The Autumn Equinox marks balance followed by change which can often feel a little disruptive. However; as we gather the fruit harvest filling our basket with berries, apples and hips for delicious jams, crumbles and remedies, collect hops to bring calm and restfulness as we drape them over bedsteads and collect the wonderful seed heads to adorn our window ledges whilst preserving their precious contents for sowing next year, it can also feel rather satisfying. We put things we can use to good use and compost anything that has completed its cycle or make ashes from bonfires to benefit future growth in spring. We try to make the unworkable of value. This is a good way to consider the change that we feel as late summer passes into Autumn- gather what is good, reflect on what is not needed but consider the value it has had before you get hold of your besom and sweep it away.
This year we are celebrating the equinox with water rather than our usual bonfire by going to the seaside to witness the tide drawing out and back in. We will let the strong Autumnal tide take out and wash away the things that we no longer need or have use of, we will reflect on the next stages and hopes that we have and want to bring to life in spring next year and then as the tide returns we will feel its strength bringing to us the possibilities. We will have experienced the everyday cycle that means all is well and that we have balance even in times of change. We will reflect on no two tides being the same and that each may bring or take away something different and feel reassured that this will continue.
If you can’t get to the seaside a bit of tidying up, sorting through things, and pruning down is quite satisfying whether in your garden, in your home or in your life. We make preserves at this time of the year to keep anything worth keeping to sustain us over winter, take time to reflect what is worth keeping and will give you comfort over the winter months. Nature is slowing down and so should we, we often forget in this ‘open all hours’ society that its perfectly normal to feel a need to rest more as the dark nights draw in and to enjoy a different more snuggly way of living until we need to be back on top of our game again. Even busy bees take a rest.In folklore we are told that the bee hives should be sealed at the equinox or face an unproductive and unhappy hive next year
As Michaelmas day approaches we need to collect the remainder of the blackberries for fear of the devil’s spittle rendering them useless. It’s all about things coming to an end in readiness for new things to begin. After the equinox we begin writing our new diary for 2021- slowly and gently throughout the winter months. We put to use all that we have gathered -a wonderful harvest of old ways, sayings, stories and traditions by visiting such rich and varied parts of the British Isles throughout the year and we give thanks that we are able to help keep alive the old ways and celebrate the year with you all.