A Solstice Adventure in Northumberland

image of a sweatlodge and an unlit fire ready to start ceremony
“a sweatlodge in Northumberland" - Powered by Dall-E 3.

For this year's summer solstice, I found myself back in Northumberland, immersed in a familiar yet ever-evolving fire and ice celebration that culminated in a powerful sweatlodge ceremony under the full moon. This wasn't my first dance with the solstices here – I had held the same roles, fire keeper, stone carrier, and holder of the space, during the previous winter solstice. Returning in the summer sun, it felt like we, the participants and the land itself, had book-ended the time in between the solstices.

The event was a beautiful tapestry of contrasting elements. There was fire, ice, glass and arrow-breaking and the juxtaposition of these elements felt symbolic, a reminder of the delicate balance in nature and within ourselves.

As the full moon rose on the Saturday and the long summer day was beginning to turn to dusk, casting an ethereal glow on the land, the focus shifted. My role transformed into that of the stone carrier. I carefully selected and carried stones imbued with the heat of the day's fire, these stones would become the heart of the sweatlodge ceremony. Throughout the ceremony, I tended the fire outside the lodge, ensuring a steady supply of heat for the stones within.

It was a responsibility I approached with the same reverence as I had done before at the Winter Solstice, a constant reminder of the power and respect fire demands.

While the participants engaged in the sweatlodge's transformative power, I held space for them. The crackling fire became a beacon, a constant presence as prayers and intentions rose under the full moon. It was a humbling experience, a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.

But this solstice wasn't all about tradition. Earlier that day, for the first time ever, I pushed my own boundaries by participating in a glass walk. Walking across a bed of broken glass, although not blindfolded (maybe next time), was a unique test of trust and inner strength. I have been scared about doing the glass walk – more so than fire walks – the sensation was completely different and not what I expected. I really enjoyed how it felt to walk on the glass and the confidence and courage that I seemed to possess when walking upon it.

This solstice celebration wasn't just an event – it was a journey. It was about tending the flames, honouring the power of nature's elements, and connecting with a community under the vast summer sky. It was a reminder that within us all lies a fire to be kept burning, an inner balance to be cherished, and the potential to push our own boundaries in remarkable ways. This return to Northumberland, with the changing seasons reflected in the fire and ice, solidified that feeling. It was a journey of returning, of growth, and the beauty of the cyclical nature of life.

Would you like to participate in a sweatlodge? Contact me to find out more.

If you are interested in learning more about how I can help you, please drop me a message on LinkedIn, or get in touch to find out more.


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