Silence in the North

Christmas/Solstice can be a funny time of year-and by “funny” I mean potentially a bit shit. Expectations of spending and busyness often feel at odds with what the rest of the planet is doing in terms of retreat, hibernation and the conservation of resources.

In reflecting upon our recent work with “black” magick within our Chaos coven, many of us were aware of the organic flow of the work that people brought to our gathering. Much of the ritual work and spiritual practice reflected a deep need to quieten things down, to release things into the earth so that a process of death, decay and rebirth might begin. Julian recently wrote HERE about the ways in which our magick might work its wyrd in our lives, and personally I feel that those practices have deepened a process that is inevitably connected to the time of year and place within which I live.

The standstill of the solstice

The standstill of the solstice

Whether this internal sense of needing to withdraw is due to lowered serotonin production or just a cyclic response to the exertions of the year, I definitely feel more aware of the more primal aspects of my life-in contrast to the solar surging of the summer months, the need to eat, conserve energy and seek the warmth of shelter feel all the more pronounced. While the spring, summer and autumn were filled with gigs, writing and new projects, I now want to hunker down so as to rest, to heal and prepare for what may be.

As I’m drawn towards the quiet dark my own desire to verbalise and explain seems to fall away-perhaps this is why so many family Christmases are a bit fraught! My own spiritual work has also taken on a more relaxed feel-more time spent on my Zen cushion or doing gentle bodywork rather than sorcerous doing or the pursuit of divinatory gnosis. If a dialectic exists between “doing” on one pole and “being” on the other, I’m at the being end, bidding my time for Imbolc, green magick and the beginnings of synthesis.

Within the Chaos Craft schema winter solstice corresponds to Octarine magick and a sense of the trans-personal. Whether via Mithras, Mabon or the birth of the Christ child, Octarine seems to hold within it death, rebirth and critically the brief pause between the two. Like the top of the in-breath during pranayama, there is potentially much to gain in noticing the space between things where words and deeds hold less sway. However we choose to conceptualize the trans-personal realm, we often experience the limitations of  language and the value of acknowledging mystery-may the gods spare us fragile safety of certainty!

So here’s to the Great Spirit, the Mystery and the Turning of the Year! May the forthcoming year be one of Peace, Freedom and Happiness for all of us!


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