Exploring the Shamanic Journey In Fall and Winter

Any transition of the seasons helps us tap into ourselves and Spirit in a clearer way. Fall specifically signals a time to slow down, reflect, and feel the darker parts of ourselves. 

This fall, ask yourself:

  • What is holding you back from inner growth?
  • Where do you feel like things are dying?
  • How can you clear these out to make room for new intentions?

While the dead leaves and vines on our farms are being pruned for winter, we must do the same for ourselves. Before the winter blues can get us down, let’s talk about how we can prepare our psyche to make the most of colder days. 

Ways to Prepare Our Psyche for Winter

If we reflect on these images of clearing away the dead to make space for rest and, eventually, newness, we find room for deep, transformative work. 

Here’s how you can tap into your darkness:

Journal Your New Intentions

Think about your personal relationship with Spirit. What practices have you been craving? Are there any pain points have you been falling victim to? Is there anything can you let go of this season? 

Take the time to journal through these thoughts.

Watch a Fall Sunset

Autumn signals the start of night lasting longer than a day. As we invite the sun into our homes through fireplaces and cozier meals, it can be particularly healing to recognize how our body reacts to the sun’s setting. Think of the reflections you journaled about as you watch it kiss the horizon. 

Allowing our body to recognize the setting sun helps us reconfigure our circadian rhythm with the earth’s natural rhythm. This will ease us into winter instead of experiencing the shock of, “How is it this dark already?!” 

Focus on what you intend to release this season and let the sun carry it below the horizon, out of your world.

Try the same practice at sunrise the next day, only this time considering what you wish to welcome in.

Build a Fall Alter

Picture what the hearth of your home is to you. Is it your fireplace? A cozy den off to the side? Places like these make great sacred spaces during the deep sleep of winter. 

After you decide where to place your altar, make time for a relaxing nature walk. Collect symbolic signs of the season or talismans as you go. (Asking permission with each item.) These can be beautiful leaves, pine cones, seasonal fruits, lost feathers, and so on. Try to include the four elements (earth, air, water, fire) plus your intentions while putting together your altar.

This should serve as a space where you honor Spirit, your deepest intentions, and your loved ones. Consider dressing it with pictures of loved ones and colors that inspire you. Your altar should be minimal, only making room for pieces that are most important.

Take a Sacred Bath

After you clear out the dead, consider instead what you would like to welcome or nurture this winter. Create your own ritual to make an easier retreat into fall. To “retreat” is to draw within and immerse ourselves with the complexities of our mind and being. 

You can accomplish this by taking a sacred bath that honors your body and light. Try peppermint and eucalyptus for opening the airways, grapefruit or ginger or detoxing lavender for soothing stiff muscles, or orange for brightening your mood.

The Importance of the Winter Solstice

Once winter begins, its energy asks us to draw within for exploration. 

Our inner darkness is fruitful with new ideas, not barren of energy. While we don’t let darkness overwhelm our lives, it’s important to open ourselves up to it to clearly see areas for personal growth. 

Allow your feelings to guide you as they’re meant to do. Closing yourself out to them will only leave you feeling numb and lost.

Exploring our inner darkness can be a scary journey. To make it easier, talk it out with a therapist. Read more about my approach to trauma therapy, or contact me today. Together, we can set up your mental space to care for you this season, not let you down.