Magic for the Winter Months
Winter is a time of the year that some people either love or hate. For those that enjoy holiday celebrations, it is a perfect time to get festive and party. For others, the long, dark nights and often overcast, cold days can be hard to push through. However, winter can still be a very magical time of the year.
If you are looking for some ways to bring your magic into your daily life this winter, read on.
*Note - This post is focusing specifically on the entire winter season and not Yule. Celebrating Yule will be an upcoming post. ;)
Winter tends to be a season of cold weather, long nights and gathering together in many Northern Hemisphere locations. Magic and witchcraft around this time can focus on several things.
Some like to focus on festivities and celebrations with loved ones. This can involve gathering together for some of the major holidays in your area, including Yule. For others, simply getting together in the warm indoors around a fire and drinking hot cocoa is enough. Your magic this season can focus specifically on encouraging peace and comfort in your home and open communication with your loved ones.
Another theme of winter often involves resting and cleansing. The natural world slows down and encourages letting go and resting. Many animals gather in the fall and then rest throughout the winter. Trees and plants lose their leaves and flowers and stop growing. It makes the season the opportune time to settle in and take time to recharge. Spellwork and magic to encourage rest, or to cleanse your energy would be ideal.
This theme of rest can often be contrary to how our society seems to ramp up around the holidays. Everyone is buzzing around trying to prepare for gatherings and gift buying/giving that it can be difficult to slow down. So it is often an important reminder to take the time when you can to come back to a place of quiet solitude when the time allows.
Other themes of winter often relate to death and endings. During this time, it can be a good time to work spells to ease grief and release things that no longer serve us. It is a time of going inward and transforming so that in the spring we are reborn. Take time to consider ways of releasing the old to make room for the new.
On that note, as well, winter is often a time of shadow work. Since we often slow down and go inward to take time to address the things we have been ignoring and putting off for some time.
I am a sucker for good altar setups for the holidays and seasons. It is a simple way to dress up your space and honor the seasonal changes.
Some of the following symbols and decor ideas may also work for your Yule altar too.
Symbols and Decor
Snow, snowflakes, snowpeople, stars, pinecones, ice, cedar, pine tree, christmas trees, christmas/fairy lights, red colors like maroon or bright red, white, dark green, blue colors, crystal (as in glass crystal), reindeer, winter animals like cardinals, candles, fires, scarves, mittens and gloves, candy canes, peppermint, cinnamon, pine
Consider items on your altar that relate to a specific winter deity you may be working with. This could be a statue or just symbols associated with them.
When picking out the items for your altar, consider why they represent winter to you as well. If you want to incorporate something like snow but don’t want it to melt, you can alway use some fake snow or the white sparkly fabric that is sometimes used to decorate around winter.
Cooking, Baking, and Drinking
Many people get on board with a lot of cooking and baking during the winter months because of the holiday parties they attend. You can easily incorporate some magic into your cooking and baking this season.
Consider the magical properties of the ingredients you are using and add them with specific intention in mind. Create a list in your book of shadows to reference whenever you cook to make this easier.
You can enhance your magical cooking and baking by adding sigils to your bakeware and utensils. Using some sort of food safe drawing implement, you could create a sigil to ward off over/undercooking or burning.
Because of the cold weather, we often like to indulge in drinks that keep us warm. Drinks like tea, coffee, and hot cocoa are often the main picks. If you use sweeteners and creamers in your tea and coffee or just need to stir your drink, stir in an intention before you begin drinking. Maybe you want to ensure you relax a bit more with your tea or you need inspiration for a project you are working on. Stir clockwise by saying the phrase to bring that into your life as you drink. Or if you need to banish your anxieties, stir counterclockwise to banish.
If you struggle with winter and want some help from spirits and deities during this time to create magic or accept the season more easily, consider some of the following deities and spirits to work with:
An Cailleach or Cailleach Bheur, Boreas, Jack Frost, Old Man Winter, Skadi, Baldur, Frigga, The Crone, Demeter, Persephone, Holly King, Odin, Saint Nick, Frau Holle, or Frosty the Snowman
Take time to study their lore and read about their associations with the season of winter or Yule. Once you read the lore, consider reaching out to them in meditation and journeying work. Create space on the altar to represent them. Say prayers or petitions to them for their aid in learning how to make it through the winter.
Shadow work is a big topic area to cover, but for now I wanted to mention that while the winter is a good time to go inward to address one’s shadow, it can be a lifelong process to integrate. Another post is in the works to discuss more in depth about Shadow Work in one’s magical practice. For now, consider a few of the following:
Take time to journal this winter. Meditate to delve inward. Take stock of areas where you may be self-sabotaging. Be gentle on yourself and seek help and guidance when needed on a shadow work journey.
Magic that you may consider can be related to helping you to recognize and acknowledge your shadow in a healthy way, to help you be gentle with yourself, or to work on integrating your shadow. You may even try a spell to find the help you need to work through your shadow with a professional if you need the additional support on your journey.
Indoor & Outdoor Activities
Not all magic and witchcraft has to be spells, sigils and meditation. Sometimes it's just about having the intention to be in the season and soak in it. Try some of these activities to get into the winter spirit.
- Snuggling under a big comfy blanket with a friend, partner, or pet
- Reading a good book
- Sitting by a fire
- Drinking hot cocoa
- Decorating for the holidays
- Take a walk bundled up
- Collect snow for snow water to use in magic
- This can be used to slow things down
- Collect icicles for magic
- Melted, the water could be use to freeze or halt things
- Make a snowman
- Make snow angels
- Make treats for birds to hang outside
- Make a snow fort
- Have a snowball fight
- Go sledding, skiing, or ice skating
While some of these seem silly and just for kids, it is important that this time of year you remember to have fun just as much as you take things seriously. Maybe the season, for you, can be about embracing your inner child and finding that wonder in the season you once had.
Winter can be a fun and magical time. Sometimes we get caught up in all the hubbub and rushing around to get things ready for holiday parties and festivities that we forget to enjoy ourselves and return to the magic of the season.
Take some time this season to either slow down or embrace your inner child. Sprinkle a little magic into it and have fun.
Don’t forget to let us know how you plan on making your winter magical.