Welcome to Winter!

Welcome to winter and the North quadrant of the medicine wheel. Depending on our cultural practices, some of us have been in the winter of the wheel since the beginning of November. Other cultures see the upcoming winter solstice as the beginning of winter.

Do you feel yourself turning inward as winter approaches, wanting (needing) more sleep or just wanting to curl up with a good book by the fire? Do you sometimes feel like you want the world to go away and leave you alone or growly as a bear woken from hibernation? No, this isn’t the flu or the winter blahs. It’s a natural part of Circle of Life. That’s right, it’s just part of our natural rhythms. So, relax and enjoy it. Personally, my cycle begins November 1 when I tend to want to hibernate. I carry bear energy, so it’s no suprise.

We each travel through the Medicine Wheel or Circle of Life many times. These wheels represent the natural cycles of life, the cycles of the earth, star and all that is. They are cycles of the dark-light, death-rebirth, masculine and feminine. We travel these cycles on many levels – for each life time, each year, each day and right down to each breath we take. Most often we are unaware of these cycles, but as we become more connected with All That Is, we feel the power of these cycles in our lives.

Winter or North in the Medicine Wheel is most often represented by the buffalo. It is associated with the element of earth and the color white. North is the place of endings and beginnings, the time of both the elder and newborns. It is a place is grounding, physical healing, patience and acceptance. North also represents the place of reminiscing, acknowledgment and abundance. North is also the time of the Mother (feminine) and the place of the quiet darkness.

North is a time of slowing down, a time when things seem to be sleeping. Yet, during this quiet time is when the deepest growth occurs. This is the time in the earth when the seeds take in the energy of Mother Earth that allows them to grow when spring approaches. It is the time when Mother Earth takes a rest for life-giving and nurturing. Covered by the blanket of snow, gifted to her by Father Sky, she uses this time to reconnect to the Great Mystery.

Just like for Mother Earth, winter is a time for us to slow down and go within. We have worked all year and the harvest of what was planted last spring has been completed. This is a time to dream. It is during this time that Spirit gifts each of us with a dream that brings promises of new beginnings for spring. Now is the time to nurture the dream like a child in our womb.

I invite you to join me in embracing the quiet of winter. Curl up in a blanket, envelope yourself like Mother Earth and welcome and nurture the dream that Spirit has brought for you this cycle.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),