Winter stories

The darkest night, oh how rich and comforting your gifts

Like the darkest depth of the earth it contains our sorrows and joys

Care taking all potential

It keeps it, churns it and later

We emerge as new towards the light

We stretch into the sun seeking transformation

~RawNatureSpirit~

All things must come to an end

autumn in Scotland, Perthshire

The energy of Mabon is upon us and it feels immensely nourishing. The time is truly reflective of things dying off, competing projects, merging with the earth in a way that goes back to its original state, a state of emptiness and darkness. It is not about dying, but leaving the light behind and withdrawing into the darkness of all things till light returns. All must come to an end. Looking back on the year we can think of what needs to die, what we struggled with that we now must accept as the ultimate release, ending and conclusion.

For me this Mabon I am letting go of something that had proved futile after years of struggling to keep it alive. Acceptance of an end is not easy yet energies are asking me to come to terms with the door that is now closing. In fact it had been locked for many years and this autumn I am finally letting it go. We must turn around and walk away knowing we tried, fought and didn’t win. It is the time for the struggle to end, to release attachments to what is not to be, not now and possibly not ever. This time of year teaches us to come back to ourselves as if we are to be born again, not reliving old scripts, holding on to perceived desires and going against the current.

“Walk away, leave it to die completely,” it says. Release resistance to what must dissipate into dust.

Deep sadness is present during this time yet there is a promise of being free of struggles once I shed what is destined to dissipate into dust. It is important I give gratitude for the experiences that are offered to me daily, some profound and some simple. All of it is wrapped up as one gift of life, learning, pain and joy, all as one sacred experience of life and who we are. Counting your blessings at this time can work as a relief that weary souls are in need of this time of year.

Go ‘outside’ to come back ‘within’

By going outside one goes deeper within whether it is outside in nature or outside of your comfort zone or out out into a company of people that you might never do.

Sometimes we have to challenge ourselves to ‘step out’ to come back to the core of things that matter. I took a trip recently that reaffirmed me further into myself, what I am, what I want and don’t want and most importantly what my soul needs. Solitude and quiet have become essential parts to my everyday everything. I almost feel I will not be able to survive and certainly won’t thrive in conditions other than what my soul needs. My body talks loudly to me now as over the years through a lot of work we have finally made friends and my body and soul are good pals too these days. Mind is a useful companion but it also knows when not to interfere with a voice that is always louder being it my body or my soul.

I feel I am becoming more and more inward-looking and my preferences are always away from noise, crowds and rush that happens everywhere. I feel my whole body constricts to a point I can no longer tolerate and before I could but at a high price. Switching off amidst chaos is a tough gig as everything in me absorbs things instantly and getting rid of it takes time, so I aim for minimum exposure.

Being on this trip I felt like I froze and now understand it as a defence that drowns the noise and protects my shell from being penetrated. It is protective. There’s a lot of energy and vitality on the inside yet i found this time it didn’t get affected and I became more of an observer than a participatory partner in it all. I don’t mind observer, it is my other state that somewhat helps me keep calm within, but curious on the outside. Observer state can teach us so much about ourselves, others and how we all fit. I noticed things I never had before and that’s been wonderful.

It has been a year of settling back into yourself but on a much deeper level or one might say yet another spiral downwards got revealed and reaffirmed. There are many cycles or spirals on our journeys towards what we seek. It has not been without challenges but one thing for sure is that it is much harder to know what’s really desired without it being challenged. I find the work interesting as once you know what you don’t like you immediately know what you do like very often.

I enjoyed spring this year immensely and through the years of building a relationship with the seasons I can now say it is my favourite season starting from very early spring to the end of May and beginning of heat. Now as we are building up towards Summer Solstice my retrieval into myself (more than usual) feels like an intentional preparation for my seclusion for summer, which is my least favourite season. It makes sense. I go into hiding, so to speak when the sun rises high and peaks at Litha. I learnt not to rage against it, which I had done for years but to soften instead and focus within giving myself exactly what is needed. I concentrate on early mornings and watering my plants. Enjoying bike rides in the cool evening air when the sun goes to rest. I learn to use water element when fire rises just like in nature. Nurture and compassion instead of rage and harshness, coolness instead of heat. Rather than ‘instead’, perhaps we go for ‘in addition to’ or ‘in compliment to’, as we always aim to balance elements out rather than dominate one over another. I have created a set routine for myself, it seems that neither judges or forces, but flows instead and here I am staying for now watching the year unfold further.

