The magical moment arrives today as we roll into the autumnal equinox. The Wheel of the Zodiac brings us to the last day of earthy Virgo. We shift energies as the dawn rises tomorrow with the Sun in Libra. The plants and trees now send their life force down into the earth. The Wheel of the Year begins to paint the trees with colors. The lush green canopy changes to hues of crimson, copper and gold. The chipmunks and squirrels scurry to store acorns. The time has come to gather the crops from the fields. The hay will be cut once more. Wheat and grains are ready to be harvested. The pears and apples are ripe for picking. The splendid aroma of grapes fills the air. The bees have made clover honey this year. Mother Earth reminds us to appreciate the abundance around us. Enjoy the wine but plan ahead for the coming short days and long nights of winter.
Honor the season by making a display of the many gifts from Gaia. Put up a table of abundance with all the treasures from the garden. Set incense on the four corners and one in the sacred center to create a ritual of thanks for what we have grown. Make a few corn husk dolls and include them in the circle. In your own words, remember what has grown in the garden, and what has grown inside of you. It is time to give thanks and praise for our efforts. Remember to clean up the garden and take out what is no longer nourishing to us. The sunflower heads can be cut and dried for feeding the birds during the winter months. If you can keep the squirrels from munching on them, dry the heads out in the sun and store away. Turn over the garden soil and give it one more feeding before the chill sets in. Compost the clippings and celebrate the decay which turns the cuttings into the black gold prized by every gardener.
“Coldly, sadly descends the autumn evening. The field strewn with its dank yellow drifts of withered leaves and the elm fade into dimness apace. Silent, hardly a shout from a few boys late at their play.”
This poem from Matthew Arnold reminds us this is the time of the year when Persephone returns to the underworld to fulfill her bargain with Hades. And so, we go into the gathering darkness once again. Before the cold months come, set about taking care of your own spirits for the change of seasons. The loss of sun can diminish us internally. Before we slide into the doldrums, try out this Self-satisfaction spell from Judika Illes published in her tome the Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells:
- For self love, to recognize your own beauty, wash your face with honey blended with rainwater.
- Add your favorite perfume to a bath together with fresh flower blossoms (i.e., calendula, mum, and roses) and gently rub your body with flowers.
- Gaze into a lunar charged mirror until you see the light shining from within
A little magic can be a fun way to chase away the blues. How often do we take a moment to pamper ourselves in such an intimate way. Magic is a sensual art. It asks us to remember who we are and delight in the beauty all around us.
Hail the autumn! It is time for spiced apple cider, pumpkin carving and raking leaves. The time has come to gather our energies for the cold months ahead. We pause and release that which no longer fulfills us. Cut the roots that tie us to a way of thinking or being that holds us back. Cut those roots and prepare to grow new ones.