Regardless of where you live or what the climate is, Winter heralds a powerful energetic shift. Darkness descends earlier. Climates shift. Trees shed. The air becomes cooler, drier, crisper. After the rush of the holidays and when the adrenaline wears off, there is a stark silence that fills the pregnant void that had once been overflowing with planning, traveling, shopping and celebrating.
Our cups have been emptied of all that there was to give, and we can start to shift our focus from our outer world into our inner world, where we can explore the beautiful landscape that resides within us and commune with our True Nature. To do so, we are called into hibernation, into a deep sleep where we can let a part of our past die so that when Spring arrives, we can be reborn. Winter symbolizes an initiation of the Soul that requires the kind of silence we experience when we walk into the woods on a crisp winter day when there is no other sound than our footsteps.
In these woods, the barren trees serve to remind us of the beauty of our nakedness. After all has been shed, there is nothing left to hide except for their essence. Standing tall, deeply rooted, these trees share their vulnerability with us in a way that makes us feel humility for both Mother Nature, as well as our own true nature. We are given an opportunity to connect to both their and our authenticity.
It takes strength and courage to stand before someone, even ourselves, naked and bare, revealing ourselves as we are, as if to say: “This is who I am. I am that I am. Accept me as I am.” In this vulnerability, there comes such power because there is nothing else left to lose or to fear; we have shown everything of ourselves. There is no longer any place to hide. When we enter into this state of pure being, we can see how we are all connected by our Universal Oneness, that we share the same fears, vulnerabilities and wounding. And when we look across from us and see another’s nakedness, we can evoke the same love that we have bestowed upon ourselves to the other.
The light that we used to depend on outside of us can now be felt from within. As the Winter season appears, what is it that needs to be shed in our lives? What weight have we been carrying that needs to be released? What masks or facades have we been wearing that no longer serve us?
In Winter’s darkness, the moon shines brightly against the night’s sky. Her presence is prominent and her cycles can be felt deeply. Without all of the external distractions of Spring, Summer and Fall, we have the opportunity to pay more attention to the Universe’s wonders, including the Universe within us. We must call upon courage again, this time to face Winter’s darkness, to descend into the Underworld.
Here, in this darkness, we can meet the faces of our lost Selves, our Shadows, which have been shut away. Using the lantern of our Inner Light, we can ask our Shadows to come out of the darkness and to reveal themselves to us. What purpose did they once serve? What is it that we have not wanted to confront? Why did we cast them into darkness in the first place? How can bringing them to light help us on our Soul’s journey at this time? While darkness can be frightening, it can also bring us the joy of liberation as we shed the distorted Shadow masks to reveal their underlying purity and innocence. As we integrate our Shadows, one by one, we step further into our completeness so that we can more fully live from our Illuminated Wholeness, our True Nature.
Winter’s silence creates an inner space for us to dwell in. When we listen closely and remain still long enough, this silence can reveal the voice of our True Nature through our naked vulnerability and the integration of our lost innocence. Winter helps us to start the rite of passage process that gets fully inaugurated in the Spring.