I hope that all of you are enjoying your holidays; spending time relaxing with friends/family, and enjoying good eats, and Life! I know the holidays and winter weather affect all of us differently- so I just wish for you a healthy dose of traditional “Bear Medicine”: sleep, rest, and plenty of time for your own healing rituals.
He kind of looks like a bear, right? To be honest, I usually sleep more and work more through most of the holiday season. But the longer nights and cold temps are natural Bear Medicine time; time to slow down, rest, restore reserves, (hibernate), and spend time in rituals that recharge us and give our bodies strength and our hearts and spirits- hope. The Bear totem is all about healing. Following most interpretations of the Native American Medicine Wheel- the Western direction, is the seasonal place of processing our changes, the dark (black or dark blue colored zone) of introspection, the place of pondering our lessons (welcomed or reluctant), our changes, and our dreams. “Winter Lodge, Dream Downtime” one Cherokee friend calls it.
As a sage grower, I work when the harvest calls. This keeps me literally grounded, in the sun, and happy. As a shop owner, I sometimes work too much trying to do it all for everyone. Staying close to the earth via her plants (and crystals!) feeds my soul and brings me back in balance. Harvest and sages keep me going through even the darkest months. Winter is also time for the last redwood, cedar, and black sage harvests of the year. These are the Plant Spirits, especially the evergreens, that (not coincidentally) remind us of our need to purify through the darkness, and reconnect to our innate strength. This is their medicine when we naturally need it most. And to honor ourselves with the healing we most need in Winter; is Bear Medicine.
For harvest, I follow the lunar cycle. So basically from Dec.’s New Moon, the Solstice, and all through the Asian New Year- we harvest and formulate blends and oils for the ritual season. Across cultures, this time of cold and dark is a time of Release, Honoring, and celebrating, for so many. Add to this, that naturally at the end of the season, my black sage bushes can double in size and grow HUGE! 😉
I see this as a sign to actually slow down; harvest in small amounts, and continue to heed the call of the Sleeping Bear of the West: slow to a stop if needed, and get the rest you need. And so I will continue to enjoy this holiday break and I wish you all the same- a joyful, restful, healing Holiday!!