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  • Writer's pictureYolanda McAdam

The Magick Of Winter

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Winter in my part of the world is a colour. Snow blankets everything and when the sun’s shining the land sparkles. At night the snow reflects the starlight and the world is aglow! Even if you don’t get snow in your part of the world during the Winter season, I am sure you’ll agree that there is something magickal about Winter.

Snow is part of the Water element which makes Water, Winter’s predominant element.

Symbolically and psychologically water represents a return to the womb. This is the time of year when we feel the need to hibernate and when we’re most introspective and the most creative. The Sun is in a "weakened" state as he travels through the deep Winter signs of Capricorn and Aquarius. Symbolically this is a powerful time as we have withdraw heat and creativity from our "inner suns". Use these months to reflect on what lights you up on the inside.

Honoring the dead is important year round but in Winter it is especially so. The dead are nearer and more active at this time. There is no need to erect elaborate altars when honoring your ancestors and departed loved ones, saying a prayer and lighting a candle will suffice.

If you do want to create an ancestor altar then consider the following:

  • Adding photographs and items like a cloth that is culturally symbolic to you and your ancestors.

  • Preparing a traditional dish and leaving it on the altar. Make sure you dispose of it the next day. Do NOT eat food you have given as an offering.

  • Make offerings of fire (candles), earth (flowers), air (incense) and water.

While the Dead are more active, Nature Spirits are quieter at this time of year. It’s not that they’re not around, it’s just that they are not that keen to engage. Winter is a time of rest and it really feels to me like the Nature Spirits do as much resting as they can! If like me, you spend as much time as possible outdoors in wild spaces, please be respectful. Honour the landscape with your silence and gentle observance. This is not the season in my opinion to call on Nature Spirits (this includes trees etc). If Gaia or any deity has a message for you they will reach out to you at this time. Make note of the animals that do reveal themselves to you at this time as they are often special messengers.

As an example, I want to share my story about Raven. On a particular stretch of trail along the River Valley, my husband and I have been visited many times this Winter by an enormous raven.

I love ravens for many reasons. One reason is The Morrigan. The first time I dreamed of The Morrigan (a Triple Goddess associated with magic and death ) she wore a headdress made entirely of raven feathers. I was in my early thirties when I had that first dream and it took me days to recover from what she shared in that and a subsequent dream! So a word of caution, Morrigan also sometimes called Morgan or Morgana, is not a Goddess you want to approach without preparation and even then, I would recommend you let her reveal herself to you if she so wishes. Like Kali, she is a fierce protector but also a destroyer.

When I first started thinking about writing more about my magickal practice and magick in general, several weeks ago, a raven landed on the eave outside my office window and startled me with it’s loud cawing. I took it as a definitive sign that I should go ahead :)

The blue black of Raven contains an iridescence that speaks of the magic of darkness, and a changeability of form and shape that brings an awakening in the process.

Raven is the guardian of ceremonial magic and in absentia healing. In any healing circle, Raven is present. Raven guides the magic of healing and the change in consciousness that will bring about a new reality and dispel ‘dis-ease’ or illness. Raven brings in the new state of wellness from the Void of Great Mystery and the field of plenty.

  • Raven, from the Medicine Cards, by Jamie Sams and David Carson

Now over to you,

What animal has been visiting you this Winter? What does your practice look like in Winter?