Activities vary with region and tradition, and personal preference. Some ideas include:|
*Making a Sun Wheel (see Decorations). You might also choose to re-enact the Celtic tradition of dressing a corn stalk in cloths and burning it in celebration of the harvest and upcoming rebirth.
*Going through your personal gardens giving thanks for and then lovingly harvesting what is ready is also suitable.
*Breads may be baked in the shape of the Sun, combining fruits or vegetables and grains, incorporating both of the major aspects of this Harvest.
*Store the seeds of various plants through winter for replanting, enabling the plant's rebirth in the Spring. Additional seeds and grains can be set out as offering to our fellow creatures, and provide a healthy chance for birds to join in the celebrations as well. Symbolic designs can be made out of the sprinklings if one chooses.
*A feast for friends and family always provides a cheerful abundance of energy and thanks.
*Remember those less fortunate and include them in the celebration. Small, simple packages of food and drink given to a homeless person will make their day!
*Honor the dead. It is traditional to place apples on burial cairns as symbolism of rebirth and gratitude. Moreover, it is a time to honor the elders, who have devoted so much time and energy to your growth and development. Something special is in order for these gracious people.
*Fill your kitchen with the fruits of the season: pumpkins in all sizes, colorful gourds, juicy grapes, baskets of cranberries and Indian corn. Decorate your door with cornhusks. Gather acorns and apples in every color for your altar.
*Light candles . . .
yellow for health
orange for sharing the harvest
purple for deepening spiritual awareness
*Burn sprigs of rosemary for preservation of love and longevity. Add it freshly chopped to biscuits and breads, pizza crusts, stews and roasted vegetables in olive oil and lemony chicken dinners.
*Hang a braid of garlic in your kitchen for winter long protection.
*Gather the spices of the season. Toss out last year's stale spices during the waning moon, and visualize old habits, obstacles and outworn desires being cleared from your life. Restock your pantry with fresh cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole nutmegs (with a tiny grater), allspice, Pumpkin Pie Spice, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, peppercorns, sea salt. Warming herbs such as dried basil, marjoram, and dill are wonderful for the chill of the coming winter. Rosemary, thyme and culinary sage are traditional must-haves for the holidays.
*Make a simple grapevine wreath for your door (or purchase one from your local crafts store) and entwine it with freshly cut bittersweet stems. As you wind the stems into the circle wreath, weave your intentions for the coming months . . .
*Fashion a new broom from trimmed pine branches, or buy one from your favorite broom maker, and place it outside your front door.
*On a clear breezy day, make use of your broom!
*Start with a clean sweep of every room in the house, sweeping widdershins. Clear out stagnant energy left over from the heat of summer. Open all your windows and hang out the rugs and blankets. Let your pillows air out in the sun. Sunlight is Mother Nature's disinfectant.
Now gather fresh air energy into your space. Play energizing music and move through the rooms holding a bowl of sea salt. Leave a small bowl of salt in the north corner of each room, if you like. Burn smoldering smudge sticks of sage and lavender in corners, stairwells, closets and hallways. The freshening smoke cleanses the space and clears out stagnant forces. Rededicate your home to peace.
*Plan now for a time of study in the coming Fall, and begin looking through some new books to ignite your interest in the dark evenings ahead. Start a 'New Book Pile'!
*Find a new Dream Journal for capturing your dreams as you enter the underworld time of year. Goddess Persephone will be your guide as you sharpen your divination skills through Dream Work, Tarot, scrying . . .
*Donate, sell or give away any used books you no longer need. Go through closets of winter clothing and donate any warm clothes you know you will not use this winter.
*Take some time to be outdoors during the last golden rays of the sun. Walk through falling leaves and observe the animals in your neighborhood, readying their nests for winter. Refresh your instinctual self and listen with your whole body, heart and spirit. Open yourself to the wise teachings of the Crone in Autumn.
Breathe in the sparkling fall air and ground yourself with a hot cup of spice tea when you return.
*Stir up a little magick in the kitchen!