Honoring Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season; from boots and sweaters, to soups and stews, to the smell of the leaves returning to the earth and decomposing and the scent of wood burning in fireplaces. It is really a time of coming home. When I was younger I resonated much more with the fire of summer, but as I get older I appreciate the quieting down, cooling down, darker energy and the ability Autumn gives us to be more receptive.The Autumn season is linked to the element of Earth energy.

I invite you to honor the season by living in harmony with it.

This is the time that we harvest what we sowed, and return what is not needed back to Mother Earth, both literally and figuratively. This is a time to look at what harvests our year has brought us thus far, and what we no longer need. We thank and honor both the things that came to fruition and the lessons we learned from those things that did not, or that did not serve us, and we bless and send those things on their way, to decompose and give fertile ground to what we plant next.

While we often think of planting seeds in spring, there are certain seeds and bulbs that prefer to be planted in fall, that need the cold and dark of winter to break open and bring color and beauty to our lives when the snow melts.  For me in the past I always began to reflect on the past year, and plan for the next year during the month of December and the planning stretched into January. I find that timing to not be in harmony with my life or the energy of the winter. So this year, my reflection and fall planting will begin now for next year, while I still have enough light and clarity to do it, and then also give me the ability to go into winter and the holidays with open receptivity, complete presence with my friends and family during that time, and a sense of wonder and play.

Living in harmony with the season and the Earth need not be an elaborate ritual on the Equinox, although I invite you to do one if you are so moved to welcome in the season.

Many of us do things naturally during this time that are in harmony with the Earth, the different is to do these things with a presence and intention of honoring yourself and the energies of the Earth.

Here are some of my favorite ways to quiet down, become grounded and honor the fall:

 

·      Get outside into the garden, harvest what remains, and compost the rest. Plant bulbs and seeds that need to overwinter. Play in the leaves!!!

·      Cook healthy comfort foods, featuring root vegetables. Do this with presence, intention, and joy. Share the food with friends and family.

·      Earth represents our physical body and caring for it. Start by making sure you eat well, get adequate sleep and take immune boosting herbs to stay healthy. Find a new form of movement that may be a little more grounded than what you normally do in the summer. I will be starting a Pilates class, and have been adding dance back into my life.

·      Work with grounding aromatics that come from the roots, bark, and tree resins. These can be essential oils diffused in the home, aromatic smoke incense from the resins (my favorite way of working with aromatics), and even old school potpourri on the stovetop. My favorites for this season are Pinon Pine, Palo Santo (both essential oil and resin), Atlas Cedarwood essential oil, Juniper Berry and Leaf essential oil, I love cinnamon but usually just put a pot of sticks on the stove (the essential oil needs to be used with care), and Vetiver essential oil; a deeply grounding root oil.

·      Create an altar or a little space of beauty with items that represent Autumn and the Earth. Leaves, twigs, needles, a statue of your favorite four-legged animal that represents grounding to you.

·      Begin to reflect on your year, celebrate your wins, honor your lessons learned, and begin to plant seeds for what will come next year.

·      Spend time connecting with and honoring your ancestors. See what wisdom they have to share with you.

These are just a few things you can do during the Autumn season. What are your favorite ways to connect with Autumn and Earth energy? I would love to hear them!