Set time aside to reflect and connect with yourself this autumn
While autumn’s characteristics include shorter days, blustery winds and the dreaded flu season, there is also much to look forward to. In Chinese traditional medicine, for example, the fall of crimson red leaves signifies the earth’s fire transforming into metal – a time of condensing energy. Jane Alexander, author of The Energy Secret: Practices and Rituals to Unlock your Inner Energy for Healing and Happiness (£14.99, Kyle Books), believes this seasonal transformation makes it the perfect time to perform rituals based on the idea of letting go. “It’s the second time of the year for a good clear out – an autumn spring clean,” says Jane. “Except this focuses on removing practices and people that no longer work for you.” As the sun peeks through the morning mist and the birds migrate south, celebrate this opportunity of new beginnings with one of these seasonal wellbeing rituals.
Are you entangled and bound to someone with toxic energy? When you form a close bond with another person, an energetic cord can bind you together. These cords can become tiring, particularly when they hold negative energy. To restore health and ease to a challenging relationship, why not give cord cutting a go? A ritual originally developed by psychotherapist Phyllis Krystal, it helps to release you and the other person from destructive ties. “This doesn’t mean you have to completely cut them out of your life,” says Jane, “but it will help to redefine the energetic tie.”
For the times when an attachment feels like an immense weight on your shoulders, Jane suggests imagining yourself in a bubble of pure white light that extends roughly six feet around you. “You should feel totally safe,” says Jane. “Visualise the other person in a similar bubble a short distance away from your own. If you wish, you can talk to the chosen troublesome individual, telling them of any further truths or concerns you would like to share.” When you notice a thin silver cord emanating from your solar plexus to theirs, visualise yourself picking up a pair of silver scissors and cutting the cord that joins you. Say out loud: “I release us from this negative pattern of relationship. Now we are safe.”
Jane explains that the cord will then shimmer and be reabsorbed into your solar plexus. Once you’ve completed the ritual, take note of how you feel and stamp your feet, so that you come back to full awareness.
The ancient name for Halloween, Samhain is one of the eight seasonal festivals of the Celtic calendar. “Originally it was the Celtic New Year,” says Jane. “It was a fire festival that lasted for at least a week as people gathered together before the onslaught of winter.” The veil between us and the underworld is also supposedly at its thinnest, so it’s known as a time that releases haunting spirits and gives you a chance to confront your deepest fears.
Celebrate this annual festival by creating a Samhain altar. “Include photographs of loved ones and animals who have sadly departed, plus pomegranates, the fruit of Persephone, queen of the underworld,” says Jane. This is also a traditional time for divination, so dust off your tarot cards and read ghost stories by a crackling fire or a bank of candles.
A quieter festival than Samhain, the autumn equinox is celebrated on September 22nd this, marking the descent into winter. “It honours the departure of the Goddess of Earth, Gaia, as she returns to the green rolling hills to rest and slumber,” says Jane. This makes it the perfect time to prepare for the inevitable coming of winter, and gives you a chance to let go of the parts of your life that no longer serve you.
Traditionally, it’s a period in which to purge and cleanse. “It’s a time to carry out small tasks in preparation for the bleak, colder days ahead – putting away summer tops and sandals, carefully mending winter clothes, giving your home a fresh lick of paint or doing small repairs that you didn’t do in the sweltering heat of summer,” says Jane.
The autumn equinox reminds us that not only is the weather going to change, but our personal lives and plans will do too, with more of a focus on home and family life. Use this day as an opportunity to reset your mind, so that you can move into the winter months positively and with joy.
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