We're now moving out of autumn and into winter. Although winter doesn't "officially" begin until Yule/the Winter Solstice around 22nd December (it's the 21st this year) the seasons do run together and it's starting to feel more wintry. It's definitely gone colder, especially at night and some parts of the UK have had snow. (None in Sussex yet!). It was 9 degrees Celsius (48F) here today and at the end of the week and next weekend it's supposed to drop to 1 and 0 degrees at night. It gets a bit confusing though because 1st December is thought of as "meteorological winter" while around 21st Dec is called "astronomical winter". You can read more here: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/is-december-1-the-first-day-of-winter/
I'm not a huge fan of winter because I don't like being cold and I find the colder months of the year depressing. I have depression and I also have a bit of seasonal affective disorder aka SAD. I don't like it when it gets dark earlier. (The sun is currently setting just before 4pm). I'm much more of a summer person. That could partly be because I was born abroad and spent the majority of my early years in hot countries (Africa and Fiji) where there isn't much of a winter. I've lived here since I was 4 and I still don't like winter after 29 years! lol.
However I do enjoy this time of year because of the lead up to Christmas and since 2010 I've celebrated Yule, so that's another thing to look forward to.
Last year I came across this article on preparing for winter: http://themagickkitchen.com/preparing-winter-spiritual-alignment/
It's from a spiritual/magical perspective but has some tips that anyone can use, regardless of their beliefs. :) The first is one cleaning your house and work space. I'm planning to do some tidying up and cleaning before Christmas. Some of you probably get loads of charity bags through your door like I do, so you could always do a tidy up and give some stuff away. I personally don't have a lot of spare clothes but I've given books and CDs.
No. 4 (Winterizing) is a good idea as well, making sure that your garden, car, house etc are ready for winter. For example if a lot of snow and/or bad weather is predicted it's good to make sure that you'd be prepared. I also like No. 5 (Soul Searching/Spiritual Sojourn) since I love books! I've been reading Mike Dooley's Infinite Possibilities recently (a Law of Attraction book) and I'm planning to read more of his. I also re-read a bit of Silja's The Green Wiccan Book of Shadows the other day. Spiritual and magic/Wicca sites and blogs are great for information too. You can find some links to interesting books and websites on my Resources page: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/p/useful-websites.html
The time between Samhain/Hallowe'en and Yule is sometimes called "the void" because it's the "darkest" time of the year and things are dying. Then the light will start to grow again from Yule onwards. And also Samhain was the end of the old year (and the start of the new). I've been taking a free course from Rockstar Priestess called Walking the Void. Find it here (it's free and you can take it anytime until Yule): http://www.priestesstraining.com/free-course-walking-void/
And here's more about the void season and both sabbats:
I like the suggestion in the Cauldron and Brew post (2nd link) about getting outside at this time of year. I like to walk in the park year round, although I don't go as much in winter if it's really cold. I haven't been as much lately because of having other things going on, on my regular day. (I find it easier to stick to a regular routine of going to the park once a week). It's getting busy in the run up to Christmas now and with the days getting shorter there's less time before its gets dark, but I'm going to make more of an effort to get out, even for a bit.
Update 4/12/17: I came across this post today about taking care of yourself when you feel down during winter and thought I would include it: https://www.blessingmanifesting.com/2013/01/self-care-winter-blues.html/
Update 2: 20/12/17: Here are a couple more posts- first about preparing for winter (very useful if you're in an area that's due for a lot of snow) and then on ways to beat the winter blues if you feel down during this season:
Hope that helped you start to get ready for winter. Yule is coming up soon so I'll do a post in the next couple of weeks about celebration ideas. Happy Winter! (If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, Happy Summer and when can I get on the plane to your place?! lol).
One final thing- a good thing about the seasons is that they always change and so if you're not as keen on one, it will soon move on to the next. Celebrating the sabbats helps me to enjoy them more. If you're interested in the Wheel of the Year and manifesting/Law of Attraction (LOA) you might like this free mini-course Manifesting with the Wheel of the Year which I took recently: https://gypsywytchdiaries.com/free-trainings/*
Photo: Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-sea. Copyright Moonsparkle 2017.
*4/12/19: Site/page gone.