Autumn’s Fire

originally published in The Sunday Stew 9/20/15

Mabon my friend, when the dry parched earth of summer fray turns to fall and the cooler morning mists and earlier evenings take the heat off. It feels more restful. Inside, an odd, witchy stirring. The nether realms are close by and we walk between light and dark.

My son and I are walking at night now. Trailing streets in the neighborhood and near we’d never been. I love it. Lost in renewed joy, the black curling around us, paths only lit by golden glow of a street light or window of a house here and there, casting a calm on the streets along or way, making the world just that more magical. I love this time. Possibilities, less noise, I can think better, dream bigger, breathe.

One night wandering the back woods beyond town houses and apartments, we came face to face with the rim of a canyon I pass every day to and from work. Descending slowly, intimate with nature, the sounds of yipping coyotes were heard. Then the hoot of an owl above us told me that there are neighbors here I never knew we had, but for these autumn wiccaning walks away from the usual. Our time out of time. The world just comes alive at night and the smells of cedar, and pine are bold as we wander. Nature’s peaceful embrace does not bore or let you down, it is ever inspiring. The ether of the night holds a stillness more gentle than daytime. We are practicing holding nighttime’s hand a lot more.

“But in the night does the witch awaken”……Raven Grimmasi

At Mabon the Mother of the Harvest becomes the Old One, the wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after our labors. Autumn Equinox is a balance of night and day and light and dark, but now we are moving from light into darkness, from warmth into cold.

This is a time of thanksgiving and we come to understand all that dies shall be reborn.The Wiccan chant Hoof and Horn celebrates this balance:

Hoof and horn, hoof and horn,

All who die shall be reborn.

Corn and grain, corn and grain,

All that falls will rise again.

The Full Harvest Moon is approaching. Here is a spell for it….

Write a secret wish upon a fallen leaf. Choose a leaf with red colors for a wish pertaining to matters of love, sex, passion, or health; a gold-colored one for wishes involving money; a brown one for protection; a purple one for healing; an orange one for energy; a yellow one for confidence, attraction, or persuasion; a green one for fertility, success, or good luck. Fold the leaf in half (or roll it up) and seal it with a kiss. Using the flame of a white candle, set the leaf on fire. As it burns, visualize your wish coming true for you.

After the Full Moon is a great time to work magic for the removal of bad memories and to celebrate happier times to come. Take a slip of paper and write down the old pessimistic things you’d like to banish from your life. Add a pinch of dried lavender buds to remove negativity, and fold the paper up. Then, carefully toss it in the flames of your cauldron, fireplace or bonfire.

One of my favorite books is Craft of the Wild Witch by Poppy Palin, she writes about Autumn:

“Earth Mother yawns, her quilt now spread, and she reclines, not yet exhausted but drifitng into sleep nonetheless. She is pulling her strength back into the core of herself, withdrawing as thoughts turn to heart and hearth.” I am thinking of pumpkin, apples, cinammon, baking.

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