Winter’s breath

Intense craving for quietude and emptiness is present within me in winter. My body exhales with delight releasing all the debris that is heavy, stuck and rubbing on the edges of my experience. I read somewhere yesterday the words, which rang true that described new year resolutions as major triggers and unnecessary demands on our minds, bodies and hearts even. I agree. It is not the time to add more in, but rather continue simplifying, becoming quieter and more inwards until at least the first signs of spring. We are in mid-winter still and winter is here for a quiet inactivity, or at least not too much of it. Hibernation is the way, as for all the creatures and nature at large. We are no different and oh, it can benefit us greatly to sit quietly with life experience, insights and weaving days in slow motions with the intention of resting fully preparing for a time when we are ready to emerge.

Winter is like the element of Air to me, although generally active and busy networking, in winter it is of misty clouds and foggy coverings on the earth. It is there, but not seen fully, sleepy and slow in its reveal, if at all. When snow comes and dresses nature is a white canvas it is virginal, new, clear, and not to be disturbed till it is ready to melt into streams and soil. The reason it all feels covered is because it is meant to be only visible on the inside where we brew the new dishes of insight and weave new ideas of intention, which when the time is right will be manifested. But not yet, not now, not in January or even February.

Although with Imbolc, the 2nd February celebration of Candle Mass, the earth begins to stir, it is mostly within the realm of the very edges of our awareness and with a slight touch of spring-like approaching. We might begin to see some life peeping through the earth, but barely there. To me, the time between Imbolc and Spring Equinox is the time to start awakening to what one wants to bring into being for the coming year, not before, not yet… Leave resolutions, intentions, goals and all such things till then and enjoy the space and environment winter offers so eagerly to us with every passing year. In its silence things promise to be born that, if looked after, will bring much fruition and bounty in the months to come.

Here is wishing all folk a restful winter flow in its slow and quiet ways that once embraced feels so very comfortable, cosy and nourishing!

Happy New calendar year of 2021

If the Sun was a god… and walking in all weather

The Sun is a solar deity in nature-based spiritual practice. It is both of the Fire and Air/sky elements. Worshiping the Sun God or following its cycles, manifestations, presentations and cycles means it is looked upon as sacred energy of the earth, which plays an active role in the life of the natural world and our own.

On my walk in the rain this morning I got thinking about the Sun, as a god, and Yule celebrations that are coming up. How do we look upon the Sun when it is not shining and in darkness? How do we think of it, speak of it? Notice the language we use around darkness and no so bright weather. There are many parallels between the decline of the Sun, it being hidden, the darkness and human psyche. The main element is that we are in denial of it whether we are aware of it or not. Rejection of the darkness is an old thing, as old as humanity, but I always wonder if it has to continue quite the way it had done. The work of psychotherapy throws a lot of light on what human shadow really is, personally and collectively, and it is my strong belief that the work of integrating your darkness can be one most valuable, if not the most vital, part of the personal journey. Until one becomes of aware, first, then accepting of his/her own dark materials, not a lot will change and projections, judgements, victimhood, blaming, pretending will carry on impeding relationships, progression, understanding and acceptance of things as they are. This is where nature is the most wise, I have always believed. It is all light and all darkness naturally.

Why do we deny rain, sleet, strong winds, floods and fires? They represent emotions within ourselves, very strong ones, the ones we had always been told to fear, reject, suppress, etc. I believe this has been the biggest wounding on earth to humans via humans. Again nature is one such source that can reconnect you back to your humility and heart. It can help reawaken and let the lost emotional parts of yourself be accepted back into the whole. We are meant to be whole, both, logic and feeling, mind and heart with the body holding it all together.

The language we use around weather is a good example of yet another rejection seemingly external, but it is very much internal. Dreary, bleak, dark, miserable – are the words we hear every day whenever the sun is not shining outside. If it is not bright and warm it is not worth ‘worshiping’, yet even the Sun needs recharging, like a battery, like any of us, in order to shine bright again in a few months’ time. We continue to judge it for not shining, leaving us in darkness, nevertheless. This, I believe, is due to lack of understanding, valuing and accepting our own inner darkness.

