Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel
-- from To Autumn by John Keats
The Equinox is a season & we celebrated its arrival on the 22nd of September, a day marked by it's exactly equal amounts of daylight & nightdark. This time in September marks the final month of the sun-dominated seasons ~ closing once & for all the chapter on Summer. So, yes it is a month, but it is also a bridge & a moment of harmony: the sounds of Summer perfectly mingled with the sounds of Fall.
Autumn gives many gifts to the world: harmony, reflection, release, change, grounding (quite literally if you watch the leaves!), & cooler temperatures are amongst them. The Autumn is full of transition, wind, rain, & chill. It is a time to begin to gather roots for food & medicine, now that the energy has begun to return back to these underground parts of the plants. In Chinese tradition, this time of the year is associated with the element of metal, with lungs, grief, inspiration, & Spirit. In Western traditions, we also see focus on the lungs, loss, & Spirit during this time.
Agriculturally speaking, this is a time which marks the height of harvest, when all is reaped & stowed away for the colder, less abundant months. The world is busy preparing itself for the more interior seasons, for the time when the vital forces of the plants & animal life resides deep down, root down, bone deep, underground, below the horizon line. The lunar times of the year. The dreaming times.
Often, I find that Autumn is a very mentally stimulating time of the year because we are, similarly to the plants, organizing ourselves & bringing all of the energy down from our heads into our roots.
This can translate to “ideas” of what we need to get done, & in our attempts to perfectly complete our tasks, there is the risk of becoming too caught up in them or becoming rigid with the need to control what our routines & days look like. Within all the bustle of this seasonal transition, it can be hard to find our footing & to not work ourselves into a tizzy with all of the “to-do’s."
Below I will give some suggestions to guide a graceful transfer of power, to support the switching in seasonal gears; to help you find your flow as we settle into the Equinox season ~ finding a groove, deepening rituals, & following their wisdom. It is my hope that these can help to fortify & inspire; to encourage harmony & balance. May they allow you to hear the hum of the horizon, as the light shifts, lulling you softly beneath it ~
As always, I encourage you to trust your own instincts & intuitions when it comes to honoring seasonal markers!
Autumnal Celebrations: ---:: Make time to acknowledge the sun & its warmth, at least once per day ---:: Begin to notice the shadows that are more prominent at this time of year, maybe even playing & dancing with them or studying them
---:: Always wear a scarf! Even on days when it is warmer, I find that a light, silk scarf does the trick ---:: Bring focus to the immune-supportive herbs & lung-supportive herbs in your medicine cupboards: stock up now if you need to or begin to make your immune blends so they are easy to reach for when you need them --- perfect time to make a big batch of Fire Cider! ---:: Make a respiratory tisane with Mullein leaves, culinary Sage leaves & flowers, Anise Hyssop &/or Holy Basil, + a dash of Goldenrod flowers ~ drink daily throughout the season ---:: Go to an apple orchard with your loved ones & harvest a peck together
---:: Do an Autumn cleanse & organization of your home space, letting go of anything that you no longer need or feel connected with ---:: Clear off & recreate your altar space taking special care to honor harmony & your ancestors at this time of year ---:: Incorporate these on your altar, in your wardrobe, or anywhere else you please: browns, yellows, oranges, reds, white; leaves, feathers, asters, besoms (brooms), scales ~
Plants & Stones to call upon for Autumn:
Smoky quartz placed into fresh water & slowly sipped on first thing in the morning
Parsley flower essence to place upon your altar, or gently massaged into pulse points
Rye porridge or oats to eat in the mornings
Goldenrod to harvest & make an infused oil with for lifting the blues come Winter
Apples to munch on & bake with
Pearly Everlasting or Rabbit Tobacco to decorate with, drink as tisane, or offer to the Spirts
Astragalus to make decoctions with for sweet & nourishing lung support
Berries, roots, seeds, grasses + grains, corn, squashes, pumpkins, pomegranates
Medicinal & culinary mushrooms to make delicious soup stocks with ~ recipe below:
Bone & Mushroom Crock Broth
You'll need ~
-- Bones, cartilage, & skin from a freshly cooked free-range chicken
-- Apple cider vinegar, fire cider, or lemon juice (your preference)
-- Filtered or spring water
-- Mushroom mixture (for instance: Reishi, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, Lion's Mane), chopped
-- One large onion, a few cloves of garlic, & a few stalks of celery, all chopped
-- Herbs like Rosemary, Oregano, Nettle, Burdock, Astragalus, or Parsley, also chopped
-- Black pepper
-- Tamari, Soy sauce, or Sea Salt
-- Crock pot (slow cooker)
To make it ~
-- Put the bones, cartilage, skin, etc. in your crockpot & cover with 2 inches worth of water
-- Add 2-3 tbps. of lemon juice, fire cider, or apple cider vinegar
-- Add in your chopped vegetables, herbs, a goodly dash of salt/soy/tamari & black pepper
-- Add in your chopped mushroom mix
-- Stir everything together & check to ensure that the water level is still about 2" above
everything in your pot
-- Turn your crockpot to a high for about one hour, then turn down to low
-- Let it simmer for up to 24 hours, again checking the broth here & there to ensure the water
level remains about 2" above your ingredients
-- After 24 hours or so, strain your broth & pour it into jars -- it is normal for the fat to float
to the top!
-- Refrigerate or freeze & use as often as you desire -- adding it into your cooking, or heating up
to sip on during the day for an extra mineral & nutrient boost
May you have a Harmonious Equinox Season :