I will be honest: Winter is not my favorite season for indulging in my sensual side. It’s cold, and I hate the cold (my husband knows that, when I die, I want to be cremated. I detest the thought of laying in a casket, cold, for eternity). And it’s been really fucking cold here the last week, polar vortex and all. I’ve had to wear two layers of everything this week: pants, shirts, socks, gloves. It’s made me feel warm but also slightly inflexible.
What I’ve come to see in the depth of this cold is that there is a lot to appreciate about the sensuality of winter if I look at it from a different angle: what makes me feel warm, cozy, and safe. Then it’s easy.
Hot tea with cream + lots of sugar (what is tea if not a vehicle for sugar and cream?)
Being covered in afghans while watching a movie
Favorite soups and warm bread
Coming in from the cold
The funny little chugging hum of humidifiers (I am the Keeper of the Humidifiers at my house)
Ass hot showers with lots of lotion afterwards
Long hugs (hugs and hugs and hugs)
Giving myself permission to be a lump
Indulging in social media more than usual
Small reading breaks through the day
The sound of frozen leaves crunching when I walk the dog
Getting creative about keeping sex warm and comfy
Sweating like crazy on my bike on Saturdays (feels good to get red-faced hot, sometimes)
Wool socks and gloves
The sun finally coming back
Winter’s sensuality might be slightly harder to find, but it’s there. And it worth indulging in, if you ask me. Winter is a time when we need more joy, more connection, more warmth, and comfort.
I hope you can find the time and space to find your sensual pleasures during this time of year. It is helping me keep my sanity when I feel downtrodden by the cold.
Today is also Imbolc, the half way point between Winter Solstice (darkest day of the year) and Spring Equinox (when the light and dark are equal). I could not be happier for this day because it marks the time when farmers would have begun to look at the signs for when Spring might arrive and begin planning for the future of the year. A favorite ritual of this day is to “bless the seeds” for the harvest of the coming year.
Earlier this week I was having a very day-dreamy sort of day and I kept bringing myself back to ‘reality’ and focusing on the work I had to do. Turns out, it was a perfectly good day to day-dream, astrologically speaking. I should have gone with my gut! In any case, I think “blessing the seeds” of the year isn’t just about what we have to do in a practical sense, but also about what our dreams are for the year ahead. Yes, we traditionally do this at New Year’s but there’s no reason we shouldn’t regularly indulge in our dreams and desires for what we wish to create- and Imbolc is a great time to do this.
Here are some things I’ve been dreaming about:
Getting my book about the Sex Surge edited and to the book designer.
Our travel for the coming year.
Concerts I’m going to see this year.
Plans for my own personal retreat (something I haven’t done in a couple of years).
Severing the final bits of an energetic connection. I couldn’t decide if I needed to continue with a “compassionate, soulful, seeker who is healing” energy or just go subtle “psycho hosebeast“* energy- but what I realized is that I don’t need to do either. I can simply continue carrying the peace I feel forward into the future and let the rest go. I love the fact that being a woman (and a witch) means I have access to the full realm of feminine energies, including the toxic ones, when needed.
The husband and I had a big, deep discussion two nights ago. The one where we re-visit everything about our relationship, what it needs, what it’s based on, what we want- is it still working? is this still what we want? At one point I actually offered divorce as an option to fix some of our current problems and we decided to take it. Just kidding. (My husband said the sweetest thing about my offer, “I could feel, from the bottom of my toes rising to the top of my chest, a giant, ‘NO!'”) So we’re walking into some new depth in our relationship and it’s weird and new, but it’s also good because it’s more truthful than ever before.
I’m definitely day-dreaming about my future work. Not sure what direction it’s going to go, but it will definitely change. That is- is it not? -the definition of day-dreaming.
Playing with ideas for finishing the decorating in my bedroom and making it a truly cozy nest that’s beautiful and unique.
I’ve been thinking about my spiritual practice a lot. I want to deepen it and get back to some studying I’ve neglected in the last six months. More meditation, more reading poetry and spiritual guidance, more practicing with the tarot.
Figuring out how to increase my social justice work. What do I care about the most? Where do I want to put my time and dollars this year. Also, getting rid of people who think Jordan Peterson is some kind of intellectual.
What are you dreaming of for this year ahead? Now is the time to go back to your dreams, your seeds, and bless them with your work. It will be time to plant them soon- to take up the work that results in harvest. But for now, it will do to roll them in your hand, dreaming of what they might become, and offering them the blessings of hope and desire.
May your desires feel beautiful, joyful, and worth your time.
Big love from the path,
Joanna :: xoxo
* it actually looks like the psycho hosebeast energy worked. yay! but also, after a couple hours of it, I realized I didn’t need it. so, also yay.
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