As the clock strikes midnight, we are plunged into darkness once again as Daylight Savings Time takes hold. The winter months ahead for those of us in the Northern hemisphere seem even more daunting as sunlight wanes and the night closes in. To better understand how we can thrive in this dark period, it is important to know why we even practice this time-changing ritual.
Why Does Daylight Savings Time Exist?
The idea of Daylight Savings Time (originally called Summers Time) was first dreamed up by none other than Benjamin Franklin in a 1784 essay called “An Economical Project”. At this time in history, the world was advancing their lighting technology from new types of oil lamps to eventually electricity. Thus, Daylight Savings Time was originally meant to conserve power needed to light the world. The rationale was and still is, that light usage directly corresponds to when people wake up and go to bed each day. By moving the clocks ahead one hour in the winter, people would go to bed earlier. Therefore they use less electricity at night. Studies conducted since 1784 have continued to support these claims.
Scorpio Season and Daylight Savings Time
So what does this mean for us? Perhaps one small condolence is knowing that we are as a whole contributing to environmental conservation as we subconsciously use less electricity during this time. Another aspect is noticing the correlation between Daylight Savings Time and the arrival of Scorpio season. Scorpio thrives within “the dark night of the soul” and can live there comfortably more than any other sign. As the days grow shorter and we travel deeper into Scorpio season we should see this as a time to explore the parts of us that are dark, deep, and far-seeing. These are times to contemplate death and rebirth of things that no longer serve us or need change.
It is not uncommon for us to want to walk in the light at all times. We want to show up with charisma, be there for our friends and family whenever they need us, and always hustle, hustle, hustle. But at what price? Not only are we children of the sun, but we are also children of the moon. Parts of us are always waxing or waning within the darkness. Though we hide this side most often because it is a bit fierce and misunderstood. We spend all summer basking in the light. Now this dark season invites us to explore our moon side and be a bit more recluse and self-serving.
Dark Season Practices
- Night walk: One of the best ways to use this darkness both internally and externally to our advantage is to open up to our other senses. As the light fades, we are called to rely less on our sight and more on our other primal instincts. To practice this, try taking a walk at night without a light. Make sure you are in a safe area to do so or bring a companion to accompany you. You’ll notice initially your ears will prick at every small noise, sending a bit of adrenaline through your body. This is your body feeling a bit unnerved at the absence of its preferred sense. But as you walk on, you’ll find a rhythm in your step. This is the best time to ask for signs from the cosmos. Now you are much more aware of your surroundings. It may be the hoot of an owl or a building you never noticed before, but the darkness helps to awaken things forgotten or ignored.
- Make “no” your favorite word: As mentioned above, walking ever in the light can be draining, and the marker of Daylight Savings Time implores that we let our own needs and desires take front seat this season. Unfortunately, the holidays clash around the same time. Try secluding yourself even a bit more than you usually would from all of the obligations of the ensuing frenzy. This is a time when guilt should not exist for the health and growth of our own soul. We can then spend more time reading books that interest us, meditating, drinking tea, or journaling to candlelight.
- Do something with your hands: Across many cultures, this dark season was meant as a time of hibernation and honing one’s craft. Our ancestors had spent all spring and summer tirelessly working to build, plant, and harvest. Now they had earned the right to settle into more steady and contemplative tasks. Why should we then be required to work tirelessly all year long? The notion simply is not natural to the rhythms of the earth. So while most of us need to go to work daily, we can carve out pieces of time to commit to these quiet tasks. Nothing sparks the soul more than doing something with our hands. Consider knitting, painting, baking, or any age-old activity. This calm work keeps our hands busy and allows our minds to open up to new thoughts and ideas.
Dark Season Support
Even by shifting our actions to align with the dark season that Daylight Savings Time brings, the months of cold can undoubtedly take a toll. To keep us present and supported, we can call on our herbal allies for a pick-me-up when it gets too heavy.
- Sacred Space Mister: This illuminating spirit spray is one of my go-to products for a quick burst of light in the dark. I use at least one spray a day to cleanse my work space. Ancient herbs such as white sage and palo santo help to bring wisdom in these introspective days.
- Lucid Dreaming Tea: There is nothing more comforting than a warm cup of tea by the fire. Aside from warming our body, we can use this beautiful medium to explore dream work during these long nights. While we mindfully walk through our days, we can let our spirit free through our dreams. This tea allows us to explore the darkness of our subconscious. Powerful herbs such as passionflower, skullcap, and blue lotus help to guide us through the corridors of night.
- Herbal Oatmeal: As we all know, breakfast is so important to our well-being and even more so during the winter when our bodies crave nourishment. A warm bowl of oatmeal may sound delightful to some or bland to others. But a great way to enliven this ancient food is to add some plant allies to the mix. Oatmeal in fact dates back to 2000 BC Egypt and has provided nutritional support for centuries. Instead of using water or milk as a base, try using an herbal tea such as chamomile or dandelion. This helps us to obtain the medicinal benefits as well as a slight herbal flair to the flavor.
- Mulled Drinks: Nearly every culture in the Northern hemisphere has their version of mulled drink (or a drink that has been heated) for the dark season. Some add specific herbs, spices, fruits, or honey to the concoction. Research which blend your ancestors used. Brewing this easy drink encourages us to enjoy the flavors of the season, connect to your lineage, and warm your body on the cold nights. For example, wassail was a type of drink my ancestors made in medieval England. The recipe included apple cider, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and other supportive herbs.
- Wild Mountain Bath Soak: How often do you take a bath? Probably not often enough. Our bathing rituals are opportunities to nourish and soothe our bodies for all that they do for us. And nothing is more comforting on a long dark night than a warm bath infused with an herbal soak. This specific soak contains scents from the boreal forest including balsam fir and black spruce. As you relax into your bath, allow the scents of the woods to transport you into your own world.
Check out more herbals offerings for support during the cold & dark season here!