Hi my name is Ayslyn, and I really don’t like winter even though I’m Wiccan and by definition a lover of all things nature. I really hate being cold, and I really don’t like snow. As a child, I loved sledding and playing outside with my siblings, but now that I have to drive in it (all the freakin’ time in Chicagoland; seriously, who lives where it’s winter 8 months of the year?) I hate it. I never learned to drive in snow, so every time I go out is dangerous.
Snow this year will be bittersweet though, because it snowed shortly before we lost Eevee in April. I complained about it on Facebook, and looking back through my timeline now post-loss, it seems like such a foolish thing to get so bent out of shape about. In years past I’ve made cursory efforts to appreciate everything the colder months have to offer, but this year, with my new understanding, I’m actually going to commit to that.
But I still don’t like being cold. So here are 7 ways to celebrate the Yule season that don’t require being outside any longer than it takes to gather some snow.
Seriously, look up some DIY crafts for yourself and/or family. You don’t have to ditch your grandfathered in decorations, but work with things that come from the world around you this time of year – pine cones, pine needles, snow. I’ve been collecting ideas on a Pinterest board and am currently working on a pine cone wreath. It’s the the winter season, not simply commercialized Christmas.
- Garden inside
Just because the ground outside is cold and hard doesn’t mean your gardening and harvesting have to stop. Indoor gardening does require a little bit of setup for those new to it, and from what I can tell from my own research getting the right kind of grow light can be the most expensive part. I found this article to be particularly helpful.
- Welcome back the sun
After the winter solstice (sunday, December 21st in the northern hemisphere this year) acknowledge the returning of longer days. Prepare foods that you associate with colder weather, or have a candle-based ceremony, using the flame(s) to symbolize the rising sun. Try simply watching the sunrise the morning of the solstice with home hot chocolate.
- Snow magic
Snow magic is just incorporating snow into the magic that you work. You could make ice candles, ice lanterns, melt down some snow from the winter solstice for use in later rituals, or use snow/snow water for purification spells, incorporating salt and the new moon. If you can stand the cold, make a snowman and think of him as a big magical puppet. Snow quartz is also a good stone to utilize this season as it is associated with the fulfillment of hopes and dreams.
- Continue to be a witch
By this I mean don’t let your witchy practices fall by the wayside. Still remember that you are connected to the natural world, even though it’s cold and sleeping. Keep sitting out food and especially water for the critters. Continue observing the moon’s cycle, keep working your magicks, and keep in tune with the earth’s cycle.
Write, paint, build, draw. Whatever your passion is there’s plenty of room to incorporate the cold weather. Even I can admit that snow can be beautiful, and regardless of your medium, you have a wide audience who will understand exactly what you’re talking about when you describe the bitter, biting cold or paint rolling hills that glint like diamonds under a setting sun. I generally try to keep a non-internet timeline for my future self to go back and look through; this is a perfect time to add to that journal.
- Change your mindset
It’s pretty commonly held that winter is the time when the earth rests; a poetic time of waiting when we see the shortest days and the longest nights, a planting time for the year to come. Even though we as human beings cannot simply hide within the frozen ground until the snow melts, we can slow our lives down a little and change our every-day focus. Look inward, prepare, appreciate, reflect, remember, consider. Let this winter be a healing time for you and always remember that it is never too late to begin something anew.
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