion in fact. And so what once used to tether us to the church. which had profound, beautiful deepenings of community has no longer, um, for many of us, we choose not to do that.

[00:10:54] However, we have not recreated something else. So now is the time.

[00:11:00] Leanne Kallal: [00:11:00] Yeah, I love that. So I love the name of your book, ritual rituals for re rituals of remedy or rituals for remedy? 

[00:11:10] Mara Branscombe: Rituals as remedy. 

[00:11:11] Leanne Kallal: Thank you. I can’t wait. your book is coming out in May, 2022. And so I look forward to reading it and supporting you on that.

[00:11:19] And if anyone’s interested you can go, I’ll make sure I link to everything in the show notes, but you can go to Mara’s website and you can pre-order the book. So I will be doing that after we finish this interview. 

[00:11:30] The one thing that I really want point out that I just love is that ritual.

[00:11:34] You make it sound so simple and it is simple and there, it can be simple. Ritual is anything done with intention? I absolutely love this because I think for so many people, you might think like rituals and ceremonies have to be a ton of work or they’re very extravagant or maybe they’re a little woo, woo.

[00:11:53] Or it requires doing something outside of your comfort zone that doesn’t need to be. I [00:12:00] absolutely love that you said we can create these pockets and these moments of what it felt like of magic, of peace, of stillness, of quiet and of connection just by setting the intention and that it can be as simple as lighting a candle at the beginning of the day and sharing gratitudes.

[00:12:16] I love coffee. And I honestly feel like making coffee in the morning is a ritual for me. 

[00:12:21] Mara Branscombe: Absolutely. And then, especially when you’re not multitasking when you’re doing it. Right. So that’s the thing is that you know, this is an opportunity to give ourselves permission to single task and to make it rich with a positive frequency. So as you’re making your coffee, you know, if you can leave your phone over there and you can welcome in this day of opportunity, like Maya Angelou, she says, “What a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before. What a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.”

[00:12:59] That [00:13:00] is a ritual in itself. Beginning your day living in the realm of possibility and yeah, it could sound woo woo for some people and also would it, how does that feel when you know that recalibrates your body? That’s a frequency that will allow you to grow and evolve and actually release limiting beliefs or release the dread of the slog of everyday life. 

[00:13:25] So I think, yeah, I think that there’s just some reframing with how we approach this connected to also our attitude and perspective that can bring us, um, quite deep, meaningful connections.

[00:13:39] Leanne Kallal: Yeah, that’s so beautiful and I’m actually being reminded of a couple episodes that I shared recently, and one was on the power of presence.

[00:13:47] And I do think that there’s something so magical and transforming that comes from making the effort and being aware of being mindful being in the moment. So when you said making [00:14:00] your coffee, but not being on your phone. And to me, it’s like when I’m making my coffee, it’s like the sound of it, the smell of it, holding the, picking up the mug for the first time.

[00:14:10] And it’s nice and warm. And that first sip, like it really is this ritual that fuels me. But then there’s been times throughout the day. Let’s say if I’m making another coffee, I’m not going through all of that necessarily. It’s like, okay, getting the top up and I’m busy and I’m in the moment. And so I think that we can take these everyday things.

[00:14:29] And when we approach them with intention, like you said, them with a different perspective and a different, once I get different energy and awareness, we can transform these things that we do every day into something really meaningful and special. And so I love that. And so a question I have, is there a difference between rituals and ceremonies and if so, what would that be?

[00:14:54] Mara Branscombe: Oh, that’s a very good question. Well, that’s definitely up for interpretation, debate [00:15:00] and cultural lineage, I would say. 

[00:15:02] I believe that ritual is something that is maybe less involved or less complex in a way . So the ritual of making your coffee, the ritual of lighting a candle every morning.

[00:15:16] I would say the, Winter solstice is perhaps more for me anyway, ceremonial. Bought that’s from me because I plan it in that way. So, you know, I think that there’s many different ways to look at this. And, many lineages would have for example, like a bat mitzvah or a bar mitzvah is a ceremony.

[00:15:39] Perhaps the Hanukkah lighting of the candle is a ritual. That’s a great example of a different, I think, the planning, the effort that goes in. 

