Restoration may have been my word for last year but the vibrations are still washing over me. Technically that word ended at Samhain and Create started, but the Universe runs on her own time. Last year after the election I had some of the darkest days I have ever had. In most respects, this past year was a dumpster fire. In my personal life, 2017 brought many ups and downs but more ups than downs. Restoration pushed me to engage with skills that I have not used in a very long time. I dusted off my old networking hat and organized the hell out of things. Last year started small and simple but the closer we got to the end (I’m not sure the Universe is done with me yet) the deeper it all went. Samhain came and went and I thought I was moving onto other things. The crone was waiting for me and she took me to some really dark places. Rooms in my childhood that have not been opened in a very long time. Memories flooded back and challenged me to see them in a new light. These rooms held deep wounds and it was pretty frightening pulling the curtain back, but with Her help, I faced those old demons and I’m glad I did. She showed me that there is support out there and that although my child self-suffered in silence my adult self could find understanding. Through this process, I have more compassion for my child self and I can see her for what she truly was, an innocent.
On the lighter side, I went back to dance class today. It was a very joyful experience. I felt the Goddess (may have been Bast) smiling down on and me and telling me this was Restoration too. I have not been to dance class for about 2 years. It felt good to shake off the stress of the holidays and engage with that part of myself that loves to get lost in the music.
Create/Creatrix has started as well. I have started a new coven and I have been creating systems and planning events. I am making lots of fiber art and writing more. It feels like Create is the reward for all of the Restoration I have been doing. I am super excited about spring and what that turn of the wheel will bring.
If any of you are thinking of working with Restoration make sure you are ready for it. Restoration is not an easy process but it is rewarding in the end. Do you have a word you are working with?
Now that most of the holiday season has passed I’m turning my attention to Skadi. I started working with her a few winters ago and have worked with her every winter since. Depending on if you are looking at the Old Norse or Old English her name means either “harm” or “shadow.” This is perfect for me because I work with many shadow or so-called dark goddesses. I see her as a perfect winter deity. She helps me get out of the house and into the snow when all I want to do is stay inside and isolate myself. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it gets much worse in the winter. I use a light box to help with some of that, working with Skadi helps the other part. She is a giantess and is often seen as a patroness of winter survival and activities. I tend to meditate on her when I am out in nature or even when I’m just walking the dog around the neighborhood.
This year I want to focus on her in an even deeper way. I plan to leave more offerings and deepen my magickal work with her. Her energy comes to me in a couple of ways. She feels like she is helping me with being hardy and able to keep it together during the darkest months, but she also seems to have an energy of fun around her. She shows up when I’m throwing snowballs at the dog or running in the snow when we are playing. Maybe that play is all a part of the survival aspect. For the first time this year, I have an image of her on my altar so that helps me maintain my focus. I also do other things like wearing special makeup or jewelry in honor of her.
Working with a figure like Skadi can be a challenge because there isn’t much info about her out there. In some ways, this can be a really good thing because it forces you to find your own way. Do any of you work with Skadi? I would love to hear how you incorporate her into your witchy goodness. Do you have other deities you work with exclusively n the winter?
I felt a shift in the energy around me yesterday. Things are going still or at least that is how I experience the Winter Solstice. I don’t feel like being around people or doing much outside the house. The only exception would be a long walk in the woods with my dog. I’m wishing for snow because we have only had a dusting this year. Everything is just gray and gloomy right now.
My plan for tonight is to do a ritual with my husband. We will throw our Yule log into the fire and have a fancy meal together. Today I’m here in the house all by myself so I plan to read cards, journal, do some crafty stuff and just be still. I will take some time to dream about spring and what I might want to plant when the time is right. I will keep a candle burning as long as I can tonight and I will snuggle down and watch a sentimental holiday movie.
I hope each of you has a delightful solstice filled with room to breathe deep, pause, reflect, and dream.
I have been feeling raw due to everything going on in the news. The holiday season has blessed me with traditional holiday stress as well. Yesterday my spirit was calling for nature and so I decided to bundle up and head out to the park. Maverick (my doggie) was more than happy to accompany me on my journey. It started to snow pretty hard when we were driving over. I tend to experience snow as peaceful and healing so I was delighted to see the flakes start to dance down from the sky. We had the park to ourselves and the silence was delicious. When I’m walking my dog I do not look at my phone. I try to just let it be us out there with no distractions.
Generally, I like the winter holidays. I celebrate secular Christmas, along with all of my favorite pagan winter holidays. Winter Solstice is the most prominent as a part of my spiritual practice. It reminds me that it is ok to be like the rest of nature, quiet. Here in Wisconsin nothing is really growing or blooming. Nature is resting and so am I. I tend to turn inward at this time of the year. Not to shy away from people but to give myself time to restore and dream of what I want to manifest in the spring. I’m also reminded of how dark the world can be. I try to share my light when I can. This means taking more time to listen to my loved ones and be as present as possible.
From my window, I can see a lovely tree. She has no leaves but stands proudly and is still beautiful without her green decor. She symbolizes hope and the beauty of the crone. She reminds me that life is still there and will return in the spring. She will have leaves again after her winter nap. She also reminds me that as youthful beauty fades it is replaced by a different beauty. Over the years naked winter trees have become one of my favorite things to photograph. For me, they represent strength and inner truth, the beauty of the soul that lasts even after outer beauty fades away.
How are you feeling as we head into the darkest time of the year?
This was taken at the start of our walk. I was totally covered in snow by the end!