Winter is on the way – nights are long, days are short and it’s only going to get colder. Bright summer yang sun has faded through autumn into the reflective yin watery season of winter. Yin water element brings mist, fog and November rains. There are rich deep colours of autumn still but November storms mean that the last leaves will fall through this month. It is the end of the year, the harvest is in and the fields lay bare.
‘I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.’
There is a cutting away we feel in November, revealing the bare truth of the year that has passed. Of all the months of the year, November feels like a threshold. What was the harvest in our life this year – what went well, what didn’t grow well and what seeds can we imagine planting next year?
The Celtic cycle of the year sees no measurable beginning or end, just the eternal cycling of the wheel of time. But they did see November as the start to a new turn of the wheel. This is traditionally the time to tie up loose ends, clear up, clear out, to settle debts, to bring things to completion and reflect on the year.
November is a time to let go, release aspects of life that are outgrown or no longer serve, to shake things up a bit to allow for change and renewal. As ever, our home is a mirror of self.
3 things to focus on at home in November
Make a special place of sanctuary, by the fire or by candlelight to reflect on your year. This is a time for slowness, reflection, solitude – making space for that to happen helps you meet the new year consciously. Protect yourself from the pressure to be busy all the time. In the growing darkness, find out how you shine.
Create a home altar to honour the ancestors, all those who have brought you to who you are today. Toast their memory, celebrate their life – this is a quiet month of peaceful reflection and a time to drift with your memories and find peace. Who inspires you and who wants to make you want to do it different. The altar can be as simple as pictures and a candle or you can make a more creative centrepiece with treasures from your home and from nature to make it beautiful.
Make sure to sweep up fallen leaves at the entrance and pathways round your home so that the yin energy does not sink into stagnation. Actively clear and sort any areas of home that need some care so as to bring completion. What do you need to let go of to allow new things in? Better to complete one area thoroughly if you can’t do all of it. Nature loses nothing. The radiant summer sun is stored in the leaves that fall and nourish the earth to bring new growth in spring. As you clear the space, see the various aspects of your year as falling leaves and gather in their goodness to create your new beginnings.