This phenomenon, please notice, can also happen in reverse when the Sun is scolded for shining too much, instead of too little. It is the rejection of light instead of the darkness. Emotions of ecstasy, mania and depression come to mind and depending on what your experience is with mental health you will understand what I mean. We all heard of chronic clinical depression, but no one has of chronic clinical happiness. It is more complex than that, of course, but ‘happiness’ can be a warning sign, always wanting, moving, needing, asking for the light or pretending to be that way, can bring serious consequences to psyche when not in balance. Nature is the key to bringing things together, to demonstrate to us through weather, seasons, and elemental presentations how to be with it all without judgement.

In nature-based spirituality folk welcome both the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. There is an understanding of the value of both points in nature and in life. We welcome equally the point when the Sun is at its peak and we also celebrate the Sun’s return and acknowledgement of where it has been during darkness.

I saw deer playing and chasing each other in the bush as I walked passed the hedgerows with trees up on a hill. I would not have been able to witness that was it not quiet, empty and winter time. That’s a blessing to me!

Going back to those ‘negative’ adjectives the opposite for me would be when I walk in all weather is raw, fresh, renewing and completely natural. There is no life without the rain and there is no light without the darkness. It really is simple. The rainy landscape offers refreshing perspectives, new insights. I get inspired by wintery silhouettes and transparency and vulnerability of the land. At this time of year everything is exposed and paths are clear to walk to ponder over the bare branches and bones of the natural world. The clarity of mind for me during this time is like at no other time of the year. I love vulnerability and openness in nature and internally during darker winter months.


The darkness is the conservation of energy so it can shine brighter in months to come. Yet we are in denial of any validity of the darkness externally and within while wishing for the light to shine brighter. Want it here, now, in this way and that without considering how things become one way or another or where they roots from. There’s a cycle, a very wise one, the wisest. Nature is not here to please or pacify. It does what it must and what it has always done regardless of collective preconceptions, personal projections and human storytelling.


Yule is such a time and opportunity to reflect of the meaning of light and warmth and the Sun as a God, a spiritual, astrological, seasonal phenomenon that has been here since the beginning of time and every year offers lessons for reflection and potential change of views and perspective.

Yule Blessings, everyone!

Foreboding – The future of wild places

Jonna Jinton – the hostess in my dream

I had a dream last night and it went like this.

I opened my eyes and met hers. She was looking at me with piercing blue like a frost-covered morning on a bright day. I smiled. She turned her face away, as if not wanting to be there.

I was aware of the best sleep I had in ages and also knew that I travelled a long distance to be here in this place, with her.

A white linen dress clang to her slender body and she moved as lightly as a ghost would sliding from one room to another. I followed her and came into a room full of people and noise. They seemed to have been preparing for some kind of expedition. She asked me to join them, which took me by surprise and I felt a sharp sensation deep within that screamed, “Why would I go anywhere else when there is all this, here, with her?” I looked out of the window. We were in some kind of cabin, which was spacious with many rooms and I felt the warmth of the fire coming from next door. “Where is everyone going?” I said to her, as she approached me by the window. “Paris,” she said lowering her head to the ground again. She was hiding something. She didn’t look displeased dealing with the visitors to what I knew was her house, but she felt detached, not all present. “No Paris, I said. Not for me”. Groups of people crowded outside waiting for transport. They seemed impatient to get out of the place, but why would they come in the first place, I wondered. She looked over in their direction with some relief, I thought. Her body displayed anxiety and I saw an emerging smile at the prospect of them leaving.

I began to cry sitting by the window looking outside on to a wintery wilderness. A frozen lake, deep, luscious snow and tree tops in crowns of white. My heart was exploding recognising the wild within. She looked bewildered at me as if not letting herself remember or believing my feelings.

“Why all these people? What happened to your homestead? I remember it being just you here.”

She looked at me with the saddest eyes, but averted it quickly not wanting to show emotion.

“We are showing people the last wilderness.”

I knew she didn’t want to, she was forced into it. I grabbed her hand trying to show her I understood and asked if we could go outside. She didn’t move away from me and said, “Later.”

When crowds dispersed I was glad of some silence and empty places I could go and check. The rooms in the house were furnished with simple furniture, but very old. Figurines and wooden carved animals were on shelves and by bedsides. Everything was basic. I remember hearing complaints earlier from the crowd of girls, “How are we supposed to cope with these facilities. There isn’t even a toilet and we have to sleep on the floor. Did you see what we had to eat?” Dissatisfied voices echoed in me and I realised that this is the future of the wilderness tourism; people coming to see the most remote, wild places, yet wanting to be away from it from the moment they arrived. The sadness in my hostess filled me up and I went to look for her. She was already outside clearing some snow and I could see the black earth underneath. I bent down and scooped some icy blackness bringing it to my nose to smell. She smiled slightly at me and carried on in her own now lost world, in a place no longer hers.

