The Wheel of the Year has turned once more. Samhain is past and the days grow shorter and darker till Yuletide reaches us. This is the season of shadow and quiet, of the inward spiral. I think of the time from mid-October till Yule as Veil Season. Although many people focus their Ancestral work specifically around the 31st of October, the truth is that there’s almost two months where contact between this world and the Otherworld is easier. Just as magick around growing and increase is easier in the spring and summer, there are spiritual practices for late autumn to early winter that are well served by the prevailing flow of energy around us. Here are some ways to take advantage of the dark season, to support your personal practice, and to find warmth and light within the season of shadow.
Winter Work. Your Winter Work is a specific study or focus that you devote time to during the cooler part of the year. Between the weather and the pandemic, most of us will be spending more time indoors and on our own anyway – we might as well take advantage of it. You can curl up with a new book or set of divination tools. All things spirit-contact are a bit easier right now, but your Winter Work doesn’t have to be explicitly magickal. Maybe you would be better served focusing on mental health or connecting more with your family. Maybe this is a good time to get a home business off the ground. If the idea of Winter Work appeals to you but you’re not sure what to choose, here’s an article with some tips for getting started.
Ancestor Veneration. This time of year is perfect for starting a relationship with your Ancestors and there are some very practical reasons to do so. You are the hope and light of your Ancestors brought forth to this time. Less poetically? They have skin in the game – your life matters to them because it is part of their own legacy. They are frequently more likely to intercede on your behalf than the Gods – the Ancestors were incarnate humans. They can understand things like shitty jobs, problem relatives, and human limitations more easily than the Gods can. The Gods have never payed taxes or had to manage a problem Father-In-Law at Thanksgiving. Your Ancestors? They absolutely have struggled with situations like yours and will be more inclined to try to help you through those very human challenges. And remember, if your most immediate Ancestors were assholes to you, it doesn’t mean the field is closed to you. You have thousands of Ancestors to choose from, and there are also different kinds of Ancestors. If Ancestor Work sounds like something you’re interested in, here’s an article that goes more in depth about the kinds of Ancestors you can work with and how to begin that relationship.
Divination. You know what works great during Veil season? Divination systems. Basically all of them, as far as I can tell. I personally use Tarot predominantly, but I also use runes, scry (crystal, water, and flame), journey, and occasionally muck about with an oracle deck or two. Every single system is more accurate, or more vivid, right now. So, practice. Or expand your practice. A lot of us get comfortable using our preferred spreads and layouts. Learn some new ones or make some up. Bust out the deck you don’t normally use. Pull out that black moonstone sphere and fire it up. Never tried scrying? Great. Time to learn something new. My favorite magickal law is ‘That which is fed increases.’ Getting good at divination is a matter of practice. Right now, it’s even easier to get a good return on your investment simply because of the season.
House Magick. Have you ever noticed that in the folktales, a witch’s house is part of their magick? There’s a reason for that – our homes can be potent magickal tools and allies. Spirit communication is easier right now and that includes the egregores we interact with regularly, up to and including the spirit of your home. Additionally, at least here in the mid-Atlantic, we’re all spending more time indoors anyway. It’s the perfect time for House Magick. The art of witchcraft as it relates to hearth and home is many-layered. It includes working with the egregore of your home (a beginner’s guide is here), boundary and threshold magick (more on that here), and warding and protection (here’s a tutorial). It also includes aligning your space with your own taste and aesthetics. Beauty has a power all its own and when we are in a space we find beautiful, our relationship with that space deepens. What do you find beautiful? We all have an aesthetic. Is your ideal home warm and cozy, full of books, cats and knickknacks? Is it open and airy? Is it clean or cluttered? Calm or stimulating? What colors are present? What colors, textures and artistic styles make you feel safe? The Work of creating a welcoming safe space that feeds your soul is every bit as valuable as tracing sigils on the door.
Sacred Quiet. One of the things I love about the cold season is the quiet. The natural world around us is quieter and the remaining birdsong is more precious for it. In a region with deciduous trees, the forests thin out and our range of vision through them becomes deeper. The undergrowth sleeps. Many of the mammals, cold blooded beings, and insects take their winter rest. There is more space here, less hurry, less frenzy, less distraction. If we can relax our need for the vibrant riot of the growing season, there is a different beauty available to us. It is more chiaroscuro, more stark, more open. This softer strain in the agrarian song of life opens a space for meditation, mindfulness, journeywork, and prayer. If you’ve been wanting to get a meditation practice off the ground, now is a good time to begin. If you’re interested in journeying or deepening your prayer practice, those points of connection are easier to access. If you just need a fucking break from experiencing a constant onslaught of stimuli, here are some good ways to get started.
So, what is your plan for Veil Season? My own is devotional this year – I want to deepen my relationship with and trust in the Gods I serve. What are you planning? What do you feel you need most right now? Hit me up in the comments.
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