Autumn is the time when the world above ground dies back to their root. The leaves color changes as they dry up and then fall. It's the time of air and space, crisp and dry, the time of reflection and resurfacing hidden realities - shadows, forgotten dreams, thoughts, memories, realms of intangible magic, etc. Autumn is one of the most psychedelic experiences I have experienced (since moving to the Pacific Northwest from Miami, FL) because I feel the lightness and depth intertwining together, the union of dark and light, as we harvest the seeds, fruits, and roots of our labor while letting go of the rest.
Autumn invites us to process and release our long-held breaths & deepest burdens, so that we can transcend into a state of inward expansiveness.. an invitation to let go of what no longer serves us (and bring rest + reflection). While this is a season of harvest and processing, this is also a time for grounding our bodies to the earth and calming the mind.
Grounding the Body
Autumn is the best time to dig up most of our medicinal and edible roots, such as dandelion, burdock, potatoes, sunchokes, yellow dock, angelica, and mallow. It is helpful to ground our bodies during these times of increased dryness, windiness, coolness, lightness, unpredictability, and mobility through proper diet, routine, and practices.
This may include:
- Savoring the late-summer harvest such as squash, apples, leafy greens, and harvest of edible roots, tubers, and seeds such as dandelion, burdock, fennel, ginger, mushrooms, and sunchokes in warm soups, stews, and nourishing meals.
- Practice slow yoga such as yin yoga and restorative yoga to nourish the mind, body, and spirit without exhausting your energy reserves.
- Full-body oil massage (an Ayurvedic self-care practice called abhyanga) to reduce anxiety, stress, and promote groundedness + clarity.
- Breathwork practices such as alternate-nostril breath to reduce anxiety and prevent congestion.
- Earthing, walking barefoot on the earth which transfers the Earth's electrons from the ground into the body which improves sleep, pain management, immunity, stress, and inflammation. Click here here to learn more.
Create your own Harvest Festival
A lot of ancient and current cultures created a harvest festival to express their gratitude for a prosperous harvest and look forward to the upcoming years. If you have a connection to a lineage or culture, you can research how it was celebrated. If you are not sure where to begin, you can always check-in with yourself and make a little offering circle or prayer while including in the elements that feel meaningful to you. Make it personal and meaningful.
This could look like... creating a harvest or ancestral altar decorated with beautiful fallen leaves, seasonal & local harvests (i.e. apples, pumpkin, berries, seeds, fungi), along with anything that symbolizes your connection with family/ancestry. If you have any fruits growing locally, such as apples, enjoy some locally or homemade apple cider while you are speaking, singing, or writing your gratitude list.
Since autumn offers us the time to turn our gaze inwards to reflect and acknowledge the marginalized aspects of ourselves, we may see new reflections. This is a potent time for new actualizations, a potent time to connect with our guides and ancestors. In many cultures around the world, there is a time period to honor the dead when the veil/world between the living and dead is the thinnest. There are many ways we can create space to honor & re-connect with our ancestors such as through dream-time, music, chanting/singing, cooking & brewing lineage recipes/flavors (like rice pudding with warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, black pepper), movement/dance, and even making an altar.
To me, creating an altar is such a personal and intimate way to honor my ancestors while setting potent intentions. Altars can be made indoors or outdoors, and I like to set an altar in a commonly seen and inviting area of the room/house. Bookshelves, tops of dressers, and tiny tables are wonderful places to create one. You can gather any items that feel personally meaningful like pictures, feathers, stones, plants, seeds, etc. Since my ancestors are from a culture of beans and rice, I like to add some dried beans that I grew/gathered myself. Once I have gathered everything I like to contribute, I take time to mention my prayers & intentions and then I light a candle and say it out loud. I may make some offerings, like water, writings, piece of hair, etc. While the candle burns, I may ask for an affirmation and offer my gratitude. (*Through creating meaningful and sacred offerings, you are inviting the loving ancestors that want to see you grow and guide you towards your own sacred path.)
Stock up your Winter Apothecary
Following the summer is fall and winter, which usually means cold and flu season. Whether you make your own medicine or purchase from an herbalist or local herb shop/wellness store, it helps to have a few remedies ready.
- Fire Cider: You infuse a lot of spicy, pungent herbs like onion, garlic, horseradish, jalapeno, ginger, and any other spices or herbs you may want to add (i.e. rosemary, clove, orange) in RAW apple cider vinegar (healthy for your gut) and sweetened with honey (or other sweeteners). For an idea of how to make your own, check this out.
- Mushroom Extracts: in either tincture, syrup, or tea form. Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, artist conk, turkey tail, etc., support to build the immune system.
- Elderberry Syrup: Can be taken daily to build the immune system and the syrup soothes the throat.
I also offer them seasonally, contact us to inquire.
- Honey infused with garlic and sage: Can be taken in tea or spoonful, helpful for the throat + respiratory system
- Uplifting herb infusions: herbs like tulsi, rose, lemon balm, chamomile can help to uplift your spirit when winter feels heavy and long
- Throat tea blends: i.e. mallow (moistening), licorice (moistening), elecampane (expectorant)
- Herbs for Steam: Herbs with volatile oils such as Peppermint, Sage, Cedar, Rosemary, etc. Steam inhalation helps to loosen phlegm in the nasal cavity so it can be expelled.
The crispness of autumn brings up a feeling of slowing down, an opportunity to pause and offer our gratitude and reflections – for our life that offers us many challenges and gifts, our body that carries us beyond worlds, our community, the earth, and her earthlings, and for all has been unfolding within.
You are invited to take this time to ground & center as the world within and around us is transitioning. By engaging in intimate rituals for this season of harvest and processing - we are reclaiming our right to take inspired actions towards our deeper needs & surrounding worlds.
What rituals call out to you this season?