The Northern Hemisphere winter brings forth howling winds, cold night sky and bare trees as a reminder of the cycle of life. This is the time we are reminded of the reality of decay, mourning and death. Traditionally, winter has been codified as the most brutal season. It is a time where only the “strongest” (or most adaptable) survive Unlike the uplifting easiness of Spring, Summer or Autumn - Winter forces us to seek refuge, go inward, and prioritize our most primal needs. It marks the time of familial reunions + festivities, yearly reflections, comfort food and hibernation (and therefore increased access to the dream realm).
Winter time is the period of the shadow. The things you did or did not do earlier in the year come back to haunt you towards this time. In the Northern Hemisphere, it is generally a time of increased sickness and thus is a time where people utilize herbal tonics and remedies such as fire cider, elderberry, echinaecea, and nervine/adaptogens (for seasonal affective disorder).
Winter Solstice traditions around the world:
Santo Tomas Festival - Guatemala
Toji - Japan
Soyal - Hopi Tribe (Indigenous to Arizona)
Newgrange - Ireland
Dongji - South Korea
Dark Goddesses are highlighted during this time of year. Within the Dark Feminine realm, the Crone holds dominion over the season of winter. The Crone Archetype reminds us of the power of wisdom, age and the reality of imminent death. The “Crone” is associated with the waning moon cycle and is depicted as the “dark one” where her light is dimmed as she approaches death. Popular culture teaches us to devalue elderly women. They are encouraged to hide in the shadows and that their lack of youth now makes them irrelevant to the world around them. In actuality, the Crone is the most esteemed phase within the feminine journey since it is the rarest phase. Not everyone reaches the crone stage of their life, therefore those who were granted “excess years” are highly favored and coveted for their insights.