Day and night are equal, all is in balance, and we are receiving as much from our harvest as we are releasing and letting go of - clearing space for the silence of Winter and the seeds of new beginnings. This transition point is an opportunity to embrace a new set of possibilities, to prepare for the approaching darkness and what we wish to take with us in to our Winter dreaming cave. A time to reflect on your personal harvest and what seeds are within it that you wish to cultivate and tend to. What do you wish to incubate over the Winter months? What do you wish to leave behind to compost for new growth?
It is a supportive time to change habits and anchor intentions so if you feel drawn to starting something new as a daily practice or hobby, now is the time. If you want to let go of a habit and create new pathways for connection, align to the shifting energy of the time and ride that wave of transformation. As we shed these past ways, we may experience grief as a natural expression of loss. Autumn Equinox is associated with the element of water, who can guide us through our grief and support a healthy flow of emotions, so that we don't become stagnant, overwhelmed or depressed.
Autumn Equinox is the Great Feast of Thanksgiving, inviting us to come together with our community and express our gratitude and appreciation for the abundance of the Earth and all her gifts. To celebrate and rejoice in the fruits of our harvest, share generously and honour the practice of reciprocity by giving something of ourselves back to the Earth.
"For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
The apple has long been a symbol of Divine Wisdom, ripening at this time of harvest as we are gathering in our achievements and insights that have come from this outer cycle of growth.
At Equinox the apple tree is representative of the abundance of Nature and the generosity of the Goddess. She opens up our hearts in gratitude and appreciation for the generosity of the Earth, and inspires hope for regeneration. We can cultivate more trust as we give and let go, knowing that all will be replenished and new life will grow. Through connecting with the Spirit of apple we are reminded to value, cherish and celebrate all we have in our lives and share our harvest with others.
It is the perfect time to forage for seeds on the forest floor. Venture to the woods and gather acorns, pine cones, any seeds you can find. With the next new moon, prepare pots with damp compost and add a couple of seeds to each pot. As you do so, reflect on what seeds of intention you wish to plant and speak it aloud to the seeds. A little saliva offered to the seed is always welcome!
With the vibrant energy of Autumn in full flow, now is the time to enjoy a deep clean of your house, body and mind. In your home, clear out clutter, smudge all the rooms and bless them with a sprinkling of spring water. Give your body a break with a fast from food, then some green juices and lemon water, and enjoy a deep salt bath and exfoliation. Journal your reflections on all you are harvesting and letting go at this time. Take yourself out in nature and meditate... keep your eyes open and just watch nature so effortlessly shedding, releasing and preparing to go inwards for winter.
Gather with your family and friends and make an outdoor altar or earth mandala with natural items representing this time of harvest. Each light a candle to add to the offering as you share what you are grateful for in your life and in nature. Alternatively create a hearty feast to share and each express your thanks before you sit down to eat.
Enjoy a day out foraging berries, nuts and fruit, giving deep thanks for earth's bounty, singing songs along the way. Brew, bake and preserve with your harvest; inviting your dreams and intentions for the future to bubble up while you're cooking. Perhaps an apple cake infused with a dream to make an ancestral pilgrimage next spring, or hedgerow syrup laced with your longing to learn burlesque?! Bottle up or freeze, name with your intention, and during the winter months take out and enjoy - remembering your intention and giving thanks for its inspiration and becoming.
Use the power of your intention to designate a space to being a place of love and holding by getting in to an open-hearted space and inviting in people and beings that you love and feel upheld by. Imagine you are creating an energetic container to feed and nourish you when you feel drained, alone or despairing.
The circle is a powerful symbol of protection and unity, and you can create one with anything - stones, feathers, photos, scarves, plants. Each day you can take a few minutes to intentionally enter the Circle of Love and Protection, draw on your happy memories, call in your guides, kind ancestors and loved ones, and let your cells be fed with their loving.
Practice recreating this feeling when you’re out and about, imagining an energetic bubble around you, sealed and strong, golden or pink. Know that you are loved, held and safe. Feel the layer of protection around you and be strong with your intention not to allow any unwanted energy to enter your space.
Gather with your family and friends at Equinox, inviting each of them to bring water from their local river, spring or well. Create a circle, with a large bowl at the centre, surrounded by flowers, harvested fruit or other offerings. Each take it in turn to step in to the centre, naming the water you are bringing and pouring it into the large bowl. Once complete each offer up in words or song, all that you are grateful for at this time. Once the waters are infused with all this gratitude, appreciation and sweet melodies, each pour some of the water medicine in to your bottle and take this back to where the water came from, imagining all these loving energies of gratitude infusing the rest of the water there. You can also take this water medicine to other spots you feel drawn to that you feel could do with some uplifting!
Set out for a walk with nature, carrying a basket or bag and a pair of scissors/secateurs. State the intention that you wish to gather foliage, berries and flowers that represent all that you are harvesting at this time. As you walk, reflect on what has grown in your life this year, what success have you enjoyed, what lessons have you learnt? Each time you think of something, hold that recognition in your heart-mind and seek out a plant, tree or bush that you can gather from that represents what you are harvesting. Repeat until you have a hearty basket-full and grateful heart! Either out in nature or in your garden, kneel on the earth and spend a few minutes acknowledging all that she has helped you grow. Beginning at the centre, start to lay down your natural treasures to create a mandala, giving thanks as you go for all the beauty and abundance in your life.