Summer Solstice Selkie Petition
Last year, I made a proposal. I shared that I was intending to travel to a secluded beach along the very remote coastline of the wild far north, and that I was going to petition the selkies.
Here was my intention….
This Summer Solstice I am revisiting the land of my wild initiation – this place where I discovered my very own soulskin lying so close to my body that I might have otherwise missed it. As the sun tracks its longer than long journey across the skies before eventually finding a home below the horizon – if only briefly – I will be on the white sandy beach, walking the place where the waves surrender themselves to the land, and I will be petitioning the selkies.
I’m going to ask them to help me to mend and tend my soulskin.
I’m going to ask them to weave the salt and sunlight into my soulskin to strengthen and to nourish.
I’m going to ask them to reinforce the places where my soulskin has become threadbare and thin.
I’m going to ask them for guidance on maintaining a strong and healthy soulskin.
I’m going to ask them to help me to remember the presence of my soulskin… so that as the days begin to shorten incrementally from that day until the very depth of winter, my soulskin will be my light in the darkness.
And this was my proposal…
I want to ask all of this for myself. And I want to ask it for you too. If you would like me to.
This year, I’m going back. And, just like last year, I’m going to be petitioning the selkies on my own behalf. And, just like last year, I want to take you with me.
But first, here’s why this part of the world is so important to me, and why I can’t imagine spending Summer Solstice anywhere else this year…
16 years ago this summer, I moved to the far north of Scotland with my tiny daughter and a very pregnant belly. My beloved had found a job working in a rural high school, as we needed to bring in more money to support our growing family. I should add at this point, that I have always been a city girl. I was born in the Scottish central belt, and have lived most of my life in Edinburgh. Now, if you’ve ever been to Edinburgh, you’ll know it’s not exactly a big city. But, a city nonetheless.
Our move up north was like nothing I have ever experienced – before or since.
We lived in a crofter’s cottage that sat on the banks of the Kyle of Durness, and my nearest neighbours were around 6 miles away. 6 miles doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you can’t drive, are heavily pregnant and have to walk everywhere, 6 miles on winding, twisting, single track roads felt like a long way! I had no television signal, no transport, a toddler who was not yet talking, and a new baby on the way.
When I reflect back on it, this was the time of my wild initiation. I have never felt the tangible presence of the elements in quite the way I did while I lived there. I have never felt the bruising rush of life overtake my body as it did when I birthed my boy in my bed. I have never been met by the sheer inhumane strangeness of nature as I was then. I have never seen the stars as clearly as I did then. I have never felt so lonely. I have never been so free.
Yes. This is the site of my wild initiation. I may have travelled up there as a wife and as a mother. But it is on those shores that I became a woman.
This is a place that is so interwoven into my own personal mythology – from the hawthorne tree under which my placenta was buried to the winter powercuts that acquainted me with a quality of darkness I had never experienced before, from the baptism of my boys in the waves of the Atlantic as they met the whitest beaches you ever saw to the sounds of a wildcat outside my window singing its harmony to the storm.
It was years later when I finally read the story Sealskin/Soulskin in Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves. But I recognised it. My years in this wild and wonderful landscape had left me intimately aware of my soulskin. It has been a tangible part of me ever since. The selkies don’t feel like like some mythical creature born from story and song. Not to me. To me, they feel real. They feel like me.
Here’s a video that I created that shares the story of the Selkie Wife and why I think it’s so important – for me and for you…. Oh and it includes some photographs of the beach where I will be conducting our selkie petition!
This unique northern coastline, which holds such a special place in my heart, called me back last year, and this was where I held what was to be the first of my selkie petitions. For everyone who chose to join me in this experience, I wrote their names in the sand, and watched the waves receive them, weaving their energy in with the petition. I vision quested, I read the cards, I spoke out loud to the gulls and I sang to the seals. And I documented the whole process (with the help of my daughter Aurora!).
When I returned home, I wrote up the experience of the day, illustrating with audio clips and video and images. It was so important to me that every selkie sister who had chosen to have me petition the selkies on her behalf received as full an understanding of the day as possible. I wanted to evoke the feel of the sand between my toes, the shock of the cold Atlantic washing up and around my legs, the sounds of the waves and the delight of seeing the seals pop their heads up above the surface to watch us with their large knowing eyes.
The response was overwhelming – the depth of this selkie work had touched all that had joined me to such a degree that I knew I had to return again this year. I knew we had to do this again. And so, my love, here we are…. Will you join me?
For everyone who chooses to enter into this experience, I will weave your name into my own personal petition, and I will send you a report of all that occurred. My plan is to share any visions that occur throughout the day of the solstice, any animal medicine that is gifted to us, my reflections on the day and the place, as well as images, video and audio to give you as vivid an experience of this sacred selkie solstice.
The report will be shared exclusively with only those who have chosen to be a part of this experience, and it will be sent to everyone upon my return. So, you can expect an email in the week following the 27th June.
The suggested price is £15, with a £5 minimum payment, and no upper limit – if you’ve experienced this selkie magic before, then you’ll know the beauty and the worth of this work, so choose a price that feels resonant to you, that feels delicious, that feels like a true honouring of this offering.
Upon purchasing, you will be directed to an email sign-up page – please complete the sign-up process so that I can ensure I have your name for the petition and your email address so I know where to send it. Oh, and you’ll find that I’ve left a wee gift for you there also…