Autumn tends to be a favorite season for many Pagans. Maybe it’s the chill in the air, the beauty of the colored leaves, and all the delicious food we prepare. It could be this simple. These appreciations of the purely material allure of this season are, to say the least, a thing of beauty on their own. After all, fall is immensely popular across religions, not just with Pagans.
But I would like to believe that Autumn is popular for its implicit magic. Buried within the Thesmophoria and Samhain is a thinning of the veil between worlds. This is a time for divination, discourse with the ancestors and gods, and reflection on how your spiritual self is manifested in your physical form.
For those who are not familiar, the Thesmophoria is a celebration of Demeter: Persephone’s mother. To make a short story of it, Persephone is a dual-goddess: that of spring and fall; bringer of growth and queen of death. Fall is the time where Persephone travels to her home in the underworld and her husband Hades. At her loss, Demeter is devastated, and causes the earth to sink into cold darkness (winter). The Autumn Equinox in September was celebrated over the course of a week, beginning with a libation to Persephone and Demeter, and ended with a libation to Hades. Now, during the Thesmophoria and Samhain, we celebrate the transition between worlds, both literally and figuratively.
Seasons are how we used to measure time. The rise and set of the sun measured a day, and seasons divided the year into neat categories that could also be measured in length and depended upon. The seasons tell us where we are in relation to the sun, and tell us what cycle has come for the plants of our ecosystem. Are we pointed away from the sun, bathed in darkness? These are the mysterious times, the times of great heavenly power. Are we the recipients of long, hot days and short, breezy nights? Are we in the time of year when power reaches up through roots to the tops of the tallest trees? Are we somewhere in-between? During Autumn, we are in that moment of flux.
When the veil thins, when we find ourselves the most vulnerable to the push and pull between worlds, we are also at our most powerful. During this time of year, use that power, and take advantage of the greater accessibility of the spirit world. I find that my power in Autumn comes from Persephone. She is the greatest connection between the corporeal world and the spirit world. She connects me to my ancestors, to my childish self, and assists in times of transition.
If I may suggest any course of action for this season, it would be divination and new beginnings. Divine what you should do, and move forward with confidence, knowing that the spirits are on your side.