Sharing the Sun

by Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

This past Winter Solstice I was asked to take on a central role in a ritual for the return of the light at the last moment. The person who was to embody the Sun was ill and could not attend, and of those present I was the best option available. I had just gotten over a bad cold and was not at my best, but given the stress of 2016 we all felt that the hundred or so people that would be attending really needed this ritual of hope and renewal. One of the attendees was a friend who has a profound connection to Solar Deities, Apollon in particular. She offered to give me a boost of energy which I gladly received.

We exchanged a wholehearted embrace and I felt myself fill with the power that brings the day, warms the soil, and promises Spring to come. I thanked her, though she had her doubts about whether or not she had given enough. I assured her that she had given me exactly what I needed. That evening the ritual went well, healing tears were shed, the light of the reborn Sun was spread from candle to candle, the joy of communal strength grew, and merriment followed with music and singing late into the night. I thanked my friend again for her assistance. She told me that she felt stronger and better after having shared energy with me. She was both puzzled and concerned that I had not taken enough of the energy that she’d offered. I explained what I had done, and in doing so realized that it was a technique that I should share.


The chances are that if you’ve had training or exposure to one of the many energy healing modalities, you know that it is better to draw upon the power of life, the universe, the Divine, or whatever else is considered a wholesome source of power rather than to drain your own reserves, your batteries. It does take a certain amount of your own power to start the process, once begun you have access to far more than you used. There are situations that do call for personal energy instead of energy drawn from greater sources, but they are few and far between. For example, sometimes if a person is in a weakened or exhausted condition, they may need an infusion of human life force so that they then have enough to begin processing more universal energies. Another example is when someone is borrowing power to do spiritual work, because the energy also contains information and guidance from the donor.

When I received the gift of energy from my friend, my focus was on getting a sample of the energy and a sense for where to look for more. Your temperament, training, and instinct guides where and how you draw energy from the universe. Over time these habits and reflexes can serve you well, but can also limit your options.  There are also times when your mental or emotional state hampers your access to the familiar, but the unfamiliar sidesteps the roadblocks. Every person, even those with many similarities, has a unique set of ways in which they draw in power. By carefully observing another person raising and moving energy, you can learn where and how they draw in energy. Think of this as like getting directions to a wellspring, or a scent to follow back to the feast, or a tuning fork with the note you need to sing a song, or a temporary member’s key to open the door.

When my friend gave me energy, I took in enough to sample it and followed it back to its source. Then I listened to the song of the energy and sang it in my mind as well. I drew upon the source, and the stream of power that came forth replenished both of us. That evening during our Winter Solstice ritual I had the energy and insights that I needed to do the work. By the next day the connection had begun to fade.  If I wanted to keep that connection, I would also need to commit to a regular honoring of Apollon as the way that I borrowed arose from my friend’s connection. Sometimes keeping a new access point to energy is simply a matter of knowing that it exists and adding it to your repertoire, and sometimes it involves making changes to your practices.

Just like sharing the Sun at the Solstice, where each receives a spark to light the way and to pass to others, the sharing of energy can lead to more for all.

Blessings, Ivo

Ivo Domínguez, Jr. has been active in the Wiccan and the pagan community since 1978 and has been teaching since 1982. He was a founding member, and past High Priest, of Keepers of the Holly Chalice, the first coven of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel a Wiccan Tradition. Ivo is also one of the organizers for the New Alexandrian Library. You can find him at

Ivo’s books

Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans | Casting Sacred Space

Today Is Dark, but Spring Is Just Around the Corner

by Kendra Levin

It can be tough to be a creative artist during the holidays.

Whether you’re a writer or a painter, a composer or a choreographer, making your art requires time, focus, and a certain amount of mental quiet. None of these are in abundance during holiday time.

And 2016’s has been a particularly frazzling season for those who expected election day to bring relief instead of more stress. How can we possibly find the space to be creative between shopping and filing paperwork, between calling our reps and signing petitions, between going to holiday parties and falling down the social media rabbit hole?

But there’s more to making art than the moment of creation.

Today is the winter solstice—the shortest, darkest day of the year. Without the solstice and the ancient rites celebrating it, we wouldn’t have many of the best-loved traditions of the holiday season, including decorative wreaths and Christmas trees. In many ancient cultures, the winter solstice signified the birth of the year and a rebirth for celebrants.

Celebrating on this coldest, darkest day is a reminder to us all that winter and hibernation are an essential part of the cycle of creation. Without the chance to sleep in the soil, deep below the crust of frost, seeds would never be able to germinate, put forth tendrils, and ultimately turn into flowers, trees, crops. Celebrating the cold, the dark, the long night is a way of honoring the entire cycle of creation.

Artists need their creative winter to let ideas germinate and prepare for fruition as much as they need periods of expression. We need to give our art time to live its secret life under the surface before it comes out into the world.

So as you’re hustling around putting up decorations, buying gifts, preparing food, entertaining guests, or simply getting all your end-of-year paperwork in order, remember that you’re already storing up the seeds of ideas that will bear fruit in the new year. Perhaps they’ll emerge as a novel or a play, as poetry or a symphony, a sculpture or a painting. Or maybe your ideas will serve a cause, guide a movement for change, spark a revolution. Do not doubt that the seeds are already within you; give them the time they need to put forth roots.

Today is dark, but spring is just around the corner.

Kendra Levin is a certified life coach for writers, as well as a children’s book editor, teacher, and writer. Since 2008, she has helped writers and other creative artists all over the world meet their goals and connect more deeply with their work and themselves. She has been on the editorial staff at Penguin since 2005, editing all ages from picture books to young adult, and her books have received starred reviews and national awards. Kendra has taught classes for a range of populations from media professionals to prison inmates and has spoken at writers’ conferences and retreats in over twenty states. Her theatrical works have been produced Off- and Off-Off Broadway and regionally, and her eclectic professional writing credits include celebrity speeches, a bar guide, and Mad Libs. Her home base is New York City. Follow her @kendralevin or visit her at