The Magic of Autumn (literally) and Rituals to Celebrate the Season


Autumn is the number one reason we moved to Massachusetts.  When temperatures dropped in July in San Francisco to the high 60s and the sunny afternoon was cut off by a blanket of cold fog every day, I felt so depressed.  But when the temperature climbed back up to 85 in September and left my beloved flannel shirts hanging in the closet, I felt like dying.  The kids would get sun burnt apple picking, there wasn’t a red leaf in sight and hot cider was the last thing I ever wanted to drink.  

It’s also my birthday next week, so I have an even deeper connection to this incredible season.

You see, Mother Earth has an intelligence, and every physical shift and change is a message on how to be in the flow, to embrace our natural power and be more ALIVE.  

Fall starts with the harvest, a time when farmers pull food from the ground, harvest the wheat and the corn and get busy prepping and storing it for the winter.  The animals are following suit gathering acorns and building winter proof homes.  It’s a time of great activity, business, and organization.  No wonder we’ve naturally chosen this time to go back to school.  

We’ve been in the sign of Virgo for almost a month now which carries that same energy of business and organization.  My Annabelle is a Virgo and I see her organizing her toys, crayons, spoons, and clothing all the time, totally naturally in her free time.  She carries a part of this fall energy with her everywhere.  Virgo is also the sign of the Great Mother.  In early September, I felt myself wanting to shirk my motherhood responsibilities after a whole summer of being with the kids.  But Marshall was having the hardest time adjusting to his new school (probably because he could feel my exhaustion and pulling away).  So I had to sink into the natural rhythm of the season and recommit to how I wanted to mother him through this transition, while also honoring the natural energy of my own work, it was a lot to hold!  When I was in the middle of unraveling this dance between wanting to go into my red tent and create and being fully present for Marshall, a Mother Deer and her Baby walked through my backyard. Message received.

The 23rd is Mabon or the Fall Equinox, the day that measures equal hours of light and dark; night and the day are the same length – balance. It is also when we move into the sign of Libra, whose symbol is the scales – again, balance. Traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere, it is a time to have a great Harvest Festival, to really celebrate all of the hard work of the year and rest after a month of the hard work of harvesting.  

I define Magic as aligning with the natural power of what’s happening around us.  The Goddess/God/Divine (doesn’t matter what you call it) has created a world that moves in a certain pattern (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) which also corresponds with the moon phases (Waxing, Full Moon, Waning, New Moon), which also corresponds with our menstrual cycle (Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal, Bleeding).  This is the rhythm.  We can’t stop it, we can only ignore it.  But when we align our own energy and intentions with that of the seasons or moon cycle or menstrual (or all of them) we have double the power backing us up.  It’s like getting on the moving sidewalk in the airport, if you get on the one going the right direction, you get to where you’re going twice as fast.

This time in autumn is telling us to celebrate, to be grateful of what we have created in our life and to contemplate balance.  The magic of this is that when we are grateful for the abundance in our life, it multiplies and puts us in a high energetic vibration open to receiving more.  And in a few weeks, we are going to start seeing the leaves fall off the trees and have more darkness than light – a message to release, simplify and start to go in.  

In my own life, I have found that just by paying attention to the messages of the season and doing very simple rituals to root into the lessons and align myself, crazy shit happens.  

Here are two rituals you can do this week to connect with the Magic of Autumn:

Divine Dinner Party

Consider gathering a few friends on Mabon (Autumn Equinox) or a night near to it for dinner at your home.  Create a centerpiece with seasonal fruits and vegetables (lots of orange and red) and some orange and red candles (or any candle you have laying around, don’t over complicate it).  Ask your friends to bring a dish (we are celebrating balance after all).  

Set sacred space around your table.  This can look like holding hands and saying grace, saging each guest, a moment of silence or singing a song.  I know this can feel weird but trust me, creating this container is so powerful, you’ll be able to feel it.

When it feels natural, simply go around the table share, speaking openly about one of all of these topics:

  1. What was going on last spring?  What seeds were you planting that you may be harvesting now? It’s amazing how this cycle happens naturally without us even knowing it!
  2. What hard work of you proud of yourself for? What are you celebrating?  This is a great chance to invite heavy bragging.
  3. What are you most grateful for?
  4. How do you want to achieve more balance in your life?

That’s it!  Rituals can be complicated, but they can also be as simple as gathering with people you love, setting a sacred container, eating and sharing.  If you do this, please post a picture to Instagram and tag @sarahjenks! I’d love to see you making some magic.

Releasing Ritual

I find that releasing rituals are most powerful on a Full Moon because it’s when the moon starts losing light and get smaller.  So I would consider doing this on October 5th so you can get the energy of the moon and the energy of the season. This part of fall, on the other side of the equinox, is all about releasing.

Materials you’ll want to gather: A Candle, matches, paper, a pot or something you can burn something in, sage or salt water.

  • Find a quiet place in your home or outside if it’s not freezing.  You can clear a place on the floor and layout a blanket to sit on, or sit on your couch and clear off your coffee table.
  • Have your unlit candle and matches on the table and your paper and pen.
  • Dim the lights or turn them off.
  • Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths, imagining your day and all of your to-dos leaving your body.
  • Light your sage or sprinkle salt water around your body, the room and the space you’re writing.  Set the intention to clear out any negative energy.
  • As you light your candle say a prayer or intention for this ritual.  Say anything that comes naturally to you like, “May I be open, may I be clear, may I be connected.”
  • Now take your paper and your pen and start writing about all the things you want to release. Consider…
    • Are there obligations you want to say no to?
    • Are there people you want to spend less time with?
    • Is there a boundary you need to set like no personal phone calls before 4 pm so you can focus on other things?
    • Is there a pattern you want to release like emotional eating? Or saying you’re fine when you’re not?
    • Are you holding onto grudges you want to let go of?
    • Is there a belief you have about yourself you want to let go of? Like you’re not beautiful or smart enough?
    • Do you want to release any things from your life like clothes, objects, houses, old food?
    • Anything else that doesn’t feel like it’s for your highest good?
  • Keep writing and writing until you get everything out.
  • Then read your list out loud to the Goddess. “I release my belief that I am …. I release my attachment to….” Let her be your witness.
  • Hold the list to your heart and say something along the lines of “Thank you for being there for me for protection, for safety, for love.  I am now ready to release you.
  • Burn it in your pot (you can also burn it over your toilet and flush it).
  • Just be silent for a few minutes.  Notice if you feel any different.  Maybe lighter or empty?  Where in your body do you feel a shift?
  • Celebrate any way you want to! Scream, dance, shake it out. Text some friends. Take a bath.
  • Resist the urge to fill the space with anything for a day or so.  Try not to overeat, over plan or over goal set.  Just be with the lightness.

As you can see, rituals don’t need to be complicated or require lots of special gear.  The whole point is to connect with your soul and with a higher power (which are made up of the same stuff). Often space, intention and some fire are enough.

Please please PLEASE let me know when you do this ritual.  You can tag me on Instagram at @sarahjenks or leave a comment on the blog.

Wishing you a magical week.


P.S. Looking to add more rituals in your life? My free Sacred Start guide is for you! Learn how to create a morning ritual that doesn’t suck and actually gets you excited to start your day! The guide goes over everything you need (including links!) to make an altar and how to get over feeling weird about it.

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