Tina; who is it? What is it? Why am I writing about Tina on New Year’s Day? Tina means “tin” in Finnish, plain and simple. However, the event I experienced last night was far from plain and simple.
It happened on Koivula, a farm outside of the town of Kontiolahti in the Northeast Center of Finland, about 50 miles from the Russian border. By 10:00pm the kids were finally asleep, though this didn’t happen without a group effort. While we were waiting for the last one to drop-off, someone cleverly dismantled the “tic-toc” clock so her one-year old awareness would not jump up at the next “tic-toc”. As I anticipated what was about to happen in this traditional Finnish New Year’s Eve ritual, I relieved myself by producing a deck of cards to pass the time before the little ones slumber was secure. However, my efforts to play cards with my primarily Finnish speaking friends did not work. Wanting to keep things lively as we guarded our champagne taking sip-by-sip to make it last, I volunteered to have my fortune read by the one person who spoke fairly good English.
This helped time fly by with fascination as I watched my past, present, and future unfold, fairly accurately, in fact. Then, the moment came for the real divination! It was time to do the “Tina”. I was completely in the dark about what we were about to do. I had never heard of this ritual before.
The only ritual I knew that had to do with the future and The New Year was the one that my family does where we create our year the way we want it to be by making a poster of what we want to accomplish. (BTW-I still need to do this.) But, this Finnish ritual was very different, as I would soon find out.
It starts with a little tin horseshoe about 2×2 inches.
Already we have a promising start because we are using a horseshoe, the symbol of good luck.
Next, you need to make sure you have a metal bucket of cold water with paper underneath that is close to the heat source for melting the horseshoe.
Then, pipe up the heat source and put 1 horseshoe in the heat-resistant, flat-bottomed metal spoon.
Melting happens fairly quickly, so be careful and pay attention. The tin will become a scorching, thin liquid.
At the time the tin turns to liquid, THE FUN STARTS!
This is when, with great precision and the power of intention, you basically thrust the melted tin into the bucket of cold water, taking care that it makes it into the bucket while shooting the liquid to the bottom for the best effect.
Voila!!!!!! What have the ethereal powers created to symbolize your coming year? This is now the mystery to unfold with those around you, but it isn’t as simple as just looking at what you pulled out of the bucket in the palm of your hand.
Everyone’s object foretelling their future New Year is completely different from the next. It is said that if you have a lot of pieces, that means a lot of money in the coming year. (I hope that 3 pieces qualifies for this prediction, because mine is actually in 3 pieces I have kept together for the sake of the overall design integrity.)
Looking at your object, your “Tina” from all angles doesn’t quite hold the same divination of the future as the next step. In this next and final step of the ritual, you find a blank space on a wall and a lamp or candle that can be used to focus on the object.
Each person now takes a turn holding their “Tina” up to the wall, allowing a shadow to emerge, which is when the real fortune-telling takes place. Those gathered around share their ideas about what the object symbolizes.
The process of interpreting the shadow of the “Tina” is so fascinating. It becomes a collective interpretation with a clear meaning that quickly evolves into a consensus at the end. And of course, the interpretation of the shadow is always positive because who wants to have a bad new year.
Each person keeps their “Tina” in a safe place through the year until the next year’s ritual. Here are some of the other “Tinas.” I did not want to spend too much time snapping photos of the shadow interpretation process that needed focus, in order to respect the future of the person involved, not a photographer trying to get the best shot.
This last photo shows how utterly unpredictable the “Tina” magic can be. These two completely differently shaped pieces came from the same throwing of the liquid metal and the receiver was more than happy with the results, as you can only imagine!
In Japan it is tea leaves, in some circles it is cards or Tarot, and in Finland, it is “Tina.” Even with the subjectivity of this ritual, you cannot help but to become immersed in the power it holds to produce the possibility of an interesting new year ahead! We are all hoping for brighter futures and this is just one more example of whether you are in one of the coldest and most isolated areas of the planet, or in the middle of Times Square New York City, a new year always brings new possibilities.
The real final step is to toast the bright future of each participant as they say in Finland, Happy New Year or Hyvää uuttavuotta!! (Which actually gets easier to say with every subsequent glass of champagne!)
After we completed this “Tina” ritual, we headed outside just in time to toast the New Year, 2010 and watch the brilliant display of fireworks in the crisp, cold snow along with the Blue Moon that brought an end to the last decade and the beginning of the next! Yeah!!!!!! I have to say that even though I missed my loved ones, this was a most spectacular and unexpectedly wonderful way to start 2010!
What are your dreams and intentions for 2010???? Do you have a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day ritual? For any Finns out there, please correct me if I made any errors or add more history and insight to this post!
*BTW- Here is another blog that describes the “Tina” http://tin-mhjk.blogspot.com/2009/01/blog-post.html
*FYI- You are invited to explore the website for my book, The New Physics of Childhood: Replacing Modern Myths with Simple Strategies at http://TheNewPhysicsofChildhood.com Author discount still applies!