It’s that time of year again: the approach to Berchtaslaaf. Just as Holle bids us to put our physical homes in order, Berchta guides us as we put our minds and spirits in order, so that we can all do our best in the new year.
I actually determined that I was trying too hard to choose and plan the goals that would solve my problems, and I took a week off from all of it to enjoy Yuul. It was wonderful. I won’t say that I was always able to avoid thinking about my troubles, or frantically making plans for the future, but I was able to rest and have fun doing things that aren’t for any particular purpose. Like coloring, playing games, watching favorite TV shows. And this much-needed rest has allowed my intuition to go to work on these issues, plus giving me a bit of quiet space to receive guidance from the Gods.
There’s much wisdom to be found in the cycle of the Urglaawe year. One such gem is that there needs to be a period of rest, darkness, stillness, contemplation, and inward-turning, before bringing our dreams into being. That is what the time between Allelieweziel and Yuul is for.
This year I did a lot of
worrying contemplating, but not so much with the resting and stillness. But as soon as I did, as soon as I gave my mind and spirit a chance to refresh themselves, the rewards were immense. Spiritual guidance sadly isn’t all burning bushes and Macy’s parades. It’s often quiet, and if your mind is too full of anxious noise, you miss it.
Today I’m working on my goals for the new year. Spiritually, I want to explore kitchen witchcraft: the art of enchanting what you eat. It’s all part of a larger plan to transform my relationship with food and my body. You can read more about how this ties into Urglaawe and die Zusaagpflicht in my article The Sacred Duty of Food. What we put into our bodies has so much to do with how we get through our days and do everything we set out to do. It also has a big impact on how we see the world around us and our role within it. I would like to cultivate better relationships with the animals and plants that feed me, and honor their spirits more…more regularly, more in-depth, more centrally in my life. I also just really want to get hands-on with my magic–a goal from last year that I was a bit too vague about to complete successfully. So, to get more specific, I have created a list of magical projects that I’d like to complete in the next few months, to improve my life and to take me further along this kitchen witch journey. Kitchen witch style magic is very folk based, and has a lot in common with Braucherei, the Deitsch folk magic and healing practice.
I’m also planning on continuing to observe the seasonal focuses in the Urglaawe calendar. I’ve found working in tune with the seasons, and then regularly reviewing my work, to be so tremendously helpful in accomplishing my goals. When I slack off from those regular reviews–or, let’s be honest, when I routinely forget what day it is, let alone what season I’m focusing on–I find that everything just kind of collapses in a heap of confusion, and my to-do lists get tied up in knots. But when I stay present with the changes in nature, when I make space for the holy days, when I maintain those connections between myself and the Lewesbaam and the Gods, Ancestors, and Spirits, that’s when things stay in balance. In my view, that’s one of the greatest gifts of Urglaawe.