Retreat. Rest. Root. Rise.
Welcome to winter + the season of the Wise One. This is the beginning of a new cycle. As we move through the year, we experience a cycle of life: life, growth, death, rest. Life again. And, right now, as we cross over into the Season of the Wise One with the Winter Solstice tomorrow, the wheel of the year turned and we enter the deep, silent, restorative season of winter. It may very much seem like the end of it all. But, it is actually a very dark, quiet, mystical beginning.
Starting on the Winter Solstice on December 21 and ending with the Spring Equinox on March 21, the season of the wise one is a reminder and a calling to take it slow. It is the cold, quiet season of rest. A time for tending our roots, connecting with our divinity, meditating, and tapping into the wisdom within. All of the earth lies dormant. And, we too, are called to rest. But, it is in this resting that we actually, slowly start to awaken.
The Rhythms of Nature
The medicine of the earth
Darkness has fallen and the air is crisp and cold. Nature has retreated into the season of rest. The nights are long. Stars and planets and the moon shine brightly and magically above us. The forests are dark. Trees are bare + the ground is cold. All of nature is quiet. And, we find ourselves also feeling the call to retreat and rest in the quiet, dark winter.
But, it’s not just a season for quiet restoration… this is also a time of wisdom + ritual. The wise one, the old one, the mystic, calls us to also discover the hidden mysteries and secrets found in the dark.
As we move through the season, it becomes evident that we celebrate the return of light + hope more and more as we make our way through the months. From the total darkness of the winter solstice to the cracks of light at Christmas, move into the hope of a new calendar year. Then, we move through the months of January and February with the sunrise happening earlier each and every day. Winter will come to an end. But, for now, the wise one calls us to rest right where we are.
There is deep wisdom in the earth’s cycles and rhythms, and winter not only calls us to rest and restore, but to keep waiting and hoping. We are just one season away from spring.
Energy for the soul
It’s time to release the season of the witch and move into the deep, dark season of the wise one. This is the time to settle and listen to our soul, the wise one that speaks from within. It is also a call to engage in slow, introspective practices that help us to unearth the mystical, universal truths that lie deep within us. It is the time of the year, as we pass from one year into the next, to create intentions, practices, and rituals that remind us who we are and that the light is slowly returning, illuminating and waking not only the earth, but also the medicine within us that we are meant to share with the world.
But, this growing light, this deep medicine, is meant to rise slowly.
The wise one of winter is a mystical, old soul who invites us to stay in our little caves of hibernation just a little bit longer. During the winter, the wise one teaches us how to locate our own wisdom and hear our own voice. We wait and care for our roots, which lie deep beneath the earth. The quietness of the winter season begs us to enter the new year slowly. To let our roots slowly draw up the nourishment and medicine we will need come spring. This is time to practice listening, creating, intuiting. The wise one, through the example of nature, reminds us what’s really important right now. Rest, roots, rituals, and simple rhythms. The light is slowly returning to the earth + to our souls.
Gatherings, sabbats, + sacred celebrations
The season of the wise one is filled with the magical, meaningful of holidays + festivals. Many of them connected by ancient practices of our ancestors all around the world. Even though they are so common in our everyday life, they are often misunderstood or they remain surface-level celebrations instead of deep, soul-filling ceremonies and rituals that inspire us in these dark winter days.
There are so many special, holy days to recognize + celebrate throughout the season, beginning with the winter solstice + ending with the spring equinox. Recognizing or marking any or all of these special days is how I bring magic to everyday life. I often find that the more I celebrate, the more rituals + traditions I participate in, the more present I am in my life from day to day. The more sacredness I find in the little things.
I do not participate in rituals + traditions because I must, or ought to, or should, or because that’s just how it’s always been done. If I feel like I “must” do something. then I don’t do it. I try to never do something/participate in something just because… Instead, I recognize + celebrate because I feel called to. Because I know that these rituals + celebrations bring a sense of grounded presence + magic to my daily life.
All that to say… here are the opportunities for celebrations + gatherings during the season of the wise one. Pick + choose those which seem to call to your soul. (I will do my best to share my gatherings + celebrations on the blog as we move through the season).
- Winter Solstice: The beginning of a new cycle of life. All of life begins in the silent, dark womb of the earth. And, on this longest night, this is when the light begins to slowly return.
- Christmas: The Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. A story of light coming to the earth in the life of a divine child. The story of how true power, hope, and grace in found in the simples, most humble of places and people.
- New Year’s Eve/Day: The beginning of a new calendar year – a day of possibility, intention, and hope for a better dar/year/world.
- Imbolg: The midpoint between the Winter Solstice + the Spring Equinox! The word imblog comes from the Old Irish i mbolg meaning in the belly, a time when sheep are nearing birth. It is the time, even way up here in the Nordic countries, when we know that spring is not far off. Birds begin to sing in the morning, tiny flowers begin to pop up from the ground amid the snow. It is winter, but the earth is preparing for spring.
- Lent: The 40 day celebration and remembrance of Jesus’s time in the wilderness. It is a deeply introspective time before Easter, meant for silence, solitude, fasting, and reflection. As the earth slowly wakes, I see this time as 6 weeks of preparation for the season that is to come – a way to embrace and understand our own unique medicine, as we prepare to respond to the calling to share it to the world.
- Spring Equinox: The earth is alive! We make another turn on the wheel and enter a new season of life!
How then shall we live? Wisdom, mindfulness, and slow living in the winter.
The wise one tells us to keep it slow. There is no need to rush through the holidays, into the new year, and onto spring. There is much magic and medicine to be found still in these cold, dark winter months. This is a much needed part of the cycle of life. The long, restful pause where are roots grow deep down into the earth, giving us a strong foundation. It is the season for practicing rituals, starting habits, and setting intentions. Stay quiet. Breathe deep. Listen to the silence of the earth. Be mindful of the slow, perfect return of the light. Move through the season with trust and hope. A new day is dawning.