Farewell to Fall

 
 

Farewell to Fall

MY RITUAL FOR SAYING GOODBYE TO AUTUMN

On the last day of November, in the waning moon, with that bittersweet yearly transition upon us, I felt pulled toward a space of ritual.

These days leading up to the Winter Solstice hold the perfect energy for reflection, and completion on the season and the year before.

 
winter-road3.jpg
 

a glance ahead

 

With Winter already in play, as it tends to be at this time of year in the mountains – the remnants of Autumn have all but dissolved. The land is now covered in a blanket of white, with the life force of nature fast asleep deep underground.

For me, this has been a year, I never quite realized, was actually here. And now, there is another year, to come.


It has been a year where it’s been like standing on a bridge, moving from one landscape to another, and in many ways, I’m still making my way over the chasm.
Having left something behind, and having yet to arrive at whats next.

And with that, this has been year long cycle, of a “moment-in-between”… in a way, feeling held betwixt two worlds.

And so, like I do in so many of those moments-in-between,
a sunrise,
a sunset,
a birth,
a death,
I invoke a ritual.

Not to let go of something,
but to clear the slate, come into presence, set an intention, and make space, for where I want to go next.


There is such a thing as emotional rubbish; it is produced in the factories of the mind. It consists of pain that has long since passed and is no longer useful. It consists of precautions that were important in the past, but that serve no purpose in the present.

(The Warrior) learns how to separate the useful from the unnecessary; he disposes of his emotional rubbish. The Warrior smiles, but he does not try to feel things that he no longer feels. He is changing and he wants his feelings to keep pace with him.
— Paulo Coehlo. Warrior of the Light.

 
 
leaf-on-snow.jpg
 

A final gathering

On my November altar, I had remnants of the fallen Aspen leaves gathered in a bowl. I had gathered them in their height of color of - brilliant oranges, and russets and reds – now faded and desaturated, much like the land outside.

These leaves, created the perfect symbolic gesture I needed, for an offering into the ceremonial fire. They would serve as replicas of my own emotional rubbish.
Marking, the internal house cleaning we must do, to eliminate what is no longer “useful,” when we are transitioning from one thing, and moving on to what’s next.

 
 
sparks5.jpg
 

igniting the space

 

Something happens when we ignite fire.
Air and mineral and ether collide in the creation of something mystical, mysterious and hot.

The Universe cannot help but notice.
The Elementals surround you.
The Allies starts paying attention.

 
 
kissing-fall-goodbye.jpg
 

a kiss goodbye

 

With a single leaf in hand…I brought to mind a particular piece, of my own rubbish…
Something worn-out.
Something faded.
Something no longer needed,
Something, completely overcooked, and well done.

A kiss goodbye, done from a place of intention,
invokes big healing,
and creates the space for something greater.

 
 
fire-pit.jpg
 

into the fire

 

One after the other, each leaf goes went into the fire.
Each, it’s own offering, each a different invocation.

Casting a glance back over a year.
The things it dredged up.
The things it unraveled.
The things it left undone.
Clearing any last clutter from an entire turn around the wheel.

Honoring the beauty in the lessons,
saying goodbye to another season,
and bidding farewell to a year,
that went so swiftly, when I look back, I might simply forget.

Now, with the leaves turned to ash,
I can set my gaze toward Winter.
The whitespace.
The hibernation.
The time to we go inside, for the seeding of vision, and germination of what’s next.

 
 

CREATE YOUR OWN
FALL FAREWELL RITUAL

 

The days leading up to the Winter Solstice, are a perfect time to bring completion to the prior year, create forgiveness in yourself and invoke a bit of healing..

  • GATHER SOME DRIED LEAVES:
    each leaf will be cast into a fire, one by one, saying goodbye to each thing of this past year that you are clearing away...emotional baggage, worn-out beliefs, out-dated ways of being...so gather a good handful.

  • CREATE A PLACE FOR A FIRE RITUAL:
    collect your fire lighting tools, some twigs, matches, whatever you need and find a place you can safely create a small fire...a fire place, a cast iron pan, a small fire proof bowl.
    somewhere you can ignite a flame, and burn a few leaves, one by one.

  • CLEAR YOUR SACRED SPACE
    smudge the area with smoke from your favorite sacred herb, then sit in quiet contemplation, reviewing the season, the year, or more...thinking back on a cycle you are now completing.
    what are the things that are holding you back?
    beliefs? emotions? programming?
    anxieties? fears? worries?
    where would you like forgiveness, for yourself, or someone else?


  • IGNITE YOUR FIRE
    hold your intention

  • PICK UP A LEAF
    hold it in your hand and energetically infuse the leaf with the thing you are letting go. lay it across the fire watching it burn into ash and letting go of whatever you are releasing.

  • PICK UP ANOTHER LEAF
    and repeat the process with all your leaves until you feel complete. one by one, holding the intention of what you are releasing, imbuing it into the leaf, and dropping in the fire.

  • SIT WITH YOUR FIRE
    contemplating while gazing into the flame, your past has now come to a completion. a book is now closed. breath in silence while you begin to feel the creative force of what, next, might want to come in...but that's another ritual.
    Leave the details to another time.


    Blessings as we make our journey toward Winter.