On This Our Darkest

Happy Solstice to You.

Scrying cup, November 2022

My Loves,

How do I say, “I’ll see you soon?”

In the cold and deepened evening after sunset we are stoking our small fire. No matter what the stars are trying to say, the hearth was made for a different kind of light. Punctuations mark this and every year, if only we can agree on their proper placement. Observation can take many forms. I am remembering, as I always do, my dear departed. Blessed ghosts, the faces etched onto my heart- dead friends’ numbers in my phone.

Dream a little dream.
Altered AI image, 2022

When I talk to my ancestors it’s usually my grandparents, whom I knew quite closely in life; then their elders back a generation or so, until I reach the closest generation of folks I’d never met enfleshed. With a name, a known lineage, and a face via rescanned vintage photograph, I try my best to open and maintain a subtle relationship.

You can do this too, if you don’t already. Winter is a perfect time- your toes are cold like dirty little roots and the bones ache in your back or your elbows. The Earth’s joints are asleep around us. Silence remembers. Open a channel, make a call. Light a little fire.

This is what you can do:

Brew some fresh coffee. Light a candle near the photo on your shelf or your wall, the photo you can print out, the old envelope addressed in shaky cursive script or that handkerchief that belonged to her. Pour a shot glass of coffee and another of fresh cold water. Pour yourself a cup of coffee too. It’s important. Stand silent before the picture, the candle, the shrine.

Now hold the water aloft, raised in toast and salutation. Say something like, “Greetings to you, my loving and watchful ancestors, beloved spirits of my blessed dead- oh grandmothers and grandfathers, (name your specific dead- the ones you knew and then a generation beyond if you have that info) – I, your descendant (your name) call to you through the veil of time and flesh- from across the unreadable vastness I seek you- I call to you in love and thanksgiving. Come forth, my honored guests, to this place I have set for you. Accept these gifts of light and heat, this clear, cold water, and this fresh black coffee I have brewed for you.”

Set the water near the candle or however it fits. Follow suit with the coffee, and then imagine them multiplying, cup after cup, filling the space, shining in the candlelight. And the light multiplying as well, flame upon flame, warm and glowing.

Say, “May these gifts of light and warmth, of clear water and hot coffee, meet you in your sphere, taking whatever form pleases you the most. And may we each be nourished by the giving and receiving.”

Have a sip of your coffee. Gaze into the flame or at the photo, or close your eyes. You spoke, now listen.

Altar detail,
December 2022

Spend as much time in this state as you’d like. Drink your coffee, notice intuitive or coincidental input. Then say goodby in your own way and determine to visit together again. When you’re ready, blow out the candle.


Try it, friends, if so inclined. And I say with utmost earnestness, please let me know how it goes.

Yours in Cyclic Return, Jason Triefenbach

Jason is an artist, writer, and non-denominational minister with a garden and a lifelong interest in lurking around the Occult/ Paranormal shelves in bookstores worldwide. As Sun Duel they record and sometimes performs music with a variety of friends and loved ones. www.linktr.ee/JWT9000

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