winter woodsI will be the first to admit that winter is my least favorite time of the year. I don’t like the cold, and I don’t like the snow. The child me loved playing in it, but now when the big flakes start to come down all I see is a weather condition I’m not comfortable driving in. What’s worse is that one of my nonsense pet peeves is that I hate snow on my car; I just can’t stand it.

This season though, I want to find the beauty of winter. I want to balance out my dislike of the cold with an understanding that you have to be cold to appreciate the warmth—that the earth needs time to rest so that crops will grow in spring and summer. I cannot claim to be Wiccan and so disdain a season.

I understand very well why I don’t like winter, so I decided to take a close look at the positive I’ve been overlooking. Winter is Mother Nature’s way of telling all living creatures to rest, to reflect on the accomplishments of the year gone past and contemplate the things we want for the coming months. When you take a step back, you gain (sometimes re-gain) perspective. Life can throw you a lot of curve balls, but things could always be worse. You’re drawing breath; there are people in the world you love and people who love you. There are things that make you smile, things that challenge you and make you better, and things that comfort you. And for the things that you can’t control, well in the South where I come from, there’s a saying, “Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.” It means what happens, happens, and there are some things you just can’t control.

Don’t let the cold stop you from taking those nature walks, or from collecting the things that grab your attention. I do love pinecones this time of year; they’re all closed up because of the cold, but after a couple of weeks inside, they open back up. Set a jar outside to catch falling snow, let it melt and store it to be used in spells and rituals year round. Take pictures! The trees are bare and the ground is white, and out away from the urban areas, it can be both soothingly peaceful and beautiful. Put out a bird feeder for the flyers that didn’t go south for the winter; hide nuts and bowls of water in the bushes for squirrels and other small animals. Food and water are harder to get during the winter. (Though one note if you do decide to put out food and water, you need to be consistent with re-stocking those areas. You don’t want to over-feed the critters but after a while they may come to depend on what you put out.)

From a more active witch perspective, I’m also working on a few winter time spells that I will share with you all once they are completed. One is a winter-based wish/divination spell and the other is a ritual to honor the Crone, though I’m working on concocting some others.

Stay warm, and stay in the Mother’s light,