This year I have been writing guided visualisations to mark the festivals of the Wheel of the Year. I finish the cycle with one for the Winter Solstice Eve, which is on 21 December. This visualisation is inspired by Charles Dickens’ classic seasonal story A Christmas Carol, in which the protagonist meets the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, but I have given it a pagan twist.
I would also like to mention that all of my Wheel of the Year visualisations will be appearing in my next book: Pagan Portals - Guided Visualisations. It is being published by Moon Books and should reach shops towards the end of 2020.
Winter Solstice Eve Guided Visualisation: Past, Present and Future
Find somewhere safe and comfortable. Sit and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths in and out and relax, then visualise the following:
Visualise that you are warmly in bed. It is late on winter solstice eve and you are ready to go to sleep. Just as you are about to drift off into slumber, you hear a distant clock strike 11. The sound wakes you. You are unsure where the sound is coming from, as you have not heard that clock strike before. Then, you hear knocking at your front door.
You get out of bed, wrap yourself warmly, and go to the door. Outside is an old man, stooped with age, carrying a lantern. He addresses you by name and tells you that you have been chosen for a special invitation, to follow him and to learn the secrets of the past, the present and the future.
You see that outside; all is frosty and everything seems to glisten in the moonlight. Your breath turns to fog in the chill air.
If you choose to go, put on your boots and coat follow him from your house. He leads you along a deserted road that is at first familiar, but seems to change as you go. The familiar sights and landmarks that you know fade and, in their place, rise tall, wintry trees. You are walking through a wood on a winding path. Your feet crunch on fallen leaves and twigs underfoot. The old man’s lamp lights the way, but around its circle of light is darkness.
He leads you on to a clearing. In that clearing, three figures move around a huge cauldron on a bright, warm fire. Steam rises from the cauldron. As you get closer you see that one of the figures is an old woman with a lined face and wise eyes, the second is a woman with a motherly face and kind eyes, the third figure is a youth, with an innocent face, but sad eyes.
The old man explains these are the spirits of the past, the present and the future and each in turn will show you something important.
First the old woman throws into the bubbling cauldron dark leaves of an evergreen tree, and from the steam that arises you start to see a vision. It is a vision of the past – something important to you. Watch it unfold.
Eventually, the vision ends.
The old man speaks: ‘What you have seen is in the past. The past cannot be changed, but we can remember and learn from what has taken place.’
Then the motherly woman throws into the cauldron a handful of red holly berries. In the steam you see visions of the present. These are scenes from your everyday life that, even if you had not realised it before, are important. You watch the scenes as they unfold.
After a while, the vision ends, and the old man speaks: ‘What you have seen is still ongoing. Everything you do and say is important, even if you do not realise it. What you do now affects what will happen in the future. The future is what you will see next.’
Then the youth with sad eyes throws white berries of mistletoe into the cauldron. Steam arises from it and in the steam, you see a vision of the future. You watch the scene unfold.
Before the scene is over, the old man speaks. ‘What you see is only one possible future, but it is likely to come to pass unless your actions change the course of time.’
The vision of the future unfolds further, then fades. All you see is steam arising from the cauldron over the glowing fire, and the three spirits beyond it, watching you, but saying nothing.
The old man speaks again: ‘It is time for you to return home, and to sleep. Tomorrow is the winter solstice. It is the shortest day of the year, but know that the actions you take, or promises that you make in the light of the returning sun, will affect how the future unfolds.’
He leads you back along the winding forest path. Slowly the trees around you start to fade and you see familiar sights and landmarks around your home. The old man returns with you to your front door, and bids you farewell. You can exchange some final words with him, before you go inside and close the door.
You take off your coat and boots and return to your bed. You pull up the covers and close your eyes. In the distance you hear a bell ring, but you do not hear how many tolls it makes, whether it is still in the eleventh hour or whether it has struck midnight, because you have already fallen into a deep and dreamless sleep.
When you are ready, take a deep breath, shake your fingers and toes and open your eyes to the real world.
You can find more guided visualisations in my book Pagan Portals - Guided Visualisations.