Exploring the darkness as healthy animism

In pagan circles

we talk a lot about how contemporary Northern culture doesn’t hibernate for winter. The lack of restorative rest contributes to our already stressed lives, leaving us spent from the holidays, and most definitely not replenished for spring. 

In the latest cast for The Weekly Rune I discuss how that state is merely a contemporary manifestation of seasonal stress.

That winter is stressful is an old truth. Indeed many of us don’t have to fend off harsh severe winter with threat of limited resources or quality shelter in the way that our ancestors did. It’s also likely that we still carry coded vestiges of that distress as compact intergenerational trauma, which might show up in our unconscious periphery. However another aspect of ancient stress that we actively experience, feel, and unconsciously act out is lack of skills for coping with darkness — emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Read the full article on Medium.


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S. Kelley Harrell, M. Div.

Kelley is an author, animist, and deathwalker in North Carolina. She teaches rune work, ancestral healing, and deathwalking, as well as mentors and leads the soul tending training intensive, The Spirited Path. As an interfaith minister, she has served her local community and an international client base since 2000 through Soul Intent Arts, and advocates embodied soul tending and sacred activism through Nature. #beyourcommunity

elder well, die well, ancestor well


We don't heal

In isolation, but in community