I so love this time of the year. Here in New England, the leaves are starting to change, the temperature has dropped, and the smell of fires in fireplaces is starting to emerge. I think fall is the most beautiful time of the year.
But fall is also a time of finishing up. The ancient Celts celebrated the New Year on November 1st, so October was the time for looking back and finishing things up. Of course, it is the end of the harvest, but it is also the time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year and focus on what you are grateful for.
Not long ago, we celebrated the autumnal equinox, that time of the year when we experience an equal time of light and darkness. All of nature is balanced, and it is a time to bring balance into our lives. As nature begins to slow down and prepare for the long, cold winter, so should we. Although many of us do not have to prepare storage of food and wood, we do need to prepare spiritually for the months ahead.
This year the Hunter’s Moon will arrive on October 9th. The Hunter’s Moon derives its name from the time of the year when the hunt typically takes place. Animals are in rut and are at their heaviest weight in preparation for the winter.
The Hunter’s Moon also has a spiritual significance. This is the time of the year to focus on internal work and self-reflection. In addition, this is a good time of the year to begin a new spiritual practice or get back in touch with a practice that has gone fallow.
The Hunter’s Moon is a perfect time to sit outside and meditate. The temperatures at night are cool but not yet cold. Spread a blanket on the ground, sit in the light of the moon, and just relax. Spiritual growth, goal setting, gratitude, and finding ways to slow down are all important aspects of this time of the year.
October is also the time when the veil between his world and the next begins to thin. The separation between the living and the dead becomes almost nonexistent. So take time to reflect on your ancestors and what they can teach us. Visit the cemetery and bring fresh flowers, pause for a few moments and listen for the voices of your ancestors in the wind.
We can learn a tremendous amount from nature and the passage of time. The earth has yielded its harvest, which will feed us during the long months yet to come. The changing of the leaves reminds us that new growth that comes from the buds left behind requires the shedding of those things we no longer need.
Take some time to slow down, find your balance, and remember what you are grateful for in the coming days.