[00:15:47] Leanne Kallal: Yeah, that’s a good, thank you. Cause when I was thinking of that, I’m like, what is, I’ve never really thought of that before.

[00:15:52] I’m like, what is the difference between rituals and ceremonies? And to me, rituals are easier. Maybe it’s something that we do on our [00:16:00] own or on, in this smaller group of people. Whereas the ceremony you’re still celebrating. Expecting something or a tradition, but it’s on a grander scale and whether it has more of the celebration attitude or more people coming together, more planning.

[00:16:16] And so we’re coming up to the winter solstice. A part of me, feels ignorant that I didn’t pay more attention to the changing of the season throughout the years. And it’s been something in recent, I’d say even like in the last decade of my life, but even more so in the last, everything seems to be about the last five to six years.

[00:16:39] But in this last period of my life, I pay so much more attention to the changing of the seasons. And I’ve really learned to honor the seasons and I’ve learned so much from just observing the seasons and the natural cycles of nature and, you know, nature, just, it does its thing. It flows and with each season comes beautiful [00:17:00] gifts and I think there’s a purpose to each season.

[00:17:03] One more thing I’ll just share and this is when I started really looking into it more, one of my friends from Sweden, when we first met, I remember we were chatting and he’s like, oh yeah, I’m off to a summer solstice party. And I was like, what?

[00:17:14] This guy is off to a summer solstice party. you know, not a spiritual person, not really someone who you would expect to be going to a summer solstice party or at least over here, but in their culture, It’s celebrated and people wear the beautiful flower crowns and it’s just part of their culture and their society and what they do.

[00:17:35] And I thought, how beautiful is that, that this, their societies and countries that honor the changing of the seasons and the cycles in a, just a normal way, like it’s still is grand and they were, they put on this beautiful celebration, but it’s incorporated into their culture. Like Christmas or Hanukkah would be incorporated into ours.

[00:17:55] And so, yeah I’d love to learn more about the winter solstice and [00:18:00] what this time of year means and if you wanted to say anything else about the changing of the seasons and cycles, because I just love everything you share is always so juicy. 

[00:18:10] Mara Branscombe: Oh, thank you. And I think this is a really great way to look at it and I’m beginning to get a feel and a sense for the rhythm.

[00:18:19] So every 29 and a half days, we have new moon. That’s the beginning of a new cycle. Okay. Then two weeks later we have full moon. So anyone wondering how they can start to connect more to the rhythms of the earth, the sun, the moon, and. In general, we’re not separate, right? We’re not separate from our environment.

[00:18:41] And so this is also a remembering and a reminder that we are then also affected directly by our environment. And when we awaken and attuned to that, we can begin to received great reflection in fact, and great growth. So, to honor the new [00:19:00] moon is much more generally we draw inward. It’s a reflective time.

[00:19:04] It’s where we. We bring our seeds in and we plant our seeds. That full moon is the big expression time where we allow everything to grow blossom and put it out there in the world in a way. And then we have our cycles. So I have studied as I shared earlier, the Celtic Pegan wheel of the year.

[00:19:25] And it let me, it really created a lasting imprint on me to recognize that a visualize a compass and that we’re navigating, we’re moving through the compass and the compass is part of us and we’re part of the compass, this symbiotic relationship.

[00:19:41] And so when we come to Four seasons and the cross quarter points. So in between each season, there’s a halfway mark as well. So it’s this beautiful, turning of the wheel that we can stay steady with and it’s all symbolic. 

[00:19:56] So we’re coming up to winter solstice. Winter [00:20:00] solstice is December 21st this year.

[00:20:02] And for those of us in Pacific time, it actually lands at 12:59 PM. So basically one o’clock, just after lunch is the exact time of solstice. it’s a shortest day of the year and the longest. Okay, which there’s a lot of deep reflection here shortest day of the year, longest night.

[00:20:22] Okay. Solstice means the return of the sun. So when we activate winter solstice, rituals and ceremonies, really the premise, the underlying energy is let us welcome the son into fullness as we have gone through the darkness. Of course, we’re still going through winter, but Jen, then the sun start the day, start to get longer from solstice.

