I love fall. The air is crisp and cool, the perfect temperature, not too hot or too cold. The leaves are turning glorious colors, golds and reds and oranges. I love “fall food”, hot spiced cider and pumpkin pies. Fall has my favorite secular holiday, Halloween. I just love everything about it, the jack o’ lanterns, the ghosts, the candy, the costumes. Especially the costumes. I love getting dressed up and becoming someone or something else. There is something magical about costumes, about playing a part. I love the symbolism of Samhain, the deeper meaning the festival, the celebration of the ancestors.
I am not a winter person. I do not like winter at all, in fact my depression tends to rear its ugly head in the midst of winter. So you would think that I would not like fall, which is the lead-in to winter, but strangely, I do. It has a spirit all its own, one that I thoroughly enjoy.
Autumn is typically a time of slowing down. As I recently wrote in the ritual for the fall equinox, “the point of balance between dark and light, day and night, summer and winter. …. we prepare to move into a quieter, more contemplative time, as the season slows down, so do we. We celebrate the last harvest as we enter the time of the ancestors.”
As I prepare for the coming move to Arizona, I’m aware that my seasonal celebrations are going to have to change. Adjusting to the desert will take place on many levels. Besides the shock of going from December in Indiana weather to the much milder winter of Arizona, when January comes I will be enrolled in college full-time. I have never taken more than 9 credits in a single semester, and am currently taking 7. So the level of activity will also change. I will have to contemplate what the regional change will mean for my festivals. Arizona has its own nature spirits, its own power. The desert is a place of spiritual purification, ruled by fire and the sun. I look forward to getting to know the spirits of the land there, but for now, I am focusing on enjoying what will most likely be my last Indiana autumn for at least 3 or 4 years.