It’s been a hot couple of days and the promise of rain brings with it the promise of cooler temperatures more consistent with autumn. Oh, autumn. It is officially the season of the witch. It is a time of gathering in the harvest, of being in the kitchen, creating and preparing for winter, of divination, potent magic, and exploring mysteries. It’s a time of fortification against the cold and darkness that is coming. The days grow shorter and with it the veil between worlds thins. This veil remains thin through the winter months well into February.
Many people think that Samhain (Halloween) is the only day of the year when spirits can come and frolic, when ancestors come home, when faeries alight the doorstep. In fact, the entire dark half of the year (autumn and winter) lend strength to the magic of the otherworld. They are not limited in their travels to this one day of the year.
The crisp autumnal air blows the dust off of our spiritual lens. These months have much to teach us about the mysteries of death and magic, and about the things of which we would often rather not think especially in summer months when the sun is high and life is prime. More deaths occur in the wintertime especially, and while there are myriad physical reasons for such (though no conclusive evidence concering the “why” of it), it is, spiritually, simply easier to pass and transition at this time.
There is a dark side and a rich, dark history to our lighthearted gatherings that is often lost especially on Americans, but nevertheless we gather in. We light up our jack-o-lanterns, we light up our windows and our porches in welcome of those who come in love. We offer candy to the symbolic spirits who come to our door in want. We begin the season of generosity.
In autumn we engage in an environment that is dying. We experience the mystery of this preparation, this shedding to become bare and essential as something outside of ourselves to witness. We recognize on some level it’s symbolism. We are given the chance to know death as a giver and we celebrate what it gives us. We are given crops, beautiful leaves, scents unparalleled, an opportunity to peek beyond the veil.
The season of the witch is a time to embrace mystery, a time to learn, a time to accesss your own inner magic and to shed what is no longer relevant to you. It is a time of preparation, of lighting candles to guard against the coming darkness and to keep hope of the sun’s return alive. It is a time of celebration for what is given, a time to reap what has been sown. It is a time to look inward and connect, and especially to extend the warmth of love and generosity to others. The season of the witch is magical, filled with wisdom for those who seek it.