[00:20:44] And it’s not too long until spring Equinox. So when we start to unpack this, anyone who’s like living in the west coast and like, oh my God, we’re in winter. We’re in like rainy season for this long. It’s actually not that long when you can follow the cycles, it actually allows us to navigate, [00:21:00] probably our emotions connected to the seasons as well. 

[00:21:03] So it means to stand still. So the winter solstice term in Latin translates as to stand still, there’s so much deep reflection here. 

[00:21:14] When we honor solstice, generally we light candles, we make altars and I’ll share a ritual. To welcome the return of the light and our ancestors did this so that then they could plant their crops in spring and then they could survive.

[00:21:32] They relied on the return of the light. It was absolutely based on survival in fact, uh, for food. So it is very symbolic in that way. And I always think that standing still, when are we still in a to receive reflection around the Christmas season. This barely exists. Consumerism is so high.

[00:21:59] [00:22:00] The pressure for many of us has so high to give more gifts, to buy more things. We haven’t done enough. We need to do more. There’s no standing still. Yet, if you start to incorporate winter solstice, it’s four days before Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas. So I celebrate Hanukkah. Okay. My husband is Jewish and so we celebrate Hanukkah.

[00:22:22] Then we do winter solstice and as you mentioned earlier, my girls have been very much involved in that our whole life. And we also celebrate Christmas. So we do it all. And you know, I love winter solstice because it allows us to recognize that the return of the light is coming. And this is a fun fact about solstice.

[00:22:42] If you stand outside at around noon or one o’clock on winter solstice, your personal shadow will be the longest shadow you’ll cast all year long. Isn’t that so cool. So if you just stand outside and you see your shadow, it’s the longest shadow and it’s because in the winter the sun arcs low and it’s [00:23:00] close to the horizon.

[00:23:01] that’s the science behind it, but isn’t it wild because here’s the symbolism winter solstice. We’re going to ask in, in the ritual, I’m going to describe where the shadow exists in you or where the limiting core beliefs or where the hardships and the challenges and the habits that you want to release.

[00:23:22] And that is your shadow and that is what you want to greet and meet on winter solstice so that you can work with it and you can transform it. Not repress it, not push it down, not push buy on Amazon again. But to actually say, okay, for me it’s more important than new year’s like I always for solstice.

[00:23:45] I also work around my intentions for 2022 coming on winter solstice. Is very simple and that way.

[00:23:52] Leanne Kallal: Thank you for sharing all of that information and I would, as soon as you said, the longest shadow of the year, I’m like longest shadow, dark as night as [00:24:00] this, like really getting into the depths and the shadow aspect of the soul.

[00:24:04] And I’m reminded that I have a friend. She does not celebrate Christmas. She celebrates solstice. And so in recent years, this has really coming to me and I feel much more drawn to spending, you know, dedicating that day, which is funny. Cause I think I actually will end up having family plans this day, an early Christmas celebration on the solstice.

[00:24:26] So I guess we’ll see if it happens, but moving forward, I am going to be a lot more intentional about creating space. And the other day I was looking for some stationary behind me and I found this card and I think it was a ritual that I did with you Mara and it said open June 2021 and December, 2021.

[00:24:46] And it was from a winter solstice ritual that I did last year. And it was so incredible to see what I wrote and how things have transformed and what’s come to life this year. And then [00:25:00] also my mother’s side, my grandfather was a farmer. I say, my grandmother, she wasn’t out in the field, but she was working.

[00:25:07] She was a part of the whole farm. And it’s so interesting cause they had the farmer’s Almanac. And now I think of it, I’m like that is full of so much wisdom and there’s so much information in there and it’s sold at grocery stores. I’m like, this is widely available to everyone. it’s so wise and it’s so in tune with nature and the world and the cycles and you’re right.

[00:25:30] We, we are one, but I think we operate so separately. And if we were to remember that we’re part of nature and we’re part of the cycle. I’ve really been more aware of getting in tune with cycles and life becomes a lot easier and more enjoyable and magical when you can start to recognize what season and cycle of nature you’re in, but also in your personal life and how you can honor and respect that and accept it and work with it from a different perspective. 