Hope rises

The promise of spring lies deep within the earth we walk on

With every hour and every day the light grows brighter into being

The silence and nakedness of it all is loud with life stirring deep in the darkness

Like spring life blooms, like winter it dies

yet we know so it should be with hope

In between

If you listen with your ear to the warm belly flowers kick and a song rises from a distant flock of birds bringing new life to the next cycle

And so it goes year after year, life after life, death after death and amidst it all is us part human part nature in a dance of eternity swaying in the wind and washing in the rain in compete surrender to it all

And what a joy it is to be, to wake and rise, to fall and die over and over like a never ending beautiful dance of everything there is. As above so is below, as within so is in nature. The perfect harmony of light and darkness, the perfect end of the beginning

The season evokes hope in me like nothing else. Bitter winds slapping me into here and now, reminding me who I am and where I am. Fresh bite of freezing temperatures penetrates my skin and I feel instantly renewed. The pure white scenery of the land is otherworldly yet it is right here in front of me and I am so grateful to be a part of it all, belonging…

The season inspires me like no other. In its nakedness so much is revealed and a space is created. When the light seemingly goes out on outside and the Moon is on its throne, the fire within me grows stronger. I love the darkness and its protection. I love snow and its tender nurture for the earth’s peaceful sleep. I love all life and regeneration that goes on underneath earthly layers. I love the freedom winter brings to the spirit that enjoys the spaciousness and a blank canvas to be used.

Beautiful architecture of stripped down trees reveals the essence of being, just as it is, with no embellishments or cover ups. It’s beautifully vulnerable yet their strengths lies within its roots. Just like for all of us when we dig deeper we find gold. Deep within the darkness we find connection, we cultivate networks and comradeship to our spirit and all that’s around us. Either a tree form or a human form we are the same in life, made of the same material and that is comforting to know.

Yule is near and the first promise of light carries hope that all will bloom again. My heart grows with excitement and content knowing the wheel is about to turn once more.

Many seasonal blessings!

Descending into darkness with joy

descend into underworld

The excitement within me rising this Mabon in anticipation of the descent journey that is starting. This part of the year is not going to change for me, I feel, as I adore the darker part of the year and get truly excited about the journey within. I love shorter days and the fact that days do end and we can go to sleep (in more ways than literally) and wake up with new perspectives, tapping into our treasures offered by dreaming and journeying in the dark.

As mourning for the summer is apparent I am happy to put that to rest to move on. There is a clear flowing movement within me that taps into places deeply intuitive, magical, wise and feminine within me. Observation of the decline in nature is beautiful to me, as I am aware of just how much lies within the idea of dying and living, dying and being born again, of the potential that is held safely within nature and all of us. The journey of going within and descending into all the corners, even the darkest ones of our psyche is incredibly exciting and I am fully aligned with the wonder of the gifts that it holds. Only through going down we are able to come up. There is again no light within darkness and that is the nature of things. It is how life is, nature is, weather is, cycles are and embracing the beauty of constant regeneration and transformation will offer a lot of wisdom and insight into how we are in the world, our ways of relating, giving and receiving.

Energy begins to bubble within me at this point in autumn that is nicely contained and deeply nourishing to the soul. My dreams begin to take me places I am yet to visit or had already visited before, reminding me of possibilities of paths one can take spiritually or in the physical reality. Dream world presents richer and fuller with imagery, colours, motifs and themes that tend to repeat themselves. Faces are clear, sensations are felt fully, voices are clear and directional and my steps are steadier and more in line with my purpose than ever. I look forward to going to bed, I notice that more clearly. I like darkness.

I wish you all a blessed descent this quarter and if you never thought about it or felt like attempting it, do it consciously and with no fear. You will not regret what you can potentially discover on the other side and as spring comes again a renewed psyche will propel you into new dimensions and ways of being you never thought possible. It all begins with the darkness and that is why the dark part of the year is so needed and important, so when light returns it shines brighter and more conscious than ever in areas that will lead it to the meaningful and purposeful ways of relating, being, thinking and feeling.

Many blessings!

Learning from the Wheel of the Year

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Mabon Blessings to everyone on this beautiful early autumnal morning!

The air today is ever so slightly chilly and I wholeheartedly welcome it. It speaks to me of the time we start  our slow descent into the misty, chilly and dark. Land, weather and personal transformations are beginning. I love the darker part of the year and my functioning is the most optimum between October and April, however, this year things have been different in a way of transforming the last remaining sticking points as far as summer is concerned. I feel I did well and managed to extract a multitude of useful lessons about myself, the world at large, the idea of life-purpose and where and how things fit in.

