By observing the cycles of nature, you can gain a deep insight into your own life, how you flow your energy and the tides of change that are either affecting you or inspiring you.
Everyone has heard (and likely said) the old adage: “It must be a full moon” when they notice bizarre behaviour or an influx of emotional energy in others. Is there any truth to this saying? That is often under debate but our lineage tells us that, yes, where the sun, moon and stars are in relation to our planet does matter. The forces of nature are not meant to rule us, but rather they are forces we are meant to flow with in harmony and unity. There is so much we can learn about ourselves by observing the cycles of nature and honouring the changes that nature goes through and acknowledging the similar changes within our own lives. This is the alchemy that takes place in the natural world whether or not we are aware. It can be a powerful magick in your life if you simply allow it to become a part of you.
This concept is a foundation for all Shamanic practices, especially Wicca, which follows what we call “The Wheel of the Year,” as well as observing the holy days that correspond with the changing of the seasons, the equinoxes, solstices, full moons, new moons and so much more. Whether or not you are connected to Shamanism or are involved in Wicca, you can still appreciate the turning of the wheel of the year and how this energy manifests in your life.
There are so many layers, like the petals of a rose. Nature is so vast and rich, and yet, so simple. Let us start with the four seasons: Each season has a unique alchemical process of its own. The succession of the seasons throughout the year is a complete pattern of life: death, rebirth, regeneration, regrowth, maturity and then death again, rebirth, and so on. It is transformation every 365 days. It is no wonder so many people celebrate December 31st with such vigor, approaching January 1st with a list of goals and intentions. For many celebrating “New Years” is the only time they acknowledge a new cycle. Yet within the year are the cycles of the season and within the cycle of the seasons are the cycles of the moon… the spiral dance continues.
The four seasons can represent the four pillars of your life, the four elements, and the four cardinal directions. Within each season is a world of magick waiting for you to explore and to be activated in your life.
Cold and desolate, icy and white. The light from the sun is dim, the days are short. This is a time where there is little to no growth in the natural world… or so it would appear. This is the time when many animals hibernate and when the plants are at rest. What are you doing during the winter to recognize your own need to hibernate and rest? Winter is a time of turning inward, reflecting and preparing for the spring. Some things to ponder in the wintertime are things such as: What seeds will I plant when spring comes? What did I accomplish last year? What will I improve upon in the year to come? During winter comes the holiday time of Yuletide, Christmas, Hanukkah, all coinciding approximately around the time of the Winter Solstice: the shortest day of the year, where we are all reminded the sun will return. It is when we celebrate the birth (or re-birth) of the sun gods and bask in the hope that their renewal will bring. It is a reminder to have hope during the dark days of winter and keep that flame of light burning within your heart.
Ahhhh… Spring! New beginnings, rebirth, growth, life! Baby chicks and budding leaves on trees, the first blooms of a flower and the melting snows revealing green. This time of year always creates a buzz of excitement, especially as the weather warms up. Spring is very much about planting seeds and creation. It is about those first steps required in all aspects of creation and transformation — one such step being intention. Your intention is the seed you sow. It is your goal (or goals), that you wish to accomplish in life. At the Spring Equinox, when the Sun is celebrated for now growing even stronger, and its light begins to bathe the earth once again. When the light reaches your seed buried deep down in the earth, are you prepared for what will grow from this seed? Is your intention pure and clear? Are you nurturing your seeds with love and care? When this plant begins to bud and grow, will it grow strong, or will it be overgrown by weeds? Spring is an exciting time to plant a whole garden, but unless you nurture it with only the best energy, love and support, it won’t become the lush, vibrant and healthy garden it has the potential to be. In the energizing new light of spring, how are you cultivating your goals, your intentions, your work, or your relationships?
Here nature is in its full strength. The trees are full, green and bearing fruit. Plants are blooming and offering us beautiful healing herbs and flowers. The sun is at its peak and the days are long and bright. Even in all its abundant beauty, if you have not nurtured yourself through winter and clarified your intention through spring, the summer can be very hard to endure. The vice of the summer is lethargy — we’ve all heard of or likely had a lazy summer afternoon. It can be quite easy to slip into the frame of mind that summer is only to sit back and relax. While yes, we must relish in the delight of its bright and bountiful light, it is a powerful time to see your goals come to fruition. There is a lot of power and energy in the summer that lends to the success of business, relationships and joy in life. In summer time it may look like the garden is fully grown, but there is still more tending to do! Do not abandon your garden now. It needs to be watered as the days are hot, and in its fertility, weeds have popped up everywhere. Pruning is often necessary to keep it growing strong. Where in your life are their weeds that are hindering your growth or success? Use the strength of the sun to burn them away. Pull the weeds out, prune the dead or unhealthy branches so that your harvest will be more bountiful than you can imagine.
Harvest time. A bittersweet time of year as you begin to reap the fruits of your labour, but also say goodbye to the warmth of the summer. This time of year for many people brings about a sense of renewal the same way spring does, even though it is the completion of a cycle. In the fall, we harvest what has grown from our seeds, we celebrate our accomplishments and count our fortunes. As you reap what you’ve sown, do you count your blessings? This is a time of thanksgiving! Do you let the fall pass you by in a flurry of changing leaves, or do you take time to give gratitude to nature for allowing you to flow and grow with it over the course of the year? As this life cycle comes to an end, plants are dying, the trees are shedding their leaves and animals prepare for hibernation, we also take time to honour the lives of our human family whose earthly life cycles have ended as well. All Hallow’s Eve and All Souls Day occur in the autumn, not by chance. Fall is a time of great reverence and marvel at the fragile life that ends so quickly after many months of growth and fertility. Are you caught in the bustle of the changing season or are you bursting with gratitude for all that you’ve been blessed with? Your attitude here will set the tone for your reflection in winter…
And the cycle continues once again.