As autumn arrives and day and night briefly balance, we enter the sacred Fall Equinox. This ancient ritual, passed through generations, connects us with the wisdom of dark trees, the tranquility of the woods, and the art of letting go. Join us to uncover ancestral traditions, commune with dark trees, and integrate their guidance.
Find a forested path that takes you to an opening in the woods.
May it be at dusk this week.
Light tea lights and place them around you in the four directions and whisper to that direction an appreciation for their corresponding elements (earth, air, fire, water).
Face the center and light a larger candle or a sparkler, and be sure you are alone and take your time to hear the silence of the rustling woods. Your good and great long line of witch ancestry is watching you conduct these ancient rites.
If you have come in secret, then cast a circle around you using salt water droplets poured out of a moonwater jug.
Sing out the sounds loudly enough but not too loudly, so that you open to the deities and spirits. Let the random sounds come out of your throat and let this help you cast the circle as sacred and make your ritual invisible to anyone around you.
Find a way to quiet the mind and stop it from racing around; just shut it down and let nothing be nothing. Focus on your feet growing roots deep into the earth next to the tree roots all around you. Let the roots of your feet talk to the roots of the trees and listen to them through your feet.
Now, speak out loud what they are saying and invite them to calm and quiet too.
This is the time of welcoming the darkness. We all need it, and it comes with the dying of things and the letting go of what is not needed or emptied now. Use the candles around you to consider five things (face each candle) and make something in your life end. Create a word spell or write it down and consider it ended. Make a sharp wave with your arm or howl like a wolf and cast it away now. Envision the completion of it, gone and manifest it away. This is what we as witches have done since the dawn of time. We have cut away, pruned away, and let go of what is too much, too heavy, too much effort, or too weary-making. It is not healthy to stay in the light all the time; we must let go of tasks, talk, and toilings. Let each go with a clap or drum sound or a long "HA! BE GONE!" Sound.
Now, return to the tree roots and ask them what they need and want in the darkness. How do they need to unburden and rest for the long nights? Listen to them, and may it also be a piece of advice for you. Write their messages down in a secret booklet of your own.
Thank the wisdom of the dark trees and pull up your roots back into your feet after saying goodbye.
Thank the center and spirit for the wisdom and intuition to know and to say no to things. Blow out the candle in the center and pour some hot wax onto that spot for posterity.
Face the North, then West, then South, and finally East and blow out the candles, thanking these four directions and their corresponding elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air for what they represent in your life as supportive structures for the darkness ahead. Let them know they are welcomed and appreciated.
Uncast the circle around you in the opposite direction you started in as a way to unfurl the circle and open the doors. You are quietly leaving from the secret ancient world of witches' rites of passage and into the life you lead, all the while bringing with you an awareness and intuitive knowing of the "No's" that you must now make happen in your everyday life. Let these ancient sacred Rites of Fall Equinox passage remind you and your body that you come from a long line of stories, ancestors, and indigenous traditions from all corners of the world, and this passage through time and space is secret and sacred to you. You let these spells in ritual be the roadmap that helps you say no and have knowing in your everyday life.
What are you letting go of and saying no to this Autumn Equinox? Write it down and bring it to your ritual, then post it on your office or home door, and remember every day the commitment you made with the trees that dusk to darkness in the woods.
So mote it be.