The meteorologists on the TV stations here are committed to the cause of fighting the war of winter. They talk about 'making it through' as if we were all still huddled in our caves hoping the firewood doesn't run out. Or my (least) favorite...'battling the elements.' And this is in a state where skiing is a major industry and our drinking water depends on the snowpack. While I don't enjoy rush hour traffic in a blizzard any more than any one else does...there is another way to think about winter and those of us involved in earth based religions should celebrate it. Winter is a time for rest, for gathering energy, for contemplation, for quiet.
I found this lovely winter meditation in The Way of the Green Witch by Ann Murphy Hiscock.
Ideally this meditation should be done outside, but you can do it inside also.
Settle yourself comfortably and close your eyes. Visualize a fine green mist rising from the ground. Take three slow deep breaths. Each time you inhale visualize that mist of verdant green energy flowing into your lungs and spreading through your body, bringing with it the feeling of comfort and relaxation, of oneness with your surroundings. As you exhale release any tension, stress or worry you may be feeling.
Allow your personal energy to expand slightly so that it merges with the natural green energy around you. Direct your awareness downward into the soil. Allow it to sink deep into the earth slowly and gently. Do not force your energy but let it sink and sift through the particles of earth. When you feel comfortable stop and feel the energy of the soil around you.
Once you have reached a place of comfort deep inside the earth, breathe that energy in and feel it fill your body. Feel the soil's energy at this time of the winter solstice. Feel the energy of quiet and stillness that permeates the earth. Reach out and sense the darkness, the feeling of slowness as it flows through the roots and stems. Explore the barely perceptible movement of energy throughout the soil and roots as the world above lies sleeping. Sense the feelings of relaxation, of incubation, of dreams and the breath of what may become that trickle through the land. Remain cradled by the energy of the soil as long as you like, enjoying the feeling of warm stillness and sleep around you.
When you feel it is time to return to normal consciousness, offer the soil around your awareness a small gift of gratitude. Then allow your awareness to slowly rise up through the soil to return to your physical body. After spending time within the earth like this, you will probably be so relaxed that slow movement will be natural to you. Take your time, do not simply snap back or you will be disoriented and your energy will be unbalanced. Once your awareness has returned, ground yourself and take three deep breaths. Open your eyes, gently move your arms and legs to reaffirm your physical form. Stand slowly and do a few gentle stretches.
If you journal your meditations, do it now.
photo found here