[00:25:59] Mara Branscombe: And [00:26:00] beginnings working with beginnings and middles and endings, it helps us to set boundaries. It helps us to not feel as alone in the world or disconnected because we can put our faith.

[00:26:13] You know, nature is my religion. Nature is my spirituality. Nature is my church. And so that brings me great comfort. When you know, I feel imbalanced. I know I can go to nature and ask permission to receive and connect a good energy, positive energy. And I asked permission to release imbalance, negative energy, overwhelmed energy.

[00:26:41] You know, when we start to program our mind in that way, as opposed to everything that we’re not doing or how we’re not connected, or we’re not meeting our goals, when we can start to see the beauty in nature and allow that to actually touch us on the inside, it can [00:27:00] bring a depth to our life that perhaps we haven’t felt before.

[00:27:04] Leanne Kallal: That’s so well said and it’s reminded me of a quote I shared on Instagram recently and it said like nature never hurries yet everything always gets done. And it’s just, it’s such a reminder for me to slow down, to be patient, to enjoy each moment and to trust in the timing of life and upcycling.

[00:27:23] So speaking of timing, you’ve prepared a winter solstice ritual, what kind of rituals can we can people do on winter solstice? 

[00:27:31] Mara Branscombe: There’s a couple of ideas I have as I bring forward some of these ideas, I think what’s great for the audience to know is that you then get to create your own version of this and you know, when we give ourselves permission to trust our intuition and to create beauty through nature’s eyes and. Then we can be more free in it. So I just wanted to offer that out that I will give a basic structure and you’ll get the idea right away. And [00:28:00] I thought, Leanne, maybe you could do this even with your family on your pre-Christmas, you do an invite.

[00:28:06] And when you invite people to do just a little something small to start, it can really have a beautiful and profound impact. So the first thing I’ll offer out in that is very simple is to make a seasonal alter. So a seasonal alter would be perhaps, um, Cedar boughs, fur if you can find a place to source ethical, that would be great.

[00:28:30] Or you have a. And also the windstorm that’s been here lately has left a lot of branches on the ground. So I would say, please go get the branches that are on the ground. And so that can, you can make a big circle and then on the inside of the circle, I always put a plate. I always have, I have lots of big plates that I like to use because then you can move them around.

[00:28:49] You put your candle on the inside and  T lights around. So have a main, big candle. We like to use yellow at this time of year silver or golden to [00:29:00] represent the light. I love to use beeswax candles. And so you could have tea lights all the way around, and you could have a main candle on the inside.

[00:29:10] The tea light could be for each person that’s present at the time. For example, if you’re doing a meal together and you can put crystals on it. So solstice is all about sourcing from the earth. Winter salsas also lands in the corner of the wheel in the north, which also represents the element of earth.

[00:29:28] So we’re working with those minerals, the crystals, everything that’s grown from the earth and as each person. It goes around, they could share their gratitudes. They could share perhaps some virtues that they’re wanting to bring forward, in this coming season with the return of the light virtues, for example, peace, love, hope, faith. 

[00:29:51] when we share these things also in the company of others, it becomes very profound and then they light their candle, they’re sharing their gratitudes [00:30:00] as they’re speaking. And then they put the candle back down and then each person goes around. And so that’s one very easy ritual that can be done, very accessible.

[00:30:09] Great to do at a dinner party and fun for people that have never done this before. Very accessible. Now this is more of a ceremonial piece I’m going to move into for winter solstice and I love because soul winter solstice is about fire too. It’s traditionally a fire ceremony. So if you have access to a real fire or an outdoor fire, great.

[00:30:31] If not, this is what you do. Okay. So I’ll go through this as quickly as I can with being very simple, because you’re going to fill it out. So this is a burning ceremony we do for solstice. 

[00:30:42] So for those of us that don’t have the ask, we’re going to burn our stuff. We’re going to burn all our shadow though big, you know, all those limiting core beliefs, we’re going to write them down. 

[00:30:51] So this is the materials that you will need is a bowl of water, a candle. I put the whole thing on a tray. You’ll need slips [00:31:00] of paper. So I would have that, not just in your journal, but separate slips of paper. You’re also going to have something from the natural world, perhaps a crystal or stone, even from outside or the beach, you don’t have to go buy anything.

