How to use your magick to cope and embrace the winter
The dark, quiet of the long winter nights. The cold, frost of harsh winter weather. The turning inward and the slowing down.
We are still in the heart of winter right now, recently passed Imbolc and Valentine’s Day, with winter storms rolling across the county. The frigid air and blizzard conditions force some to stay indoors.
And Winter is trying its damndest to force use to slow down and do a little more introspection and some self-care.
So what can we do as magick practitioners and pagans to care for ourselves while the snow piles up around us?
Pandemic Winter Blues
This Winter is hitting just a bit differently due to the pandemic. The stress related to Covid-19 has persisted for many over this past year and the persistent winter is even more isolating than before.
The thing is, you aren’t alone. This winter sucks quite a bit more than usual as none of us have really ever been through this sort of major pandemic. We are all trying to cope with something that has mental health effects we are still struggling to understand.
Your struggle is real and it is important to remain gentle with yourself during the remaining weeks of winter.
Witchcraft, crystals, homeopathic treatments, and the tips in this guide are not a substitute for professional allopathic medical treatment and help.
If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the toll-free TTY number at 1-800-799-4TTY (4889). You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Photo by Mateusz Butkiewicz on Unsplash
Practical Coping and Self-Care
If you are struggling with getting over the winter blues this year, take some practical “mundane” self-care steps to work on first. I say “mundane” here because these tips are not necessarily magickal in and of themselves, but they can be made magickal as you see fit.
1. Maintain Routines
Rebuild your routines. They can bring some predictability to unpredictable times and can help with stress. Adapt different routines to work for you.
Here are a few routines to work on:
- Morning and Evening Routines
- Regular Meals
- Personal Hygiene
- Cleaning Routines
2. Keep Up-to-Date on Doctor Appointments
3. Cut Down on Screen Time
Limit how much time you spend on social media, watching the news, and being on your devices. Establish boundaries when it comes to engaging in online drama and set time limits on your usage and scrolling to make room for other activities. Work on other hobbies or read instead.
4. Get Outside and Get Sunlight
Step outside for a few minutes everyday. Take a walk if the weather permits. Increase your time outside each day. If you can’t get outside or that isn’t enough daylight, try light therapy options or try a Vitamin D supplement (check with your doctor on these).
5. Mindfulness, Gratitude, Journaling, and Affirmations.
Meditate, practice mindfulness, keep a gratitude log, journal, use affirmations. Keep track of your self-care too. These are probably the easiest things to turn into a magickal practice.
Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash
Magickal Self-CareYou can turn any of the above into magickal self-care rituals. For instance, get a crystal water bottle to hydrate yourself and charge it with the intent to improve your self-love (Rose Quartz Water Bottle here). Or you can dedicate your morning routine to a deity that you work with. You can do some kitchen magick in your meals to keep you well nourished. You can even consecrate your everyday mundane hygiene supplies with your magickal self-care intentions.
Intention is everything and you can turn anything mundane into a magical ritual for yourself. Here are some other magick-specific ideas to work with below.
Create a Self-Care Sachet
- Decide on a specific self-care intention
- Write down any self-care needs you may currently have
- Write an affirmation or phrase for meeting these needs
- Keep your intention handy
- Optional - create a sigil to match your intention
- Procure a small drawstring bag or make a bag yourself. Try matching the color to your intention:
- Pink - self-love
- Green - healing and growth
- Blue - healing and communication
- Red - energy
- Orange - creativity
- Yellow - joy and happiness
- Violet - spirituality and psychic ability
- Black - protection and even introspection
- White - purity and snow to connect with winter
- Select some crystals
- Rose Quartz - self-love
- Green Aventurine - growth, prosperity
- Apatite - psychic ability, communication
- Red Jasper - energy, protection
- Carnelian - creativity, fertility
- Citrine - joy, prosperity, manifestation
- Amethyst - breaking bad habits, psychic ability
- Black Tourmaline - protection, repels negative energy away
- Hematite - grounds negative energy
- Clear Quartz - amplifies intentions and energies, brings clarity
- Fluorite - mental clarity, calming energy to chaotic situations
- Black Obsidian - protection
- Lepidolite - anxiety, dreams/nightmares
- Select some herbs
- Lavender - calming, sleep
- Rose Petals - love
- Lemon Balm - healing, friendship
- Vervain - protection, purification
- Salt - purification, absorbs negative energy
- Cinnamon - protection, healing, power
- Mugwort - divination, psychic abilities, protection
- Add additional tokens (optional)
- Small pocket tokens that have a saying on them
- Essential oils (similar intentions to the list of herbs)
- Gather and Charge
- Set everything on altar or working space
- Have list of self-care needs and your affirmation/intention available
- Recite the list
- Recite the intention at least 3 times
- Send the energy and intention into the items gathered
- Charge in sunlight or moonlight (if available and based on your intention - sunlight for sunny, happy energy and more direct energy and moonlight for introspective, gentler energy)
- Carry with you daily and use as a talisman to bring in self-love and self-care to your attention when you need it
- Recharge on your altar periodically
Pull A Daily Tarot or Oracle Card
Pull a tarot or oracle everyday to focus and reflect upon. Journal about it and how it may have brought clarity to you. You can take this idea a step further and do a full tarot/oracle reading with a self-care based tarot spread.
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash
Build a Self-Care Altar
Following similar ideas as to the self-care sachet, you can create a permanent space this winter to maintain all year for your self-care intentions. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The idea is to give you a place to remind you daily of your own self-care needs.
Include some of the following:
- Colors that bring you joy
- Pictures of yourself
- Pictures or representations of the things you love
- Crystals that you dedicate to your self-care
- Sigils that represent your intentions
- Your self-care journal
Visit your altar everyday to recite a self-care intention or affirmation and to remind yourself of your dedication to yourself. Change things up when necessary and keep the space clean and tidy.
Perform a Self-Care Ritual
Be as elaborate or as simple as you would like with this ritual, just take the time for yourself.
- Take a Ritual Bath
- Set the intention to cleanse yourself of any harmful energies
- Add any self-care goodies (bath salts, oils, herbs, etc.)
- Relax and see yourself being filled with warmth, comfort, and love
- Set Your Intentions
- Drink some tea if you like
- Brainstorm any self-care intentions you have
- Be as specific or as vague as you want
- Consider any variation of the following:
- Embracing winter
- Being dedicated to your self-care
- Seeking professional help
- Maintaining healthy routines
- Increasing joy in your life
- Maintaining healthy boundaries
- Write your intention on a separate slip of paper
- Sit Before Your Altar
- Cast a circle if desired
- Meditate and focus on your intention
- Announce it out loud or in your mind
- Feel the energy rise up
- Release Your Intention
- Carve your intention into a candle and light it
- Light the slip of paper with your intention written on it
- Feel the intention release to the universe as the flames burn
- Continue to meditate on your intention
- Write down any feelings, impression, or visions
- Create an affirmation to say everyday for your intention
Best Wishes on your Winter Self-Care Journey.
Remember, be gentle with yourself and you are worth every moment of your time.
Image create by The Rose Craft
If you would like to explore some other methods of magical self care, check out these YouTube videos:
Mintfeary - Beginner Witch’s Guide to Magical Self Care (pre-covid)
Persephone’s Sister - Self Care Magic Practices (post-covid)
Witch of Lupine Hollow (witchy winter self care) (pre-covid) (mentions SAD and depression)