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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in fall
Diving Into the Wreck: Working With the Dark Waters of Autumn

It is no secret or surprise that fall is probably most people’s favorite season, and it’s easy to see why: the beautiful changing colors of trees and falling leaves, the relief of cooler weather (in many regions), seasonal treats made from pumpkins and apples and, definitely not least of all, the ubiquitously popular holiday of Halloween. Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, originated as the pagan Irish holiday Samhain (SOW-in), which occurs when the veil between this world and the world of the dead is thinnest, and the spirits roam freely. Keeping unwanted spirits away resulted in enduring customs such as costumes and lanterns carved out of turnips (which would evolve into carved pumpkins, which Irish immigrants found much more readily available in the New World in the 19th century), as well as leaving out treats to placate the wandering souls.

There is certainly something in the autumn air itself that seems to testify to the inherent magic and mystery of the season. I know I’m not alone among worshipers of nature and practitioners of magic in feeling like I come back to life in the fall and have much more energy and motivation for journeying, rituals, meditation and magic. Summer stifles and suppresses me on every level, and just makes me cranky. Being fair-skinned and blue-eyed (descended almost exclusively from peoples of the far north) makes me physically sensitive to heat and bright light, and everything else about my personality means that darker, quieter, mystical surroundings are much more conducive to my magic and creativity.

I am especially and unsurprisingly appreciative of and tuned in to the watery energies of fall. Anyone who practices the more common forms of western magic or is familiar with classical occult correspondences knows that the element of water is assigned to the season of fall and the western quarter. While water in her myriad forms is obviously applicable to any direction or time of year, fall does seem to be the most fitting to water in her most common and basic forms.

I’ve come to see the Underworld as the main bridge between the element and the season. One of the more popular and detailed underworld concepts is that of Greek mythology, the realm of Hades which contains five rivers. One of those rivers (Styx or Acheron) is crossed by newly dead souls with the help of Charon, the ferryman. Each of the rivers’ names is based on an emotion associated with death. This is consistent with water being symbolic of emotions, and death is a very emotional thing.

An even more watery underworld is that of Adlivun, the realm of the Inuit goddess Sedna. She dwells in a whale bone palace at the bottom of the sea, to which she sank and transformed into a goddess and the mother of all warm-blooded marine creatures. There is no shortage of emotion in her dark tale or in the sea itself.

I recently discovered a poet named Adrienne Rich. I did so by stumbling upon one of her books on Ebay while searching for something completely different. I was characteristically attracted to the title of the book - “Diving Into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972”, a winner of the National Book Award. I looked up the poem and read it online, loved it, and then ordered the book. I’d like to use this poem and the analogy it presents as a foundation for the kind of personal shadow work and other rituals of self-healing and discovery that are ideal to do this time of year.



First having read the book of myths,

and loaded the camera,

and checked the edge of the knife-blade,

I put on

the body-armor of black rubber

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In the fall season, Nature leaves behind the powers of light, drawing inward to stillness and the sacred dark of Mother Earth, where the sleeping potential of new life resides.

So too your spiritual journey calls you inward to quiet and reflection, compelling you to seek within the secret desires, dormant gifts and lost stories of your inner sacred dark where your sleeping potential resides. New beginnings await you in the sacred dark.

Here are four lessons to deepen your spiritual work in the fall season.

1. Step beyond the world you know, and turn your awareness toward the unknown of the sacred dark.

Commit to travel the deepest roots of your spiritual journey. Call up your courage and determination. Lessen your grip on the things you hold true and dear. Open to the mysteries of your inner sacred dark, and let them guide your spiritual work.

2. What you hunger for waits for you in the sacred dark.

Heed your soul’s hunger to seek out your greater becoming. Whatever you truly need to be whole waits for you in the sacred dark of your inner landscape. Here you can discover and reclaim the lost, precious parts of yourself that can nourish your soul and make your life anew.

3. Suffering and sacrifice are integral parts of your spiritual work.

Don’t expect your spiritual work to be pretty or easy. Honor the lessons and experiences that come to you, especially those that challenge you the most. Know that this is how life is meant to teach and grow you. Great beauty, wisdom and resilience emerge from the depth of your struggles.

4. It’s the journey itself that transforms you.

You grow and mature by consciously engaging your life experiences, both the positive and negative. It’s this very toil of sweat and soul that changes you. Life, with its joys and sorrows, is the crucible of your greater becoming.

Artwork: Karen Koski

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
This is a time of steeping b2ap3_thumbnail_nourishment-card.jpg
and deepening,
of holding and enfolding,
of ripening and harvesting,
of nourishment
shared and received.
There is an offering occurring,
a recollection at hand,
a restoration in process,
a stewing and a brewing,
a choosing and renewing
in our souls.
 
Autumn Blessings to you all!
 
We've created a free set of nourishment-themed affirmation cards and they're available to you here.
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Two Octobers ago my last grandmother died, my last living grandparent. As the leaves turn to red and gold once more, I wake thinking of her each morning. I wake thinking of my maternal grandmother too, who died five years ago, in springtime as the iris bloomed. I dream of my husband's grandfather, he stands shoulder to shoulder with my oldest son, white hair flashing as he compares their heights and laughs.

We've just returned from a two week long trip to Florida and have arrived back in Missouri to a life in full b2ap3_thumbnail_73311891_2462875420591332_173510902027386880_o.jpgswing, parties to attend and plan, new products to develop for our shop, old requests waiting for our attention. But, the leaves will only be this color for a moment. The air will only be this sweet and pleasant for a moment. The sun will only glint across the cedar branches in this way that brings my soul to life right now, the colors of the day so sharp and vivid, clear and bright to my eyes, that it is almost like stepping into another reality. We have only this moment to join hands and slip off into the woods beneath the early morning sun, stepping past pools of slowly dripping water, over sharp and uncertain stones, soft green moss, and carpets of fallen leaves. It is only this moment in which we will hear the hawk's cry ring out across the trees. Only now in which we will turn over leaves and discover shining mushrooms, gleaming in the October sun.

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Posted by on in Signs & Portents
The Season of Change

Merry autumn, all! Today is the Autumn Equinox which, while often overshadowed by Samhain, is an important festival in many parts of the world (particularly East Asia, where it is known is the Mid-Autumn Festival).

We’ve gathered our posts here at PaganSquare for autumn as well as related content from across the web. We hope you enjoy warm nights around the hearth!

—Aryós Héngwis

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Autumn Equinox: Roots Deepen

b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-shot-2018-01-09-at-5.06.38-PM.png

Dorrie Joy (Somerset, UK) is a mother, grandmother and lover of the wild earth, an artist and traditional craftswoman creating sacred space for her woman and girls.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Harvesting

Fall is my favorite season.  The cooler weather (not that we've had much of that yet) is a relief after the stifling heat of summer.  The colors, the sense of the season all appeal to me.  This fall I've been so busy writing and editing, I've not had any time for much else.  

My harvest is my writing.  I'm focusing on getting the stories in my head down on paper so I can share them.  It's not tomatoes or corn or pumpkins.  I stopped gardening years ago when my legs stopped working well.  But it's still a harvest for me.  

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