10 December 2012

Yule Shadow Magick

It's that time of year again, Yule is fast approaching.  This year the moment of the Winter Solstice will be at 3:12am pst on Friday December 21st.  If I were a slightly more fastidious (or anal) Pagan I'd do my darndest to stay up and do ritual right at the moment of the Solstice.  However, I'm not, and I have to work on Friday.  So, instead I will do a bit of ritual at Sunset on the 20th (4:20pm) and a bit at Sunrise on the 21st (7:55am).

Yule is about rebirth.  It's about surviving and thriving during the darkest night and rekindling the fires of life and ushering in new light.  Given that shadow magick as whole deals with those themes, it is an ideal time to do a major working.  Yule is an excellent time to set major goals for the next year and imbue them with energy and intention.  Of course, to fully embrace the natural shadow of winter it's best to set your goal for a major change of habit or something that will force you to deal with things you've been avoiding.  If you want to succeed at shadow magick you can't be afraid to face unpleasantness.

My big goal for the coming year is to achieve more balance in my life.  I tend to do everything in the extreme.  I'll study a subject 12 hours a day for a month and then drop it forever; I'll go from sitting on my couch to trying to run an hour a day and injure myself; I'll do ritual three times a day for a few weeks and then barely light a candle for months.  I tend to be very "all or nothing" in the things I do, which isn't the healthiest of mindsets.  It just leads me to overdo things, overextend myself, and then end up physically and mentally burned out. 

I used to think this meant I was just a hard worker, but really it's a weird kind of obsession.  It's almost as if I'm hoping that each new obsession will be the magic bullet for my general malaise - that one thing that will make everything else fall into place and give me a lasting sense of purpose and fulfillment.  It's not actually a terribly healthy way to go about things and it's very difficult for me to admit that.  Shadow work is all about giving up false ego and embracing the truth.  It's very, very hard.  If it's not hard you're either doing it wrong or you're a bodhisattva.

At sunset on the 20th I'm going call on the Crone for help and light a black candle for banishment.  I'm going to write down a thorough description of my utter lack of balance and all the harm it does me.  I'm also going to write down the things that I used to think it brought me that it really doesn't.  Then I shall burn the paper and say, "My obsessive tendencies and lack of balance have failed me.  I have failed to be the person I want to be because of them.  As the light dies on this darkest night I release my grip on them.  I let go of attachments that do not serve me and let them fade with the dying sun.  I release my false ideas and open myself to something better.  May I find a better way of coping."

Then, at sunrise the next day I'll take a little "coffee break" at work.  I'll take a small cookie or candy and hold it in my hands and mentally say, "As  the light returns to the world I shall find my balance.  I shall find the path of moderation that will allow me to be whom I want to be and do what I want to do.  As the days lengthen I shall walk this new path of balance.  I shall be my best self, whole and complete, accepting and accepted, shadow and light entwined."  Then I'll eat my little, moderate treat and go about my day.


  1. Geez. Apparently we're not just sisters -- we're twins.

  2. Very stressed out, overachieving twins ;)