Tag Archives: winter

Chuck’s Place: The Soul of Winter

Heading into the light…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Today marks the first day of rising above our deepest darkness. With the completion of the passage through the Winter Solstice we begin the daily incremental lengthening of the light. Despite the barrenness of winter, the light will continue to support us .

Light is the essence of pure Spirit, which is our Source, without body. Before we arrive at this ultimate destination, Spirit is housed within the various soul bodies we inhabit, beginning with the densest, the physical body. Thus our soul resides within the physical body for the duration of our earthly tour, generally only sneaking out in our nightly dreams in infinity.

When we depart this dimension of life our Spirit moves on, housed in the soul body, also called the astral or energy body. We remain in that body until we have fully squared with the issues of the physical life we just lived. This region is variously called limbo, purgatory, or bardo states.

Upon release of these denser attachments, the Spirit rises into finer soul body states, as it proceeds on its definitive journey toward its Source. This progression toward the final merger with Spirit, in pure loving light, is wholly dependent upon the release and fulfillment of issues encountered in the denser regions of soul existence.

Winter is the densest season of the earthly cycle. Matter becomes thick, rigid and immobile. In human winter we experience depression, disconnection, and alienation from the light of Spirit. Some people sit beneath or wear light boxes to reconnect to their Spirit, as they rise above their heavy mood into the lightness of being.

Religious traditions, from pagan through Christian, celebrate the Solstice with the birth of the light, a connection to Spirit in the dark night of the soul of winter. Regardless of one’s weighted emotional state, hope is kindled in that which only increases the Spirit in the light.

The human body is innervated with energetic connections to all its finer soul body states through the seven chakras. Chakras one through four—which include the perineum, the reproductive organs, the solar plexus and the heart—deal specifically with life in the physical world, which covers survival, relationship, emotion, and ego concerns.

Thus the densest issues in human life are encountered in these chakra areas. The work of these chakras is in the challenges of physical life, as  experienced through developmental processes that render one progressively capable of autonomy, self sufficiency, and love.

Thus, for instance, the solar plexus serves as the birthplace of the ego that becomes a willful human being with intense emotion. Though largely steeped in dense narcissism at its earliest stage, it must be refined in the furnace of the solar plexus to rise to the lightness of the heart chakra, where it first encounters Spirit and the possibility of true love of another.

The heart actually presents its own furnace of transformation, as love must suffer its own journey from naive innocence to mature innocence in the vicissitudes of fantasy and relationship. Before refined love can rise to the higher Spirit chakras it must release the density of pain and blame.

Many a denser emotion is clamped down upon in the throat chakra. Such stuck energy is sent back down to the heart and solar plexus for further processing before its refined energy can comfortably pass through the throat chakra to the third eye and crown chakras above.

Thus, in human life, much time is necessarily spent in the lower chakras, working on and resolving core issues. In this respect, much of human life, regardless of actual season, can feel like the dead of winter. No blame here; it’s our karma, our core reason for choosing the life we are in—to come to Earth School to refine and rise above a specific issue.

The soul of winter reminds us that at anytime of year, at anytime in life, we do have access to our highest level of Spirit, that burns bright regardless of the darkness of our mood. The light of day, the stars and moon of night, the mere clicking on of a light, are all instant connections to this Source in light.

Inwardly, ask for help and guidance from all the light beings who watch over you and await your call. Ask and you shall receive. Just be mindful that ego must surrender to the Tao of Spirit, that has its own knowing way to truly answer our call!

Honoring the Soul of Winter, with love to all!


Chuck’s Place: Heading For The Morass

Man still hopes, in a primitive way, that not knowing, not naming, not seeing a danger would remove it.” (C. G. Jung in a letter to Cary Baynes in 1959)

Would that I could ignore all that threatens about us as we prepare to celebrate the ancient archetypal imperative to bring light and hope to the tree at the time of the Winter Solstice. Ignoring, however, does not remove the threat of the light going out. How then can we name the truth and preserve our little candle of hope? We must begin by knowing and naming what really is.

The great morass…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The drums of war are pounding. The tribes are choosing sides. Power is about to transfer. The period of stability and stalemate with all its matriarchal inclusiveness is about to be torn asunder. The burgeoning patriarchal energies of the collective unconscious, seeking advance domination and plunder, like an active volcano, are about to erupt.

Though at first glance it all appears to be in the hands of the patriarch, I would propose  it is actually but an unconscious male couvade (sympathetic male labor pains) mimicking the action and intent of the dark side of the Great Mother as she reshapes her creation, planet Earth.

This, I believe, is the light of our salvation. Mother Nature, who reigns supreme, is both using and depotentiating her wayward son, the male patriarch. Violation of nature’s law can only be met with its natural corrective. Ultimately, Mother Nature has all the power, even over the consciouness she created but which has abused its privilege.

