When the nights draw in it’s time to celebrate. Discover enjoyment of nature, holding a harvest supper and hunting for ghosts to celebrate the season
At the Autumn Equinox we can celebrate the last of the harvests and the bounty of nature. Hedgerows are laden with berries, trees are heavy with apples, pears and plums. On a practical level this is an occasion for gathering and preserving. The mists of autumn also encourage you to slow down, reflect and be aware of deeper meanings.
In the following we look at;
- What is the Autumn Equinox
- Enjoying Nature
- Holding a Harvest Supper
- Ghost hunting
WHAT IS THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
It’s a point in the year when day and night are equal all over the world and the sun is overhead at the Equator. This happens twice a year, at the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes. However, at the Autumn Equinox the sun is moving southwards, meaning that after this point darkness is greater than light, and growing all the time, until the Midwinter Solstice.
At the Autumn Equinox the sun moves into Libra, sign of balance. This certainly is the season for weighing things up and evaluating. The actual date of the Equinox can vary by a day or two. This year it is on September 22nd.
The wonderful thing about all the seasonal festivals is that they encourage you to be aware of the outdoors, in all its moods. Go out for walks and pick blackberries to turn into a delicious pie. Experience that coolness in the air that tells you change is coming, the energies within the earth are drawing inwards preparing for the coming chill of winter. Respond to the slowing down in Nature by letting yourself stand, look, stay quiet and dream.
The colours of Autumn are truly stunning, so give them more than a brief glance. Take some creative photographs or let yourself be inspired to paint, or make a collage of red and gold leaves. Pick up shiny conkers and turn them into a display, play old-fashioned games with them or carry them for luck, and to banish rheumatism. Now more than ever Mother Earth is generous and full of variety.
SUPPER AND SACRIFICE
Invite friends and family for an informal harvest feast. Encourage everyone to bring their own favourite dish or, even better, something they’ve made themselves. That spirit of appreciating and sharing is very seasonal and heart-warming. Obviously the rules of social distancing need to be observed but don’t let that stop your enjoyment.
In ancient times people naturally feared the coming winter and so made sacrifices to their powerful gods, to persuade them to carry on being generous. We like to see ourselves as more sensible nowadays, but we are still totally dependent on Nature despite all our technology. It may feel good to scatter some crumbs outside at the end of the meal as an offering to the Faerie Folk or symbolically saying ‘thank you’ to the earth.
To continue the theme of sacrifice, it’s an uplifting idea for everyone present to pledge a sacrifice for some deserving cause. This may just be picking up litter in the park or helping a lonely neighbor, to joining a charitable organization or making a donation. It’s good to remember the homeless now with winter not far ahead. Animals also need help, as the weather gets colder.
All of this should be fun, not guilty or punishing. True sacrifice is a process of self-realisation, which is a productive theme for Autumn.
Traditionally, Autumn Equinox is when the veil between this world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. Is it the trailing mist and the whining wind that make it seem that way, or do we actually sense something in the energy-shift that is taking place? Occultists report that the world of spirit is simply another realm of existence that vibrates at a higher rate then this one. It’s not unreasonable to believe that when the seasonal vibrations alter, you could find yourself in touch with another reality.
Ghost hunting can be fun as long as you don’t approach it with mockery. Mirth with reverence is the motto. You may like to visit local places that you’ve been told are haunted. Naturally these will include old buildings, but phantoms gather at places where earth energies are strong and these include barrow-mounds and standing stones. What could be more eerie than a dolmen by moonlight or tumulus in the evening mist? Be still, sense the atmosphere and observe.
You can also go on organized ghost-hunts to castles and creepy places. If nothing else the stories behind these places, with their strange events and human tragedies, will make you appreciate the comfort of your own life.
IF YOU NEED HELP
Autumn can be a time of celebration and enjoyment. We’ve explored what the Equinox actually means, enjoying nature, holding a harvest supper and ghost-hunting. Any way you can take part in the seasonal rhythms can enhance your life. But it can also be a time of melancholy and low mood. If you feel you need help with positive thinking, please email me on email@example.com I will be pleased to hear from and will get back to you.