rituals the seasons

The Medicine of the Dark: Enter the night + discover your light

2 Dec 2019

Ahhhhh…December is here with all of it’s magic + mystery + medicine. And it feels absolutely amazing. I truly believe that December is a month that is just what our souls need. A chance to come home to our selves, our families, and those rituals + traditions that remind us who we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going. So, this year, I am offering a little inspiration for us. A chance to sink into the deep, healing medicine of the dark of midwinter.

I want us to slow down enough so that we can listen, feel, intuit, and respond to the medicine that this season brings to us. The medicine that is already our own unique balm for our own unique souls.

We often think that we need something or someone else… something that is out there that will bring us peace, calm, joy, power, or whatever it is we are seeking. And yet, all that we need is within us. It truly is. All that we need to bring meaning to our lives + to bring out into the world is already known by our soul.

And that special, unique medicine that we need is exactly that special, unique medicine that we are meant to offer to the world.

christmas tree

Of course, we have a tendency to overdo it during this season. I’m not talking food + drink, though. I’m talking money, shopping, presents, stress, overcommitting ourselves, feelings that we have to go to every party or event, running ourselves ragged hunting for the perfect gift, stressing ourselves out because our holidays are more Griswold than Miracle on 34th Street. Juggling work, family, friends, spirituality, and saying yes to every freaking thing because we think we have to.

To be honest, I really need the medicine of midwinter. My soul craves it. And I need it to help me find my way back to myself.

Years ago, I chose to create a slow, mindful holiday season that can give me just the medicine that I know I want + need. I gave up saying yes. I gave up being part of Secret Santa at work. I chose to use only candlelight in the mornings + evenings at home – and as much as I can at work. I don’t attend all the parties. I chose to spend even more time alone. And I chose to sink deep into the energy of the month, following the mystical calling of nature + the cosmos.

December always gives me the perfect opportunity to sink down + hibernate in the cave of my soul. It is the darkness that is the magic + the medicine.

Winter brings the dark to the northern hemisphere. All of nature settles in + rests. The days are so very short + cold. The trees are bare. The ground is frozen. The air is chilly. And all I want to do is be inside. Resting, listening, reading, warming, feeling, restoring. And, honestly, that’s not such a weird thing, I think. Our minds + bodies + soul’s want to follow the cycle of nature. We are earth + stardust, so it is only natural that we feel the pull to settle in + rest like all of nature.

So, what I am doing this month is letting the medicine of the dark guide me. And, while I live + work in a society that does not really live in rhythm with the seasons, it is up to me to mindfully bring the pace of nature into my everyday life. And when I do, then the holiday season becomes even more magical + meaningful.

Suddenly, the dark teaches me not only about the cycle of nature, but it sets my spirit on fire + teaches me deep life lessons. I find meaning in the way the lights in the windows of each + every home are beacons of hope in the midst of the dark. I watch the rising + setting of the sun much more intensely in the middle of the winter. I let the trees remind me that they are still alive, that much is happening under the earth that I cannot see. And that the darkness is always the place of the beginning of something new.

This month, it is my intention to discover the medicine of my own soul. That special medicine that I need + that I have to offer to the world. I am going to do that by reflecting on the medicines of the season and how they speak to my soul.

I will write + reflect (like I am doing in this post on the medicine of the dark). I will post photos + videos on Instagram. I will listen to my Yule playlist. I will spend time in nature. And I will share it all with you. Should you want to join me… then please feel free to read, comment, write, take photos, or just reach out to me.

The most important thing, though, is to simply be. To set aside time to rest + settle in. To truly allow my soul to follow the rhythm of nature – because I know it is what she wants.

And with that, I am going to publish this, turn off my computer screen, and sit in the darkness of my bedroom for a few minutes before going to sleep. The darkness is often uncomfortable, but I promise that the more you sink into it, the more you allow yourself to just be enveloped in it, then you will grow to crave the quiet magic + mystery that the dark offers to our soul.

This is the place where new things are born. Out of nothing, out of darkness, out of chaos, is born light, hope, and potential. This is the place of dreams + visions. So, settle in, wild soul. Enter the night. It will carry you to your dreams, to your own medicine, to center of all things. Find the light you seek deep within you. Let the dark remind you who you are + help you discover who you want to be.

Blessed dark night. xoxo. liz.

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