A Blessed Autumn Equinox!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Autumn Equinox yesterday! I usually try to take the day off for each holiday and spend time outdoors enjoying the seasonal changes.

Yesterday, however, I woke up in a bit of a funk and it took me a while to get going. But I finally got dressed and headed out to one of the county parks along the Rogue River. I found a place to perch on a rocky outcropping next to the river and just sat there soaking in the beauty. I was mesmerized watching minnows swimming in the shallows near me. I find watching fish incredibly soothing, and it seemed like a nice reminder to flow with the changes as we enter this watery Autumn season.

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The view from my rocks

A couple of guys asked me if I would keep an eye on their boat while they went to pick up their second car. I must look trustworthy! I didn’t mind doing it, although I amused myself by trying to figure out exactly what I would do if someone did try messing with their boat. Throw river rocks at them?

A man came down with his son and went for a swim in the river while the little boy splashed along the edge. Whew—that water is COLD, and it was only in the 60s (our first cool day, really). Oregonians are a hearty group!

Another couple wandered down to the rocks I was sitting on and we talked about fish and they told me about their koi pond at home. It always amazes me how friendly people are around here! I thought people in Portland were friendly, but people down here are much more likely to strike up a conversation (or ask you to watch their boat!).

As always, time outside and time by the river worked their magic and I was in a much better mood when I left the park.

I spent the rest of the afternoon making an Apple Molasses Snack Cake, then held my personal Autumn Equinox ritual during which I did my tarot reading. All in all, it was a really nice day and a great way to welcome Autumn. I’m looking forward to cooler weather, wearing scarves, drinking hot chocolate, buying pumpkins, and most of all—rain! The valley is dry and dusty and desperately in need of a good soaking.

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My Autumn Equinox altar

May your autumn season be blessed!

A Tarot Spread for Autumn Equinox

For several years I did a tarot reading on each of the eight holidays of the Wheel of the Year asking what I needed to know during the next turn of the wheel. I got out of the habit of doing that this past year, but decided it was time get back into the habit again, and pulled out this Autumn Equinox spread that I created a couple of years ago. Much of the inspiration for the spread comes from Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot, which I used below for my own reading. She often uses the “overall theme,” “key opportunity,” and “key challenge” elements in her spreads, and I find they work really well in my seasonal spreads. In addition to those, I add three cards regarding topics or issues related to the current seasonal theme.

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Question: What do I need to know during the next turn of the wheel?

  1. Overall Theme
  2. Key Opportunity
  3. Key Challenge
  4. What I most need to let go of
  5. My most important harvest so far, something to be grateful for/proud of
  6. The internal work that most needs to be done as the light wanes

My reading was a bit intense!

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My reading, using the Gaian Tarot

  1. Overall Theme: Bindweed — The Gaian Tarot book calls this card “life out of balance.” During this turn of the wheel I may be challenged to maintain balance in the midst of many demands for my time and attention. It will be important not to give into despair or slip into escapism through my favorite addictions (like eating too much junk food or bingeing on too much Netflix!). It will be important to consciously seek to respond in healthy ways to the challenges I may face during this time.
  2. Key Opportunity: Five of Fire — The opportunity of this time is to practice courage and face my fears and challenges head on.
  3. Key Challenge: Four of Air — It will be a challenge for me to create boundaries, to take the time I need for meditation, reflection,  and journaling to help me stay calm when things get difficult. This card has also been showing up a lot for me as reminder not to hide away, safe in my nest, and refuse to face things. So I will be challenged to put into practice the courage of facing problems (as indicated by the Five of Fire), instead of hiding, which is the more comfortable response for me.
  4. What I most need to let go of: Seven of Earth — I most need to let go of impatience and trying to force things to happen. Growth is a slow and steady process, and it is time to trust that the work I am doing now, the seeds I am planting, will sprout and grow in their own best time. I can let go of trying to control everything.
  5. My most important harvest so far: Five of Air — I have taken steps to move past the conflicting inner voices that have kept me stuck and confused for far too long, and have moved forward to claim my own space and speak my truth in the world. (But it is still really scary!)
  6. The internal work that most needs to be done as the light wanes: Ten of Earth — I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret this card at first, but my eyes kept being drawn to the nurse stumps in the foreground. I think this means that the internal work I need to do is to cultivate trust that, as Julian of Norwich wrote, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” I need to learn to trust that new growth can spring forth even from places that seem dead and barren. To trust that even as things pass away in my life, there are always fresh, new experiences to take their place and bring life and hope to me again.

I hope your own reading with this spread is just as juicy. I’d love to hear about it! I’m kind of bracing for impact after my reading!

Bright harvest blessings to you all!