I wake not charged with excitement and anticipation, as I would like, but empty. Empty because the space around me, the shape of my life and future is still unformed. I’m a mapped-out kind of person, and instead I’m holding in a betwixt and between place, with nothing to do but wait.
It scares me.
Then I …breathe. And remember that our life energy requires a rest every year.
December is the month when cheerfulness is pushed upon us in mega commercial doses. But in nature, that isn’t truly the mood of the season, at least not until Winter Solstice. The natural mood of the month is introspection, self-doubt, questioning what to shed going forward.
It’s appropriate to respond to the energy of winter by storing and replenishing our own energy during the dark months of the year. The garden is dormant and the land is in a state of maximum rest.
The Chinese ancient suggest that, in winter, the will should also remain dormant, “not unlike someone with all his desires already fulfilled.”
I’ve experienced winters when I didn’t heed the ancient’s advice to take sufficient time to be quiet. The parties and feasts around December and January frequently resulted in fatigue, colds and flu, even late winter depression in January.
This year, I’m reminding myself to balance the celebrations with equal reflective time. Slowing down, I relearn how to move with the deep slower rhythm of winter and let the frenetic activity flow over the top, not into the core, of my consciousness.
For me, the timing is perfect: use the longest night for much-needed quiet reflection, giving my questions ample time to bubble to the surface to write down, in anticipation of burning them away in our group ritual.
If you find yourself mired in the dark part of the month, with no outlet for release, following is a spell to help dispel depression.
Perform for three consecutive nights during the waxing moon (which begins on Monday).
1 oz. loose white sage (or 3 white sage incense cones/sticks)
Some good-quality temple incense - frankincense and myrrh are traditional.
Create a circle about 7 to 9 feet in diameter and stand in the middle.
The direction of the East is associated with inspiration and breath, newness and cheerfulness, birds and flight. Call upon those spirits to help you or someone you love to fight depression.
Hold up your hands after you lit your incense and, inhaling deeply, say,
I call on you, healing spirits of the east
That you shall attend me at once.
I conjure you in the sacred name of Hecate,
Transformer and Midwife!
I conjure you by the sage and (other incense you are using)
To life my spirit from this despair!
Lift the misery by the smoke.
Lift it by the fervent wish.
Lift it by the power of the moon.
So mote it be!
Repeat this ritual on three consecutive nights, and soon all shall be well.
Blessed be to all of you. Be kind to yourself this holiday season!