The destructive energies of the collective unconscious all ultimately issue from Mother Nature herself. Man deludes himself when thinking he owns these powers. Mother Nature delights in the delusions of this drunken frenzy of ego inflation unfolding before us. Destruction is painful and dangerous, yet all birth is dangerous and unkind to the mother’s body. That new and better life is the result is the light and hope frequently associated with a savior being born at this time of year.

That the savior is always the son of a virgin reveals that what issues forth is indeed of Mother Nature alone, parthenogenetically brought forth from her body, her appendage, without male fertilization. The “new man” will be of her determination alone, her concoction, better fashioned to serve her ultimate goal of new life, better suited to manage her creation.

And so, from the great morass of the coming time will emerge new life to lead us onward. We lend ourselves to this cause by staying connected to the truth and not exhausting ourselves in premature labor. As they say, let the games begin! Save your energy for when it will be truly needed for genuine transformation.

In the meantime, stay present and in awe of the majesty of life that continuously fills us with love and compassion.

Intent on keeping the flame lit,


A Day in a Life: Inward Turning Time

It's dark in the evenings now, time to go inward… - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s dark in the evenings now, time to go inward…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The first deep frost has come. The last flowers that had been staunchly holding on, that had still brightened the garden, have lost their energy. They are wilted and browning, their stems dipping to the ground. Time to trim back and prepare the beds for next spring. Time to prepare for winter.

This is inward turning time. Usually I look forward to it, but this year I sense a sadness that I haven’t experienced before. Maybe because the fall has been long and mild, the days sunny for the most part, the nights cool, but still warm enough to keep a window open in the bedroom. I like listening to the sounds of the night, the coyotes, foxes and owls, the animals that scurry past the house in the night. One night we heard something chewing voraciously at a large cardboard box we had stowed beneath the deck. Soon after we discovered that a hole had been chewed into the side of it and that a nest of bees had taken up residence. The animal we’d heard, probably a opossum, had gone after the bees.

Another night we heard a cat being attacked, fighting wildly for its life. We could barely stand the excruciating sounds of its cries. We thought of going out and yelling, of scaring off the predator, but knew that it was not right, was not in alignment with nature. One animal eats another. It happens all the time. Look at us humans, we do the same. None of it is pleasant to ponder, especially when you actually hear death approaching, when you hear the last cries coming from the strangled animal’s throat, but death is a fact of life. Winter closing in is a fact of life too.

And so I face the inevitability, making the final preparations for its coming. I accept that I must be in alignment with nature; I can’t escape the truth of winter! I can’t imagine shoveling snow just yet, but the snow shovels are ready. The snow blower has been cleaned of the acorns stored in it by mice in the shed. The leaves are being raked and mulched, the wood and pellet stoves already in use and the daily hauling of logs and pellets begun.

With the end of daylight savings time—which I hate, by the way, as it interrupts the flow of spring’s awakening each year, forcing us out of a most natural alignment with nature—fall ends. The darkness, which we had been staving off is really here now. We noticed immediately how natural it felt to be back on nature’s time, the extra hour of sleep readjusting our inner clocks to nature’s clock, the only clock that we should be attentive to. We once spent time on an island, away from civilization, the lone inhabitants. We naturally lived by the rising and setting sun, and it felt so right. Without the constraints of the world, it’s easy to live that way, but I feel compelled to live in alignment with nature as much as possible, and so I am paying particular attention to this time of year now, especially as I’ve felt such resistance to it this year.

The outdoor chairs are abandoned for the warm fire... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The outdoor chairs are abandoned for the warm fire…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In stark contrast to evenings spent on the deck, we’ve had to be inside now, before the fire or at the dinner table. Rather than watching the sunset, feeling its last warm rays, or taking a walk on a warm evening, we must adjust our habits. It’s a good time to make some changes, to prepare to face this winter differently from other years. It’s a good time to take up those creative endeavors, or those things we’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten to yet.

In inward turning time we can turn even deeper inward, as well, into ourselves. We can opt to study ourselves and our behaviors on a deeper level, asking ourselves to make some beneficial changes, whether in diet, sleep patterns, exercise, or at the deepest inner level, in how we act and react, how we behave and how we expect others to behave towards us. We can confront our projections and ask ourselves to be responsible for ourselves in a new way. We can go inward and ask ourselves to change something that needs changing and give ourselves the task, this winter, to finally make it happen.

It’s a good time of year to let the changes happen that have been brewing for a long time, to acquiesce to the inevitability of life moving on, of life in constant flux, just as nature does. As I listen to the cries that come from outside during the night—the owl catching a meal, the coyote on the scent—I must keep myself as alive and hungry as those creatures of nature do. I must remain alert and aware, always on the lookout for where my spirit wants to go, to where my inner world is pointing me.

I must not fall into slumber or into the complacency of the season, into the routine of holidays and events as usual. It’s time to do it differently, because the entire world is doing it differently now, the seasons have changed! And so should we!

Heading into winter with awareness,