TO WINTER SOLSTICE
THE EARTH SCHOOL JOURNAL
A journey through the medicine wheel
The autumn season is deeply mystical. Nature breathes out, changes color, and leans into the darkness. The invitation is to breathe out with nature, to rest, and reflect on the lessons, we’ve been generously offered during seeding, growth, and harvest.
Serap Kara · Father Time
For thousands of years people created systems for timekeeping to align with the seasons and structure time. The Gregorian calendar was developed in 1582 and is an evolution of the Julian calendar, which was created in the Roman Empire as early as 45 BC. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world.
November was the ninth month of the Roman calendar. In former times the year began in March. January and February were simply winter months, and the names were added later. The Gregorian calendar has been changed and adapted and today it doesn't reflect the natural rhythm of the season necessarily.
The Mayan calendar is far older and dates back to 3114 BC. Around this time, the astrological calendar was created to interpret both seasonal changes as celestial cycles. Written language was developed in a similar time period and dates back to ancient Mesopotamia (between 3400 and 3100 BC).
Today, one can be informed by timekeeping systems from many different cultures simultaneously. Planetary and astrological calendars weave into old nature-based calendars and blend into the Gregorian calendar.
The keepers of time have woven the threads in a way that we can find the ends within our own time to follow a path back. Here, in Northern Europe, the seasonal celebrations of the old Celtic calendar still resonate with today's rhythm.
The calendars may have come from different times. But they hold a blueprint for us to weave within the natural cycles. A universal understanding of Father Time may guide humanity to be in right relationship with the land, people and cultures to celebrate what we have in common.
“I feel a thousand capacities spring up in me. I am arch, gay, languid, melancholy by turns. I am rooted, but I flow” – Virginia Woolf, British novelist
Lena Brandt · Samhain · Celebrations & Rituals
Samhain (pronounced 'sow'inn') is one of the major festivals of the Wheel of the Year, for many pagan cultures the most important festival of all. The name Samhain can be translated with union or gathering. It is the sacred festival of death, dying, and letting go.Samhain heralds the darkest time of the year until the light is reborn on Winter Solstice. It is a time of contemplation and pause. The energy of the sun diminishes, its light fades, and it gets cold and quiet outside. The harvest has been gathered and nature lies down.
Like the creatures of the more-than-human world, we are beginning the descent into the dark cave of the earth, where rest and decay can be transformed into vital organic nurturing. This is the time of the descent into potent darkness, of pre-conception, out of which new life, new ideas, will eventually emerge.
We may follow the invitation to once more reconnect with the natural world and the natural rhythms of the year and their seasonality as we journey into the fertile underground.
With the portal of Samhain, we enter a phase of slowing down, rest, reflection, and dreams about new beginnings. It is an invitation to adjust our pace, become still, and turn our attention inward. We may consciously prepare for the renewal of Winter Solstice and tend to our inner fertile soil, looking for the seeds of visions to come. We may review the year that has passed, and look at what has worked and what hasn’t. What can be let go of and what can be invited?
Simone Meentzen · Lucky Toadstool · Plant Diary
Saturn is one of the most beautiful of our planets, and many of the winter customs once paid homage to the spiritual aspects of Saturn for generations, for example, incense cults or the gifts of the three magicians from the Orient.
According to astrologers, Saturn gives us discipline, strength of character, patience, wisdom, and spiritual clarity. It helps in realizing our vocation and is a planet that can stand for self-realization. On the other hand, it also stands for privations, fateful life crises, illness, and death. Perhaps this is a reason that the Toadstool, or Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is believed to be of particular importance to Saturn. When properly prepared and used as medicine, it can show us the way to our higher selves and connects us to the Otherworld.
© Simone Meentzen
But by no means one should experiment lightly with the powerful toadstool medicine! Similar to Saturn-ruled nightshade plants, it is considered poisonous when ingested by accident. There is no proof that the exclusive consumption of a toadstool can lead to death, but signs of liver damage have been reported.
Snowy wintertime was considered Saturnian time. As is well known, the red mushroom with the white dots was ingested in pre-Christian times as a sacrament by Slavic, Siberian, Nordic, and First Nation seers and shamans during the winter solstice in order to communicate with the spirits of the Otherworld.
It is an initiatory medicine fungus. In toadstool- trance, gods, ancestors, and dwarfs were asked for guidance. The experienced seers received important messages for the survival of the tribe and connected with benevolent nature spirits.
Hedonistic usage was also common among some Siberian tribes. Even the urine of reindeer that had eaten toadstools was consumed and believed to be still of strong intoxicating effect.
Medicine recipe ~ Lucky Marzipan Toadstools (for 2 pieces)
100 g marzipan raw mass, some powdered sugar, sugar glue, red food color, some dark chocolate
First, prepare the sugar glue (about 2 part sugar 1 part water)
Bring the sugar and water to boil in a water bath, stirring, until it becomes a slightly transparent, creamy mixture.
Fill the mixture into two chilled containers. Stir in some dark chocolate to one part of the mixture, put both containers out in the fresh air (on your balcony or windowsill) for about 1 hour to cool down.
