September is another slightly awkward month for me. Its climate is often a little deceptive and the month and I don’t have a great track record; quite a few difficult memories of mine are placed in Septembers past. Some good ones too, but it’s a time that feels quite transitional, and I often find change difficult . Although it seems strange that the start of the new school year affects an adult not in school (and without school-aged children), I think that the awareness of local kids returning to their classrooms, and of new uni students arriving in town, does imprint itself on my mind. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the change brought by the constant motion of the autumnal winds and falling leaves makes Vata the dominant dosha at this time of the year. As a vata-dominant person, it makes sense that I’m susceptible the tendencies of anxiety, restlessness and digestive issues that excess vata is said to be responsible for – and particularly susceptible to them at this time.
I see autumn as beginning at Lammas, in August, but feel that it really takes hold in September. The leaves are noticeably turning and falling. Even though it’s not unusual for September days in the UK to be so warm and sunny that you could easily mistake them for summer ones, they take a while to warm up in the mornings now. It’s dark when I wake and the long balmy evenings have gone. Today was probably one of the last this year that sees me in sandals and one layer of clothing!
I feel the call inward. As nature’s energy, its green and its water retreat I feel the goddess of the land prepare for her rest. As she starts to settle down, (not quite ready to sleep but, as I told it to my son today, brushing her teeth and getting her pyjamas on!), an older goddess is watching through a door. Her cloak is dark, her eyes wise. Her lips are thin but her smile welcoming. The land is still bright with fruits and flowers and crops but it’s time to gather them up and follow the queen of the darkness into the months of longer nights. For me this is into the home I’ll spend more time in, into the different day-to-day schedule, into the shift in focus of the activities and food I’m drawn to, into different thoughts, rituals and meditations.
At Lammas, I generally find myself focussing on the harvest of what I’ve done that year; our garden harvest, new skills and progress that tend to be of an outward nature, that kind of thing. I also consider what I need to let go of in terms of my physical activities and/or material stuff. At the Autumn equinox I tend to consider what I need to let go of in these terms too, and to celebrate my inner harvest; my self development, my emotional and psycho-spiritual harvest. One of my more positive September memories is from the one just before Dylan’s first birthday when I noticed a sense of having vaguely landed in motherhood and found parenting practices, styles and philosophies that resonated with me and that I began to see unfold in how I parented my son. A sense of having some confidence and ease-iness in that role (most days!) A sense of having made the transition from maiden to mother.
I’ve bought some spring flower bulbs that I intend to plant with my family tomorrow, after a little “letting go ritual” that I’ll post about sometime in the next few days. As I tuck each of y bulbs into the earth. I’ll be giving thanks for the personal “harvests” that will nourish and sustain me through these darker months. Hopefully, in spring, the flowers and I will bloom together when the earth awakens, renewed. The varieties I’ve chosen are said to be liked by bees and my hope is for these flowers to represent the reciprocal relationship I strive for with nature; for them to nourish the bees with food whilst they nourish me with their beauty and I nourish the earth that they grow in.
Wishing you a happy equinox, an abundant harvest, and much nourishment over the coming months, ♥
Shop window in Cabot Circus, Bristol