Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Creating a Soulful Wintertime Home

Creating a Soulful Wintertime Home
By Denise Linn

Winter is the perfect time for turning inward, for taking time to relax, to meditate, to tend the soul. Curling up next to a crackling fire with a hot mug of tea warms the heart as much as the body. The unwelcoming weather outside shepherds us towards the inner realms, where we can slow down, take time to enjoy life, and completely nurture ourselves.
Winter invites us to transform our environments into soulful havens of sacred space. In these months of darkness and cold, the light of candles creates a sense of warmth and vitality everywhere. Candlelight flickers in a lively and personal way. It creates an instant sense of the sacred which fulfills our deep-seated need for meaning and beauty in life. This is a great time to create a feast for all of your senses. Filling your home with deep rich colors and soft sensuous textures feeds the soul in the winter months. Velvets, wools and rich tapestries create a sense of creature comfort on an entirely different level from anything that is possible during the warmer months. Jewel tones and earthy colors speak of the richness and nurturing of Mother Earth. Brass, gold and copper reflect the light from crackling fires and candlelight. They make a room feel completely cozy and welcoming.
Warm nourishing soups and delicious hot drinks have been associated with winter since earliest human times. Spicy aromas, scented candles and rich incense all delight and nourish us in a soulful way. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, orange and tangerine all are associated with the winter holidays. They call forth memories of feasts and celebrations.
The months of darkness are the time when nature incubates its seeds and prepares for an explosion of growth in the spring. This is also a natural time for us to conceive new dreams. When we are less preoccupied with going out and keeping busy, we can take the time to reflect on what is most important to us. We can slow down, turn inward and really connect with the source of our inner wisdom. A home altar offers an excellent way of honoring the process of dream incubation. On your altar, you can place symbolic representations of your hopes and plans and highest aspirations. As you spend time meditating in front of your wintertime altar, its energy will slowly begin to work a remarkable kind of magic in your life. An altar is an amazing tool for manifestation. It has the power to bring those things that lie hidden deep within your heart into the everyday world of waking reality.
In ancient times the altar was often placed at the hearth, or heart of the home. In this position the energy of the altar is radiated throughout the home. Another traditional place for an altar is near the entrance to a home. Placed here, the altar greets you when you first enter the home, and it is the last thing you see as you leave it to go out into the world. This creates a powerful template for experience. The subconscious mind is programmed continually in this way to recreate the imagery of the altar throughout the day.
In the dark months, we begin to give birth to ourselves once again. So that when the world is reborn in the fresh green fullness of Springtime, we too can reemerge renewed and full of radiant new possibilities for living.

Denise Linn is an international lecturer, healer, practitioner of Interior Realignment and author. Her many book titles include "Sacred Space, Clearing and Enhancing the Energy of Your Home," "Altars Bringing Sacred Shrines into Your Everyday Life," and "The Secret Language of Signs." Visit Denise Linn at her Website.