Once again, the summer is winding down and fall approaches. The day of roughly equal light and dark comes, a point of balance on the wheel of the year and another time to weigh in on changes. Change is one of the few constants in life, along with the constant gift of the present moment.
This fall equinox in New England includes fresh honey crisp apples as newcomers on the scene, and fresh corn that is delicious but surprisingly late and not here for long. Blue Hubbard squash filled my belly earlier this week, prepared and eaten right on the farm where it was grown. Connection with nature affirms my own embodied life, and helps with the bitter sweetness of time passing. I have sadness about losing the warmth of summer, the ease of beach walks, and the length of sunlight hours, as the wheel of the year turns.
I was taught years ago that a priestess is mindful of what is, what was, and what will be.
No small task, and yet simple: while summer fades, autumn arrives, and winter lies ahead.
We can celebrate the fall harvest and appreciate the bounty in life, as well as ask about balance. What is in balance in my life, the dark and light, work and play, self and others, and what is needed at this time? So many of my fellow ritualists see this time in 2012 as a turning point and an opportunity.
Katja Esser, on her website Ritual Expressions, writes:
Autumn is the celebration and the accumulation of the fullness of growth. It is the season of harvest and sacrifice, the gifting and the letting go, and the knowing that it is time to face the darker months to come. Each year there are challenges and not every flower makes it to seed...
The fall season, with its shedding, change, and the going within, reflects what is shifting in this moment. Astrologically the planets have aligned to facilitate the dissolving of old forms, patterns, and the release of old ways.
As the established authority is tested and reshaped, we are brought to question what the source of our own authority is. Saturn in Scorpio on Oct. 5th calls forth our strength and courage to live from our inner truth and authenticity and will call for more transparency, integrity and accountability. We came here to wake up, to be present, real, and authentic..."
She challenges us to examine what inside us keeps us from our authenticity, what points of view or beliefs limit us, keep us from opening doors and opening to possibilities. We are all called to stand up and get (back) into alignment with nature, with our values, and with our truest selves. Not for personal gain, but in response to the times.
Change is here, and most of us know it in our bones. Many of us deny what we know, and we need support, ritual, community. We have to lead from where ever our creativity and life source fuels us. This is the pathway of sustainability -- focusing on what sustains us as we step into our largest selves. What a harvest.