Winter Solstice is symbolic of the Return of Light. In ancient times, when the agricultural calendar was the focus, people knew that Winter Solstice signified the halfway point of Winter. There was hope in the fact that half of the hardest, coldest months were behind them and the thaw was coming. Astrologically, the Sun becomes stationary and then slowly begins to move in an upward motion in the sky to culminate at the Summer Solstice.
For the advent of the Winter Season, we are honoring our Seasonal Soul. Beginning with Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, it is time for us to tend our light and plant seeds of luminous hope for the coming year. We gather with those we love, or even in the silence of winter, to fan the flames that will sustain us in the next few months as we keep the promise of Spring and new growth in our hearts.
The Goddesses of Winter hold sway now (in all of their myriad forms) – it is the Time of the Crones and Wisdom Women. They circle the hearth fires, poke the coals and sustain us in the darkest night. We are halfway to somewhere so it gives us permission to lull (even for a moment) into the comforting bosom of the Grandmother. The Crones are feeding the fires and singing our souls home and giving us the strength to keep the faith – An Cailleach, Spider Woman, Baba Yaga, La Befana, the Norns and the Fates.
We honor the Mothers that have birthed the Sun Gods at this time of year – Mother Mary, Isis, Frigga and Maya; each bringing the Sun/Son into the world to be the symbol of Light across the continents.
The Goddesses that live on the snowy tundras are standing vigil and ready for the sacrifices of the past year. What do you need to shed and leave to the harsh energies of the tundra? This is an opportunity for assessment and to ask for the assistance of the Goddesses of Winter to help you make way for more light in your life, in your being for the coming year. Some of these Goddesses come with the impetus that you must transform or you will not survive the winter of your Soul. Connect with Freya, Skadi, Holda, and Demeter (who through her grief caused winter).
With the approach to February, we experience the “quickening” … the breath of life that infuses the seeds that have been planted to bloom in Spring and Summer. Fierce, Warrior Goddesses stand guard over this precious, mysterious process ~ Brigid, Oya, Athena, Shakti. They clear the path for creation and the inevitable cycle to Spring when Mother Gaia is adorned with new life.
Traditionally, the Winter Solstice is a time of gathering and celebration. Our “winter stores” are tapped to bring forth food and laughter and hope. Make time to gather with those who represent that laughter and hope in your life; this puts your best foot forward for the turning of the calendar year and all the marvelous things ahead.
This past week it was my honor to be a guest on the PawedCats Podcast with Nikki and Brent to discuss Winter Goddesses, practices, and ways to celebrate winter! It was so much fun and you can tune in here: Winter Goddesses Podcast
On this Winter Solstice edition of the PawedCats Podcast, Kimberly Moore of The MotherHouse of the Goddess and The Mystery School of the Goddess talks about the Goddesses of Winter and simple practices to connect with their empowering energies this season. The discussion includes power words, the comforts of hygge, and Goddess oracle readings. Learn more about how “Goddess meets us wherever we are,” as Kimberly puts it, and discover winter practices you can do to empower your New Year! Starcat also has an exciting announcement to share, on the topic of creativity. Listen now!
Blessings on your Winter!
JOIN RHYTHMS OF THE GODDESS WINTER JOURNAL for Goddess Feast Days, Prompts, and Practices all season!
WAYS TO WELCOME THE MAGIC OF WINTER
Ways to Welcome the Magic of Winter
Look at signs and symbols of Winter below and create an altar just for this season.
Choose a Winter Goddess and create a seasonal practice for her.
Make a snow angel.
Begin a Yoga Nidra or Restorative Yoga for Winter to honor a slower pace.
Join the Goddess Full Moon Group for free, monthly meditations and teleconferences.
Take walks in Nature and collect items for your Winter altar. What is revealed when Gaia sheds her adornments?
Create a Nature Mandala – use all natural and organic items, such as seeds, flowers, sticks, and stones, and food for the animals. Offer it up to Goddess in ceremony.
Put out food and water for the birds and other animals in your area for winter.
Spread fairy lights everywhere in the house to invite LIGHT.
Start a new practice or area of study that honors your inner journeywork – Mystery School of the Goddess has seasonal offerings!
Create a Red Tent and have a party for all the women that you know.
Support Goddess Women in small business – Browse the Holiday Goddess Gift Guide!
Walk a labyrinth to embrace the cyclical nature of Goddess and the Seasonal Soul – contemplate the lessons and experiences of the past year to date and what seeds you are planting for the New Year.
Gather with family and share stories and history of your family, especially with the younger members present. Record the stories and start a family tree.
Pick an indoor winter project that is about releasing things that no longer serve you! Go through closets, basements, and garages to make room for NEW blessings.
Gather the bounty of seasonal Winter foods and prepare a Feast. Roasted root vegetables, hot soups, fresh baked bread are great for cold days!
Light candles throughout the house and bring fresh flowers into the area where you are the most.
Participate in community events, take opportunities to give back or volunteer your time. Particularly in the holiday season, it is a wonderful time to be in service.
Make hot chocolate. Many times.
Burn Shit. Early Winter is the time for release before we plant our new seeds of intentions – use the winter New Moons to release the old and stagnant and set new powerful intentions. New Moon Ceremony for Releasing Obstacles and Setting Intentions
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF WINTER
Archetypes: Crone/Grandmother, Tundra Goddesses, Hearth and Fire Goddesses, Priestess, Dreaming Woman, Creation Woman, Warrioress
Goddesses of Winter: Ananke, Arianrhod, Befana, Brigid, Cailleach, Deer Mother, Demeter, Erishkegal, Flidais, Freya, Frigga, Guadalupe, Hel, Holda, the Horae, Isis, Kali, Lucia, Mother Mary, Nepthys, Oya, Rhea, Rhiannon, Satet, Skadi, The Fates, White Buffalo Woman
Winter Themes: Planting Seeds, Dark and Light, Dreaming and Dreamwork, Inner Realms, Shamanic, Journeywork, Reflection, Slow Down, Ancestors, Psychic Abilities, Rest, Rejuvenation
Time of Day: Midnight
Astrological Signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo
Colors: indigo, white, black, grey, steel blue, crimson red
Flowers/Foliage: snowdrops, lilies, winter rose, poinsettia, flowering quince, holly, winterberry, witch hazel, mistletoe, evergreen branches
Essential Oils: Frankincense, Myrrh, Mugwort, Sage, Geranium, Wintergreen, Peppermint
Crystals & Gemstones: Amber, Copper, Garnet, Jasper, Opalite, Rainbow Aura Quartz, Record Keeper Quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Smoky Quartz, Obsidian, Rainbow Hematite, Black Moonstone, Amethyst, River Stones (Window Quartz)
Animal Guides: Fox, Owl, Bison, Bear, Cardinal, Whale, Elk, Hawk, Deer, Raven, Falcon, Salmon, Squirrel, Snow Goose, Beaver, Wolf, Moose
Practices: Hearth Work; Kitchen Witchery; Restorative Yoga; Yoga Nidra; Channeling and Mediumship; Divination; Meditation; Shamanic Journeywork; Dreamwork
Adorning Altars: Winter branches, greens, and berries; pinecones; images of snowflakes, icicles; anything pine; candles and sparkling lights; Winter vegetables; representations of Winter comfort
Resources for Winter Supplies
Online Courses on Mystery School of the Goddess for new and seasonal practices
Seasonal Reading & References
O Mother Sun by Patricia Monaghan
The Goddess Guide by Brandi Auset
Carnival of the Spirit – Seasonal Celebrations by Luisah Teish
The Grandmother of Time by Z. Budapest
Rituals of Celebration by Jane Meredith
Speaking with Nature by Sandra Ingerman
Living Sacred Ceremony by Natalia Karoway