I have been using the term "The Quiet Time" in recent posts and thought it was time that I explained this phrase better, and what the concepts are that I associate with this phrase.
The Quiet Time is a period in the cycle of the Wheel of the Year, the turning of one season to another. In my definition this phrase refers to the period between Samhain (October 31st/November 1st) until Imbolc (February 1st/2nd). During this part of the year the intention is to refrain from doing any energetic work, or any druidic activity.
There are several reasons for doing this:-
- The land is going quiet itself - the earth energy, particularly the male earth energy, retreats into the depths of the earth and is unavailable for use
- Trees and other sentient organisms and entities go into hibernation, and their interaction and energy is also unavailable to be worked with
- It is helpful for the energy worker to replenish their own personal energy by having a restful period to recuperate and regenerate
- Wisdom can be extracted from the knowledge acquired over the course of the 'working year' by changing the perspective on that work through reflection, consolidation and re-visiting the work that has been done throughout the year
Putting together all these reasons to take a break from working in the land it can be seen that there are tremendous benefits to "going quiet" over this period. Going quiet does not preclude going out into the land, however. Ironically, there are often many more opportunities for taking time off from your job during the Yule period, and this year I was specifically directed to go out to a sacred site for the Winter Solstice. I would, of course, encourage you to get out into the cold, the snow, the winter landscape, and discover how it changes and how it feels in those conditions. This actually makes the return of the energies in Spring so much more exciting!
There is a down side to taking a break for such a long period. Your rituals and routines become stale - but I just see this as an opportunity to review them in Spring. Another issue can be sheer frustration - looking out at the bad weather and wishing you were out in the land working - but really there's nothing to be done, and nothing to work with at this time of year anyway - so chill out! Relax. Learn patience. Do other things. If you must work, do something different! This year I have done a house clearance during The Quiet Time, for example. This used only my own energies to do, and so it was ideal for me.
However, on the whole, I spend this time reflecting, writing, resolving what happened in the previous year, and preparing for the next year's work. I have already discussed what I intend to do for Imbolc, and soon I will be discussing how I will be approaching the Spring Equinox. The planning starts in The Quiet Time with tarot readings, reflection, learning, reading, writing and restoring health and vitality. Enjoy the silence!