It is a curious thing that there is magic in the air at this time of year. There really is! For some the magic centers around gifts and feasts but I have always found the ‘hustle and bustle’ difficult and for many years, before I really understood that the natural energy of this time of year is one of stillness, I would feel depressed and exhausted.
As we approach winter and the shortest hours of daylight, the temperatures drop and the trees are bare. The growing season is over, and while here in the Pacific Northwest it is our greenest time of year, in many places this is a time when the world is a stark contrast of white ground and dark night.
It is also a time of transformation, alchemy and rebirth. Deep inside the earth (under that blanket of snow), and inside trees, preparations are underway for the coming spring. This week while walking I noticed new buds already fattening, and as hard as it is to believe, in a month or so the first of the cherry blossoms will begin blooming.
It is a time for rebirth which is why I love the song “Breath of Heaven” because we do need time, solitude and introspective for rebirth. The long dark nights are an opportunity to reflect on how we have grown over the past year - what we have received and what we have given of ourselves. Doing so, we prepare for our rebirth – for the year ahead.
Winter sets the tone for whatever is next. At this time of year, so close to the year’s end - we naturally review and evaluate the past year, and makes resolutions for the coming one. Although there are several months of winter and the dark time of year left, we begin to set the seeds in late December and early January.
The seeds are new ideas, inspiration and experiences, and is also an opportunity to let go of old mind conditioning, thoughts and habits that might hinder our forward movement. Does it mean that Winter is the only time that we can do this work? No, it simply means that the cycles of nature provide us with a natural opportunity to do this work.
The more in tune we become to the cycles of nature, the more room there is for natural healing – why fight the natural order? If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during this time of year, and feeling that something is ‘wrong’, that you can’t feel the holiday spirit, perhaps your spirit is nudging you to find the magic inside.
My own self-care plan is to experience the magic and alchemy of the weeks leading up to winter and to celebrate birth in all its manifestations.