“Oh, my sweet summer child," Old Nan said quietly, "what do you know of fear? Fear is for the Winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods”

George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long

William Shakespeare, Sonnets

Surely everyone is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a wintry fireside; candles at four o'clock, warm hearthrugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies to the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without.


Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater

The seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are experienced in areas that lie between the polar and tropical regions.  Seasons impact day-length, temperature and precipitation throughout the year.  The changes result from the earth's orbit around the sun.  As it follows its orbit, the earth is always at the same angle to the sun.  Consequently, the north tilts away from the sun from September to March (Fall and Winter) and toward the sun from April to August (Spring and Summer).  The opposite occurs in the southern hemisphere.

Winter Solstice falls on December 21st and is referenced in a variety of ways including the Long Night, Solstice, Midwinter and Yule.  This Solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.

The darkest time of year at the North Pole is Winter Solstice, There has been no sunlight or even twilight since early October. The darkness lasts until the beginning of dawn in early March.

Rain, freezing rain, snow, and sleet are all types of precipitation that can fall during this season. For significant amounts of precipitation, there must be an adequate amount of moisture in the atmosphere.  How the precipitation falls is dependent on the temperature.  In addition, elevation, geographic location, and air flow also affects what type of precipitation falls.

Sleet (ice pellets) occur when snowflakes melt into raindrops as they pass through a thin layer of warmer air. The raindrops then refreeze into particles of ice when they fall into a layer of sub-freezing air near the surface of the earth.

When mild, moist air moves over a cold polar or arctic air mass near the Earth's surface (a vulnerability of lower elevations--as cold, dense air naturally settles into lower elevations) freezing rain can occur.  Essentially freezing rain occurs when the snowflakes have melted into raindrops but do not have time to refreeze into sleet before contact with the ground.

Wind (including wind chill), snow, ice and cold can be life-threatening depending on an individual's personal or circumstantial vulnerability.  Threats include heart failure (snow clearing), hypothermia, frostbite, collapse of buildings and power lines etc.  

It is important to be prepared for winter emergencies either at home or travelling including light, heat, food, water, warm clothing, sand, salt, etc.  It is also important to respect the variable conditions of micro-climates in terms of regions e.g. snow belts, freezing rain regions etc so that the preparation you make is specific to the conditions you may encounter.

Related Wildwood Cards:

Major Arcana: 

Card: Five- The Ancestor

Card: Nine - The Hooded Man

Card: Twenty-One - The World Tree

Minor Arcana

Card: King of Stones - Wolf

Card: Eight of Arrows - Struggle

Card: Page of Arrows - Wren


© 2018 by FIONA MACKINTOSH. Proudly created with