Happy Autumn Equinox dear ones. We can officially welcome in the season of Autumn, the season of snuggly jumpers, pumpkin spiced lattes, cosy socks, crunchy leaves, crisp walks in the countryside and the beginning of slowing things down as we head in to winter. Today, along with the Equinox we have the sun moving into the sign of Libra and the moon waning towards the dark Moon. We have two major themes at play here - balance and letting go. The Autumn Equinox, also called Mabon, marks the balance between light and dark, it offers us an opportunity to pause and take stock before things shift as we make our way towards winter.
If we compare the seasons to the four main phases of the moon, you can think of summer as being like the full moon phase - a time of high energy and light. Autumn is like the waning moon - the energy and light begins to dissipate as we make our way into dark/new moon time when the moon doesn't appear at all and there is little by way of light and energy. Dark into New moon time represents winter, that complete retreat inwards and the spring is represented by the waxing moon and then the cycle starts all over again. In these busy modern times we have become so disconnected to these rhythms and cycles of nature that we have shifted in to an almost permanent state of yang which just isn't sustainable. Staying in this yang energy for too long means we don't give ourselves time to re-charge and in most cases results in burn out where we're forced to stay in a yin energy whilst our body (and spirit for that matter) repairs itself. We have to work hard these days to keep this sacred connection to mother earth with so much influence from the outside world to stay the same all year round and to wear our busyness like a badge of honour. We're constantly stimulated by artificial light which disconnects us from the ebbs and flows of the moon and the seasons. Before electricity we would have naturally shifted in to this slower pace in Autumn because quite simply the decrease in daylight each day would have shortened the working day.
Here at Sisters of the Moon we are passionate about connecting people to these natural cycles and rhythms. Below, we have compiled some of our favourite recipes and rituals for Autumn.
Autumn Equinox Meditation
Find somewhere to sit quietly where you won't be disturbed and find a comfortable position for your body, feel free to do this lying down if that's more comfortable for you.
Spend the first few moments just sitting with your eyes closed focusing on your breath as it moves in and out.
Begin to bring to mind these four phases of the moon. You can visualise the moon in the night sky and focus on this journey from dark moon to full moon and back to dark moon. See if you can start to sync this with your breath, on no breath picture an empty sky then take a breath in and visualise the moon appearing and growing in size, hold your breath for a moment and picture the full moon in all it's glory and then breathe out and focus on the moon waning and decreasing in size, when you run out of breath once again picture the empty sky. Do a few rounds of breath this way. Start to really tune in to this ebb and flow, this rise and fall of your breath and of the cycles of nature. Begin to turn your attention now to the seasons of the year and think about their similarity to these moon phases - dark moon = winter, waxing moon = spring, full moon = summer and the waning moon = autumn.
Then bring your focus to this moment in time. Start to think about the change in weather, the change in light throughout the day and the beautiful colours that are appearing as the leaves are beginning to die. See if you can tune in to this sense of waning energy, of things beginning to slow down.
Turn your focus to the trees and how they are getting ready to let go of all that no longer serves them in order to make way for new things to grow and then bloom again in the spring. Can you start to picture yourself as a tree, visualising yourself covered in these autumn coloured leaves. Start to focus on the leaves and imagine now that each leaf on your tree represents something that you want to release and let go of. Bring your focus back to you breath and begin to deepen your breath once again. As you do this, imagine that with each exhalation these leaves begin to fall from your branches and float to the ground. Breathe in deeply, exhale deeply and imagine these leaves falling to the earth. Each time you do this feel yourself getting lighter and lighter as you release all that no longer serves you.
Then spend some time focusing on this feeling of relief and lightness. Start to draw your mind inwards again and feel your awareness resting at your heart centre. Begin to turn your thoughts to the new things that you want to cultivate and give your attention to developing during the quiet, reflective winter months and see if you can visualise those as seeds of possibility and potential. These aren't things that we would necessary act on as now is a resting time but things might be the seeds of ideas or intentions. Rest both hands over your heart space and take some deep breaths here.
Slowly start to bring yourself out of this meditation. Go to your journal and write down your experience from this meditation, what did it bring up for you? What did you want to release and what did you want to cultivate? You can look back on these musings in months to come and check back in with your intentions.
