Aligning with the seasons is one of my favourite, life-enriching things to do.
We are nature and nature is us. The more that we can synchronise with nature, in a world where we have been distanced from its natural rhythms, cycles and inherent wisdom through our ways of living, the more successful, nourished and free our own lives can be.
Right now in the U.K. we are between Autumn Equinox and Samhain on October 31st, as it is called on ancient calendars that works closely to the rhythms of nature. With Autumn Equinox being a time of the year when night and day are of equal length, we are currently in a time of transition, balance and movement toward the darkest part of the year, which really gets real at Samhain. Samhain is called “Nature’s New Year” because the natural new year truly begins as the seeds and fruits fall into the ground to be gestated, held and rooted through winter, to grow themselves in spring and bloom in summer.
Right now we are seeing many of the last leaves and fruits fall and finish. It is a time of turning inward and reflecting on the harvest of the past year, looking at the lessons we are grateful for and what we can share from our harvest—and what we want to close and open to.
Here are five practical ways that I love making the most of Autumn.
1. Being in nature and following its lead.
Nature talks to us if we give her our time. Spending some time outside each day, even if for a few minutes and looking at where she is at in her cycles, is the best way to be inspired and learn from her. I like to do daily magical rituals in nature to connect me intimately with her gifts. I bring old leaves, from my morning walks, into to my home and put them on my altar and observe them, curling and drying up. I look at the beauty of letting go and imagine the things that I am letting go of, that have lived their lives like these leaves, if I offer them up to nature.
2. Setting written intentions, and burning sh*t.
Writing down the things that we want to let go of really brings power and focus to the process. Whenever we close to something we open to something else. I like to imagine what I want to bring in and realize that if I surrender the things I want to let go of, I will create space for new things to arrive. Making art or just celebrating these new things by putting them on an altar or wall can help to enliven this process, as does burning a list of the old things to let go.
3. Playing in the leaves.
I love the excitement of rolling in autumn leaves. Involving our body and all of our senses in everything we do is much more powerful that just staying in the mind. We need to embody the wisdom we find, rather than just “knowing” it and so I find that really feeling what these leaves and what this season feels like brings it to life for me and involves me more in it’s process.
4. Detoxing, cleansing, decluttering and clearing.
As nature clears out the deadwood, it is also a great time for us to do this, both inside and outside. It is the season of grief—a time to feel and honour our losses fully, so that we can let them go and find the treasures they hold. I make time to feel and to be—to lean into my pain and to honour its messages and its wisdom. Every day, week, monthly moon cycle and year I do some kind of grief ritual— journalling or writing about my loss or lighting a candle and offering the fire what I want to let go from that day.
It is also a great time of year to declutter and cleanse our homes and our bodies of all of the things that are not serving us, that do not lift, nourish and empower us and that have outrun their course in their presence in our lives. I have spent a lot of time getting rid of items that are in some way “unfinished” that I don’t have the motivation to finish anymore. This closes up energy leaks in our life and focuses and frees us up into creating in the present moment, one of the greatest beauties there is.
5. Lighting the lantern and going into the dark.
With the dark and cold season coming and the days closing in further and further, it is a great time to connect to our inner fire, which can light, warm and guide us through to spring again.
As social activity wanes with less daylight, cooler temperatures and decreased desire to be out and about, we can maximise this opportunity to do beautiful inner work. We can work with our darkness and light to ensure that when spring does comes round again, we are ready and resourced to stir, dawn, flower and awaken.
Enjoy autumn in whichever way resonates with you.
Author: Louisa Lamorna Phillips
Image: courtesy of the author, flickr/tian2992
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock