Autumn: A Time of Balance

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Physical & Spiritual Balance

Autumn is a time when Mother Earth goes inward as the colder weather approaches. As the planet tilts on its axis, we receive less hours of sun as the seasons change from Summer to Autumn. Animals, such a squirrels, may show signs of preparation for the harsher weather coming by collecting and stashing acorns that the oak trees provide. The rhythm of Nature slows down, the chlorophyll in leaves is no longer activated and they in turn show magnificent colors. The fallen leaves then provide the ground and animals with coverage and nesting material for the Winter. In essence, we witness the process of death.

For thousands of years, humans have witnessed this and in many cultures have created celebrations that honor the Dead at this time of year. What Western culture calls Halloween is in other cultures known as Hallowmas, Samhian, All Saints' Day or Día de los Muertos. The commonality of these holidays celebrate the spirits of the deceased, whether they are saints, friends or Ancestors. Today, the way we celebrate this time at Halloween is not at all how it originally was intended.

During this time, the veil between our world and the Otherworld grows thin. The world in which the spirits live can be felt in this one. This makes our connection with our Ancestors more accessible. Unfortunately, we have learned in modern times to fear the process of death as well as the benevolent spirits in our world, but if we walk through that fear, what we actually have is the abundance of love and blessings to receive from those who have walked before us.

In my work with clients, it has become very clear that the Ancestors desire connection with us. They have said they wish their descendants to understand how much they are available for us and wish us much joy. Some of our Ancestors may have taken treacherous journeys during their lives to arrive where they did, all for the sake of carving out a better life for themselves, their families and for the generations to come. I know I am one of them ~ and I am grateful for the courage and risks taken by my own Ancestors to plant seeds for new life.

As this month closes, you might wish to add an altar in your home especially for your Ancestors. You might place photos of some of them, as well as candles, personal belongings they may have had during their life, pieces of favorite candy or even a small glass of a relative's favorite liquor. Remembering the Ancestors in this world by honoring the lives they lived and how you are the vessel of their hopes and dreams can truly help to bridge the gap between this world and the world in which they reside now. This practice can bring a beautiful balance to both our worlds. As Nature balances life and death, so can we learn to balance this world with the Otherworld in which the generations passed now walk.

Christina D'Amore