[00:31:11] You can also use your Cedar boughs and just have that greenery there that connects you. And so the first step, once you have all those materials is to take about two minutes at least to be in silence and stillness. And soften yourself. So again, we’re standing still and we’re welcoming in the reflection that is meant to come forward at this time.

[00:31:40] And you know, it may take you longer, if you have longer, it could be five minutes and you connect with your breath and then you welcome in your supporting and compassionate guides, whether that’s your intuition. You’re welcoming that in, or whether you’re working with a specific guides or whether [00:32:00] you want to call forward some of your ancestors, your good ancestors that have crossed over to the other side, they may want to come and support you at this time.

[00:32:08] Or you may want to remember them. 

[00:32:09] So that’s you calling forward sacred space. Yeah. And then, from there, you light your candle and you begin to write down. Things you’re ready to let go up and. So some examples could be, you’re limiting core beliefs, you can go for top three, what are the top three repeating things in your mind and look for the, I am always, I am never, I am this, I am that those kinds of definitions, the ego loves those, because guess what?

[00:32:38] That keeps you playing small in your field. Right. And somehow we like that. Sometimes we like that because we don’t want to, you know, break through that barrier. But the solstice is about breaking through that barrier. And the solstice is about getting really real and honest with yourself about some things that you’re ready to really.

[00:32:57] So you can write them all down on your pieces of [00:33:00] paper. Then on the flip side, you’re also going to invite in what you vision for this time moving forward for 2022 or from now until spring Equinox. That’s a beautiful time to mark. So from now until March 21st, what do I want to welcome in?

[00:33:18] What will support me in my dreams at this time and my goal, my tasks, we all have tasks. We all have, you know, big jobs and work to accomplish, but what will support us the root level? So not like the end goal, but how can we nourish ourselves? So those are the kinds of things you want to call in.

[00:33:41] Like focusing on sleep self-care, Activating in the way that you want to. So things like this, and I don’t want to be literal here because it can get really symbolic and it can get very sacred. So you’re going to write down your burnings, what you’re letting go, and then you’re going to write down what you’re inviting [00:34:00] in.

[00:34:00] And then when you’re ready, you’re going to take what you’re wanting to burn and you’re going to light it on fire and you’re going to watch it burn. And then you have your bowl of water to dose it in so that it’s a very safe practice. No one’s allowed to set their house on fire.

[00:34:17] And then for what you’re calling. Yeah, it’s a time capsule. You put it in an envelope and then you write down, whether you want to do three months or six months out is up to you. And then you tuck it away. You tuck it away and you’re somewhere where you’re going to be able to revisit it.

[00:34:33] And it’s, this is the thing it’s not about the final outcome. It’s never about the final outcome. It’s about content. Inside the process. So let’s say my goal is to finish my second book by March. Okay. Like I I’m like trying to make that mark. Okay. But I can’t say that. I know that it’s not going to be super helpful.

[00:34:55] What I’m going to work with, the frequency and the vibration of [00:35:00] Super soul care so that I can allow the flow to come forward and I can hold the depth and the sacred energy that I want to pour into these words. So like that. Yeah. 

[00:35:14] Leanne Kallal: Thank you for sharing. I just want to share and reflect on a couple of things that really stood out to me.

[00:35:19] So thank you for first of all, just sharing the easy the easy ritual that you can do with family, with people it’s very accessible. Like you said, I love that. You do you have these beautiful trays and you always make these beautiful altars. And I think that again, there can be common misconceptions around alters that needs to look a certain way or be a certain way, or be more complicated when really it’s around the intention. And so is there anything quickly that you can share about like the importance of altars and why they exist and even maybe how they came into existence?

[00:35:58] Mara Branscombe: It’s like the harth of the home. [00:36:00] I would say the harth at the home used to be the fireplace. It used to be in the center of the home. Right. And that was where you cooked too, because there was no right. And then it allows us to gravitate to the light because often there’s a candle on the alter and it is a place where, you know, you can visits to get anchor, to get connected, to be reminded of what’s important to you. We do seasonal altars. I do it with my children. They love it. They’ve been doing it for years. We do them indoors. We do them outdoors. We go into the forest and we make sculptures and it’s about working with natural materials. I think that’s what’s really important.

