Welcome fall season! I am so happy to be putting on my socks, sweater and slippers again! I am loving the cloudy days, cool breezes and sprinkles of rain. Autumn Equinox is often celebrated around September 20th through the 22nd. In 2023 this holiday lands on Friday, September 22nd.
Working with the wheel of the year for more than 20 years, seasonal practices are a way for me to continually tap into my connection with earth and the earth’s turning seasons. I take this time to ask; what is the earth doing right now? I notice how the trees are starting to conserve their energy, starting to pull their sap to their heartwood. How do we know this? The change of the colors of the leaves and the dropping leaves are our indications that the magnificent trees are responding to the colder nights and brisk breezes. How can we slow down and examine what we want to focus on? How can we be more intentional and direct our energies towards specific tasks? The summer was a wild, unorganized adventure and I loved every minute of it. I feel myself settling into a new routine that prioritizes a consistent, reliable schedule. This is how I return to practices like yoga, meditation and regular walks in the woods that get usurped by swimming in the lake, barbeques and late night star gazing of summer.
Some Fall or Equinox practices might be resetting your altar. I know some people change their altars with every moon or at least every season and some of us just add things throughout the year. This time of year always feels like a new beginning. I liken that to my birthday being in August, so that is why I feel as though the year begins at this time of year. This is a great opportunity, much like spring cleaning to reset your magical spaces. You may want to reset an altar or a magical cupboard, however you keep your magical treasurers. I will reset my altar this season.
When considering an autumn themed altar I think of the colors of Fall- like gold, brown, dark red and orange. Because I do not reset my altar with each season I will likely choose a neutral color as my base. I often use a magical altar cloth designed with magical symbols. I often use candles during the darker half of the year so I will put candles on my altar. Representations of earth, air, fire and water live on my altar so I will use the appropriate vessels and tools to showcase those elements. Next I might add a deity that I am working with, such as Bodicca. She has been on my altar for a few years now. She will likely remain as this time of year is considered the harvest season and Boddica is the Goddess of the harvest.
Celebrating the seasons can look like other secular holidays. I like to encourage people to consider creating a special meal to mark the change of the season. Use local foods as much as possible and in fact whatever you can grow yourself is great! Although most of us cannot harvest an entire meal from our own gardens, when choosing foods for your feast, look for local farmers, bee keepers, and other makers or farmers to make purchase!
Here is a Autumn Equinox menu suggestion to get you started!
Fresh Apple juice or cider (served warm or cold)
Fresh greens salad with nasturtium flowers and herbal dressing
Roasted potatoes and beets with Rosemary
Winter Squash with Quinoa stuffing
Roasted Chicken or Soy Tempeh
Corn bread with honey butter
Apple pie or cobbler for dessert
The Fall Equinox is considered the second of three harvest celebrations. Lammas August 1st is the first harvest then Samhain (Oct 31st) is the last harvest. This time of year is great for food preservation as well. Making pickled foods, canning excess fruits, dehydrating homemade fruit leathers, is all part of our Autumn harvest celebrations. We will gather with friends this weekend to press apples into cider while we potluck and share stories of summer. I often desire to gather with friends and put away food together. I have fantasies of a group of people coming together and bringing their foods to can, preserve or freeze for winter. If you have a chance to create a group or gathering such as this then you are a lucky person!
However you celebrate the Fall/Autumn season be sure include the people you love! This is a great time to invite friends over for a cozy dinner. Share the things you are grateful for before you start the meal. This is considered the second harvest on the wheel of the year. Maybe share stories of what you have ‘harvested’ or learned since the last turn of the season. It’s also great to share plans for the winter, how will you deepen your seasonal practices? Enjoy this turn of the season!
Karin Olsen is a healer, a seer and a teacher. She has been studying plants for more than 20 years, owning a herb shop and metaphysical store for 15 years. She has been a massage therapist for over 25 years. Karin learned her psychic medium skills from her mother and see clients via zoom. She teaches classes on earth-based spirituality through Moonhill Mystery School in the Salish Sea area. In 2021 she earned a Master of Ecopsychology from Naropa University.
To learn more about the wheel of the year, schedule a Spiritual Coaching session with Karin at www.moonhillmysteryschool.com/book-online