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What a blessed time of year it is as we embrace the darkness and all of Nature relinquishes, letting go of the myriad forms that spring and summer manifested, quietly subsuming back into the Earth all the embodied energy that will yield a fresh harvest in the year to come. On the surface it seems as if the Earth has become barren and bleak, but underground, in the darkness, alchemical forces are at work, transmuting form and structure so that life can begin anew.

As we state in The Soulistic Journey, all creativity begins in the dark; whether that is a seed in the plant realm, or the seed of an idea planted by our imagination. In the dark, germination occurs and is then nurtured by the transformational warmth of the sun, or our own hearth-fires.

The seed of an idea can also be called an intention, something we wish to make manifest, and in the last year or so, I’ve been doing a lot of intention setting. I’m part of a women’s group where we join together on Zoom to speak our intentions aloud; to burn in the element of fire – the ultimate transmuter – that which we wish to transform.

There’s something about making an offering to fire that sears the intention in your mind’s eye. I write on a piece of paper whatever my intention is, and I offer the paper to the flames, watching the paper burn and transmute to ash, which I collect in a copper bowl. I love to watch the paper catch fire, the orange flame flaring only briefly and leaving in its wake the grey ash, which is an altogether different substance, one that does not hold together, that no longer binds.

I put the ashes on the compost heap, with a small ceremony of thanks and then, I hold my intention lightly, trusting it to the higher good. Somehow, I think not paying too much attention to your intention is part of the alchemy; don’t fixate on making it come true, simply trust that it will. And it does.

As an example, earlier this year I made the intention that I would like to relinquish some of my long-term habits that no longer serve me (if they ever did). My intention was to welcome in a healthier, more active lifestyle. A month or so later, I found myself marvelling that I hadn’t had a glass of wine for weeks – but I still didn’t relate this to my intention setting. It was a few weeks later that I remembered that I had actively asked for this to happen! I had set a firm intention that I wanted to make this change, and I did. Nine months later, my intention still holds firm.

You know that old adage, ‘Be careful what you wish for’? Well, it’s true, because when you set an intention, especially one seared by fire, there is a powerful energetic impulse associated with it that reverberates and creates change.

For me, lighting a fire ­now has a symbolic meaning: it will warm me and nurture me, but it will also transform me, if I ask that of it.

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Kathy Sotak
Kathy Sotak

The light and the dark continue to be great teachers for me. Thank you for this powerful reminder. I am working through sub-conscious / learned "programs" that are implanted into my mind, such as the program that dark = bad. Your post is helping me deprogram those thoughts and remember that dark serves a very important purpose, and it does not equal bad. Thank you for this!

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