Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Daily Goddess Awareness
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
The Beltaine Storm
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Lughnasadh, The Ritual
A Celtic View of Samhain
Samhain: The Ritual
Ostara: Enter the Light!
A Summer Solstice Primer
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Story For Autumn
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Ostara Transformation
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Samhain Experience
The Theme of Mabon
Yule and the New Year
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
A Samhain Dance
Mabon Equinox. Circa September 21st
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
The First Yule
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Unity During Samhain
Planning A Good Death: A Samhain Process
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
Article ID: 13661
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,866
Times Read: 5,352
RSS Views: 14,250
Author: David Salisbury
Posted: February 21st. 2010
Times Viewed: 5,352
In many of our traditions, most of us agree that the start of the Samhain season and the ushering in of the “Celtic winter” is a time to “deal with the darkness”-as my old priestess called it. As the wheel turns to October, then November, we begin to turn inwards and allow our spirits to rest until the light comes back again. Rest is an important theme for the dark half of the year, but not one that should debilitate us.
As Pagans, we relish and celebrate every time of the year. Yes, it is time for our spirits and emotions to take a break, but our practice shouldn’t. I don’t know about you, but after October 31st, I tend to get lazy. The running shoes get kicked to the back of the closet, the outdoor altar comes inside for the frost season, and the inevitable winter weight gain starts to take its hold. I tend to catch up on my reading this time of year, but I must admit that my daily practices, my daily devotions, often get pushed to the back burner in favor of holiday shopping and cookie baking.
Letting our practice ease up takes a toll on us in more ways than you might imagine. Do you ever get the winter frowns? There is a reason why 36 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Mood Disorder. The days get darker, the wind gets stronger, and the air gets colder. Solar energy that normally provides our bodies with so many essential vitamins and nutrients, are scarce. The ancients weren’t the only ones who struggled with the winter months. We may not constantly face the threat of starvation every day, but our spirits can feel starved. There can become a cold void in our vital essence and energy, affecting everything we do.
The question then becomes; how do we face the darkness of the season, but keep just enough light alive to see us through?
The ancients had many ways of doing this that have worked their way into some wonderful modern traditions. Building a roaring hearth fire and telling stories used to be a staple of the winter season. Unfortunately, this has fallen in favor of television and video games, restricting us from vital human contact and communication. Though it is important to reflect in the time of darkness, communication with both people and the spirit world is extremely important.
Communication-ruled by mercury-is the lead archetype of western magick. Keeping your practice and communication alive is one of the best things you can do to keep your chin up, and your magick a sure-fire zap. Here are some ideas that come to mind:
Family Gatherings: On Samhain, we honored our ancestors and beloved dead, those who-by blood or friendship-were a part of our family units. Gatherings are still wonderful and important traditions in the winter season, but why just limit it to one or two? Plan a potluck with your family and friends. Instead of sitting around the TV, sit around and share stories of your family, of the season, and anything else that comes to mind. If you have a Pagan family, say a dedication in honor of Lady Brigit, goddess of the home and hearth. Dedicate your time to her and she’ll be sure to make your “warm and fuzzies” stick around. There’s nothing like a party to ease your winter woes, so keep em’ coming!
Holy Water, Sacred Flame
Brigit we invoke your name
Bless our head, our hands, our hearts
Source of healing, song and art
Staying Active: It is proven fact that exercise can heal depression and make your feel better. Honoring our health and activity is just as important to our magick and spirituality as it is to our physical bodies. You don’t have to do anything crazy. Are you in a snowy area? Brush off the old plastic sled and get to it! If you’re just not a fan of the cold (like I am) , try taking up yoga or some other fun indoor activity. Just keep your body moving. When your blood is flowing, your magick is flowing. Dedicate your practice to Nike, goddess of bodily activity and athletes. She can keep you motivated. As the company she’s named after says, “Just do it.”
Blessed Nike, take it home
Grant me strength from blood to bone
Vital earth and health embrace
That I may live past winters face
The Written Word: As I mentioned, I love using the chilly weather to catch up on my reading. It takes my mind off the icy darkness for a little while and gets my inspiration pumping. Writing is also a great way to take advantage of the seasonal theme of the year. Writing connects us to our divine mind, the “inner flame” of our spirit.
Birthday Party for the Sun: I discovered this idea from a neighboring coven many years ago and have incorporated it into my seasonal activities every year. Though it seems to fit best on the Winter Solstice, you can do this any time that you wish to give the sun props and thanks for its blessings. Try baking foods associated with solar energy like lemon squares, cranberry cookies, and anything with orange in it. This can be incorporated into the “Family Gathering” idea if you invite a few friends over. Wear party hats, play games, and sing “Happy Birthday” to any of the solar deities (Apollo, Helios, Lugh, Ra, etc) .
There are many other things you can do, so just let your imagination be your guide. Let these things become habit and as always, include the great work of Spirit in everything you do. It’s fine to park it on the couch with a steamy mug of cider. It’s fine to take a break. Just don’t take a break from your connection with the divine. The dark half of the year doesn’t have to be painful and icy if you don’t let it.
Remember, the coming fire of the new year is right around the corner. Even if you can’t see it, it’s still there, ready to light up your life.
Location: Washington, Washington DC
Author's Profile: To learn more about David Salisbury - Click HERE
Other Articles: David Salisbury has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email David Salisbury... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).