The Great Mother has gone to her Long Sleep, the Holly King’s strength is rising and the days grow dark and cold as the autumn enters its final phase, leading into the silence of winter. It’s this time of year that I do a final clean up of my outdoors, put my gardens to sleep, and hang out my feeders for the birds who will stay with us through the winter. Though the harvest season is officially over in Pagan terms, I will still go apple-picking and make cider, pie fillings and maybe put up some spiced apples. It’s a good time to reorganize and tidy-up your home not only for Yule and Christmas, but to create a cozy, inviting haven for the cold winter days ahead.
Preparing your House Magically for Winter
In preparing for the busy Yule season, with its many guests and get-togethers, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your threshold. For Hedgewitches, thresholds of any kind are a sort of magical space, it’s hard to walk through one without thinking about transition and the properties of moving through one space to another. November is a good time give our doors a good cleaning, and if we choose, to put a little every day magic into the task. Learn more about how to bless your doorway here: Blessing your Doorway
Another November task is to prepare the heart of your home. Most witches might say this is their kitchen. No doubt, that’s a very important area for most witches. I tend to think of the kitchen more as the brain of my house. The heart is my front room, which is a living room that we spend a lot of time in. It’s where most of our big decisions are made, where we gather in the dark days around the hearth, it’s a very comforting place. I like to re-arrange the furniture to centre it more around the hearth for winter. I put out candles and flowers. Give it a good cleaning. I also tuck away a small packet of salt (to help absorb negativity that may come from making those decisions!) and also a sachet of comforting herbs, to welcome relaxation and safety to the room.
Getting back to the central command of my home, the kitchen: I like to prepare this room for winter too! I put up a bulb of garlic in the window to protect the space (never eat this garlic!!). I give it a good cleansing, and make sure I’m all stocked up on my favourite teas!
The bedrooms can use a little magic this time of year too! I make little sachets of lavender and oats to put under a pillow on each bed. Holly goes under the bed to help prevent nightmares. I put a little dab of lavender essential oil on all the lightbulbs. It makes the rooms smell relaxing!
Baths are the best. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t have a soak. At least once a month I take a sacred bath, which is a ritual that helps me to focus and meditate on my intentions for the season. There are many ways to create a ritual bath, usually involving simmering select herbs and spices, then straining them into a jar. In a separate jar I mix salt and baking soda. When I’m ready for my bath, I put them both into the bath and climb in! You can also use milk powder or oats instead of the salt & baking soda. Common things to use in November are: thyme, nutmeg, rosemary, lavender lemon zest and bay leaves.
I also start all my crafting for the Yule/Christmas season. Ok, who am I kidding?? I’ve already started this back in August, but officially I start in November!!
Well, I’d better get started on it all! Have a great November, and stay tuned for some tutorials and explanations of rituals and crafts described here later on in the month! If you have any questions, just let me know!
I use the HedgeWitch Book of Days to help set my goals each month.