It's been a while since I've been active on the blog, and how I have missed everyone! What better way than to resume than near Fall Equinox, a time of gratitude, reflection, and release.
There are many facets to the autumn story. Bounty and gratitude would likely be the most common, but the Demeter (Mother), Persephone (Maiden), Hecate (Crone) is one this autumnal ritual will be centred around. These three archetypes are aspects of the Great Goddess, and can be found in each of us.
The Guardians, a separate Druid-based story, involves three sacred trees that grow together, and act as protectors and preservers of our well-being (physical, psychic, energetic). In varying versions of the tale, the trees differ (including their interpretations), though the ones called upon today are Birch, Hawthorne, and Elder. These three guardians act as the sacred goddess trinity with Hawthorne as Mother, Birch as Maiden, and Elder as Crone.
The intention is to be mindful in recognizing the abundance this past year (from last Autumn), but also to be brutally honest with ourselves and name what we have lost (the connection to Demeter's loss) and give voice to that grief. Lastly, we give great honour to Crone, as wisdom and evolution always awaits regardless of the kind of experience we may have. In this way, we identify with the radically transformative potential of pain, and see the autumn and winter seasons as cycles that feed the greater wheel of life.
From your Ritual Tool Kit:
- Hawthorne berries
- Birch essential oil (Wintergreen will also do)
- Elderflower cordial
- Broken twig in a dish
- Any one of these essential oils: rose, sage, peppercorn, cedar, fir, or basil
- Carrier oil
*If three Guardian objects cannot be obtained, find any other object from three different trees.
Light a candle and make space for your breath.
Smudge yourself and altar (or sacred space). (As always, those with smoke sensitivities, our Sacred Smudge Mist is an effective alternative).
Invite your spirit allies to join you.
Say aloud your intention (what you wish to accomplish via this ritual).
Place the dish with broken twig on altar. Without over-dwelling on your loss in this ritual, name the pain and visualize the broken twig representing it.
Place the Hawthorne berries around the twig, followed by pouring some Elderflower cordial on the twig and berries, and ending with drops of Birch essential oil. Do this meditatively and with intention, acknowledging how one can gestate something very meaningful and precious, experience pain, and then surrendering control (a form of death), which in turn is what regenerates life.
Visualize the type of regeneration that you seek, always giving room for your spirit allies to move you and support you. (Sway, dance, cry, sing, or whatever manifests!)
The eight step, the step of completion and a closing of a perfect loop, involves belief that the regeneration/restoration will come. Winter may follow Autumn, but Spring always follows Winter. Anoint the top of your head with a dilution of the essential oil, speaking tenderly to yourself, "Spring follows Winter. I trust the creative Goddess within."
End the ritual with a bow of gratitude to the spirits and send them away. Leave the dish on your altar for the remainder of the day and respectfully dispose the dish's contents in your compost bin / bury it in your garden the following day.
** An especially powerful day to perform this ritual is on Friday, September 22, this year's Fall Equinox.
Happy Equinox and stay free,
founder + shamanic practitioner
Image credits: @MoonandQuartz