Ah, January! How do I explain what January has always meant to me? Something like uprooting your whole life and going to a place you've never been to before, and where you don't know a single soul. Sounds a bit extreme, but then again, I am a very intense person, with larger than life emotions most of the time.
I always felt this irrational urge to just sleep through January, perhaps even February, and maybe, in dreams, get settled into the New Year and, upon waking up from my long slumber, find myself comfortable within the new settings. Obviously, an impossible proposition, leaving me no choice but to navigate my way through the awkwardness of a new beginning.
Well, surprisingly enough, such proposition is not so impossible, at all, in fact. For the first time I am actually excited about January, and instead of fighting it, avoiding it, and dreading it, I am actually working with it. There's so much wonderful medicine and magic to this month, and I can, indeed, hybernate through it, and work with its energies, to allow myself the quiet time I need to, not only recuperate from the intensity of December and the holidays, but to give new ideas and projects for the new year, a chance to take form and shape, in a quiet, safe and peaceful environment, the womblike cave of my inner work.
I'm learning, I'm having insights, discovering new things about myself I never took the time to, never stopped the chatter inside my mind, to give my inner self a chance to be heard. That voice was in desperate need to come out, to be payed attention to. Working the medicine wheel, starting with Grandmother Bear in the North, finding the silence I needed to reconnect with my own self, has been tremendously helpful in making peace with January, and my fear of new beginnings. Most importantly, understanding and feeling how the magic of January can help me set a strong and solid foundation for the coming year, has made this month so precious to me now. Whereas before, I couldn't wait for it to be over, now I look at the calendar, and can't help but notice how fast is going, and simply trying to make the best out of every single day, so I don't miss a moment of this greatness!
Two of my most favorite things this January, so far, have been, first, working with my altar in a more meaningful way, focused on the specific magic this month has in the air, and channeling these energies into the ground work I'm setting for 2013. Second, some of my most powerful and insightful meditations to date, which have been happening on my way to work, inside a crowded subway car! It appears to me that Bear is determined to show me the way, even when I'm not specifically journeying to find her guidance. Here's an account of one my most meaningful encounters with Mama Bear, during my morning commute to work: