I have been finding myself dreaming about Ostara. Along with that comes hope for more sunshine and spring weather. I often struggle to stay present in whatever moment I’m in. My mind and heart wander towards the past or into the future. This part of the year is always the hardest. The holidays are over and they leave in their wake a long stretch of gray that seems to be never-ending. Right now my home is lit up with pink and red lights leftover from Valentine’s Day. Anything to make my surroundings feel more festive and alive. I’m trying to cultivate fire to assist me in feeling less dull. Fire is something I can capture but it is hard for me to keep it burning. As I gaze out my window the snowflakes are falling and the view is both pretty and depressing. It’s easy to welcome the snow in December but much harder in mid-February. I remind myself that two months of snow isn’t that bad but that doesn’t do much to change my mood.
This week I intend to work on both cultivating fire and staying present in the moment. Of course, the Mercury retrograde isn’t going to make that second part easy. I feel like a 17-year-old who is one month away from their 18th birthday. I am so ready to burst forth into the future but I have to wait just a little bit longer.
How are you handling the winter season? What are you working on magickally?
Winter is the time of year when my inner warrior is the most visible. Strength is required to get through the long Wisconsin winters but that isn’t what I’m talking about. I have lived here my entire life and so winter is not a big deal.
I’m talking about battling the beast called depression. So far I’m doing ok, keeping my head above water and engaging in the fight, ask me again in February and you might get another response. My inner warrior goddess keeps pushing me forward and I’m trying to keep up. On the other hand, I have Aphrodite telling me to engage in self-care and Bast is trying to entice me into dancing. I think there is a part of me that doesn’t want to slow down to take care of myself because I’m afraid I might lose my momentum and become stuck. This is the time of year when I focus on balance the most, it is also the hardest time for me to find balance. My emotions are either all over the map or they are turned off completely. Heart chakra magick is often needed to keep me from shutting down.
I know this isn’t the most uplifting post, that isn’t my intent, my intent is to be as real as possible. Being a witch isn’t all fairy dust and magick wands, sometimes it is a gritty battle to keep standing. Right now my heart chakra might be a bit overstimulated, I feel deep wells of water threatening to overflow.
Today I plan to take care of some household tasks and then I think I will work some magick to help me feel less out of sorts. A hot bath to soothe my nerves, a fire in the hearth to warm me, and some hot chocolate to sweeten the day. Later I have an opportunity to be social so that will help too. Tomorrow I’m going to my dance fitness class again and so Bast will be happy.
If you are fighting SAD or just regular depression know that I am right there with you. I’m happy to share tips for getting through this rough season.
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?