It’s easy to get bogged down by winter blues during the frosty months. But we believe that winter is is just as full of myth and wonder as the rest of the year...if not more! From the enchanting quiet of snow falling, to the ancient tales that winter inspires, a bit of cold doesn’t freeze the magic here at Dragonspace.
Not exactly convinced? Here are five winter wonders to warm you up.
A Time for Brewin'
There’s nothing better to warm you up on a frosty day than a hot brew or pot of soup. Cooking might seem like a practical act, but there’s something deeply spiritual about preparing and eating food. It’s a practice that our ancestors have done for aeons, and connects us both with each other, and with the past.
Winter is the perfect time to try something new in the kitchen, and we can help with that! Our Celtic Folklore Cooking book features recipes derived from the Celts, from savoury chestnut soup to hearty cakes. Or there’s our Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook, full of culinary magic! Here you’ll discover foods that encourage peace and love, or ingredients that help with endurance and stability. You’ll find that a thoughtful recipe can be just as nourishing - physically and spiritually - as a well-executed spell. And let’s be honest...the kitchen, with its blazing oven and steaming stovetop, is the nicest place in the house during the cold season!
You’re probably familiar with Santa Claus and Jack Frost, but there are dozens of other winter legends from cultures the world over to explore.
In Greek mythology, Boreas is the god of the cold north wind and the bringer of snow. His name gives us the word ‘boreal’, meaning ‘north’ or ‘northern’. In the old legends, Boreas falls in love with with Orithyia, the lady of mountain gales, and has a daughter with her. This daughter, Chione, becomes the Greek goddess of winter and sleet.
Norse myths feature Skaði (or Skadi), the goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing and mountains. Skaði is described in some stories as a giantess, and lives in the highest peaks of the mountains, where the snow never melts. Similar to Skaði is Beira, the personification of winter in Gaelic mythology. Beira appears in many forms, but in some folk tales she appears as one-eyed giantess who built the mountains of Scotland using a magic hammer.
Winter deities appear in many other mythologies, from the Great Winter God in Chinese folklore to the Slavic Father Christmas, Ded Moroz. Delve into the vast world of winter mythology this season - it’s sure to keep you occupied for hours in front of the fire!
Magic, both new and old, is heavily inspired by the elements - earth, air, water and fire. As a hearty antidote to the winter chills, fire reigns supreme during the colder months. This is a time to honour fire in its many forms.
There’s the obvious act, of course - curling up in front of the hearth fire and appreciating the element in its most basic form! But this is also the perfect time for performing fire spells and rituals. In Wiccan practice, votive candles are popular symbols of fire, as is the cauldron bubbling away with a hot potion. Incense is also a powerful fire tool, which can be used for cleansing sacred spaces and divining the future through smoke patterns.
Winter is also the ideal time for practicing aromatherapy. Heated essential oils can be wonderful healers for ailments - be they in the body or in the soul. And of course, the scent of fragrant eucalyptus, rosemary or patchouli wafting through your home brings a warmth all of its own!
Bunkering Down with Books
Speaking of fire...there are fewer winter activities more delightful than curling up in front of the fireplace or heater with a good book!
Have you heard of bibliotherapy? Some people believe that reading is a pathway to healing - that it can make us happier, and even alleviate psychological issues. If you’re the kind of person who gets the winter blues, then bibliotherapy could be just the cure.
We’ve got a vast range of books here at Dragonspace, encompassing mythology, divination, Wicca, and more. Titles like Avalon Within draw on Celtic mythology, Arthurian legend and Druidic lore. Others like Eastern Body, Western Mind look to the East for inspiration, exploring the chakra system, Jungian psychology and more. While books like A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts are for those who love their mythology and magical creatures. Whether fictional or non-fictional, instructional or inspirational, a good book is a surefire way to warm up this winter.
But perhaps you’re the kind of person who’d rather be outside during winter? We don’t blame you...the natural world can be gorgeous during winter, whether it’s a mountaintop glittering with snow or a resilient evergreen forest.
And then there are the animals. While some creatures hibernate during the cold months, others are completely in their element. Beasts like the musk ox, reindeer (caribou), and the snow leopard are well suited to colder climates, with their fur coats and and strong physiques. There are also many beautiful birds to look out for in the winter, like the snowy owl and the northern goshawk.
Wolves are also known as the champions of winter. While these beautiful creatures are adaptable to many climates, from deserts to woodland, they thrive in colder climes. In the soft snow, wolves are able to splay their feet to distribute their weight evenly. They also benefit from all the bears being in hibernation, as there’s less competition for prey! On a spiritual level, there's something deeply mystical about a wolf in the snow, nature at its finest and most divine.
Have those pesky winter blues been cast away yet? Between reading up on winter goddesses, preparing an old-fashioned Celtic stew, breathing in the healing scent of hot peppermint oil, and keeping an eye out for snowy owls, there's no time to let winter get you down! Here's to embracing the magic of the frosty season and turn those blues into shimmering silvers.