Last night as I got ready to meet up with some friends, I watched my neighbors put away the last of the Halloween decorations. And today when I went to my local drug store, I watched a worker put up the first holiday decorations. For Pagans, Samhain and Yule are two distinct holidays with separate messages. But unless you follow the astrological holidays*, you’re in this weird in-between moment. The rest of the world seems to be preparing for a joyous season, but you’re still embracing and dealing with the dark of the year. Here are a few ideas to celebrate this time and transition to Yule.
- Take Time for Yourself: The holiday season gets crazy. Give it a month, then there will be family gatherings, office parties, and school productions. Especially if you are an introvert, this can be hell. So this month it is totally cool to turn down a night out and watch a couple of movies at home.
- Start Gathering Gifts: Screw waiting for sales. Sit down and think of a reasonably priced gift for everyone on your list. Then make or buy it accordingly. The item will be way more meaningful than if you wait until the last minute.
- Begin a New Practice: This is the Witch’s New Year, a perfect time of year to begin a big project or learn a new skill. So go for it! Look for classes in herbs or tarot or meditation or whatever. Something else that would be good is to start a research project, whether it is about your family history or death rites of 8th century Icelandic peoples. Dive into something you are passionate to explore.
- Get Away from Technology: It’s getting cold. In the coming months you will be spending tons of time in front of your computer or television screen. While spending time in nature may not be an option soon, look for activities outside of your iPad. Some suggestions: reading, yoga, dance classes, meditation, anything involving food, and exploring your local area.
- Build Your Confidence: You know, it is easy to feel dreary if it’s cold and grey outside. So consider how your thoughts, especially about yourself, are affected by the change of seasons. If need be, make a point to get regular haircuts or to buy a new lipstick.
© Ariadne Woods
*The Sabats as celebrated by astrological movements not the modern calendar. For example, Samhain would not be October 31st, but November 7th.