Even in today’s world of modern conveniences, preparing for Winter is still a very important consideration for our Soul and our sanity.
Many of us think that only squirrels and other animals need to prepare for Winter anymore because of the modern conveniences we have. Gone are the days when we were required to prepare for the long cold winter ahead by gathering firewood, drying and preserving foods, knitting clothes, making candles, and more.
So if we’re not required to prepare for winter so much anymore, why is it so important to consider?
Conscious Preparation for Winter Helps Us to Evolve on Our Path
What if Winter preparations represent more than simply survival and material tasks?
I’m speaking about the Spiritual and developmental aspects of preparing for Winter, which seem to be all but gone in the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Most of us step into the Autumn with back-to-school busyness, gardens to harvest, activities to plan and attend, and on and on the list goes. Our sanity starts to become compromised as we feel like our life is not ours, and we can’t keep up. The days grow shorter, and we suffer from depression and greater anxiety, but it doesn’t have to be this way if we can be more conscious about what’s actually happening and what’s possible.
A friend of mine recently shared how she was doing so much work to process the abundant harvest from her garden, making tomato sauce, dehydrating, canning, etc. We spoke a bit about the beauty of preparing for Winter, and she said, “Wow, I never thought about it as preparing for Winter. I always considered it being about closing the Summer.”
While she clearly enjoyed processing the bounty from her garden, she also realized there was a more empowering way to think of the work she was doing.
We tend to think of these things simply as tasks we “have” to get done, with little to no consideration for the deeper meaning behind them. When we consider what we’re preparing for, rather than only focusing on “getting it done,” we find much greater meaning and fulfillment in the tasks.
Preparing for Winter with consciousness, just as with tuning into any change of season through the rhythm of the year, allows us to prepare ourselves for the changes happening within us, just as they’re happening in the outer world.
We are not simply a part of Nature. We ARE Nature, which means we are also impacted by the change of the season, just as every living being is.
I used to feel like getting the next size of snow boots for my growing boys each year, stacking wood, cleaning the chimney, putting away the A/C, etc. were simply chores that “had” to be done, and they often felt like a burden. But when I started considering that I was preparing for Winter with these tasks, I suddenly felt completely different about it.
Now, stacking wood is something I actually look forward to, considering the cozy fires in my wood stove that the sweet smelling wood will provide. When I put away the A/C, I feel a sense of gratitude, and feel joy in letting more light into the house where the A/C used to block a portion of the window space. Cleaning the chimney feels like I’m wiping the slate clean, clearing away all of what’s been burned up and out, and preparing for a new time of purification and renewal just as Nature is doing so. Harvesting our garden and processing its bounty can be thought of as the sustenance of Mother Earth ready to nourish us with her light through the coming months of darkness.
Shifting our perspective from chores that must be done before the cold comes, to tasks that invite a new energy and experience into our lives allows us to consider what changes might be forming within us.
What sustenance will we be given during the depths of Winter to help us blossom in the Spring? How can we open ourselves to receive that sustenance with the wisdom of the Sacred Feminine through our preparation?
This brings me to another reason preparing for Winter consciously is so important.
Connection to the Sacred Feminine
Preparing for Winter is very much about cultivating the Sacred Feminine within us. Winter is considered the season of the Sacred Feminine, particularly the crone energy of wisdom and transformation. Yet how many of us, or at least many people we know, speak about “hating the winter” or getting depressed during the darker times? The darkness and unknown are the womb space, the origin of our creativity and the potential that longs to be birthed through us.
Our tendency to resist or push away the Winter only perpetuates a long time ignoring and suppression of the Feminine.
The Sacred Feminine asks us to turn inward, to go to our depths and let go of all that’s no longer serving us. She asks us to step into the unknown, dark forest of our inner life and know ourselves better. In knowing ourselves, we also learn to love ourselves, and for some of us this can be a difficult task.
Preparing for Winter is a time of purification, and in that process, our dream life often activates. We notice things about ourselves we hadn’t seen or been willing to admit to before. It might even bring up shame in some cases. The question is, are you willing to love all of these aspects of yourself, integrating them as part of what makes you you?
I love to journal a lot during this time and all through the winter to help me through this process. I light candles more frequently, and cozy up under a soft woolen blanket, writing out all that’s coming up for me. This is especially helpful for preparing for the Sacred Nights of Winter, the darkest nights of the year that provide the brightest insights and illumination within us if we’re willing to work with them consciously.
I created my annual Sacred Nights of Winter Journal specifically to help us tune into the Feminine Wisdom of the darkest nights of the year.
The Sacred Feminine seeks to support us in connecting, both to ourselves and with each other, and that’s what the turning toward Winter helps us to do.
Gratitude and Reverence
Preparing for Winter consciously has the ability to connect us with deep gratitude and reverence, something the world and we need more of.
Preparation for the Winter often involves harvesting not only our gardens, but also all that was planted within us during the last Winter and is now showing up for us. As we prepare, we might consider all that is before us now that wasn’t there before.
Who have we become? What have we created? What new relationships are in our life now?
Inevitably, we will also see things that need to be let go of in order to reap the harvest that is before us. Perhaps an old relationship must fall away. Perhaps we need to make room for a new creative project or business venture by letting go of old ways of doing things.
Considering these things as we prepare for the Winter helps us to find deep gratitude for all that we’re being given, and reverence for the transformation that naturally happens within us, whether we’re conscious of it or not.
We can learn to enjoy every detail of the change in seasons, getting our favorite sweaters ready, boiling batches of hearty bone broth, the smell and taste of a comforting cup of chai, the softness of a wool blanket on our lap while drawing a morning oracle or journaling as the shorter day’s sun rises.
We won’t regain connection to the Feminine without a sense of reverence for Her, and we won’t find that reverence without pausing to find what we are deeply grateful for, even in the midst of the darkest time of year.
There’s truly so much to be grateful for, and if you take time to look for it as part of preparing for the Winter, you might be surprised how much more you enjoy the Winter and all that it has to offer.
Being more conscious, connecting with the Sacred Feminine, and finding deep gratitude in our Winter preparations will all contribute to finding greater connection with our Soul, finding sanity in a seemingly insane world, and finding peace when life around us feels chaotic.
I hope you’ll reconsider the importance of preparing for Winter as a Soul nourishing process for yourself.