Winter Solstice Story Hop!
Solstice Moon Spell
“I fell into a dream,” Daniella moaned. The rhythmic beep of the monitor and the light-reflecting, white walls hinted at where she now lay. She blinked, focusing on the face above her. As her vision cleared, she was met with kind, crystalline eyes rimmed in blue. Strange color, she thought. Obviously he is my doctor or nurse . . . nice bedside manner. Most likely my nurse. One never knows these days.
“Do you remember anything about your fall?” Crystal Eyes asked, his pen matching the beat of the old Christmas song, ‘Holly and the Ivy,’ playing in the distant background.
She thought for a moment, her dream still prevalent in her mind. She wanted to go back to her dream but reluctantly pushed it away. “Yes, I remember standing in line at the check-out counter with a shopping cart full of Yule gifts.” The memory made the monitor beep faster. She had been working overtime to make this year extra special. This was the year the family was coming to her house. With all the food to prepare, decorations to put up, and perfect gifts to buy on her list (which she had memorized), her free time was nonexistent. There had to be a better way to celebrate this time of year, something opposite of the stressful hustle and bustle. She was over the commercialism. And worst of all, she was single again at the age of fifty-two, making this time of year even harder to endure. Her family had been pushing hard for her to find another man. It had been weighing heavily on her mind, day and night. So yes, she remembered standing in line at the department store, longing for a simplistic life, or at least a more simplistic way to celebrate the holidays. Somewhere in the far reaches of her mind, a voice whispered to her. She clearly heard the words: “My dear one, there is a simpler way. You just have to remember.” The soothing voice slowed the rapid beeping of her monitor, and she let the eye-pleasing nurse come back into focus.
“You fainted and hit your head pretty hard—you lost blood. You also have an elevated heart rate. We need to monitor you and wait for the tests to come back before you can be discharged.”
She studied her nurse. Besides smelling like . . . like a pine forest at Yuletide—a different but very pleasing scent—he is quite handsome. In a manicured, yet earthy way . . . with a hint of rugged. I bet he has a cabin in the mountains and knows how to ride a horse. I bet he does yoga and meditates. Hmm . . . my type. She couldn’t stop her eyes from searching his fingers and felt a slight satisfaction when she found no ring.
Crystal Eyes gazed at her with a soft curiosity. He turned and grabbed the extra chair and dragged it close to her bed and sat. He put his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. “You said you fell into a dream. I know a little about dreams—took a few dream reading classes. I have strange dreams myself, so I journal them. Going to be a long night. I would love to hear it.”
Trying hard to suppress the blush from his warm, intense stare, she turned her face to look out the window of her room. It was snowing, a gentle blanketing of alabaster flakes. Without looking back at him, she allowed the words of her dream to tumble freely from her mouth, her words as gentle and unending as the snowfall . . .
“I had waited purposely for the winter solstice to do my spell. It had been one year since the death of my husband. It was time. My body so in tune with the changing of the seasons, I felt the need to go within, rest and rejuvenate, and then do magic. I am part of the Mother, and she is part of me. I cannot ignore the rhythms of her cyclical pattern of life. Those who do not feel the seasonal changes and go against this always fall ill or meet with one tragedy or another. I just know it is the way of things, has been since the beginning of time. And so, on this full moon, I began my magic: a spell I started a week before winter solstice. I did my preparations and was now ready to share my life, my world, and my love with another.
The snowflakes tumbled lightly about me, glistening in the silver rays of the full moon, which they call the Cold Moon. I pulled my heavy, woolen cloak tighter under my chin and followed the illuminated trail through the forest, feeling welcomed by the trees. I walked until the air about me changed ever so slightly. Only one such as I would know when one had entered the powerful realm of the hallow. The hallow is a most magical place that dwells between dusk and dawn, the center of a cross roads, and the place between physical and nonphysical.
The air was warmer, and my flesh tingled. I had been here before in preparation for this night. I had already built my fire ring of twelve stones, representing the twelve days of the solstice. There I had already gathered enough firewood to light my sacred fire and welcome the new light into my world. I kicked away some of the fresh snow and then sat. I dug beneath my cloak for my satchel, which carried the magical items needed. I had Ivy, a plant sacred to the Goddess, entwined in the cycle of death and life. Winter—the time associated with death, the crone, and when the Great Mother sleeps—would soon begin to awaken and bring forth the new life with the rebirth and return of the light. To me it meant the letting go of the darkness and loss of the year past and bringing in the new year.
I then took out the sprig of Holly, the male counterpart to Ivy. One must always pair the two when doing love magic. I pulled out a bundle of dried grasses and my flint. A minute later, the fire crackled loudly, sending tendrils of billowing smoke into the air. I studied the fire elementals, the salamanders, envisioning the new one that would enter my dark world, bringing renewed light and love.
“He must be warm of heart and kind of smile. With eyes the color of snow under the solstice moon. He will come of his own volition, for I will not bind anyone. He will have already been searching for me. His hands will be strong, yet able to heal,” I said aloud to the flickering form in the fire. I fanned the herbs over the flames then set them in my lap. I reached for my boline, the tiny curved blade used to collect herbs. I held the tip of the blade over the fire, then brought it to my right middle finger, nicking quickly. I waited for the blood to surface and pool, then let three drops fall to the bundle of herbs. I somehow knew that if I was still a maiden, my moontime blood would be more effective, considered high magic.
I once again fanned the herbs and blood over the fire. I recited again those words of manifesting that which I sought, faster and louder each time until I was shouting it to the stars and Solstice moon above. When I felt the energy crackling and swirling around, I tossed the herbs into the fire. It sent a spray of golden flame high into the air. And the next thing I knew I woke up here—in this hospital.”
“I believe in dreams. Dreams are more than just wishes,” said Crystal Eyes. “Now, I will tell you my dream—it was very much like yours.”
Two weeks later Daniella was awakened by her phone vibrating on the heavy pine table next to her. She wiggled out from under the warm arm carelessly flung over her. She kissed it before she answered the call.
“Yes, mother. I’m sorry. I know it was my turn. No, cracking my head did not have anything to do with my decision to go up in the mountains for Yule. Yes, it’s his cabin. I needed to de-stress—Doctor’s orders—his orders. Yes, he wants to meet all of you—right after the first . . . of the year.” Her words slowed, as his strong grasp on her waist pulled her once again beneath the heavy down comforter. “Bye, Mother.” She giggled as he traced kisses along her shoulder. She let the phone fall from her hand and reached for him. He shifted his weight to look down at her, his crystalline eyes, the color of snow under the light of the solstice moon, bore into her.
“I want more of your magic,” he whispered to her before he met her mouth with his.
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