5 Tips for Winter Wellness
Last year I did an interview about living in alignment with nature and honoring the energy of Winter and it never saw the light of day. So, I thought I'd share it with you here, as these insights and tips are still relevant as ever.
1. Hello Cassie! First things first, tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! Thank you for inviting me! I am an energy healer, a doula, a seer, a witch, a medicine maker, an ancestor and founder of Manifest Reiki + Herbs. The mission I've been given through my lineage is to translate for the most ancient god, Source. I hold space and guide individuals through the work of remembering who they were birthed into this lifetime to be, to loosen attachment to their traumas, and lift the veil between worlds. I am steeped in birth and death most of the time and it's where I'm most comfortable.
2. What does living in alignment with nature look like for you?/Why do you think its important for folks to consider living seasonally?
My answer to this question is through the lens of a witch so I think it’s important to talk about the influence of this and other identities on my relationship with the earth before anything else. My personal definition of a witch is someone who lives their life informed by the seasons, honoring + reflecting the earth in each phase. So, to live seasonally is to live like a witch. As an energy worker, I deeply understand that the seasons reflect us and what we need at which time, because energetically we are just a piece of the earth. And, as a doula I see all things through the cyclical lens of the life and death cycle and this is ultimately the main lesson of seasons, right?
When we follow earth’s example and live seasonally, —it becomes easier to give ourselves grace because we understand that everything is cyclical, beginning and ending, each season fleeting and always returning. When we fully understand this, we can realize that birth and death; beginnings + endings are like fraternal twins, simply the other side of each other. Living in alignment with these philosophies translates to nourishing ourselves with seasonal harvest, reflecting + restoring softly in Winter. Beginning again with vigor in Spring, basking + socializing in Summer, and letting go + dying in Autumn.
3. What does a typical Winter season look like for you? How do you feel? What do you do? What do you notice about yourself and the world around you?
I love thinking about the psychology + magic of babies being more likely to be born in the dark. From an evolutionary standpoint, this happens to ensure safety from predators. But it's really so poetic. Darkness lets us explore + experiment + quiets the grounds for a rebirth each year. Darkness gives us the Time + Space to be the old way and remember our instincts just like the baby leaving the womb.
But, it's not all poetry for me. When Winter begins I feel a surge of relief with a hint of dread. I’m naturally a more pensive, analytical person so there's comfort in it but the season also swirls up with a sort of staring into the void that can get very lonely + confusing. Growing up on the East Coast deeply intensified my experience; I’ve derived great joy being snowed in with people and also have drowned in shadow only realizing it was heavily informed by Winter once it lifted. With it being harsh and long, I felt a loss of control of my depression with each passing year. It’s healthy to be with our shadow self, but not everyday for 6 months. This played a conspicuous role in my move to the West Coast.
In San Diego, Winter is interesting because the energetic shift is still palpable regardless of the temperate climate. I am still imbued with a slowness and a quiet creativity that feels secret. However, the difference here is that events and partnerships keep rolling along because we’re not all snowed in and we’re still getting sunlight. I utilize this dichotomy to go heavy in taking care of myself but also staying connected to others and the outside world, which is an ideal balance in protecting me from falling into the abyss too deeply for too long.
In Winter, I wake up later, spend more time cooking, and let things fall away from me with a loose grasp.
When I'm doing a good job honoring this restorative mode, I’m able to take notice of everything and reflect on it without anxiety about moving too slowly. This is where inspiration is born for me, when I’m a slow moving observer with no pressure. So, you can find me writing with a cup of tea, in my dimly lit apartment with my little heater going at my feet and my cats roaming around. I get a surge of energy healing clients + clients needing ceremony in these quieter times because people are also reflecting + inspired to shift deeper into themselves + their work. And, as I mentioned, there are also a lot of births. It’s a beautiful + busy time for me.
I eat oatmeal with cinnamon every single day. Warming spices are key for me, as I have lower than normal body temperature. I make soup and chili (all vegan) weekly. Not only is it extremely nourishing it also feels sweetly ceremonial, which is what most of my life is and where I am most comfortable.
4. What are your top tips or points of interest for flowing through Winter?
1. If you’re tired- rest. Slowing down and restoring are not a waste of time. They are a regenerative time. This was part of everyday for people before we were steeped in capitalism and our bodies want this rhythm. Rest serves just as much of a purpose as action. I say this with the knowledge that capitalism makes it very hard, but I try to think of it as a resistance.
2. Allow yourself the freedom to be creative. This is a season of private experiment + ceremony. Follow your observations + imagination into a new place while you have this time before Spring arrives + demands you get back to the external world. Contemplation is a powerful birthplace. Paint, dance, sing, write, cry let yourself explore + don’t be held back by ideas of what you’re producing. Just experience the creative process for all it is.
3. Get outside! This is a hard one with all the extra sleepiness, but we still need to be in nature as much as we do through the warmer seasons. When I was just back east for the holidays, I took a couple walks and the bare trees were hauntingly gorgeous.
The more we acknowledge + adore nature,
the more we realize we are an expression of it
+ the more grace we have for ourselves in our cyclical urges to be inconsistent + ever-changing.
4. Take extra precaution with your body. I take more medicines in winter because sometimes I wake up with achy muscles or a headache. For this, I use various products that I've made myself and stock in my shop. I use Golden Aura Protection Spray to experience an uplifting mix of antibacterial components and mood boosting ingredients. The alkaline water with the smell of the coconut in the witch hazel combined with high grade balsam fir and rosemary essential oil is really special and makes me feel better instantly. For any creeping sickness or immunity issues, I use my tried and true home remedies like elderberry syrup, fire tonic, nettle and cinnamon teas, and various other medicines in my apothecary that I’ve created + infused with energy and positive intention. And I'm always interacting with thyme, either diffusing thyme oil, adding sprigs to my tea or to my dishes.
5. Always clear your energetic field! This is a great practice to use in any season. You have to get free of negative energies from others but also from your own experiences. If you’re not clearing your field, you will get stagnant. A really easy way to do this is with Selenite, or if you prefer smoke medicine you can burn mostly any herb and they all have different meanings and benefits, but be sure to do research on the story of this herb so you can practice with full integrity and reverence for it, who has used it, and it’s history. Golden Aura Protection Spray is perfect for clearing as well.
5. Tell us a bit about Manifest Reiki + Herbs and where folks can contact you!
I’ve always been the person people go to when they need help and don’t feel safe with anyone else. Growing up, my teachers told my mom that I was always helping other kids work through their problems. I was also always fascinated and studying birth + death. Manifest is now the container for all of that work. It’s a safe place for people to be seen, heard, die, be born, give birth, to explore grief, fear + their own Divinity. I just give them time + space from my heart + third eye and we heal together.
Manifest is about have a great expansion up to the Pacific Northwest, as I move to Seattle in just a few short weeks. I plan to keep all of my current work going but am also leaving space for the unknown to wiggle her way in and guide me into the portal of it all.
I have a sense that I'll soon be channeling a lot more medicines, assisting a lot more birthers + dying peoples + sitting down to start capturing the books
floating around in my head.
If you'd like to connect you can contact me via the website at https://www.manifestreikiherbs.com/
and you can keep up with all the goings-on via Instagram at @manifestreikiherbs