The Element of winter

water element magic

My way is the Elemental way. I see the world through the five elements and work with them the most in my nature communication, magical weaving and spells and when relating to others. I have a power and a shadow element and the world makes sense to me in a way it is made of the elements all around me.

The season of winter has always been a Fire element season for me, full of creativity, drive, focus, enthusiasm and passion. It has always been a time when my inspiration would be present and my mind clear and full of ideas. I would complete a lot of projects during winter usually. Many writers report the same thing. This year it is different. This time it feels softer, smoother, slower accompanied by quiet, silence and a peaceful retreat into inner spaces.. In dreams I am met with a lot of shadow material and crying physical tears. The season feels closer to the element of Water. As water here doesn’t freeze in winter it is very much present, but in a state of quiet still standing. Perhaps, it depends on where we are at any given point and what our intentions are and currently my preferred state is of slow motion in silence and solitude with no need for many words or interactions. It is a very relaxed state of being with nothing to do and nowhere to go, quite the opposite energy of my usual winters. Water element is in this year’s signature I also feel regardless of what the season is now and yet to come, as we are in the feminine rising energy, but not for the first time. The archetypal flow is quite advanced this time and more powerful than ever. It is very consious and knowing ready to share its wisdom with us all. What would be interesting to explore this year is that contact with water whether we like it or not. Like for many water is my shadow element and a lot of us have grown up with supression of our emotional states (water energy). If we decide to engage with the element purposefully tt will sure take us on a transformational and insightful journey, no doubt about it. There is that opportunity this year in abundance. I am going to embrace it and put some water magic into my practice more. For the moment, stillness and calm are the energies of the month for me and it feels just how it should be.

What’s your element for the season of winter?

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Happy Winter Solstice 2017

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Blessings to all this Winter Solstice! Let there be light again.

Gratitude and appreciation for all support for RawPagan blog. Look forward to more sharing and connection in 2018.

Natalia

Memories in the snow

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I woke up from a dream of being back in my Siberian land. Dreams that take me there are always set in winter. Most of my childhood and youth’s significant events happened in winter and amidst snow and remain the most memorable to this day. Sledging with friends in freezing temperatures when we couldn’t feel our faces, hands and feet, yet incredibly happy and full of joys of childhood. My first kiss, awkward, yet warm and sweet. The day I let him go also took place in the middle of winter with me crying in the bright light of street lamps and snow sparkling all around us. I remember my blue mascara running down my cheek as if it was yesterday and the smell of his winter coat as he pulled me close to his chest. I remember his heart beat as we said good-bye.

I recall ice-skating with my father and falling into the deep snow, up to my waist, in the wilderness forest. We laughed a lot. Another kiss takes me back to a sacred place where memories stand still and not just my own, but for the whole nation. Wearing white hat and mittens in a cream coloured coat I was deeply in love.

As I walked to the window this morning I was greeted with a snow-covered garden and land beyond. Beautiful. It continued to snow all morning and I decided to go into the forest for some nature and elements communion. I always feel it is such a raw, spiritual and necessary experience to immerse yourself in the elements be it rain, snow, sunshine or wind. Each element awakens something within, touches upon places that need to be visited to remind us of what is essential and where we are in life. Crunchy under my feet I found snow and pure white landscape stretching ahead taking me further into my memories and on a journey of seeing and feeling things I hold dear to my heart. Memories flooded in like a bitter-sweet river and looking around me I smiled also feeling a smidge of sadness in my heart. He is long gone, but what he left is a place within me that is unconditional love and to this day I carry it inside and always will. Forest was noisy with splats and swooshing sounds of snow falling off branches. Many trees were bent down under the snow weight touching the ground. I stopped and breathed it all in. I miss him still and I remember everything like it was yesterday. Sadness filled my heart, but it is no longer grief or longing, it is settled and contained, warm and alive. It is love, forever.

Winter Sun

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This year for me is intended to be all about the Sun. My relationship with it, its energetic associations, masculine energy and the quality of Fire. The Sun and I have not been friends I must say due to my intolerance to heat, however, there is more to the Sun than the ability to warm and dry the earth. It shows us different sides, I feel depending on the season. Through running my workshop on the four seasons ‘Four Seasons of the Psyche’ I intend to redefine my relationship with summer and the Sun’s heat and the meaning of ‘burning’. I seek to grow into embracing and opening up to what I had often shrunk from. I would like to start observing the Sun in all its seasonal presentations, colours, energies, meanings and its effects on me starting with winter.

In spiritual terms I am drawn to an old ritual and story from Russia surrounding the Sun God, day and night Zorya Goddess

In Druidry there is a tradition to welcome the Sun in the morning and say goodbye to it at night RITUAL, which I do most days and it gives me a strong sense of belonging to the natural world and it also offers a purpose to the day, I find. In the morning I am ready to open myself up to whatever a day would bring, I go about my tasks and musings with intention and focus and when it is evening time I feel grateful to have lived another day and feel blessings inside my heart for all the joys I had experienced and challenges I had overcome. It can be a sort of meditation morning and evening, a daily practice, which roots us in where we are and what we are doing. I adore going out every morning into my garden whatever the weather, the first thing after waking. At night I often bow to the setting Sun and the rising Moon sometimes. It feel sacred, peaceful and meaningful.

For inspiration and devotionals, as part of your rituals and practice I recommend this book containing beautiful musings Celtic Devotional, Daily Prayers and Blessings by Caitlin Matthews 

It is January and the Sun today is bright and glorious. Winter Sun, I find, is not necessarily warming, but illuminating of senses, invigorating of energy within. It takes the film off my sight, so to speak, and clears my senses and I am able to gaze into it with clarity. Instead of Fire energy it has Air qualities to it – penetrating, alert, imaginative, light, and free-spirited. It has a spiritual feel to it too in terms of a visionary and intuitive, it is clear, pure, bright and inspiring. I am finding that I love winter Sun, which also brings crispy, frosty mornings and clear blue sky with it. The whole combination is so rejuvenating that I can never help myself but go out into the clear space of a winter morning. I like feeling a tingle on my face and warmth on the inside as I walk through woods and country fields. I can breathe fully and oh how life-giving it feels.

Image by Katie Still Jackson (Facebook)

Struggling to stay in ‘winter’

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I am struggling with staying in the moment. Is it a ‘curse’ of winter? Through running workshops and personal interactions I have been noticing how common it is for people to want to escape winter. More spring pictures pop up on social media in December and beginning of January. I am doing the same at this point, wanting to escape?

First, I feel I need to redefine when IS winter for me personally. Over the last few years I have embraced December/January as the most productive time of the year for me, a period of high Fire energy and creativity. During this season I write a lot, I feel in high spirits and I possess confidence like at no other point during a year. You know how we all like the familiar and we try to stay in that place of comfort and I thought I was experiencing the same energy this year, however, something is not aligning for me this January, things are changing. I noticed I am not able to stay present as much and yesterday I bought spring flowers for myself, which evoked a very obvious yearning for spring in me. Weather wise it is mild and raining outside, which, I feel takes away from my ‘winter’ feeling and I wish we had snow, frost and lower temperatures. I realised it is harder in that respect to stay in ‘winter’ for the reasons external as well as internal. Instead of feeling confident and raring to go, I do feel a bit flat and very doubtful. Fire element is being replaced by Water, a bit distorted water too, which is normally a spring signature for me. This is something new in me and for the first time in years I am unconsciously seeking ‘spring’, not in any way forceful or desperate, but I notice that shift. I begin to think about the future, jumping ahead, worrying ‘what if’ and things that I need to do. I also feel resentment left over from last year, something I am working on as well. Restfulness is also present, I can’t seem to settle. This is interesting to me and something that makes me wonder what my spring is going to be like (here, jumping ahead again) this year.

What are you feeling this winter? Notice your vibration and emotional and physical energy surrounding the season? What comes up for me is a need for a water ritual, contained water specifically and I am intent on writing a specific poem/spell for the Water element to perform later on.

The main and most important point is to bring ourselves back into the present, which somewhat, I realised, is very challenging to do during winter.

Here I offer beautiful words from BOOK describing exactly what is currently occurring within my awareness:

“In tune with most mystical spiritual traditions, one of the key teachings of Druidry is perfect presence. Instead of spending our lives in a mist of memories, doing all we can to hold onto and recreate past experiences, and ever reaching into the future, clinging to dreams, shying away from fears of what might or might not happen, we bring our focus into the here and now. We self-locate: we find ourselves in time and space. It’s an elusive place, the present, for immediately we catch a moment it disappears into the past. Immediately we grasp where we are it is difficult, the currents of nature ensuring perpetual change. But we aren’t taking photographs, snapshots for the collection; we are learning to live, and to do so means learning how to stay in that flow of evanescent instants.”

The breath of Winter

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Its wispy white air blows softly into nowhere disappearing like mirage

One can see it with eyes fresh and open and awareness sharp

It is cold yet rejuvenating, waking up every corner of the body

One stands and marvels in wonder at lacy tapestry made by winter on roof tops, windows and trees

We inhale and exhale with intention and force. The freshness of being out in the world and breathing, isn’t it wonderful…

Winter touches our bodies physically as we feel its cold grip. Mentally it pushes us to awake, open up to possibilities, keep on walking to keep warm and in life. Spiritually it is the 6th plane of innocence, purity and utter peace when one is aligned with the whiteness of landscape and vastness of expansive space stretched before us. Winter opens  up horizons with trees bare and making it available for us to see beyond its clothes and costumes. In its nakedness it stands honest, open, vulnerable and ever so beautiful. We see that skeleton, bones of what’s within and without. Our structure strong yet vulnerable and withstanding winter with its freezing grasp and merciless chills we withstand challenges and inhale invigorating energy of fresh, new and pure. 

In winter things are born deep within. We nurture and carry plans, dreams, desires and aspirations like precious children asleep in the womb of our consciousness ready to sprout into the light with the Earth’s awaking hour.

MUSIC by Adrian von Ziegler 

Image: http://www.stormheroes.com/

New year new altar 


Today I am clearing spaces, putting things away and changing things round in every room. I love this ritual of renewal and when better than in January.

I have been waiting for this energy with anticipation and excitement after a densely packed and quite unpleasant and suffocating month of December. I have become aware there is a pattern of a certain vibration that shows up every year towards the end of the year. More to learn, unpack and transform. Great learning.

My lovely Yule altar, which I wanted to be simple and effective this year with colours of red and white, served well during dark times. I love Yule. Now it’s time for a change. I am ready. Everything that’s been is now gone and it feels good. There’s only today and a possibility of tomorrow.

January is an active, inspirational and creative time for me usually. I enjoy it usually and throw myself into work, projects being very focused, motivated and organised. This, I feel, is present again this year, but along with the ‘doing’ I am also including the ‘being’ vibration. Peaceful and soothing, soft and gentle, restful and meditative. Therefore for this time in-between now and Imbolc on the 2nd February my altar goes to my sort of ‘default’ presentation of peace and tranquility, Buddha like space which I love so very much. Colours are purple and white and the feeling is love, light and peace. 

My intention is to go out there and grab life and do lots of exciting things, create beautiful musings and engage in writing and learning as much as I can, but also give myself space and time to be still, present, focused within and at peace with myself and the world.
Blessings!