Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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The Turning Point

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Autumn started in my neighborhood last Tuesday night in the wee hours.  The clock read 3:23 am when I rolled over to look at it, awakened suddenly by the loud plash of rain hitting my balcony, moments before the downpour started rattling the roof and windows. This was not a Summer rain, chilly but scented with pollen and flowers and smoke. This rain was the child of the snow that was falling on Longs Peak many miles away.  It lasted late into the day, soaking the lawn and swelling my apples, and sneaking into the corners of the house. The following day, sunny and warm, revealed yellow leaves on the cottonwoods.

                The days following have been very hot and dry, this whole week temps are reaching into the low 90s and there are still a few wild fires burning in the high country, driven by high, hot winds and fueled by bone-dry vegetation. It is hard to feel the approaching Autumn, even if the trees are starting to turn.

                The calendar puts the date of Autumn’s start at September 22. But the shift had already happened: evenings have gotten chilly, the crickets louder. The doves have migrated through, and the wild geese are starting to arrive. At the farmers market, the Palisade peaches and local apples are at their peak, and high Summer’s herbs and zucchini blossoms have disappeared. Whatever the calendar may say, the season has shifted and the Wheel has turned.

                Regardless of how hot the weather is, on September 21, I pick the last apples off my trees. This year we had a big crop of apples, most of which were devoured by squirrels and starlings. But yesterday morning there were still a couple perfect, unblemished ones hanging from the skinniest branches, too precarious for the squirrels to get to, and those I picked for the altar. At dinner, I cut them open to reveal the star formed by the seeds, the fingerprint of the immanent deity who is not removed from creation, but whose signature is present in the tiniest parts of the natural world, as well as the grandest.

                More than all of these environmental factors, you can feel the Autumn in the sudden freshening of the spirit, a sense of awakening. This Summer was marked by an astounding six planets in retrograde, which made forward progress on any projects difficult and frustrating. The combination of the cooler weather and planets going direct, brings more clarity and progress which marks the shift to a new season.  Even as the decline in the year is on us, bringing us closer to Winter , the breath of change and clarity wakens us to new possibilities, in the world and in us.

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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.


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