Tinley Fire

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This is a simple but powerful ritual, the purpose of which is to be reborn anew at the darkest season. By Robinet

This is a rite adapted from an old Lancashire ritual. The details of the Rite of the Tinley Fire are in obscurity, but involved the lighting of a single candle as a sign of renewal and rebirth during the darkest hours of the year. 

This is a simple but powerful ritual, the purpose of which is to be reborn anew at the darkest season. 

The Rite 
You will need; 
A large white candle, or an unlit fire, either in your hearth or out of doors somewhere near to your home. 
Offerings (if you wish) 
More smaller candles, votives are fine, scattered through your home. 

1. The Tinley Fire should be lit during the last hours of New Year's Eve. It can be performed in the home, or outside. If outdoors you should be within walking distance of your home and able to light a fire. If you are performing the rite indoors you will need a large white candle to represent the fire, or if you are lucky enough to have a working hearth, you can perform the rite in front of it. 

The Witch should extinguish all lights in their home. Total darkness is needed. Your hearth or unlit fire should be piled with fresh kindling and wood, waiting to be lit. If you are using a candle make sure it is set in a fireproof holder and isn't likely to drip everywhere once lit. Once your home is in darkness and is quiet, walk to your waiting fire/candle. 

2. Now you must make a single slow counterclockwise circle walk around the fire, candle or in front of the hearth. This is the descending spiral path, the road of the underworld and a banishing gesture. Stop after your walk, kneel down, go perfectly still and silent, and close your eyes. 

This is the deepest stillness, the sleep of the world, the night of the Gods. 

Don't think, just be in silence, stillness, and darkness. 

You must sit like this for a few moments to a few minutes, being and thinking nothing. If images or thoughts arise, think of them as just after-shocks of light fading away from the universe that just ended, and let them vanish. Feel the great dark emptiness, but also sense the great potential waiting to come forth again- it's impossible not to feel it, like a dark anticipation. 

3. Now, gradually let yourself begin a consideration of the realities that will exist in the new cycle- what things about the former world have to pass away for you? What things will exist for you, in you, in the new world, after the fire is lit and all things are renewed? You have a chance here to put many things behind you, and to be regenerated on a deep personal level. Your "first stirrings" of thought and planning here represent the beginning of the beginning, the strange, deep impulses that move towards generation. Think about what has passed away, and what you want to pass away, and really let it go- and decide, then and there, what must arise through you. 

4. Light the fire or candle. 

Say, as it blazes up or flickers: 

"The Tinley Fire is A-light! 
Here is the end of Old Night." 

Watch the flame/s. The Universe has been reborn. The Holy Powers (gods) can hear and perceive you through the fire; it is a two-way communion. Say any prayers you may wish to say, or make invocations for power and needs. Make offerings if you ask for anything. 

5. Take the smaller candles and light them from the Tinley Fire or Tinley Candle, and carry them once CLOCKWISE around the Tinley Fire/Candle, or in front of your hearth, and carry them into your dark home. Start lighting other candles and lamps and the like; fill your home with light from the Tinley Fire/Candle, before you turn on any other lights. The world, your mind and body, and your home, have all been regenerated into a New cycle of the World. As you walk through your home with the New Fire, you can also ring bells or beat drums or make other celebratory racket- this was thought to drive forth the dark powers of chaotic winter that still hang on after the renewal.


By Robinet

Added to on Dec 22, 2014
Last edited on Jul 14, 2019
Part of the Shadows of Solitary Witches Library.


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