• Jess

Honouring Seasonal Cycles

The calendar has rolled over to October 1st and I breathe a sigh of relief. For some time, autumn has been one of my favourite seasons. We can see in the outside world changes which mirror the changes within us. The weather cools, the leaves change and daylight wanes, bringing with it longer nights and deeper darkness. We are guided to go within rather than directing all of our energy outside of ourselves.

During this time, I notice that I feel called to tie up loose ends, do conscious work on letting go and closing doors. My movement and meditation practices become the bookends of my days and I reflect on what I want to achieve next year. For me, Samhain (what many people know as Halloween) is both the end of my year and the beginning of the new one.

In my magickal practice, this is the busiest time of year, and meeting that requires me to be deliberate and intentional about where my energy goes. My cycle of protection, cleansing my home and energy body and offerings to my spirits and gods becomes my primary focus and I set aside more time for trance work, spirit work and divination. I become more dedicated to being undistracted.

This is also the time of year when I replenish my store of Mason jars and begin spending longer evenings in the kitchen making fire cider and infused honeys, warming salt baths, purifying incense blends and herbal broths and elderberry syrup. My hearth becomes the centre of my days with candles and herbs lit in the morning and evening and the hearth light lit for most of the evening.

Each of us experience the seasons differently. For example, I feel most at ease and most energized in autumn and spring. Summer is the most challenging season for me-- it leaves me feeling lethargic, sweaty, uninspired and restless from the heat and the expectation of a full social calendar.

It would be so easy to run myself ragged or make myself sick trying to get my energetic cycle to match the manmade one. Doing so hasn't worked for me and I am so glad I learned to move at my own pace, whenever possible. While I can't change how summer impacts me, I can be proactive in how I care for myself so it has less of an impact. I drink nourishing herbal infusions, eat lighter meals, have cooling foot baths, stay hydrated with electrolyte replacements and try to schedule my most challenging work for the time of the day when I have the most physical energy and mental clarity.

As we feel into the changing of the seasons, consider what would be most supportive for you and when you feel most and least energized. Maybe, instead of working from early morning to late afternoon, you can work from early afternoon to early evening.

Perhaps you know that you love home-cooked meals, but as the weather chills and the days shorten, you have less energy to make them, so you prepare and preserve or freeze them now, when you do have the energy. This planning ahead is a kindness to yourself and a way of deepening your resilience--- this is honourable and important work.

I invite you to work in partnership with, instead of against, your body's natural cycles. We were never intended to be equally "productive" and externally focused year round. Cycles of hibernation and reflection are key for integration, for healing, for gathering the strength and clarity to meet new opportunities and challenges. In this month's newsletter, I'll be sharing more about how we honour and work with our energy cycles and how ritual can support us with this.

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