[00:36:43] And also I think the biggest thing is it becomes the hardest, it becomes the anchor and it it changes with you as you change your alter. So remember to refresh your altars, remember to cleanse your crystals full moon, you put them in saltwater. So we [00:37:00] just want to, we want to keep it clean, just like we do our house like it allows our mind to stay clear also. 

[00:37:06] Leanne Kallal: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. And then the other thing that I love that you said is what do you need to call in to be supported? I know for me, at least I’ll be so focused on all right. I want to create this and I want to bring this to life and I want to achieve this and.

[00:37:23] I love that you said it’s not about the outcome. I think so often it is about the journey and who we become and what we experience and how we grow as we’re working towards the goals and things that we want to achieve in our life, but to stop and ask ourselves. What do I need to be supported? Glow Joe challenge here, for everyone listening, really think about what is going to support you. And what’s going to support you in becoming the truest version of you and the most aligned to you. I wrote, I have this in a journal somewhere. I was like, I want to support myself from the level, not like the level as in this, but like, [00:38:00] Where she is the one that I know, is there ready to create and wanting to do these things?

[00:38:05] How does she need to be supported? and how can I support myself in this moment, but also know that as I evolve, how I support myself and what I need from others to be supported is going to grow and evolve as well. And I just don’t think we give enough thought to how can I support myself for this season of my life or this cycle that I’m in. 

[00:38:24] Mara Branscombe: And that’s exactly it. And that’s how you meet your evolving, changing self. We’re always evolving. We’re always changing. So how does that support system evolve and change as you move through your life? Think about the trees. Think about their root systems. They are deep, they are wild. They are they’re calm.

[00:38:45] They take care of each other. They allow the buds to blossom and the fruits to come forward. And so when I forget. I think, okay. What’s the underbelly of the [00:39:00] support. Okay. So if that outcome wants to come through there and then what’s the baseline, and then what’s underneath foundational and then deeper than foundational and allows the mind actually to perhaps come to a different answer than you wouldn’t expect.

[00:39:16] Leanne Kallal: Yeah, I think so. The one other quick thing that I want to highlight is going through and what am I ready to let go of? Are those core beliefs that aren’t supporting me? We do have these shadow sides and we have these blind spots and if there’s ever an excuse, it’s like, well, I’d love to, but what is that but for you and for everyone listening, what is your butt all of the, not enough, not enoughnesses. And I’ve been starting to let go of maybe more ways of being, and I’ve always focused on like habits and I want to let go of this and I want to let go of that.

[00:39:50] And I want to let go of this belief, but I’ve moved into. I want to let go of operating in a state of fight or flight. I want to let go of operating, like, you know, [00:40:00] sort of in these, they are, I guess, habits, but it’s a deeper sense that I’ve been tuning into. And so, yeah, I know for me, I’ve definitely worked through a lot of those, not enoughnesses and being able to recognize them and let them go.

[00:40:14] And any excuses, any reason why you’re not doing what you would love to do. There’s a core belief that’s attached there somewhere and what is that belief and how can you identify it. And I think a lot of times we don’t need to necessarily know what to do about it, but having the awareness that it’s, there is a huge step in and of itself.

[00:40:34] And then offer it is watching this beautiful Marianne Williamson video. And she said offer it to the alter so it can be altered. 

[00:40:45] Mara Branscombe: Absolutely take your questions to the altar. So that’s another reason why we have altars is because it allows us to come to first, maybe get still enough, like solstice to stand still enough to actually see what [00:41:00] question wants to come through.

[00:41:01] And there is a frequency to all of this, and I think what you were just speaking of land is powerful. There’s wisdom in our aging process. So that is so beautiful that we then get to dial in to the frequency, as opposed to all the little things that we’re trying to release or whatever.

[00:41:23] It’s like the overall it’s a bigger picture here. We’re working on a frequency now. And I think that there is such a shift in consciousness globally right now in the collective and that we’re at a precipice and a threshold of big change. And so what is the frequency that we are bringing forward now in this big change and missed every other thing that in the world that’s going on that’s so wild. 

