Soyal is a Hopi ceremony that begins on Dec 21st and ends 16 days later. The Hopi say that by performing this ceremony, we are creating the next year of our lives. I have celebrated this ceremony for the last 20 years of my life and there are many wonderful suggestions to ‘living’ this ceremony such as using wholesome words; uplifting and doing no hurt; asking the Spirits to listen to you to bring the rain of Loving Care down upon the whole world, etc. And while there are many worthwhile elements to this 16-day ceremony, what has been the most important to me has been the daily morning Prayers.
In the beginning of celebrating this ceremony, I offered to Pray for anyone who asked for whatever was needed/required in their lives. Over the years, I received many powerful visions and answers to those Prayer requests. As time went on, people did not ask for Prayers. Perhaps because they had ‘walked on’ from this world…perhaps because they felt they no longer needed or believed in Prayers. Whatever the reason, requests for Prayers trickled down to a few.
It was extremely challenging in the beginning to maintain the positive loving nature of this ceremony. The holiday season seemed to put such stress on people and I struggled to remember my focus. Some years, my life was so hard and disheartening that I felt too discouraged to even want to Pray. But every year I managed to get up in the morning and say my Prayers…and every year, it was truly worth it. Sometimes, I had to delay my morning Prayers for later in the day because of Life. I was loath to do that as I would often forget to do them. However, there were times that delaying the Prayers provided meaningful and powerful lessons for me.
2 years ago, I spent the night as an overnight host to the homeless guests of an Interfaith Shelter. And instead of early morning Prayers, I spent time with them and their families at breakfast. I was continually humbled by their courage and vulnerability and I felt honored to be there with them, witnessing their journey. Coming home, I thanked the Creator for letting me be there that morning for my Prayers were clearer, stronger and purer. Being there allowed me to see not only the compassion but the wisdom in serving each other. It keeps us truly connected to Spirit…and to each other!
In Love, I offer my Prayers…in Love, let them be known…and in Love, let them be done. For the good of All and harm to none and against no one’s will.