Winter and self-containment

the-most-expansive-landscape-i-ve-ever-been-in-early-winter-at-maelifell-iceland--768x432

The lesson, new and fresh and perfectly framed, that I have experienced lately was of a thing called self-containment. It is visual for me, as well as, sensory in the body. I tap more into it when I dance, for example. Self-containment is a space where nothing and no one can access you or affect you to describe it in simple terms, but, of course, it is more than that. It feels wonderful. It is one of those states that bring peace, pleasure, calm and divinity into it. I have known this before in a different way with other things, but this is a new one. Perhaps it is not new but simply another one that has a clear frame, structure, name and vibration. It is soul-centred, but in a very human way and I suspect when in this embodiment of self-containment others around you will get affected and not just that, but they will be able to join in with it in their own way and much easier that through anything else. There is, therefore, huge potential in it for yourself and others around you. I am in love with the feeling of it. It has an orangey/pinkie colour to me like a ball or an egg that has edges, but they are allowing, flexing, moving yet protective. I find that this coming out in winter is very on point and relevant, as what does it mean for us to have a space of our own, a ‘womb-like’ state of ecstasy where we are away from it all yet connected. If we picture winter as our psychic underground space, dark and contained, this comes up in line with that only keeping our connection to our ‘new, birth-like, spring-like’ state alive. It has light in it, sunshine and warmth, but the wisdom of the darkness. We are essentially untouchable once we discover us, as unique us, no one else is like that, nothing else is like that in existence. You are YOU and only YOU. It is original, utterly beautiful and powerful in terms of being a gift towards life. Being able to incorporate this state into our lives, although, I suspect, it does not come up always or willingly, but trust that it will when you need it, can change things. It can slow things down, offer reflection and focus. We could ask for it whenever we feel pushed and pulled and overwhelmed, when things are demanded of us without a thought for whether we are ready to offer. It is that ‘stop’, wrap yourself up in YOU, bring yourself back to the centre, stay there for a bit and decide if you want to come out or not when you decide or not. It is a protective something, a covering, a vessel, a container that we can invoke and settle into it while we figure things out.

Winter is a rich gift. I will not tire of saying it over and over. Things must be dark and quiet and still in order for what needs to be clear and in view to be seen properly, in its naked form, in its broken form, in its expansive form. Like a voice in an expansive space of mountain or a valley, it needs expression, but for that to happen we need ‘the death’ of bubbling life internal and external, we need to see, hear and feel without being overwhelmed.

Image: earthporn.org

Three wishes for Yule

Winter Solstice

Mind is our biggest ‘prison’. There is nothing more our mind wants is to be stuck on the same track over and over, go in one direction. It doesn’t like change, it doesn’t like upgrading, it is in that sense primitive and when questioned will rebel in strong ways. However, we all want to be free, flowing, silent and not-attaching to anything that brings us worries and restlessness. Freeing yourself from thinking patterns is a way towards reclaiming some of our freedom. Thinking also causes our feelings and if you don’t like feeling a certain way and get trapped in a cycle, attend to your thinking. Challenge it, avoid engagement, refuse to listen, give yourself more than just following what the mind says. Remember, the mind doesn’t know any better, only what had been programmed and practiced, it is its familiar territory and until the course is changed, it will continue on the same track. Thoughts and feelings are entwined. If you believe or choose to think something, as it comes, you will feel a certain way every single time as a result of that thought. As you become aware of some of the ways you think, you can then choose how to proceed. Particularly with things that are ‘historical’, i.e. past-created patterns of thinking, you must be careful not to keep repeating the same way of thinking, as it will only bring the same way of feeling.

Ever since I was I was a child I remember wanting nothing more than a peace of mind.  I knew on a physical level that it is my thinking that had been causing a lot of things, yes I had to wait to become an adult to figure it out. As an adult through years of practice and healing I have understood what it does and why and have explored ways of reconciling with it, making it work for me. It has not been easy. The reason why I love Buddhism is because it shows us not just what the mind does, but how to become skilful in working with its patterns through observation and letting it be, choosing not to engage at all times. Read my post of my findings related to this Lessons from today’s meditation

The reason why I love earth-based spirituality is because it involves working and being with ‘the whole’. It includes our physical bodies, emotions and spirit and mind becomes a supportive vessel for all the other parts and vice versa. There is less struggle. Mind is not alone and other senses have great value.

