Happy Autumn Equinox!
Or, “Happy Spring Equinox” if you are in the Southern Hemisphere! Whenever it is for you, the Autumn Equinox is a time of perseverance, reflection and healthy emotions.
autumn equinox CHARACTERISTICS:
TIME OF DAY: evening (6 pm)
CHAKRAS: sacral chakra
PLANT CYCLE: fruits, falling leaves
ANIMALS: water animals
STAGES OF LIFE: adulthood
CHALLENGING EMOTIONS: resentment / regrets
LEARNING CYCLES: reflecting
STICKING POINTS: unable to finish and let go
CAUSES OF BLOCKS: hurt and guilt, unresolved past issues
HEALED BY: resolving the past
Embracing emotions and healthy sexuality.
CORE CONDITION: empathy
STRENGTHS: emotionally healthy
CONNECTING TO THE TIME OF YEAR
In autumn, nature undergoes a stunning transformation. As the days become shorter and temperatures start to fall, the scenery becomes a beautiful mix of warm and earthy colours, creating a breathtaking landscape of amber, crimson, and gold. The air carries a distinct crispness, a gentle reminder of the approaching winter. It’s a time when the world exhales, releasing the vitality of summer into a leisurely descent towards hibernation. Animals start to get ready for the winter too – some birds migrate south to escape the cold, squirrels collect and store nuts, and herbivores like deer and elk fatten up for winter. Insects burrow or lay eggs, ensuring their survival in the chilly months.
WHERE DO WE GET STUCK?
Remember: health is based on the free flow of energy around the Wheel of Life. We get ill when we get stuck in a particular point on the Wheel or when we overuse a particular element. Often, we grow up finding an element that “works” for us in our particular childhood situation, whether it’s to be really fiery, or conversely, to sit on our Fire, for instance. Or to be overly emotional (watery), or to avoid the Water element by hiding our emotions. Or to be airy and ungrounded and avoid Earth (avoiding really being here). However, in adult life, the pattern we learned in childhood isn’t going to work all the time. Indeed, what often brings people to therapy is they don’t understand why what they’re doing isn’t working anymore. In this case, what we need to learn is how to draw on the appropriate element for a given situation. We need to learn how to use the elements we’ve been avoiding or blocking.
For example, when ending things, people who avoid the Water element try to skip the emotions connected with endings. Instead of dealing with the feelings that ending bring up, they opt for a quick transition to the next phase without taking the time to reflect on, process, and learn from what has ended. In doing this, endings remain incomplete and unresolved, and valuable life lessons remain unlearned. Over time, the problems this strategy causes will mount up.
Another way of avoiding Water is staying stuck in Fire or Air. Being stuck in Air isn’t confined solely to avoiding Fire and decision-making, but might involve avoiding the Water element and emotions too. We might be avoiding feeling things because we don’t feel it’s safe to be in our body, so we like to stay up in our heads instead. Similarly, fiery people avoid Water by just rushing on to the next thing, never actually seeing anything through to completion. Or by avoiding any of the more watery feelings like sadness or crying, trying to cheer everyone up. Whilst this may work for a time, eventually the problems that avoiding an element causes will become an issue.
WATER ELEMENT THEMES AND REFLECTIONS
To connect with Water element, reflect on the following aspects of your life:
- How comfortable are you with your emotions in general, and how do you feel about experiencing different types of emotions?
- Are you overly sensitive emotionally, and do you need strategies to manage your emotional sensitivity, or do you find the need to develop greater emotional sensitivity?
- How at ease are you with emotional depth, both within yourself and in your interactions with others?
- Do you experience mood swings that negatively affect your emotional well-being, and if so, how do you manage them?
- Are there any feelings of guilt, resentment, or a tendency to dwell on issues, perhaps related to the past, that you would like to address?
- Have you ever felt stuck in certain areas of your life, where you struggle to complete tasks or projects, and how do you navigate the balance between holding on and letting go?
