When November comes, I pull out all the photographs of my mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, and beloved spiritual instructors and familiars who have blessed my life, who have passed over the threshold. I placed their images on my alter scattered with earth, pinecones, oak leaves, acorns, twigs and crystals. I burn candles and incense to Grandmother Spirit each night, invoking her wisdom and understanding.
During the high cross quarter of the solar cycle falling between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, Earth-based practitioners honor this celestial moment as a very spiritual time on the Wheel of the Year. Mother Earth has been birthing fruitful all summer, providing a bountiful harvest, and winter is now upon us. We dry our herbs, make jams, and store food to nourish our bodies through the coming winter. Gratitude and abundance are the prevailing celebrations, including gratitude to our ancestors, for whom we would not be here if it were not for them. Ancient Astrologers, Shamans, Magicians, Vestals and Priestesses of Delphi, considered this as a robust celestial moment for creating magic and positive change, and communing with our ancestors and spirits. Divination and seances are performed at this time, as the veil between the worlds is thinnest on this day; and those souls who passed over the threshold; family, friends and pets, are invited to return to feast with us in remembrance, love and reverence for the gifts they have brought into our lives. We celebrate the end of the agricultural year that has now ended, and release our past soul energies, memories and experiences which no longer serve us, and identify and claim our new goals and energies for the coming year to begin at Winter Solstice, with the return of the sun and lengthening of days for the next agricultural year. The old world european customs discovered by anthropologists and art historians, date back to early Agrarian societies in Celtic and Italian culture, as well as Egyptian, Native American, Mesopotamian and Aztec agrarian cultures, where the Crone-Goddess was honored as the spiritual representation of the end of the agricultural year, hence, the Grandmother Spirit we’ve come to know with her ancient wisdom for the modern age. To show gratitude for the harvest, a bit of the finest fruits, cakes, wines, ales and honeys of the harvest are lovingly placed at crossroads for her. The agrarian cultures recognize the Earth as the Mother of all of life on the planet. The agrarian phases of the Earth’s fertility; springtime planting, summer growth, and autumnal harvest, are spiritually represented as the Maiden, Mother and Crone. In celebration of the end of the agricultural year, is the Earth as Grandmother Spirit – she has done her job, raised and fed the children and grandchildren, and now rests for the winter. We thank her.
The most permaculturally potent window for spellwork alignment with Mother Earth lies within the period of soil depletion at Equinox, for here, the Earth rests at it’s lowest life vitality level, creating a perfect soil environment for beginning the growth of a new soil life cycle.
Keeping in mind that we are all creatures formed of Earth, with geological components making up the bodies we inhabit, there is a strong energy bond between the Earth and our own bodies and internal energy fields and chakras as it correlates to the Sun and planets in our own personal natal chart with the planets of the moment.
In correlation, human neurochemistry studies note the loss of sunlight increases our Melatonin – the sleep hormone. We relax, we rest more, as does the Earth’s soil vitality. It is during this rest period of Mother Earth and all her creatures that our own new spiritual cycle of growth and development is taking form, and a deep, magical re-birthing occurs within all of nature.
In the arms of Grandmother Spirit, we may shed the old skin, embrace our own transformation, regeneration and re-birth. May we welcome the re-birth of the Light gestating in our own souls, preparing for the returning Light at Solstice, and slip into our new skins. Blessed be. ✨