In the meantime, form a good half of the raw marzipan mixture first into a ball, then into a cone, and set it up. Create a mouth using a wooden skewer. Knead the rest of the marzipan with a little powdered sugar, color it red with the food coloring. Shape the red marzipan into a ball, then into a cone.
Push the white cone into the red hat. Glue the hat on with the sugar glue and put dots on the hat. Decorate the eyes and mouth with some dark chocolate sugar glue.
In Middle Europe, toadstools grow from June up until the end of October. If you are lucky, you can find it right along the path in the local forest!
The Toadstool is considered a symbol of good fortune and often referred to as a person who is lucky. Small lucky toadstool mushrooms made of marzipan are still used today as gifts of good luck, somehow connecting us with our pagan ancestors.
Fir forests are the home of toadstools as well as the legendary Santa Claus or Father Frost. For the Scandinavians, Santa Claus, the archetype of winter Christmas nights comes from the North Pole or from far away Lapland. A marzipan toadstool makes a lovely gift for Christmas or the New Year Celebration.
Alexandra Neubauer · In andere Welten schauen · Regenbogenmedizin
Am Platz des Nordwestens im Regenbogenmedizinrad begegnen wir der Seherin bzw. dem Seher und unseren Ahnen. Nicht umsonst sind es gerade diese beiden, ist es doch die übersinnliche Welt, in die wir eintauchen, wenn wir unsere hellen Sinne nutzen.
Was ist es, was sich hinter seherischen Qualitäten verbirgt und können wir das alle oder nur Auserwählte unter uns? Die Intuition meldet sich als der erste Impuls, der klar und deutlich zu uns spricht, bevor der Verstand etwas in Gedanken kleiden und ein Filter an Erfahrungen und mit ihnen verknüpften Emotionen das Geschehen verzerren kann. Das wäre bereits der Zeitpunkt, wo uns möglicherweise erste Unsicherheiten und Zweifel erreichen und unser Handeln beeinflussen.
In der Kindheit ist die Intuition unser ureigenes Werkzeug, häufig verbunden mit einem unmittelbaren Zugang zu den anderen Welten. Kinder sehen imaginäre Freunde, vielleicht verstorbene Verwandte oder nehmen die Wesen des Waldes wie Elfen oder Zwerge wahr, was von Erwachsenen, die den Zugang zu den Anderswelten verloren haben als Einbildung abgetan wird.
Wir haben im Alltag vielfach Beispiele für unsere Hellsinne, die wenn wir einmal aufmerksam darauf werden uns helfen, uns an diese Gabe zu erinnern, das Vertrauen an die Intuition und unsere Fähigkeiten zu nähren und sie uns mehr und mehr zurückzuerobern. Das können verschiedenste Schritte sein wie ein Gefühl, das gerade da ist zu visualisieren oder Beobachtungen der Natur zu machen, um im fließenden Wasser, den lodernden Flammen oder glühenden Holzstücken zu lesen oder in Trancereisen sich neugierig den Bildern zu öffnen, die sich einem zeigen möchten. Auch die eigenen Träume zu erforschen ist ein Zugang. Häufig ist es so, dass ein oder zwei dieser übersinnlichen Wahrnehmungen in uns stärker ausgeprägt sind, wie etwa Hellsichtigkeit und -fühligkeit. Auch hier lässt sich üben, unsere Wahrnehmungskanäle weiter zu öffnen und bewusst zu erforschen, wonach riecht es in einem Bild, was kann ich dort hören? · Weiterlesen
~ did you know...
On the full moon, the black God Samain, a butcher and hunter, celebrates the beginning of his reign. He kills the Sun Deer, steals its wife, the vegetation Goddess, and carries her off to his underground realm. There she rules as Goddess of the dead, tending to the souls of the deceased, the sleeping seeds and the hibernating animals. She also takes care of the souls of animals that are slaughtered at this time.
To the clairvoyant she appears as an old woman gathering wood in the arid, defoliated forest.
source: Wolf Dieter Storl
Nina Weid · The European Medicine Wheel
By watching the rhythm of our planet, we discover the cyclic being and development of all that is.
The Celts and Germanics are our European ancestors who maintained a close connection to nature and its cycles. Both cultures used the Wheel of Life as sanctuaries for healing ceremonies, prayer time, and as a tool to live close to Mother Earth’s cyclic rhythm.
As nature’s cycles are reflected in the Wheel of Life, so is our personal cycle from birth to death. In a way, we ARE the Medicine Wheel, following the seasons and nature’s cycles. While we might need time for restoration and sleep in winter, we love to enjoy the first sun rays in spring, getting ready to bloom in summer.
The European Medicine Wheel reflects infinity, with no beginning or end. The cross represents our visible world with its four directions, four elements, four moon phases, and the four seasons - the axis mundi. From the center of the circle, the force of creation radiates its power into our world.
The Medicine Wheel provides a possibility to reconnect with our ancient wisdom and to follow the path of our ancestors. By connecting with it, we can feel into the roots of our own heritage and home.
Rhythm & Calendar
31 - 1 november
new moon in scorpio
world kindness day
global event since 1998
full moon in taurus
sun in sagittarius
national holiday since 1620
global event since 2012
new moon in sagittarius
human rights day
global event since 1948
international mountain day
global event since 1948
full moon in gemini