It struck me today how we in the northern hemisphere are entering winter, the dark part of the year, at the same time the pandemic is forcing us to become even more isolated. For the first time in my memory, we won’t be doing a whole family get-together for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And I thought how, to people of magic, to mystics and witches and those tuned into nature, that’s what the winter months are all about. Especially the dates around the Winter Solstice, the shortest day, the longest night, of the year.
Focus turns inward
What does it mean, exactly, to turn our focus “inward?” In the spring, our ancestors planned and planted. In Summer they grew and tended the crops and livestock. In the fall, they slaughtered, hunted and harvested. And in winter, they went inside and lived on what they’d grown during the rest of the year. The work was done. It was a time to settle in and enjoy the results of our efforts and our manifestations. And it still is today. It’s a time to process our experiences. A time to eat what we harvested and to digest the results of our actions. And it’s a time to really bask in the comfort of what we have. We are inside. We are warm. We have food and water. We have love in our home. These are the essentials of life, and there is joy in each of them. In the times of our ancestors, if someone in the village did not have these things, the others would share their own. With each taking part, it wasn’t a big sacrifice.
The Year-End Review
During the time between the Winter Solstice and the New Calendar year, I have a personal tradition of going through my calendars and posts and blogs and writings of the year gone by, and seeing where I was at the beginning, and where I am now, and to kind of review my journey.
I have a version of this process that I do for each of my businesses, as well. It’s a time to take stock, to review what I did and didn’t do. What worked for me and what didn’t work. What was fun and what was no fun at all. How I felt about it all at the time and how I feel about each event now.
What did this year give me that I wish to keep, and expand, and create more of? What did it give me that I DO NOT WANT to keep with me going forward into the spring? And what do I want instead? You can’t get rid of anything without replacing it with something else. Something better. You have to overwrite the old file.
I don’t want a pandemic, I know that. What do I want instead? These are lovely questions to ponder and journal about during the weeks ahead of us.
The energies of winter align with the process of going inward. The whole of nature around me is also turning its focus into itself. The fish are in torpor, floating still and silent in the deepest water. The bears and skunks are preparing for their winter-long hibernation while the birds are on a journey of transition from colder to warmer climes.
This is the perfect time to process what we have lived in 2020 by feeding it through our mental hopper, where it gets ground up and mixed and sorted and understood until it has transformed itself into our brand new, shiny desires for the year ahead. This is the whole purpose of what we have experienced, good and otherwise. To fuel our next round of desires. As we manifest the new desires, we become more than we were before, and we make the Whole more than it was before. This is expansion itself. This is what life is about.
Use the time
So for me, instead of cursing this period of enforced isolation, I intend to use it. There’s more time to do an even deeper review of the year gone by. There’s more time to meditate. More time to read. More time to journal. More time for our own, personal spiritual practices.
If you live alone...
For those who live alone, these are hard times, indeed. You’ve probably already had an 8-month winter. I think everyone who lives alone should develop a safe pod of loved ones, just a small group, like 2 or 3, who share the same exposures–they work or go to school at the same place or live in the same building or on the same street and shop at the same market. I think there are sensible and safe ways to do this, where the participants agree on a set of precautions and trust each other to follow them. No one should be alone for so long. My heart goes out to you. I don’t believe it will be too much longer. A few more months. Stay strong.
There’s a hashtag called Our Thanksgiving trending on Twitter, and I think it will spill over onto Facebook too, specifically for those who will be alone on the holidays to connect with each other. Just type #ourthanksgiving into the search bar and hit enter. You can then choose “Latest” from the tabs across the top, and read and respond to posts from others. You can post your own thoughts to the discussion just by adding #ourthanksgiving to the end of your post.
Look for things to feel good about. Try to stop obsessing over the ones that don’t feel so good. And try to find ways to have as good a time as you can possibly imagine, all the way to all-out GREAT times–this holiday week, and into the oncoming season.
It’s about joy. You can find joy wherever you are. Alone or not. Shut in or not. It’s a choice. You will find what you are most looking for!
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