Updated: Sep 13
Lammas is behind us and Samhain is fast approaching as summer turns to Autumn and the Autumn Equinox is just a couple of weeks away.
Can you feel it? Can you smell the change in the air? The slight chill, the dewy morning cobwebs, the leaves slowly starting to change, the first early conkers on the ground, the darker mornings and earlier sunset. The squirrels are busy burying their nuts and hedgehogs looking to snuggle down in their dens for the winter ahead.
Autumn is a time for going inward, to reflect and take stock. And Autumn is a special time in the Wheel of the Year as we prepare for Samhain when we honour our ancestors and prepare for the dark, dying months ahead.
Autumn is one of my favourite times of year, alongside spring. There's always something special about endings and beginnings which both these seasons represent. They are also both full of colour in their on special ways. You can feel both approaching, sense the change as the wheel turns.
The Autumn Equinox occurs on 22nd September, when Autumn "officially" starts in the UK. Spiritually the Autumn Equinox is a good time to give thanks for the Autumn harvest and for what we have.
We can also use this time as a period of contemplation as Autumn moves towards Samhain. Autumn is a time of going within and reflecting upon our own mortality, about taking stock of what we have achieved in the year that has passed, to be thankful for what we have. A time to prepare for the darkness that lies ahead over winter. It's also a good time to celebrate the dark months to come, a different way to look at the seasons ahead. Many feel sad as the darkness grows but try to embrace it for what it is, a time to retreat, to rest and take care of you, take the pressure off!
In addition to focusing on Autumn as a time to go within, it can also be an active time of year. Autumn is harvest time and Autumn can represent the fruits of our labour, whatever they may be. So Autumn is also about harvesting the fruits of our labours whether they are spiritual or material - you bring them in for your own personal Autumn Harvest. Harvest and Samhain also bring communities together so perhaps it is a time of friendship for many.
If you are looking for some more creative ways to approach Autumn then here are some ideas that I have come up with to use Autumn as a time of reflection, preparation and celebration.
1) Set up an altar where you add items you may find over Autumn, like acorns, fallen leaves, feathers. Use it as a place to honour the season and for contemplation. Continue to make offerings to it throughout the season.
2) Create an Autumn scrying mirror where you add some Autumn colours and elements such as leaves, feathers, stones representing Autumn. Let Autumn be your focus for reflection and looking into the future. Come back to it during Samhain too.
3) Wear Autumnal colours. If you have Autumn flowers near by put them in a vase on your altar or place them in the room where you will be doing any autumn rituals.
4) Create an Autumn wreath with leaves and berries which you can hang up or wear during Samhain to mark the season.
5) Autumn is a beautiful time for a walk. Take in the colours and enjoy the change in the landscape. Use this as a time of reflection too by thinking about Autumn, what it means to you and what you have achieved over the year. Perhaps take a notebook and find a quiet place to sit for this on your walk.
6) Make a list of Autumn things - Autumn can really stimulate all your senses. List what you love about Autumn and make it into a poem or song to represent Autumn.
7) Find an Autumn poem or words that resonate with you and add Autumn sigils in Autumn coloured ink.
8) Make an autumn jar to get rid of any negative energy you may be carrying. Autumn may be time to let go of things that no longer serve you. Place Autumn leaves and crystals in a jar with Autumn scents if possible. Add Autumn water made from Autumn flowers or Autumn coloured fabric which you have collected over the year. Write Autumn sigils on Autumn paper, whatever Autumn things you can find, so they are all together in the jar. Leave it for a few days until Autumn has really hit you and then take it outside where you can open it up and let any Autumn energy go into nature.
9) Go apple picking if possible, get some cider to drink while there while taking in the Autumn colours and use apples as part of Autumn rituals or decor - perhaps join in a celebration at an orchard and/or a wassailing.
Whatever you do make Autumn work for you by using your imagination and making ritual or just taking in Autumn in all its glory, whatever version of Autumn that might be for you. Autumn is coming, get ready for it!