A Ritual for Letting Go
As mentioned, Autumn Equinox is a time of release. If we look at what nature is up to at the moment you can see that she is shedding her leaves in order to make space for new growth next year. Here is a simple ritual to help you do the same.
You will need:
Autumn leaves or dried flowers
somewhere quiet and private outside
Gather up your autumn leaves and dried flowers and hole punch them so you begin to make confetti. Place your confetti in a container and head out into nature, somewhere you can be alone and where you can throw your leaf confetti.
Stand in front of where you want to throw your leaves, pour the leaves into your hands and close your eyes. Imagine that each one of these pieces of leaf or flower represents something that you want to let go of. Strongly hold these things in your mind. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, throw your leaf/flower confetti out in to the world and feel all of these things leaving you.
Afterwards, write a list of all the things that you are grateful for receiving since the time of the Spring Equinox and allow your heart to be filled with joy and warmth.
Mabon Journaling Prompts
Write down the word BALANCE on a page of your journal and write down all of the things that come to mind when you think of that word.
- Ask yourself how you could bring balance to your body, your mind, your emotions, your spiritual life and your working life.
- Identify what in your life at the moment could you do with more of and what could you do with less of
- write a list of things that you love about this season. This might also be nice as a moodboarding practice.
- write a list of things that you want to let go of
- write a gratitude list as you reflect on the summer months
- Oracle cards - choose an oracle card or two and write down your insights on what you've chosen
-Reflect on Virgo season, how have your travelled through this season. Have you stayed true to your Virgo new moon intentions? Any insights?
For us, one of the best things about Autumn is getting our cosy on! Now is the time to stock up on candles with scents that warm and delight, we're in love with the scent of Vanilla and White Pumpkin, gingerbread, Jasmine and orange with Clove. You could also get crafty and have a go at making your own candles using eco alternatives such as soy and beeswax. Check out the amazing magazine Willow and Sage for lots of inspiration.
A big part of our Autumn self care routine is coming home from work and lighting candles, turning on the fairy lights and turning off the main lights to tune in to the darkening of the days.
Beautifying the home at this time of year is a really grounding experience, especially as we know we're about to spend a lot more time indoors. Why not have a go at making an Autumn wreath or garland with leaves, acorns and pine cones that you find out on your walks along with some delightful smelling dried fruits such as apples and oranges. To dry your fruit, cut apples and oranges into thin slices and place them on baking parchment on a baking tray. Place in the oven on a low heat (about 50°C) for 2-3 hours.
Remember that Equinox is all about balance, it's important to balance our indoor cosyness with plenty of time outdoors soaking up as much natural light as we can and breathing in the fresh air. The countryside at this time of year is just absolutely stunning, go exploring and try leaving your phone at home. Gather beautiful autumn leaves and nuts and try creating an Autumn mandala when you get home.
Turmeric is fantastic for protecting the body against illness, it has high levels of antioxidants and is also highly anti inflammatory so is also good for arthritis. Here's our recipe for a Turmeric latter:
1 tsp of organic Turmeric powder
1 tbs of coconut oil
1 tsp of maple syrup to sweeten
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Add your turmeric powder to a mug and add a tiny amount of boiling water to it so that you can mix it in to a paste, leave to one side. Heat the coconut milk on the stove (don't bring to the boil) and then add your turmeric paste in to the milk. Once you've gotten the milk up to the temperature that you want either pour directly in to your mug or if you want to make it frothy pop it in a blender for a few seconds. Stir in the tsp of maple syrup and you can also add a sprinkling of cinnamon to the top.
WARNING - turmeric powder stains things bright yellow and it's hard to get out of things so be careful
Pumpkin Spiced Latte Body Oil
This gorgeous combination of essential oils not only recreates the smell of this autumnal drink but also helps to boost immunity, soothe tired and achey muscles and improves circulation:
25ml Base Oil of your choice
1 drop Clove essential oil
3 drops Orange essential oil
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil
1 drop Ginger essential oil
1 drop Vanilla essential oil
We really hope you have enjoyed this blog post and we wish you a blessed Mabon. We will be returning in a few days with a blog all about the New Moon in Libra. See you then x