Have you ever noticed that there is a certain pattern to life? And that the extreme ups and downs we experience never seem to cease, however much we try to maintain an overall stability?
So often in my life, when I felt I was making steady progress to living the life I had always wanted, something would happen that would bring me to rock bottom again. Suddenly that lifetime goal of reaching happiness and fulfilment would seem miles way (because let’s face it that is all any of us really want out of life). At times, it felt like a constant struggle for happiness.
However, one day it hit me. Life was not about just reaching a final destination of ‘happiness’. It was about something more. It was about learning to find your centre in both the hard times and the good times. And it was about finding meaning, truth, acceptance and peace in all the Seasons of Life (that’s what I like to call them) – the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Ups and Downs Are Necessary For Our Spiritual Growth
Well, you might be thinking right now that this sounds a tad morbid but I really don’t mean it to.
You see, I think of this as all a positive thing. I believe that much like the seasons of the year, there are different stages to our life where we have different experiences (good and bad) that are valuable for our spiritual learning and soul growth. Each of these Seasons of Life provides us with a unique lesson and teaches us something new about ourselves.
I realised that life isn’t about eliminating the challenges and the hard times but allowing them to be what they need to be – opportunities for growth. I saw that I had to accept the ups and downs of life if I was really was going to find true fulfilment.
As much as we strive for the good times, the difficult times can be just as powerful. Not only that, they can also be catalysts that catapult us into reaching our highest potential. For what is day without night? Or summer without winter? Both serve a purpose and both are as valuable to the natural order as each other.
What are the Seasons and How do we understand them?
The different Seasons we move through, are often marked by the big events that happen in our lifetime, such as moments of celebration like weddings, births and achievements as well as times of grief such as death, loss and hurt.
(These Seasons of Life I like to compare to the pagan concept of the Wheel of the Year, which I have written about many times on my blog: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Litha etc., as I believe there seem to be certain inescapable cycles to nature, life and spiritual development.)
These Seasons are characterised by both what we experience and learn in each one. See how I have laid them out:
Winter – A time to look inwards. This is often a time when things fall apart or we go through a deep awakening and healing. (Read more about awakenings here).
Spring – After our big awakening and deep healing, we feel life in our spirit again. We begin new projects and embark on a new path.
Summer – Our new path gives us the opportunity to experience bliss, freedom and joy. This is the pinnacle of our life experience and in this Season we often celebrate achievements and reach our goals.
Autumn – This is the time when we review the events of our life and assess whether there is anything we would like to let go of and shed.
I believe that all the Seasons we experience are crucial for our spiritual development and unfortunately on this third dimensional plane, there is no avoiding any of it! We have signed up for both the good and the bad.
This is because on this third-dimensional plane we live in a duality, which means every soul living on this planet has decided to some degree to experience darkness (sadness, fear, anger and grief) as well as Light (joy, expansion, awakening and freedom) as part of their soul’s learning.
An In Depth Look at the Seasons
I would like to take a closer look at the different Seasons individually and see how we can understand these different stages of life. Have a think about which one you are in right now and find out how you can use the wisdom of that Season to aide you on your life path.
The Winter season is hands down the most challenging period of life that we can experience. At this time, we usually are subject to something that shakes us to our core. We hit rock bottom and are not sure whether we will ever have the strength to get back up on the horse.
In the Winter season, we may have experienced loss, death, hurt, illness, disappointment, betrayal or severe depression. Yet, this is also the moment where we can make a choice to come through. We are stretched to our very limit and often experience the very deepest and darkest parts of our being.
It is a moment of initiation and growth. We pass through extreme darkness to find the light on the other side and I must emphasise that there is always that light!
Despite the difficulty and hardship we experience in this Season, Winter teaches us a valuable lesson. It shows us that we can experience the depths of darkness and survive. It also shows us our internal strength and how powerful we are as a human being.
A part of us dies but this just makes way for a new aspect of ourselves to surface. (Read more about the value in having a deep transformation here).
Key Advice: Rather than try to turn this Season into something it is not, take a moment to see what it is trying to help you face. What is it teaching you? Take some time to sit with the pain and allow yourself to feel and purge. I feel that when the Winter Season surfaces in our life, we need to allow it to be exactly what it is until we can move on.
Tarot: this part of the fool’s journey is characterised by ‘The Tower’ card (sudden change & awakening) or even the ‘Death’ card (endings & transformation).
Key elements: Ego death, awakening, transformation, healing, introspection, dark night of the soul.
Do you remember that part in movies where you suddenly see the hero or heroine make a choice that they are going to do something different in their journey and really start to work towards their goals?