[00:41:50] So let us generate that frequency and share it, share the love and share the compassion and the understanding and this way that we [00:42:00] can carry the light forward. 

[00:42:02] Leanne Kallal: Yeah, thank you so much. It’s beautiful. And thank you for putting words to what I was sensing and feeling, and it is the frequency of being intentional about the frequency.

[00:42:13] You’re just incredible. I could talk to you forever. Thank you so much for joining me today here in the glow Jo, and for sharing your beautiful knowledge and for preparing those rituals and sharing those examples and for anyone who wants to connect with you and follow you or continue their journey with rituals and ceremonies and learn from you, what do you have to offer and where can they find you? 

[00:42:37] Mara Branscombe: Yes. Thank you. Well, you can find me on Instagram, Mara Branscomb, my name, and you can also check out my website. It’s always updated with events. The book is up there to check it out I see it’s up for presale now. And it’s marabranscomb.com

[00:42:55] so all my name, that’s it and I do a monthly newsletter [00:43:00] and that’s content rich.

[00:43:02] Lots of rituals in there, and ways to connect with also some real time, retreats coming forward. I’d love to have wonderful audience. 

[00:43:11] Leanne Kallal: I’ll make sure to link to everything in the show notes, so that it’s really easy for everyone to connect with Mara.

[00:43:17] I do, like I said, I love following you. I love seeing what you’re up to you. I know you do your retreat in Mexico and you do your yearly retreat at Holly Hawk. And rituals, you have the art of ritual online program that you do and your new moons and full moons. There are so many opportunities to connect with Mara and dive in to dive into this space, if you feel called to you.

[00:43:38] And yeah, I’m going to remember the stillness and the silence because that’s one that can be easy for me to overlook. That’s going to be my big takeaway and it feels like an edge, like doing, like going and being with my family on winter solstice and being like, “Hey, let’s do a ritual,” feels uncomfortable, but I think that’s something for me to [00:44:00] explore and this can be a really great way for me to it’s a positive connection with my family and for something different for all of us. 

[00:44:08] So I’ll let you know how it goes, but I definitely feel a little nervous. I don’t know. 

[00:44:14] Mara Branscombe: Call me before. I’ll give you some coaching. 

[00:44:17] Leanne Kallal: Thank you. I love it. I will definitely take you up on that. All right. 

[00:44:23] Well, have a wonderful day.

[00:44:24] Thanks again. And enjoy the holiday season. 

[00:44:27] Mara Branscombe: Thank you so much, Leanne, for having me,

[00:44:29] Leanne Kallal: my pleasure.

[00:44:30] All right. So what did you think of Mara? Isn’t she just the warmest most feel-good loveliest being ever. I enjoy my conversations with her so much, and I absolutely love the ritual ideas that she shared for winter solstice. And so here’s your GlowJo challenge of the week? I would absolutely love to see how you celebrate winter solstice, whether you

[00:44:54] complete the fire ceremony. If you do that, make sure you’re safe, [00:45:00] or whether you create an alter or you like candles with family, take a photo, post it on Instagram and use the hashtag GlowJo solstice and tag, at the GlowJo in the photo so that we can all see the beautiful rituals that the community is doing.

[00:45:19] I hope you enjoyed this episode. And as we move through to the end of the year, I have a special surprise for you. Later this week, I’m releasing a bonus episode to help support you with any holiday anxiety that you may be experiencing. So keep your eyes open for that. Thank you for being a part of the GlowJo Community.

[00:45:39] It honestly means the world to me. And I love being on this journey with you. If you enjoyed this episode and if you know someone in your life who you think would really enjoy it, pass it on, it is free to share. And word of mouth is one of the biggest compliments you can give. So thank you so much. If you find the GlowJo podcast helpful, and you think [00:46:00] more people should listen to this and hear everything.

[00:46:02] I talk about head on over to apple podcasts and. Leave a five-star review, ideally is five star. I am, but leave a review. And I left to read what everyone writes about the show and what they love. It helps me to know what to create. So here’s to a peaceful, calm and graceful end of the year. I hope you have a very special day and I will see you again soon in the global.

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