Dear Wild Sister
Ahh, November. Welcome ye in.
It’s a funny old month, a betwixt of sorts. Caught between the gorgeous autumnalness (it’s a word!) of October and the glittery crazy of December.
Depending which calendar you follow, we are only at the half way point in the season. The cold, arse-end of Autumn is only just starting and has not yet bit, despite the many proclamations of “Winter’s here” as soon as the mercury fell into single digits after sundown.
Samhain has come and gone, the Cailleach, the Queen of Winter, reigns supreme.
This half of the season is all about bedding down and coorying in. The trees have almost completely shed their leaves, and in following nature’s cycle, November is about turning inwards and settling in, getting our Hygge on. This month is hygge embodied. It’s the full embrace of Autumn and the knowing that winter is coming and we take to lighting the fire, if we are so lucky as to have one…radiators aren’t quite the same…I dream of the day I have a fire and hearth again…any way I digress…home and hearth is where it’s at. And candles! Lots and lots of candles.
For the majority of the month we are also in the Celtic Tree month of Reed (Ngetal). The importance of Reed was in its uses be that as fuel for the fire or as used in materials for the home – rush mats on the floor or thatching for the roof or as musical instruments. It creates a very haunting sound as a wind instrument – very spooky at this time.
The chill in the air increases as the darkness deepens and the days shorten. A perfect time to let go of what does not serve you any longer, and a time of awakening to what does, as well as taking this time for introspection and finding order. This month focus on loving your home and those with whom you share it, if you indeed do. I want to add “and those you welcome in here” but what with 2020 being, well, 2020, we’re not welcoming anyone in at all! There’s always 2021…
All is not lost however. Reaching out to our friends and family in need or if we are in need, is vital. Coming up to the festive presents all sorts of stresses and difficult emotions may be triggered, particularly this year. We are told that the human response to this is Fight or Flight, but this is a very masculine response. November is full of feminine energy, and our feminine response is Tend & Befriend. We get together, spend time together and support each other. Even if it is only 2 households at a time walking in the woods or having a coffee in a cafe or other socially/physically distant arrangement. The need for circles is now more than ever, to gather together in sisterhood and community which is in direct opposition to advice globally. Until we can gather again collectively, in person, we need to keep the connection to one another. Knowing you aren’t on your own. The tend and befriend also applies to ourselves too – mind and tend to your needs and be kind to yourself as you would a dear friend.
The Goddesses symbolic of this time are :
Hestia – Greek Goddess, ruler of hearth and home who sacrificed her place as an Olympian to guard the fire and maintain a happy home.
Vesta – Roman equivalent to Hestia
Cailleach – the Celtic Old Hag or Crone, essentially the Winter Goddess who comes out to play and preside over Winter until she dies at Imbolc when the maiden aspect of the triple goddess takes over.
So, as I mentioned at the top of the post, November is a betwixt month, but that doesn’t mean it’s bland or boring. Once both Samhain and our wedding anniversary have passed, it’s fair game round ours for Yule & Christmas preparations; getting the lists made and starting the planning of the next 6 or 7 weeks. Nigella Christmas (my festive bible!) is out! My Christmas Cake is baked and sitting all wrapped in the cupboard awaiting its next brandy injection before it gets its marzipan and icing coat. Chutneys for giftage have been made and jarred. I’ve been crafting and kitchin-witchin’ to my Yuletide Spotify playlist all this past week. This year’s festivities are very homespun and homemade (with love). All that’s missing is Kirstie bloody Allsopp.
So how are you finding this betwixt time?
With blessings and deepest gratitude