Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors…
Merry Meet my friends! How is your New Year going so far? Is it Winter where you are? Winter was very slow arriving here in Ohio! We had crazy warm weather, to the point that plants were re-blooming, grass was green and birds and squirrels were very content to enjoy an extended warm season for gathering. We had only seen one day of snow flurries in late December…I mean come on!! 🙂 However, finally Winter had arrived with snow and frigid cold and blowing winds and I’m a very happy Witch! We haven’t had a huge amount of snow, but we did have some accumulation that looked like this:
Then we warmed up, got rain and washed it all away. Today, the cold came back and it flurried very prettily. I love Sundays as many of you who know me, know. But add snow flurries, the need for a fire in the fireplace, no need to go anywhere, a project to do, something simmering on the stove….and it’s really a Perfect day!!
I’ve been very busy doing my Imbolc cleaning which also involves major purging of unwanted and unneeded items. It feels so good to see all that “stuff” going out of the house! I take one room at at a time. Empty drawers, cupboards, cabinets, closets etc and really sort through. I find myself getting more brutal about what needs to go as I go along too.
When we moved to this home three years ago, we came from a much bigger house that held a lot more “stuff”. We got rid of so much stuff then ….out of necessity of not enough space since we had downscaled. But after 3 years, as I’m looking through things, I realize there are things I haven’t touched in the 3 years we’ve lived here. So…out they go!
It’ll take me a while. I’m maybe half way done. I may not be done by Imbolc but that’s just fine. I’m actually, unfortunately, having surgery the day before Imbolc so that will slow me down a bit. I was hoping to be done before my surgery, but I don’t think that will happen. We shall see 🙂 By the way, I’m fine…just something that needs to be fixed and will take the usual 6 weeks to completely heal, but I’m fine 🙂
So far this Winter, along with Imbolc cleaning, I have read a LOT! Especially since the holidays were over. I adore getting lost in a book, and I am so happy to have the time to do it to my heart’s content. It looks a lot like this:
I have also been working on some BOS pages, journaling, working on my herbal course a bit, spending more time with my grandkids who are homeschooled and more available, and really just nesting. I am about to dive into my Witch cupboard to give it a thorough cleaning, cleansing, and re-arranging. I have bought some gorgeous, new oil bottles and herb jars and I’m anxious to get them set up inside my cabinet..to replace the mish mash of stuff that’s there now 🙂 I can’t wait to start blending oils for each pretty bottle! I have a list of what I’m making from simple rosemary oil to Sabbat blends to my favorite altar oil. I so love doing that! Planning on starting tomorrow! I’m also going to make some salt blends as well.
Right now, for Winter, the dark time, I’ve got my altar set up to honor my beloved Goddess, Hekate. I find myself drawn to it several times a day and that is a good thing. I’ll keep it up until I’m ready to set up my Imbolc altar, which won’t be too long now.
Winter…I know so many who find it to be their least favorite season. But other than Autumn, I find it to be especially beautiful. I love hearing the wind blowing. There is great magick there, in the Air that is either cold, still and quiet, or blowing and frigid. On quiet nights, I love to stand outside seeing the inky black skies with bright stars, see my breath on the Air, smell the woodsmoke from the chimneys in my neighborhood, see the lights shining in the windows, feel the quiet of the ground beneath my feet. The silence is often palpable…and beautiful. I know that Mother Earth is resting, renewing, preparing to awake in the Spring and bring Life back to this wonderful Earth we call Home.
I especially love the trees in Winter. There is something so mystical about a tree, bare of foliage, standing dark and stark against white snow and dark skies. Or blue skies for that matter. Either still and quiet, or standing strong against blustery winds and snow. The shadows they cast long over the snow, always catch my eye. You can feel that they too, are resting, waiting.
In my garden beds, there are still plants that had re-bloomed in our late warm days, and now stand snow covered, withering, but leaving the promise of returning bigger and stronger in the Spring. Some of the tall ones provide shelter for birds and ground animals which I love. There is beauty there as well.
Some of my favorite things about Winter? Fires, woodsmoke, fuzzy socks, a stack of books, coffee or tea or cocoa, colorful scarves and mittens, sleds and ice skates, hot meals in the oven or on the stove, bread baking, soup simmering, hot rum toddies, flannel sheets, piles of blankets, wind blowing, snow falling, candles burning, more time to rest, Moon rises, Sun sets, squirrels gathering, birds feeding, and so so much more. If you love Winter, you know everything I’m talking about. If you don’t love Winter, well, I bet you love a lot of the things I’ve talked about. So maybe Winter isn’t so bad? But don’t fret, as you know, Spring will indeed come. And look what has come to my mailbox:
LOL…I so love my seed catalogs! And yes, I’m already planting my herbs and flowers in my head. How about you?
I’ll be back soon with a post for Imbolc and some recipes 🙂 For now, be safe out there, remember to take in the beauty of the season, find something you love to do, and slow down and enjoy!!
Blessings and Love,
*All the pictures in this post are my own.