I often notice this part has a sequence where motivational music is played and you see all the different ways the hero is making their goals a reality. You see them sometimes fail and you also see their small successes but at this point, the viewer knows that the hero is on track to achieving great things. I feel this really sums up what Spring is all about.
After coming through the deep dark awakening that you experienced during Winter, you find yourself in the light of Spring. You decide to venture on to a new path. You have processed the lessons you learnt in Winter and you are ready to begin a new journey.
Creativity and new ideas may start to spring to your mind. What’s more, you suddenly find yourself eager to search for new ways of doing things, i.e. what can you do differently to get a better outcome this time around?
In this season you may start a new project, move to somewhere new, change careers, or even find yourself in a new romantic relationship. The Life Season of Spring, is all about bringing forth the knowledge we gained during Winter in order to make better choices and decisions for our life going forward.
I like to think of Spring as the time where we step into full alignment with our life purpose. There is often a sense of excitement at this time, as we know we have turned the corner and are on track for great times ahead.
Key advice: The determination and hope you find in this Season, is something to be cherished. Run with these feelings and see where they will take you. Hope and optimism are what keep us going in life and we need to experience these moments of ‘Spring’ to keep us aligned to where we want to go in life.
Tarot: this part of the fool’s journey is demonstrated by the cards ‘The Star’ (optimism & renewal) and ‘Strength’ (fortitude of character & the determination to keep going).
Key elements: A new journey, creativity, finding your life path, sowing seeds, ‘the new you’, rebirth & redemption.
Summer is when we experience the true joy of life. It is a time where we have reached our goals and celebrate our achievements.
At this time in our life, we often feel a sense of completeness and fulfilment.
In Summer, we may get married, give birth, graduate from University or College or we might just generally be having a fantastic time in life and have loads of adventures! Whatever we are doing, we feel happy and excited about how we are living. We feel the privilege of feeling free and enjoy all that life has to offer.
On a spiritual note, in Summer we may also experience an awakening, one that allows us to feel the real Love and Light of the Divine. We may feel very close to God or the Infinite Creator at this time. We see the world with new eyes and everything is bursting with Light and has the hidden hand of the Divine behind it.
Key advice: This is the time to really enjoy and take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way. Summer can sometimes be a fleeting, but nonetheless, powerful moment in our lives that shows us what true happiness really is.
Cherish this time, bathe in it, and allow yourself to really feel the magic of it.
Tarot: this part of the fool’s journey is represented by the cards ‘The Sun’ (joy & vitality) and ‘The Empress’ (fertility & abundance).
Key elements: Bliss, freedom, passion, abundance and expansion.
When we find ourselves in the Season of Autumn, we are at a point of review and observation of our lives. At this point, we take a panoramic view of our life and assess if there is something that isn’t serving our highest good.
This can also sometimes be a time where we put things on pause and observe whether it would be in our interest to change directions or shed what we no longer need.
What’s more, Autumn is a point of release of old feelings and emotions that have built up throughout our life journey. And as a result of this, we can move forward on our path feeling lighter and less burdened by the ghosts of the past.
On a darker note, this Season can sometimes surface in our lives just before we delve into a Winter season. It can be a sign that a dark corner of our life needs our attention but this is not necessarily always the case. I generally like to see Autumn as a time to take stock of things rather than a lead up to a ‘dark night of the soul’ experience.
Key advice: Autumn is the time to get your life back on track if you feel that things have been going awry. Unlike Spring, you have not previously experienced the deep dark awakening of Winter to jolt you back into reality. Instead, you experience more of a gentler reminder of where you should be headed. Make the necessary changes so that you stay aligned to your path.
Tarot: In the Tarot, the cards of the major arcana that depict this time are ‘Judgement’ (reviewing & checking your decisions) ‘The World’ (understanding the self & readiness for the next part of your journey).
Key elements: Shedding, Letting Go, Decision- making, Reviewing and Observation
Allow The Seasons To Be What They Are
Although it can be very difficult when we are in a Season that we are not particularly fond of (most of us probably wish we could live a life of Summer!), it is important to remember the value of each Season.
As I mentioned before, each and every Season has a valuable lesson within and if we did not experience the variance of different life stages, then life would be pretty boring. Not to mention, that we probably wouldn’t strive for change and a better life.
Don’t get disheartened when things feel like they are taking a downturn, remember that everything that happens in life is temporary and always susceptible to change. What’s more, there is always Divine guidance available to you, so reach out for your angels whenever you feel you need to.