Welcome back! It's supposed to be 94 in Los Angeles today. Well when I started writing this it was to be, now it is. I just thought I'd let you New Englander's and other cold weather people know that it's a hot beginning to fall over here. Also know that I'll be jealous of your color-changing leaves and imagining the smell of rain and earth cooling as we turn to winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Seriously, there are season's here in Los Angeles but let's face it, we've irrigated a pretty inhospitable place and made a city. Wasn't it the Native People who called it the valley of smoke?
Angelino's, yes we can still have Yule (or Christmas) at the beach, or at a roof top pool in Downtown LA like B and me did a few years back. It's just warm and sunny while our friends in Main are under 3 feet of snow. Kind of like that image that Corona gave us last year, Christmas on the beach.
I am a fire sign, I love the sun and I do enjoy the warmth. Well that's not completely true, I'm on a cusp I'm also Virgo and as soon as the equinox comes I turn coat on the summer months and crave the rain, falling leaves and the smell of loamy earth. I don't mind the lovely weather 90% of the year, I just get to a point around this time when I think, "Enough. Give me some rain!"
An all the people go boo! You have your reasons. It's ok to be jealous but...
I want Raven's, and pumpkins, rain and storms, darkened sky's and layers of favorite clothing, scarves, hats and boots... I don't care what anyone says if you are in a sweater -read "shear little thing you buy at H&M that couldn't keep a hairless cat warm"- and flip-flops, my first reaction is to smack you. Well not really but you get my point. No matter how we dress it up, I hardly think its really Fall or Winter, compared to places where the change is so stark.
OK. OK! Enough!
For me it's not really about the long winded gripe for cooler weather, fingers crossed in hopes that we get another winter like we had in 2004 or 5, no it is the sudden and season shift that leads us into a descent. The sun dips further and further and the time comes for us to count gifts, pull harvest or at least mentally re-cap before we move into a definitively busier time of year.
I'm not a farmer, I don't live where the change is as tangible but internally I feel the need for ancient deeds. Plant and gather. For me it is images and ideas.
So the holiday's come. We are reminded of everything from food and family to gifts and costume. In a short three months we blow through our savings, cook for 40, and still manage to work, care and hope for some rest. Seems like these so called holiday's are more of a chore than anything else.
They can SEEM that way and I don't even have that large of a family or even children of my own. Can you tell who wears the apron at my house? O.o
To change To enter into this time of giving, properly, is to come from a place of thanks giving. We head towards a feast of the dead, Samhain / Day of the Dead / All Saint's Day. We quickly fall into harvest with Thanks Giving, and then the next thing we know it is the Holiday of giving. Top that with New Years events and I don't even have to begin to guess at where "Holiday Stress" comes from.
When we come from a giving place there is no loss. There is nothing that is being taken from us because we are abundant because when we give we receive. Selflessness... isn't that the point of a sacrificial deity? Giving selflessly through the mythological ideal?
Autumn, the Equinox is time to fill your cornucopia with the mental, emotional and spiritual gifts of our lives for the coming months. With three significant passages we can pull together the fabric of our lives and lay it out in such a way that we are gathering like a blanket at Pow-Wow. mm I can hear the Mother Drum already. :)
First things first. Today or in the next week take stock of what you have, what you are grateful for AND what you want to do in the next season -holidays or no, they still effect you because they affect the people and society around you. What brought you joy at this time of year? What did you do in the past to celebrate it? What would you like to do this year? How will you accomplish that?
Set both monetary and mental budgets. Planning something out reserves some of our own mental and emotional charge for necessary things such as down time, caring for loved ones and ourselves.
Look at the big events coming, specifically three, possibly five high tides.
- Halloween / Samhain / Feast of the Dead
- This is when we remember those who have gone before us, share stories of their lives, cook their food, find their scents and build the flame of that love and joy in memory, in our heart, so that our spirits continue with us. The veil is thin, show your love.
- Thanks Giving
- In celebration of Harvest, of a sorts, this is sort of a national Harvest Festival isn't it? Similar to old Autumn Fire Festivals but over in November. Regardless, this is about the bounty of the earth and our families. Yep. A celebration of coming together around food with friends, family and neighbors. Another time to give, as we give so we receive. Again we "give thanks".
- Yule / Christmas / Hanukkah / Festival and Celebrations of Light.
- Not so hard to understand this is the sun returning to the earth. At winter solstice it is lowest in the Northern Hemisphere. As ancients we would have celebrated the triumph of light over darkness, the resurrection of the Sun God, finding the light within. This is a celebration of togetherness, hope, love, family, friends, and giving again.
- Please just party safe. Make your new goals. Enjoy the turning of the wheel. :)
Keep in mind your stores of energy that you have built up, your batteries, your sources of charge. How do you recuperate mentally? How do you take a "mental vacation" is there a way to keep you alert and focused on the present? Does meditation work for you or do you jog to keep grounded and centered.
How about your emotional springs, who are your hidden gems that you turn to in your circles of friends and families, how can you collaborate? How have you thanked them?
We can gather our "spiritual" energy through all the various traditions and celebrations at this time but I also think, with all the activity that happens at this time that we can become a bit depleted. This energy is a culmination of all of our other energies. Four elements make the fifth so when our Body, Mind, Emotions and Passions are in harmony, peaking, we generate true spiritual rejuvenation.
Keeping life in balance, caring for the body we create that harmony and feeling of connection to all things. Eat well, exercise and take care so you are not then running to the gym from January through to summer!
My reminder this Equinox is to find gratitude and seek balance. Libra comes into the spotlight, now is the time to be the ambassador to all aspects of yourself and forge an alliance. Keep a level head, celebrate living and giving, prepare for our festivals and enjoy the comforts of intimacy with your loved ones and yourself.
Move into the next three months level, ready and from the giving place.
Be well friends, Scott K Smith TheSacredOther.com
- 'Tis the season for summertime science (science.nbcnews.com)
- Autumnal Equinox Activities for Kids (livestrong.com)
- Why We Celebrate Halloween (anytimecostumes.com)
- The Wheel of the Year | Annual Cycle Of Seasonal Festivals (pursuingtraditions.wordpress.com)
- Midsummer Madness: Science, Social History, and Shakespeare (asc-blogs.com)
- The Wheel of the Year (newwicca.wordpress.com)
- Better Know A Holiday: St. John's Day (And Eve) (gadling.com)