We humans have a deep, innate fear of the dark. We tend to feel more comfortable in the bright light of day that transparently reveals that which is around us, allowing us to assess and respond to people, situations, and things. There is something about the dark which adds the element of the ominous or disturbing. A screen door banging open repeatedly in daylight is a bother, needing to be closed tight lest the bugs get into the house. A screen door banging open repeatedly in the dead of night can leave us with our hearts banging out the same rhythm in our throats, tentatively tiptoeing towards it and taking deep, relieved breaths once it is safely closed and locked.
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Welcome to a new year according to the Gregorian calendar. Before diving in to what inspires me at this current point of time and space, may I share how grateful I am for you? There is a driving force behind what it is we are doing “out here” and the greater messages being brought forth are so gentle, beautiful, creative, collective. May this year manifest all of this for you and much more!
Bear energy runs strong through my foundation and Spirit wishes for me to learn her ways: how she moves and shapes her world, how she shares her wisdom, how her way of seeing embraces all those who have come before and those who are of the next generation and beyond. There is a closeness, an intimacy I feel with this essence and I cherish the connection. Bear moves methodically – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. She is inquisitive and playful, yet she also carries a grounded sense of responsibility and will not waste effort letting you know where she stands. She is a fierce lover and will protect those she loves at all costs if need be. She inherently follows the rhythms of the seasons and delights in filling her physical being with the sweetness of the land when the energies run high in summer and gives herself permission to slumber deeply within the darkness come winter.
I was blessed to spend the entire weekend of Winter Solstice in ceremony with WomenSisters and Bear made her presence known immediately. Those of us who attended offered witness to each other’s celebrations and strife through the year and invited clarity for the year to come. We are blessed to sit within a beautiful community of men and women who invite each other to create a word that we will then carry through the course of the following year. “Allow” was my companion for 2013 and it served me well. Bear whispered. “Nourishment” is what has come in for 2014 and I am ready to embrace it on all levels. It begins with nourishing myself, and then offering nourishment for those in my life who are ready to receive it.
The first manifestation of this new year beckons the Bear within me to be still for these months encrusted in ice and snow. I am loving it. For as long as I’ve been consciously following the natural rhythms of the seasons, I do not yet remember a time when I’ve been this intentional with the process of what these months provide in the way of opening a doorway into a secret place within the soul. It is a dark, soft, and quiet place where solitude and rest nourish the cornerstones of my very existence.
See, this all started when Bear began to tap me on the shoulder during the summer months and whispered in my ear as the light began to fade in autumn. As winter quickly approached, she rolled her great head from side to side, danced anxiously in the waning light, pawing at the ground, and finally uttered a guttural rumble reminding me over and over again to follow the course of my natural rhythms. I had no choice but to surrender and follow her into her dwelling. And here I am to remain till the earth thaws and spring birds return.
The depth and darkness of winter has inspired me to follow the energies as they wane and dive deep beneath the surface of the soil. Everything has slowed to a reverent pace. I feel spaces within me healing; small patches within the soul that I have been meaning to mend for a very long time, held together with safety pins of excuses. Bear sits next to me in the candlelight – nose close to the earth, raised to the heavens, smelling, sensing, Knowing. I smile back in gratitude for what she is teaching me about myself.
May we all embody happiness, honesty, and be of maximum service to others.
May we all express a deep appreciation, genuine love, and respect for one another.