Say Farewell to the Dark Half of the Year
This meditative journey is one you can read ahead of time, and then recall as you meditate, or you can record yourself reading it aloud, and listen to it as a guided meditation later on. You can even read it aloud as part of a group ritual. The ideal place to perform this meditation is somewhere outside -- try to pick a day that's warm, or at the very least sunny. Go out in your garden, or sit under a tree in a park, or find a quiet spot near a stream.
Visualize yourself walking along a path. You are traveling through a forest, and as you walk, you notice that the trees are covered with the vibrant hues of autumn. There are reds, oranges, and yellows everywhere. A few leaves have fallen on the ground beside you, and the the air is cool and crisp. Stand for a moment, and take in the scent of fall.
As you continue down the path, you see the sky getting darker. The air has become more brisk, and the leaves are gently falling around you. Soon, the trees are bare, and there is a crunching sound beneath you. When you look down, the leaves are no longer bright with autumn's colors. Instead, they are brown and brittle, and there is a light touch of frost on them. Winter has arrived. Breathe deeply, so that you can smell and taste the difference in the air.
The darkness is full now, but above you there is a full moon lighting your way. A snowflake falls in front if you, drifting down ever so slowly. Soon another drifts down, and another. As you walk further, the snow begins to fall heavily. The crunch of your feet on the leaves is muffled, and soon you can't hear anything at all. A blanket of pure white snow covers the forest floor, and everything is quiet, and still. There is a sense of magic in the air -- a feeling of being in some other, special place. The real world has vanished with the sun, and all that remains now is you, and the darkness of winter. The snow glistens in the moonlight, and the night is cold. You can see your breath before you in the moonlit air.
As you continue through the forest, you begin to see a faint glimmer of light ahead. Unlike the silvery light of the moon, this is red and bright. You are beginning to get colder now, and the idea of warmth and light is promising. You walk on, and the red light draws closer. There is something special about it, something of relief and change and warmth.
You walk through the snow, up a steep path, and the snow is now up to your knees. It is becoming more difficult to travel, and you're cold. All you want, more than anything, is a warm fire, and some hot food, and the companionship of your loved ones. But it seems that there is nothing but you and the snow and the night. It seems as though the light has grown closer, and yet is still unreachable. Eventually, you give up -- there's no reaching it, and you just keep walking through the snow.
As you come over the hillside, though, something happens. The forest is no longer surrounding you -- in fact, there are only a few trees left on this side of the hill. Off in the distance, to the east, the sun is rising. You continue on the path, and the snow fades away. No longer are you walking through great drifts -- instead, you are on a muddy track, crossing an open field. In the meadow are tiny buds. Grass is peeking up from the dead, brown earth. Here and there, a cluster of bright flowers appears beside a stone, or beside the path. As you walk, the sun rises higher and higher, bright and orange in its glory. Its warmth embraces you, and soon your night of cold and darkness is forgotten.
Spring has come, and new life abounds. Flowers and vines are beginning to grow, and the earth is no longer dead and brown, but vibrant and fertile. As you walk in the sun's warmth, you realize that winter has truly left you, and that you are renewed and reborn once more.
Stand and bask in the light for a few minutes. Meditate on what sort of abundance you are looking forward to this season. Think about what you will plant in your own garden, and what new life you will bring forth.