I was dismayed to read this negative phrase regarding the season of Winter: January – that dreaded first month of the year. It caused me to wonder: why do people dread this month? Is it because things have slowed down after all of the Christmas and New Year celebrations? Is January just not exciting enough? This post is a reminder for us all to go back to our Shamanic roots and welcome the Winter as a time of healing and self-care.
Contemporary life can present a tempting array of distractions and things to do which cause us to swing towards an expectation of constant stimulation and excitement. But it is important to recognise the principle of rhythm in natural law, which tells us that there is always an ebb and flow; the pendulum swing moves equally on both sides between two poles. When our pendulum swings to one extreme, it has to swing back to the same extent in the opposite direction.
Thus, extreme excitement will eventually cause an extreme depression, as the pendulum reaches its limit and falls back down again. So that someone who has gone to lots of Christmas parties may then find that they have done too much and their body responds by getting a bad cold to detox all of the alcohol and sugar, forcing the body to rest. This slow-down can be a form of irritation and that individual may fight it with cold remedies and caffeine, resisting rest and recuperation, possibly causing greater health issues in the future.
We can avoid these dramatic extremes by finding balance in our lives and operating from a place of acceptance that is in harmony with the seasons. In Shamanic practice, Winter is an important aspect of a seasonal calendar that is respected by all tribal cultures. They accept that the cycles of life affecting all plants and creatures on earth also apply to them, and they don’t resist this necessary change. By harmonising our lives with the gentle and gradual changes of the seasons we can avoid the extreme swings, and embrace nature’s requirement for rest and inner change that is necessary for our personal growth.
Our tribal ancestors recognised Winter as a time of hibernation because they saw nature naturally slowing down around them; they observed the trees losing their leaves and the animals disappearing into their warm nests. They knew that this gradual slowing down was a time of rest for nature so it could prepare for the new growth in the spring. By watching nature tribal people have an inner acceptance that just as all living things go into some form of hibernation during the winter, so should they.
Winter is recognised as being an important time of rest so that they can go within and evaluate the year, considering what could be changed so that they can clarify their intent to manifest something different for the next year. In doing so they would achieve spiritual growth and give themselves time to incubate their new ideas and plans for rejuvenation in the spring.
In contemporary cities, it is easy to ignore nature and turn up the heating to carry on with business as usual. But in doing so we miss out on an important time for personal growth work and self-care. So why not learn to honour this time for yourself by curling up on the sofa for some rest and journaling? Think about what didn’t work for you last year, the changes you want to make, and how you can improve your life. Consider areas such as relationships, well-being, creativity, exercise, work/career, hobbies, family, and your home and make a list for each heading.
If you identify some changes you would like to make in your behaviour and attitudes to life, book in for a Shamanic Healing Session which can assist you with making real changes for self-improvement and greater enjoyment of life. Rose can perform Shamanic Healing by distance sessions or face-to-face appointments. Please note that distance sessions are just as effective as in-person meetings. To book a session go here: https://www.roseautumn.com/bookings/.
Rose Autumn is a Shamanic Practitioner working at The Centre of Complementary Medicine in Petersfield, East Hampshire, in the South East of England. Rose is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and is fully insured. She has completed over 120 hours of training during her Shamanic Apprenticeship with Scott Silverston, founder of the Shamanic Spirit Medicine Healing System.
Image taken by Rose on The Heath in Petersfield, Hampshire, England on 18th January 2024.
For further reading on natural law go to https://www.roseautumn.com/2022/01/the-principle-of-rhythm/