This past weekend, the good earth dropped about a foot of snow on the town in which I live (I am home from college). Having had several experiences with southern friends, of pagan origin, I can safely say that the cold weather, though never directly spoken of in religious texts is essential for a complete understanding of our gods.
Snow and winter are entirely different than heat, or rain, or even a chilly breeze. For example, following along the seasons, the times that I, at least, feel most with the gods are:
Spring – Dawn
Summer – Dawn
Autumn – Sunset
But in winter, that perfect time of silence? Its at midnight. Walk out into a cool, wintery night at midnight and you’ll understand – the breeze barely blowing, shivering slightly as you stand in the eerie darkness that isn’t quite dark because the snow reflects the moon’s glow.
You see, nothing is active in winter – except the elements themselves. Everything is in hiding! Its not a bad thing – the trees are slumbering. As my high priest put it once, in the winter, the tree spirits move below the ground, into the mother herself. The smaller animals are hibernating, and some, like deer, are just trying to survive.
Silence from life is a wonderful thing. Being able to stand outside, away from human light or cars, you can hear the wind softly rustling what’s left of the vegetation. Even in the summer, late at night, there are always animals up and moving. But this special winter, snow muted silence, it teaches us respect, and humility, and patience, and reflection, and peace.
It’s like you’re working twenty four seven around the clock, and your life is so busy. But if you wake up in the middle of the night for a cup of water, and you step outside, there’s a special, vibrant, northern magick that just permeates through your core, and makes you appreciate life just a little bit more…
And that peace and understanding doesn’t come from an inch of snow or forty degree weather.
Winter is the time of the silent journey into the self. What you find will be directly related to the path you choose to walk. It is that hanging time of reflection – the time to tie the past – what you have done – to the future and what you will do.
Finally, winter teaches us about determination. Because there’s nothing more annoying than trudging through slushy, snow covered sidewalks and entering your house with salt stains up to your knees.
More controversial topics soon. Blessed Be!