Colder weather has long been a favourite temperature of mine. It brings meditative calm, peace of mind, and the stilling sound of snow falling has a precious quality to it. Ice, to me, makes sense as an element on the pentacle, for ice has so many qualities to it that none other has. To me, ice represents the cold very well. But what does cold do? It turns visible that which is unseen. Breath becomes mist. Water, which slips so easily through our grasp and ever moves on in evaporation or descent into the earth, is suddenly turned still and hard. I could go on and on about all the beautiful things that cold represents to me, but suffice to say that I am slightly infatuated with it.
And yet, cold is a massive C-PTSD trigger for me. Due to my past, a lovely taste of cold weather can suddenly turn into sharp mood swings, dissociation, and a vast amount of other complications. Usualy I can balance this. I’ve been forced to learn the strict amount of times I can spend immersed in this element, the very little amount of cold I can actually stand, and have to bundle up to the point that I almost do not feel that sharp bite upon my skin.
Unfortunately, curveballs happen in life and recently the heating broke in my apartment. Ah, global warming. If this wasn’t unusally cold weather locally for the time of year, it would have been no problem. We hardly would have noticed. Yet, there is still several feet of snow here, and I was forced once more to acknowledge my weakness to cold. How tiring a constant trigger can be. How exhausting it is to fight not just the draining sap of cold, but psychologically to battle against constant reminders of the past. To distance myself again and again from what feels like overlapping realities.
So what does this have to with spirituality? Balance, I would say.
For those of us suffering from triggers, we would love to live our life in a total absence of any reminders of our past. Of ‘those’ or ‘that’ event. But unfortunately, this blissful erasure is not always possible. So we live in a balance. We want to experience life in all its fullest, yet not be inundated by our past rising up from behind like an engulfing monster. And this is not a still thing. It reminds me of the pentacle, ever circling and rolling and flowing in the cycles of nature. Some days we fail, and the destructive forces of nature feel incarnate in us. Other days, we may feel successful, proud, and striving forward with the strength of fire. Yet other days we merely exist or cope, like a chunk of ice that neither melts or condenses. Life, we, are a cycle. Destructive and creative forces are a part of nature, and triggers, repercussions of destruction, are just as much a part of this cycle as anything else.