Autumn is almost upon us, and I am so exited!! It is my all time favourite time of the year for so many reasons.
Firstly, I absolutely cannot handle extremes of temperature. In the summer I dislike the heat and spend all my time in the shade. I am even more intolerant of the cold than I am of the heat and wear coats and scarves from October until April. Autumn is lovely because it is somewhere in the middle. The crisp chill in the air is a refreshing contrast to the comfortable warmth of a big jumper and a scarf.
In addition to this, nothing beats the Autumnal atmosphere. I just love the colours and the low sun; and there is nothing I love more than waking up to a crisp autumn day with mist clinging to the ground.
There are wonderfully atmospheric secular holidays that take place in autumn: Hallowe’en, remembrance day and, my favourite of all; bonfire night!
However, in addition to the secular holiday atmosphere; things get a lot more spiritual for me in the autumn too. Suddenly I can feel the presence of the divine so much more strongly. I want to do proper ritual all of the time, start new projects, strengthen old relationships and work on problems. In the summer all I want to do is navel gaze.
I know that it isn’t uncommon at all to feel a change in intensity of spiritual practice depending on the time of year, and I think I should start paying attention to that more, in order to make my religious practice more integrated and wholesome.
My daily and monthly household practices will stay the same all year round, but the other aspects of practice will change seasonally. In the colder months (October-March) I will spend time working on new projects and working on more intense aspects of ritual. As cliché as it sounds, I will look inwards more, and work on deepening relationships with myself and the gods. In the warmer months (April – Sept) I will be working out-of-doors more, studying things related to my religion in mundane life (ethics and values etc) and just maintaining the status quo. To summarize, warmer months will be about everyday, real world spirituality; and colder months will be for the more mystical side of things. Both will involve tangible worship and practice.
This week I honoured Persephone in my monthly ritual to her. Her presence already feels different. She has now descended to the underworld and is no longer a child. She is the queen of the underworld and you can feel it.
To honour this time of year, I took a lovely walk out into the fields behind my house. I stopped at my favourite spot and poured libations to the local nymphs, Persephone to mark her passing, and to Adonis, the vegetation god, as a way of marking his death.