Winter – A Season Of Slumber

winter solstice

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The following article appears in DailyOm
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A Season Of Slumber
Winter

In times past, the bare-limbed trees, long nights, and biting chill of winter signified to all that the time had come to slow down. Humanity emulated the animals, retreating into cozy dwellings where they sustained themselves on foods harvested late in autumn and passed the time in peaceful reflection.

Today, most people proceed ruddy-cheeked through winter’s frosts, ignoring the profound effects cold weather has on their bodies and their minds. Yet the beauty and significance of wintertime cannot be so easily overlooked. As the temperature plummets, leaving the air crisp and the landscape bare, we tend to crave warmth and relish rich foods. The presence of loved ones seems more comforting when blustery winds rattle window panes and we feel compelled to conserve our energy by engaging in only the most soothing of activities.

Though your daily schedule may remain more or less the same no matter what time of year it is, you will find in winter many opportunities to honor the way in which you are impacted by this most magical of seasons. At first glance, the world may seem desolate during the coldest months. Yet there are many unique and stimulating sensory experiences to be had—in the intricate beauty of individual snowflakes, the patterns of frost that form on your windows, the tang of smoke from wood-fueled fireplaces, the crunch of freshly fallen snow under your feet, and the briskness of the air.

Do not be afraid to venture joyfully out into the cold and the snow as you may have when you were a child. A tingling and reddened nose is a small price to pay for a clear mind and invigorated soul. If your body articulates a desire to rest, give yourself permission to spend your free time reading, writing in your journal, daydreaming, engaging in artistic pursuits, playing board games, working a puzzle or meditating.

Many plants, like the tulip and the apple tree, would not blossom in the springtime were it not for the period of dormancy that is the gift of winter’s chill. Their example can inspire us to use this season of slumber to cleanse ourselves of spiritual and emotional detritus like flora shedding lifeless foliage so that we, too, may emerge from under the frost refreshed and renewed when spring arrives.
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On A Personal Note
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Before there was a “holy day”, or “holiday” celebration through many of the great religious traditions – there was a simple acknowledgement of the “special events” appearing in nature.

Chief among these were the seasonal procession of the equinoxes and solstices, marking four major changes in nature: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. In time, additional events were noted by ancient and indigenous peoples, giving rise to what has been called The Wheel Of The Year.

As we now prepare to observe the Winter Solstice, ushering in the Season of Winter, it is a time when nature is at it’s most dormant stage. We may refer to this as Earth’s “rest cycle”. Growth activity is at its bare minimum, and the sun gives forth its lowest illumination… until it is born anew on the third day, and slowly rises in brilliance and glory – jump starting the growth cycle in nature: beginning in Spring, and culminating in Summer.

The Winter Solstice is a special time for me to retreat within and rekindle the inner flame of my essence, that it may burn stronger and brighter especially during the time of shadows – moments of challenge which appear unannounced on my daily path.

In my online community, Earth SonSpirit – dedicated to men’s healing and well being through self discovery, special online chambers for men provide reflective sacred space for times such as this. In SonSpirit Lodge, the Winter Solstice initiates the Path Of The Warrior, a 90 day achetypical journey in leadership attributes through the medium of online Solitary Retreat/Vision Quest.

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You Also May Want To Read:
The Wheel Of The Year
What Is Earth SonSpirit?
SonSpirit Lodge

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