- Do you encounter challenges related to jealousy, possessiveness, smothering behaviors, or, conversely, emotional distance? How do you handle empathy, compassion, self-compassion, or expressing emotional softness or firmness as needed?
- How do you view your experiences with giving and receiving love, and do you have any unresolved mothering issues (regardless of the gender of the individual who fulfilled that role for you)?
- Reflecting on your earliest experiences of belonging and secure attachments, how skilled are you at cultivating secure attachments in your adult life?
- How comfortable are you with sensuality and sexuality in your life?
- In terms of persistence, how do you handle situations requiring sustained effort and determination?
- How adaptable are you, particularly in terms of going with the flow and completing tasks or projects when necessary?
Contemplate these water-related aspects of your life, identifying any that stand out as problematic and start doing shamanic journeys on those things and ask for the help and healing that’s needed.
BEYOND THE FALL: WHAT TREES TEACH US ABOUT DEATH AND LETTING GO
Autumn offers us a profound lesson in letting go. Consider fruit, for instance; it’s a culmination of growth, but it also signifies a time of release. A similar process occurs with the leaves on trees during this season. If a leaf is healthy, in Autumn the tree reabsorbs as much as it can from the leaf, sealing it off before ultimately letting it go. Conversely, if the leaf is diseased, the tree release it without reabsorbing anything from it. This concept, relates to the broader idea of death.
What we are in the middle world is akin to a leaf on a tree. When we die, different things happen. Like a leaf in Autumn, our physical body decomposes and eventually returns to the earth, becoming part of the cycle of life, contributing to the growth of other living things. At the same time, if we have cultivated a soulful life and contributed positively to the world, our Soul becomes reabsorbed into the Human Oversoul and we become part of the Ancestors. Everything we’ve learned and experienced becomes added to the world and woven into the fabric of the Human Oversoul. Conversely, if we haven’t lived helpfully or soulfully, our essence simply dissipates and is not reabsorbed. This, is one of the profound animist teachings offered by Tree. When we observe trees shedding their leaves, we witness their innate wisdom in gathering that which is useful, and letting go of that which is diseased or unhelpful.
THE FIRST-STEPS INTRODUCTORY COURSE – September – October 2023
The essential, low-cost introductory course for anyone wishing to explore this approach.
Course Structure. The course is delivered via:
- Three live modules on September 30th, October 14th, and October 28th. These live meetings start at 2pm (UK time). All are recorded, for anyone who is not able to attend them live.
- Five pre-recorded modules, delivered by video and accompanying learning materials. These are released at intervals as the course progresses.
- A website discussion forum and (an optional) Signal group, where students can ask questions, discuss topics, share experiences and additional resources, and get support, encouragement, and a sense of community.
- A bonus video, answering students’ questions and offering additional teaching.
AFTER THE FIRST-STEPS – LEARN SHAMANISM AND ANIMISM IN MORE DEPTH
November to December 2023. FINDING YOUR WILD SOUL. A Next-Steps course. Discover practices to connect to your authentic, fully alive, wild and free Lower-World Soul. Learn how to come back to “right-relationship” with your true self, with other humans, and with the other-than-human too. Learn what a healthy Adult really is, what healthy animist child-bearing practices are, and what true Elders look like. More details here.
January – February 2024: HEALING THE PAST, CHOOSING THE FUTURE. Healing family patterns, releasing ancestral burdens, and freeing ourselves up to better choose our future path. Details to follow.
March – April 2024: EXPLORING THE LOWER-WORLD. Go deeper still into the practice of Hollowing-Out. Find a truly Lower-World Human Guide, and maybe your Lower-World Human Tribe too. Discover the healing power of the Elemental Transformational Practices, of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
August – September 2024: DEEPER EXPLORATIONS IN THE LOWER-WORLD
Learn more vital shamanic techniques and practices. This includes an in-depth exploration of shamanic Extractions, De-possessions, Disentanglings, Expansions and Just-Being practices.