As the nights continue to lengthen and the daylight visits us only briefly, almost grudgingly, it's more important than ever to ground, center, give time to your daily practice.
Our culture is so focused on ignoring the dark, which, of course, like any shadow issue -- or ignored mistress -- only gives extra energy and power to what's ignored and causes it to erupt in dangerous and uncontrollable ways. One of the most important things that witches can do for our culture, IMHO, is to serve as "steam valves" for all of that repressed darkness. We can recognize it, look into it and see what it has to teach us and our culture; we can speak to it, acknowledge it, give it its proper place.
In part because our culture is so terrified of darkness (death, matter, bodies, women, ecstasy, age), at this dark time of year, the message that we get from almost every source is to be busy! frantic! manic!, to consume, consume, consume, to ignore the darkness and to strive, instead, for some Madison-Avenue-Martha-Stewart-concocted impossible holiday that we can never, really -- no matter how many cookies we bake, parties we dress up for, cards we send -- achieve. Don't listen to them. Remember who you are at your core; do not let the culture define you.
Go someplace quiet, all the better if it can be outdoors, even if that means bundling up. Breathe. With each breath, remember who you are. Ground. Center. Do your daily practice. Give honor to the long nights. A witch's job is to help to turn the wheel. Help.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."