This Yule I am wishing for three things:

  • A peace of mind
  • A clarity of mind
  • A quietude of mind

It is possible to ‘master’ your own thinking and there is a distinct sense of satisfaction and control when it is successful. Even if it might often be temporary the fact that it was once possible provides hope for all future attempts. Practice makes perfect. When a change in thinking is introduced, the edge is taken off patterns and beliefs. They no longer rule over everything. One way of thinking that helps is understanding that some things can’t be controlled and any worry or overthinking is futile and, for me, anything that becomes heavy to carry or be with is pointless, as it only adds to the overall hardship of existence and a state of things life often presents. We must quieten does, lighten the load and connect more often through other senses cultivating a sense of peace. Effort is always met with reward in my experience. Continuous striving is what life is and we must never give up on ourselves. We can always choose what we think and what we focus on remembering not to make it ‘heavy’, but make it easier wherever possible.

I am off to find a Yule log this week and will bear my three wishes in mind when being with the log, decorating it and then burning it for next year.

I hope you too will become aware of things you want to come more into your life during this celebratory time of welcoming back the light and go on to manifest your goals with authenticity, passion and integrity.

Blesses Yule, everyone!

New spiritual

Yule log

In the last two months I have found my new ‘spiritual’, ‘other than’ space through writing. I have loved every second of my passion and particularly how it feels when engaged in it. It feels otherworldly and like nothing else. For that I am immensely grateful and feel joyful knowing I can step into that ‘dimension’, yes, it feels like another sphere all together, when I want to. It is not, of course, as simple as just sitting down and write, but I love that complexity, a challenge, which stretches me intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

As Yule is approaching I can feel my energy shifting into 2020 goal setting, or a visual and sensory plan I like to envisage. I usually go about this by tuning into my energy and how I feel, which is around, rather than purely looking at physical needs and demands of the outside world, so to speak. What I am discovering is that I feel I would like to step more into my Fire energy. Again, this is not unusual for me with the season of winter, but I think I have forgotten how much I missed it having spent a lot of 2019 in a place that explored more soft, sensitive, quiet ‘me’. You see with writing both are required and I love that. In terms of going forward I would like to step into the Fire of my own inner qualities and run joyfully with that. In the last few days I have had a pep talk with myself, got angry with myself (in a good way) and said ‘enough is enough’ in relation to many things in my life. It felt like an existential shift where I have come to more acceptance of belonging to this earthly world, whether I want to or not, and that I don’t always have choices and neither I should have. There is less discussion, introspection and analysis needed for me at this time and more being present in the physical that I need to manifest. Winter is the perfect time for me to do that, as every year my energy escalates, my mind clears and I become very productive and active. I love it.

In terms of my spiritual practice I would like to implement the elements I am referring to above, e.g. creating more of a routine, consistency and commitment to things I need to be doing. Arriving at what that might be will, of course, be done intuitively, as it is my most natural way of discerning things. The rest will be done in a clean, precise, organised manner. At least I would like to try. Many things have sort of disappeared into the background in terms of practice and I would like raise my awareness more and bring things back into practice, but with a new vigour, in a new way.

My plans are a lot about writing in 2020. That includes literary fiction and poetry and non-fiction on subjects related to earth-based spirituality. I feel excited to have a few projects in the pipe-line. My poetry book ‘Soul Land’ is coming out next year and I am extremely touched and passionate about that collection and in awe of how it came about all together. It was meant to be, the only way I can describe it.

My first step on the way to reawakening traditions will be searching for my Yule log and decorating it for the 21st December celebrations. I love Yule and I love darkness, which always feels super nourishing and comforting to my soul and my body adores cold temperatures. I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating Nature and all her beautiful gifts.

Blessed Yule!

Winter time

A virgin bride or a silver-haired crone

Who rules the stillness of the white majesty

Perhaps both

The elegance of lace and ice that envelopes nature brings such quietness, such pause to a restless soul

Majestic awe of land covered in white purity

Like a fresh breath of spirit rooted in landscape

Orange and pink sunrises and sunsets bring immense uplifting to all senses

Only in winter nature one feels reborn from the depth of darkness emerging brand new and wise in knowing true appreciation of life and death