The Wheel has turned once again and today is Mabon, the time for harvesting, re-evaluating and giving thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this summer. The summer has been hot, prolonged, dry and often trying. It taught me about withstanding hardships and remaining centred on the heart and present in my life more. I was faced with a quality of tolerance within, which had been invaluable. Just as we wait patiently for the seed to germinate, push through and grow towards its most potential, the summer reflected that to me and I was rewarded with early harvest. Planting happened later this year due to snow and frost in early and late spring, yet things caught up and the heat accelerated growth and made me face things sooner rather than later. I didn’t plant much either consciously, as this year for me is about simplifying and focusing on a few things only, clearing the space for emotional, cognitive and spiritual processing. Bounty came in the summer in small quantities and it felt so good. The message of ‘just enough’ re-enforced the work I start doing back in winter. Another aspect of having enough and sharing with those around you in pleasure and gratitude has always been a blessing. The heat burnt my potatoes, however, earlier in the summer and very quickly dry plants disappeared amidst the blanket of thick weeds, so I had to go on a hunt for produce. That taught me about challenges and things often changing very quickly and being ok with what is presented right in front of us. It is ok to just observe and continue with what we have without necessarily spiralling into judgement, regret and giving up. That clear representation of the quality of observation with tolerance and potential hardship taught me ‘to be with’ yet again and be completely grateful for what we do have rather than focusing on what we think we don’t have. Sensation of that I found very pleasant, releasing and freeing.

I suffered with pain in my legs and back from early spring and found it challenging, however, I also knew that in order for new transformations to occur this year I had to have something to work with and this was one of those things where I had to look at living with physical pain. I wrote about it earlier this year. Through the summer pain continued and so did my life and that was the lesson of things continuing, moving on, changing, the Wheel turning no matter what and we can either fight and resist it or accept and move with it. The release of my associations with pain transformed hugely this summer and just as looking at dead and not ‘very healthy’ crops amidst the summer heat and as I begin to dig them out with love and attention I began giving myself the same. I aimed to understand, accept things as they are without judgement and wanting anything to be different.

At the end my harvest was complete pretty much at beginning of August in terms of produce or so I thought… On my return to the plot in September I discovered a few more gems waiting for me and my heart delighted in it. Seeds were hanging ripe on dry stalks representing bounty and potential in the future and underneath dry and covered with weeds stalks there were plump bulbs of goodness. Again, the idea of ‘just enough’ was clearly present and again it felt profoundly satisfying.

I am yet to dig all my small, but perfectly clean and tasty potatoes out of a patch of land covered with all sorts (treasure hunt-like) and I am taking my time with it applying patience and joy when working on the land. I appreciate everything about it and tend to continue nourishing and nurturing it for years to come. It holds immense lessons for me as seasons change and the Wheel turns every time. Things come and go, start and end and start again and so does our life with all its highs and lows and everything in between. I very much look forward to what the season brings.

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Summer and patience

What is patience? It is allowing. When things are being as they are we stand in observance of what is. I find it deeply healing, humbling and liberating when there is no fight against what one thinks should be because there’s a discomfort present. Where there is no resistance a space opens up for observing what is being and living in that moment. Summer is a hot season, of course, it is, that’s the nature of things and when it is hot in summer things are aligning to the vibration of what summer means. It is not cold or raining all the time, although it is sometimes, it is simply being what it is.

I have experienced a high degree of tolerance towards summer this year. It happened due to conscious effort not wanting things to be something else and me desperately wanting to change it. That never works. This can be applied to so many aspects of growth and healing when we drop resistance and allow things into being there’s a release of freedom of attachment to what we think should be in order for us to be soothed. There’s a lot to be said for being uncomfortable, however if one fights it actively it will always persist and increase in its intensity.

I stood back or rather decided to travel alongside summer this year and observe everything there’s to witness about the season rather than shutting myself off from the experience and waiting for it to be over. Such a waste. By being present with summer I noticed how present I have been with everything else and everyone around me, every day, every week, every event and moment shared with those in my life. The value of everyday presence overtook my resistance and dislike of summer. I found I didn’t want to complain or participate in the fight within, which had previously been there always. Instead I lived each day and found a lot of positive aspects in the season.

I have been patient and allowing with myself and the summer to be what we are meant to be, living, moving, flowing and grateful for experiences granted.

It is not wanting to cut off a part of the whole, which can be applied to the seasonal wheel of the year, as well as parts of ourselves. We will always have preferences for certain seasons and aspects and ways of being and that is not to say that lessons and joy can’t be found in less preferable places, in fact, those aspects that we mostly resistant to carry some of the most vital and profound teachings.

Patience is a beautiful way of being in a state of non-judgement, slow flowing with energies just as they are and allowing expression of all that is necessary. It is acceptance and a silent stance of holding a space.