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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in autumn
Autumn New Moon Detox: Fire and Water

The first new moon of fall (this Wednesday, October 6th) couldn’t be a better time to begin a good, cleansing detox both inside and out. The artifices and general busy-ness of modern life make it easy to forget sometimes that our inner and outer worlds reflect each other and often need the same amount of care and attention.

As we move through the cycle of the year we accumulate a lot of “stuff”; both physical stuff and emotional stuff. Time for us to change with the season! Time to clear things out, heal, purify and nourish, release, let go and start fresh. All you need are my favorite cosmic twins, Fire and Water.

As I discuss in an earlier post, it’s an awesome, curious fact of physics that water is essentially created by fire. The combination of oxygen and hydrogen requires combustion to transform those gases into liquid water. Inseparable, they make a great polar pairing on many levels and in many workings and even cosmologies, for instance the Norse Ginnunga Gap: the primordial void where fire and ice came together to form the world, the elemental giants and then the gods.

My current favorite way, and such a perfect way for the fall season, to combine the two elements to do a multi-level detox is to brew up a spicy, delicious, Moon-charged fire cider.

If you haven’t heard about the fire cider craze or at least haven’t gotten around to trying it, I highly recommend doing so and especially right now as we move into the chilly, sniffle-riddled seasons. Not only is it a potent immunity-boosting tonic, it’s a delicious seasoning/sauce that’s great to have on hand for sauces, soups, salads, marinades, pickling and anything else you can think of. I’ve been using it regularly for about a year now and I’m hooked.



Read the full article with recipe and ritual

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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

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Falling Into Fall

Change can be tough, to be sure. As I get a little older and wiser I see how much better it is to learn to roll with those changes that come your way. Accepting and embracing these shifts, no matter how unfamiliar or strange, is definitely the way to go. Intuitively, it also ties in with living fully in the moment and letting go of that which no longer serves us. It's the natural flow of nature and of life. So don't be that last stubborn last leaf on the tree this fall—live and let go.

Changes in the Weather

As many folks' favorite time of year comes into full swing, take the time to get out on some invigorating fall hikes to re-energize your soul. Walk in familiar spots to notice what is shifting and see how that makes you feel. Does it make you consider areas in your own life that could use a shakeup? Meditate on this one for a while and see what presents itself to you, whether in immediate visualizations or later that night in your dreams.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Beautiful Russell hasn't lived next door for more than 30 years, and (sigh) we never did sleep together, much as I wanted to. Even so, I bless his name at this time every year.

Talk about your boy next door. (Boy, I say. He was probably my elder by five years, if not more. Five years more mature, anyway.) Lean, lanky, pretty face. (Woof.) Longish, straw-colored hair. (Woof woof.) Little round gold-rimmed John Denver glasses. (Woof woof woof.) Sweet-natured, smart, quirky sense of humor. Ah, the arrogance of beauty, the beauty of arrogance.

Still and all, my past is populated with beautiful guys that I never had the chance to taste, whose names I never bless.

(There's something about that longing-for-what-you-can't-have, though, that seems paradigmatically autumnal, no?)

No, I bless Russell's name for the sake of the raspberries.

Autumn-bearing golden raspberries, chieftains of the raspberry clan. During his time next door, Russell planted them along his side of the fence and, as is their way, the canes—disrespecters of boundaries, all, just like the rest of us—have migrated into our yard. Every year at this time they bear their autumn gold.

Red, black, and gold are the raspberry kindreds, but oh, the gold are the sweetest of all. Maybe, like autumn roses, they're all the sweeter for the knowing that they'll be the last.

I stand in the autumn sunshine, pricking my fingers and plucking the year's final fruiting. When my palm brims full, I gorge on harvest sumptuousness: one last, brief ecstasy, before the end.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Finding Your Fall Balance

Even if you already have some plans booked for the Fall Equinox, it’s never too late to schedule some pleasant activities just for you. This is in fact, the optimum time to focus on balancing areas of your life. First up, examine where you could de-clutter. I’m not just talking about a general all-over abode sweep and tidy – although I would advise that, as it always less stressful to have a clean home base. I’m talking about mental clutter, paper pile-up, and time wasters. Remember that nature tune, “Earth my body/water my blood/air my breath/and fire my spirit?” Well I’ve concocted a nifty regimen to address each of those elements and how they connect to you. Ready, set, go!

THE HOMESTEAD

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the Spiders

We don’t have any seriously dangerous spiders here in the UK – they can bite, and bites aren’t delightful, but on the whole our spiders are harmless, friendly creatures who like to hang out in our homes. Autumn seems to be spider season. I always see more of them at this time of year, and the larger ones tend to appear more often now.

Spiders eat all kinds of other things that may get into your home to do you no good at all. They’re allies, and will take out things like clothes moths, mosquitoes and other bitey, unpleasant visitors. If you live somewhere with dangerous spiders, there’s a decent chance that a less dangerous spider might actually help you keep the scary ones out, even!

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Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
For the love of leaf snow

For perfect leaf snow, you need to be in a wood on a bright autumnal day with little wind. It’s magical to stand under the trees as the leaves fall softly around you, very much like large snowflakes. Different leaves interact with the air in different ways, so if you’re in mixed woodland you can see the differences in how leaves fall. It’s enchanting; a colourful, magical leaf snow that patters softly to the ground.

Like so many encounters with nature – seasonal and otherwise, much depends on being in the right place at the right time. You’ve got to have trees, and deciduous trees at that. You’ve got to be in amongst them – it doesn’t work to try and watch this from a distance. It may be pretty if you can see it, but it won’t be the same as being in the leaf snow.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Deborah Quartz
    Deborah Quartz says #
    Leaf snow is the one event that actually happens here in Florida, we have some lovely Oak and Sycamore trees and in the fall the s
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    So true, and so relevant for this time! Much of what you said echoes the Samhain/New Moon messages I received from Water & shared

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