Fall Begins

{my sweet soul sister Latisha just reminded me about this post from 2 years ago.  i am immersed in projects right now and have not given much time to blogging.  i am reposting this old post to hold us all over and because it is relevant still now.  enjoy!}
Handful of Amaranth

It's the first day of Fall.  And as if right on cue, the weather has up and gone Autumnal on us.  I LOVE this time of year, anticipating Samhain (SAH-win), when the veil grows thinner between the worlds of the living and the dead.  And too, El Dia de los Muertos is coming, probably my most favorite seasonal celebration of all.

Autumnal Equinox marks a turning of the wheel.  It's our harvest celebration.  It's a time of balance between dark and light.  We are moving from light into darkness, from warmth into cold.  At this time of year, when we are gathering in the gifts of the Goddess, the fruit, nuts, grain, and vegetables that are ripe, we can also give something back, make offerings and express our thanks.  The Fall Equinox is our Thanksgiving!

The Autumn Equinox can be a time when we work in some way to restore balance.  Balance in nature, balance in life, balance in ourselves.  What do you do to find your equilibrium?  How do you create a sense of balance in your life?  Do you find balance hard to attain?  What tricks do you have up your sleeve to keep your life and self in a gentle flow of equilibrium, not veering off into one extreme or the other? 
I like to think in terms of equilibrium, rather than balance.  Balance seems more static and rigid to me whereas equilibrium seems to incorporate the flow that is essential to the teetering we find in the balancing.  Does that make sense?  Seeking my equilibrium is forgiving, allows me to teeter, provides a gentle sway instead of a demanding, equal opportunity balancing act that makes me feel like I haven't done enough, don't give enough, am not good enough.  For me, seeking my equilibrium, lets me love myself and be in love with my world.  What about you?

Right now our nature table is overflowing!  We use our nature table as our seasonal alter.  Having a seasonal alter is a great way to connect children to the turning of the wheel.  Children are natural collectors and its neat to have a spot for them to display their nature treasures after walks, hikes, or playing outdoors.  Our nature table is ever waxing and waning with all manner of fruit, nut, seed, leaf, plant, beach items, wood, dead bugs, antler, shell, moss, nest, etc.  What treasures from nature do you bring into your home and how do you honor them?  What other items do you add to make the alter special and seasonal?  We often make corn dolls, cinanimals, leaf chains, "nut gnomes," or mobiles around Autumn Equinox.

Acorns collected in Chelan

One source of inspiration, information and guidance that I have used since August was quite small is the book Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill.  This book (and music CD by the same name)is a must have if you have any interest whatsoever in seeking a more nature based lifestyle, spirituality, or mentality.  Don't let the title scare you- it doesn't have the power to convert you automatically to Paganism!  But it is chalk-full of information that will teach, inspire, and amaze you.  Its an easy to use book with activities, recipes, music, games and stories.  Oh, the stories!  I LOVE this book!  Check it out!

And it's mushroom hunting time!  Yay!  I have harvested chantrelles and angel wings in the past and can not wait to get out in the woods and do a little hunting and gathering.  Maybe this Sunday.  Fingers crossed!

I will leave off today with the lyrics from a song that I learned at RavenCroft when I was doing my apprenticeship there.  I cannot recall the exact name but we call it the Equinox song.  We sing it at both Autumnal and Spring Equinox:

Onward we go round the spiral
touching darkness
touching light
twice each turn we rest in balance
make choices on this night
make choices on this night

What choices have you been procrastinating on?
What decisions do you need to make?
Now is the time.
Good luck to you!