For me the time between the modern pagan festivals of Samhain and Imbolc are a quite special time. The veils between the worlds feel thinner, the darkness is filled with power and the shadows (spirits) walk through the night. Around Samhain this phase begins, around the winter solstice it arrives its high tide and ends around Imbolc.
Many people feel quite depressed in this time of the year, but for witches it is a time of strength and power. I enjoy the long nights, the grey fogs that haunt the landscape, I walk with my black dog through the darkness and feel the spiritual presences around me. I offer honey here and there on crossroads and on the edges of forests, sweet honey to nourish the walking shadows. The underworld feels much closer in this phase of the year. I enjoy the warmth and comfort of my home, with the burning candles that are lightning on my shrines and in our house in general. I use this time to focus on my self, to get some rest and to collect strength and energy for the time when the veils get thicker again (or feel thicker again for us humans). I give offerings to the ancestors, to the spirits around me, I am open for their whispers, for the dreams and they send me, I use divination to get in touch with them and to get glimpses of what will manifest in the coming cycles of the year.
I walk through the darkness in company with the shadows around me in spirit and in flesh.
I wait that the solstice comes, with the renewal of light. Most pagans focus on this side of this ancient festival, the rebirth of Gods, the rebirth of light, but there is an other more shadowy side of this festival too, the spirits have the most power, the nights are long and full of darkness. Here in Germany we still know the Rauhnächte, the 12 nights where the forces of the underworld have the greatest influence and power. A time of spirit contacts, divination, a time to protect the home and to stay inside of the house at night- as long as you are not a witch and are not scared to walk with the spirits through the darkness of the longest nights of the year.
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