How have you been coping with the change in season? The shorter daylight hours, the chill in the air and the leaves falling are all signs of the summer months slowly dissolving as we enter a new phase. Just as Nature has cycles so do we, pay attention to how this current phase impacts your mood, mindset and actions.

This time presents a wonderful opportunity to look within and access the deeper aspects of ourselves that may have been previously overlooked. This self-reflection can be used to challenge any thinking patterns, actions and beliefs that we hold. Or to unleash deep wisdom and guidance that exists within to prepare us for the new cycle ahead.

The possibilities are endless…

Personally, I have always acknowledged the beauty of this time. There is something about the changing tones of the leaves and freshness in the air that I have always enjoyed. I find it peaceful as it provides a sense of change and winding down. However, the most noticeable aspect is that this is a time where I appreciate being indoors, I become less sociable and simply enjoy the creature comforts of resting, feeling warm and comfortable.

It is no coincidence that my behaviour aligns with the numerous animals that hibernate during this time. Whilst, I can’t just sleep for the next few months I can definitely retreat within myself. The animals hibernating and the darkness of the days are symbolic of shutting down the external reality and using this time to focus internally.

For me the timing of this is very significant, for the past few weeks I have been consciously aware of needing to take a break, I have noticed subtle changes such as feeling tired, being overwhelmed by simple tasks and generally enjoying time in solitude and quiet. This highlights the fact that if we listen to ourselves deeply our mind and body are always in communication with us if we tune in to listen. When our external realities are busy we can often miss the messages that are coming from within, this can lead to a lack of creativity, reduced intuition and spiritual insight, health issues and more. Recognising when to take a step back and focus on self-care is essential.

You may have a specific objective that you wish to achieve, it may simply just to rest and give your mind and body a break. Or maybe you want to use this time to develop spiritually? Whatever your particular aim is these questions may help you to make this most of this time:

Have I been neglecting myself in any areas mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually?

Do I feel stressed? What is causing me to feel this way?

Do I have any aches and pains in my body? If so where? What is my body trying to tell me?

What is my intuition telling me?

Are there any spiritual practices that I should introduce during this time?

Do I have any unhealed issues that I need two work on?

Have I been having any dreams? What are my dreams trying to communicate?

I chose to listen to my body and from Nov 1st I decided to go on ‘Spiritual Hibernation’, I took a break from work, reduced my time on social media and dedicated time to myself and my family, with a great focus on being led from within. Every morning I lit a candle in honour of my ancestors (Maternal Grandmother and Father), asked for their guidance and let my intuition do the rest. I purposely chose this to be an organic experience where I let things flow naturally.

My intuition led me to carry out various practices at different stages throughout the 10 day retreat period including meditation, exercise, fasting, walks in nature, positive affirmations whilst looking in the mirror, writing affirmations repeatedly, emotional freedom technique (EFT)/tapping, spiritual baths and oil/resin burning.

The first thing that became very apparent within the first couple of days was how much I required physical and mental rest. I had been working on autopilot for so long that when it came to taking a break, I literally slept! I slept deeply during the nights and napped during the day. I embraced this time as I knew it was allowing my body to recharge itself.

Within 48 hours of my ‘Spiritual Hibernation’ I was visited by a large black spider in my home, admittedly I am scared of spiders, but no exaggeration it was big! It’s cold outside so the windows haven’t been opened for a while but yet there it was. There was no doubt in my mind that it came as a spiritual messenger. It is quite common to have insects/animals appear slightly larger than usual as a way to get your attention when delivering spiritual messages. Despite, feeling uncomfortable, I appreciated the visitation, as spiders carry such inspirational symbolism. For example, spiders are ingenious creatures, they are master architects of their own reality! Spiders literally design their own homes which also function as a means to secure food. They are creative, innovative, adaptable and wise as characterised by Anansi The Spider folklore of the Asante (Ashanti) People of Ghana, these stories have extended across West Africa and the Caribbean.

It was around this period that I was greeted by another spiritual messenger in my home. This time a moth, once again the windows had not been opened but there it was in the bathroom. Instantly I knew that a relative had come to show their presence. Moths often frequent my home and I have developed quite a relationship with them over the past year or so. Moths among the Akan People of Ghana are considered to be the presence of Ancestors. This belief is also found in various countries in the Caribbean including Jamaica and Grenada.

Both messengers disappeared after their message had been delivered.

Each day of the break brought different levels of understanding and insight. Once I got past the physical rest, I became aware of how liberating it was to free my mind. I realised that I had been over exerting myself by making myself too available. By nature I’m someone who likes to help others, but this process of taking a step back made me realise that healthy boundaries are necessary. Helping others is wonderful but balance is essential to avoid feelings of complete burnt out, which is what I allowed to happen to myself.

After a few days I moved into feeling various emotions at one point I became filled with sadness and feeling very negative. Despite cleansing my home it was still there, it was revealed to me that I am carrying guilt for a decision made in the past. I made myself give in to emotions and I felt low, but it had to be done so I could move beyond it. Guilt can lead to various things including blockages in achieving goals, depression, anxiety and self-sabotaging behaviour. I had to forgive myself and I’m aware that this is an ongoing process that I must commit to in order to release myself from the energetic frequency that it carries. By the following day my vibration had raised and I was feeling positive and refreshed.

In addition to the insights received I also noticed that after a few days I started to have consistent dreams. For the couple of weeks leading up to the break I had felt spiritually stagnant and had noticed a drop in the dreams that I could recall, now they were daily! Something internally had been cleared. This opportunity to ‘semi-detach’ myself from the outside world allowed me to open something within.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned that has been extremely noticeable from day one of this ‘retreat’ is the amount of synchronicities I have been experiencing. Those who have read my previous articles will know that I have been experiencing seeing repetitive numbers for over 10 years now, but throughout these past few days the sightings have been OFF THE CHAIN!!! I’m talking about a minimum of 15 times day.

My first thoughts were that this phenomena being heightened is in relation to the belief held by many cultures across the globe that the veil between the physical and spiritual realms are thin during this time. I’m also inclined to think this change in frequency may signify something more permanent. Either way it is an important time for us all to keep ourselves in an uplifted positive state of being to make the most of this moment and stay away from unhealthy distractions including things that are aimed at causing division, disharmony and negativity.

The whole process has allowed for much self-reflection and I feel much better for it. I have also learned that I need to be more frequent in this practice and implement it whenever I am called internally to do so. ‘Spiritual Hibernation’ is a necessity and it isn’t an act of selfishness but one of self-love and aligning ourselves with Nature ultimately puts us in balance.

Verona Spence-Adofo

Ancestral Voices Co-director

11 November 2019