Here we are at the last month of the year. To mark the end of our journey through 2017, we offer you a spell for coming home. In the English language, the word “home” completes as the mouth closes around a hum, and the last of its sound reverberates within the throat. There is an element of privacy and depth to the word home, even in the speaking of it. For some, the word “home” may evoke the richest sense of belonging—a specific dwelling, the silhouettes of familiar landforms on the horizon, the signature smell of someone’s cooking, the lit up grid of a big city, or memories of being held by people who love you. The thought of home may also conjure a sense of loss and longing, memories of pain and abandonment. Perhaps these two different feelings of home and homelessness make complicated swirls in your heart.
Home is a highly complex sentiment contained within a simple word. In its essence, home is created in moments that are life-giving, full of care, shelter, intimacy, and belonging. Home is a feeling that cannot be faked. In part, this image is the spell for December because, in climates where seasons turn, December heralds us into the season when we most need our homes—the warmth and shelter of them, the disciplines they hold us to, and the quiet, private space in which to hibernate and dream ourselves into the Spring.
About the spell:
Whatever your relationship to home, this spell is a balm for the deep ache we each carry in our hearts that is tethered to home. It reaches out to the longing we feel for human contact, acts of kindness, familiarity, and shared understanding. It offers fortitude and commitment for the trials of intimacy and the mighty efforts of maintaining an evolving relationship to home. Working with this spell means working with where you come from—childhood, families of origin, ancestors, mammals, earth, stars. It is a spell for being present to the current moment and to your power to transform things from the inside out.
To know the comfort of home and togetherness, we must also know the deep pain of being homeless and apart from what we adore. This spell is a song with enough sustain to travel along the deepest paths and collect all who are lost and still searching for a home. May the warmth of this song call to all who are cold, hungry, lonely, in despair, and afraid—may it call our spirits back into our bodies and our bodies back into this beautiful, heartbreaking world.
A meditation on home:
Wherever you are for this meditation, try to first settle into your surroundings—see what you see and notice what you notice. Notice what’s around you and consider how it came into existence—consider the history of chairs, stones, buildings, plants, music, and sunlight. Now, begin to settle into your self. Ride each exhale into a soft awareness of the quality of your thoughts and sensations. Consider what’s inside of you and how it came into existence—your organs, bones and cells, your conscious attention, your beliefs about yourself and the world. Now, feel the weight of your body as it is tugged on by gravity; feel your feet, your seat, your pelvis, shoulder blades and spine. With this gentle sense of grounding, see if you can allow your body to be a safe shelter for your sensations—a place where your experiences are cherished, contained, and digested. If your body does not feel like a safe shelter, then let yourself do whatever you need to do to feel secure. If you do feel safe enough to explore this allowing, ask yourself: in this moment of my life, where or when do I feel most at home? Where do I feel aches of homelessness or longing for home? If you are getting distracted during this inquiry, ask yourself if you feel at home on this planet, or in your own skin. Notice the feelings that arise in your body as you consider these questions. Clarity or confusion… softness or hardness… a drawing in or a pushing out. Try to glean from your experience the most salient quality and welcome it into your awareness—welcome it as you would a dearly missed beloved finally close enough to embrace. And then check to see, when you tend to your feelings in this way, do you feel anything inside of you move as though through wide open doors, in towards needed warmth and understanding?
About the painting:
Corina: We’ve been wanting to paint more raccoons ever since our first one, the raccoon peering into a telescope from our 2012 calendar. We really let ourselves get cute with this one in a way we hadn’t before. I was thinking about fairy tales, about the coziness of burrows and hollows that keep animals warm in winter. Also, holly berries have been one of my favorite spots of brightness in the winter. The redness of them against the snow deeply called to me when I was a young kid growing up in a city that mostly turned dirty grey in the winter.
Jocelyn: It was almost painful painting the cuteness of these fuzzy little bubbers. But I most remember struggling with this image until I decided there would be mountains in the background and not water. I think I had some stuff to work out of my own around “home” because I had wanted the background to be a watery horizon, like the great lake I grew up on, but it kept feeling wrong. And then something landed in my belly as I painted those mountains and saw the word “HOME” inscribed on the tree. Well, there it is, I thought. These hills are my home now, no doubt about it. And today, as I write this, these hills are covered with their first big snow of the season.
This month's offerings:
This month, Corina is busy making new illustrations for a book coming out early next year, and writing new astrology classes to teach this winter. You can keep up with her on Instagram, and Twitter, @corinadross.
This month, Jocelyn is in a big transition, completing her clinical internship and turning toward integration and re-imagining. She will be sleeping in, sitting less, and going deep into creative process. You can follow her on Instagram to see what that looks like: @jocelyncorvus