Acknowledging the subtle and dramatic changes from season-to-season is one of the ways I like to celebrate life. Seasonal rituals help me celebrate each transition, acknowledge how I’ve learned and grown and what it’s time to let go. Today is the day before the autumn equinox if you’re here in real time, a great time to start your ritual, or you can take inspiration anytime.
September in Cologne sees the earliest leaves changing from green to yellow, the dry crunch underfoot, nuts and berries aplenty even in the heart of the city. Outside my door hazelnuts are falling onto the cobblestones, cars rolling over pop them open and the pigeons gorge themselves.
How we each best enjoy the distinct times of year is personal. I’m sharing some rituals I find especially meaningful and enjoyable around the time of the Fall or Autumnal Equinox. This designates the point in the year (once in fall, once in spring) where day and night are of equal length, in this case the official transition into the cooler part of the year in the northern hemisphere. For academics and others, fall can feel like another new year, a time of launching projects and ideas, to return to our purpose refreshed after summer frolicking.
I invite you to craft your own ideal celebration and let me know how you get festive whether simple or elaborate, solo or with others.
Here I’ll provide just a few examples of practices that you might like to incorporate into your own seasonal ritual or everyday life.
I also like to create a fall/seasonal Bucket List, Reading list, collection of Film, Show. Music, Media favorites and the like, but will leave such goodies for a future article.
Some places to look depending on your time or particular Equinox interests:
- Nature – go for a walk or be outdoors
- Yoga & Mindful Movement – choose a more strenuous or relaxing practice depending on what you need and feels good
- Breath & Mantra – great ways to ground and be present
- Poetry & Inspiring Reading – read or listen to favorite seasonal poems or what suits the mood
- Music – play or sing a tune, put on a track or playlist to set the tone
- Meditation & Quiet – take some time to go inward
- Reflection & Journaling – gratitude, venting, affirmations, visioning, planning, memory keeping, mood boards…
- Consider supportive Therapy, Coaching, and/or courses for a fresh new season
- Altar – crystals, amulets, art, ancestors, guides, objects, incense, oils, candles, aromatherapy (sometimes I share images of my altar, journals, inspiration, studios and creative spaces on Instagram)
- Ephemera & Decor – collage, journaling, household decor, party accents, correspondence, creativity
- Cleaning, Decluttering & Organizing – take small steps toward a cozy and comfortable living space
- Cooking, Baking, Food & Eating – for me, it’s eating seasonal ingredients and dishes, cooking comfort foods, baking easy muffins, cookies, and treats
- Creativity – setting up seasonal projects, refocusing for the next period, planning in fun and play for my Artist Child, outlets for my mature artistic voice, and enchanting offerings for my students and clients
- Any other rituals of your choosing, or just take a nap and rest up for a new season!
Equinox / Fall Yoga Practice Ideas
As the hours of daylight grow fewer, it is a great time to shift our yoga practice to more restful, restorative, and yin practices, releasing some of summer’s high energy and intensity and nurturing the body and soul and aiming for balance.
Any of the practices from my Yoga ReTREAT 5-day virtual retreat would also be lovely part of a summer-to-autumn equinox ritual or regular morning routine. My whole library of recorded yoga practices is available on the Yogalicious playlist on YouTube.
Fall Deep Breathing
You may with to do a breath practice such as my Autumn Release Lion Breath Yoga:
Check out my Beautiful Breathing Yoga Pranayama playlist with a growing collection of breathwork practices to relax, balance, and energize.
Autumn Equinox Meditations
Get present to a new season with a delicious mediation:
Or do a relaxing Yoga Nidra or Non-Sleep Deep Rest practice like this one:
Fall Poetry Faves
Oh I love to swoon to the poetry of autumn as well as to inspirational readings of a spiritual, nonfiction, or fiction variety. Here are a few Fall Poetry Faves and I’m always collecting new poems and songs that move me.
Fanciful Fall Dancing
Dancing in nature, around a fire, or anywhere is also a great way to let go of stagnant energy and the past, be present, and move into the future.
For more dancing fun, my Ballet Barre, Ballet Centre, Wonderful Dance Warmup, and Ballet Conditioning Playlists on YouTube have many exercises and explorations to keep you moving joyfully in all seasons.
Fall Writing & Creativity
You can write to remember, refer to, and keep, to let go of, burn, or destroy, or even to share! Creative writing can serve many purposes in your Equinox ritual or any transition of life. Some of my favorite ways to use writing in my practice are in my Reflective practice through journaling blog article.
This is also a great time of year to focus on gratitude and blessings, and I like to keep gratitude and abundance logs in digital and analog forms.
If you really want to go for it with your writing this season,
October is Preptober or an opportunity to prepare for a writing challenge such as November’s National Novel Writing Month, which I have previously written about in my Let’s Write and Writing True Stories to Reflect and Connect blog articles. Or take on a different type of creative Challenge of your choosing, such as those I share in my Charming Chosen Challenges and Ignite the Spark of Creativity articles. My current creative challenge is participating in the the Alphabet Superset, for which just published my video for “C” and having a blast with it!
Questions for Reflection
- How do you mark the change of seasons?
- Which celebrations are important to you? How do you make them festive?
- What are you grateful for?
- How do you show your acknowledgement and thanks?
- What do you need to let go of to embrace the next chapter in your life?
- In what ways will your rest and practice self-care in the darker months?
Resources for Exploration
- Getting Good and Grounded blog article
- Glisser – smoothly gliding into Autumn blog article
- Say the Magic Words blog article
- Why bother distinguishing your Why? blog article
- Reflective practice through journaling blog article
- Current notebook lineup: analog journals for creativity blog article
- Falling for momentum, swinging for the stars blog article
- Fall 2022 Curriculum blog article
- Creative morning ritual blog article
- Learning from mistakes and Failure blog article
- Goal-Setting for Dancers blog article
- Healthy Habit-Building blog article
- Annual Refresh blog article
Thank you for reading, I am glad you are here and I look forward to hearing about your own favorite fall rituals and traditions!
Blythe Stephens, MFA & Bliss Catalyst
she/her or they/them
Creator of A Blythe Coach @ablythecoach
helping multi-passionate creatives dance through their difficulties,
taking leaps of faith into fulfillment through coaching, yoga & dance education
DISCLAIMER: A Blythe Coach recommends that you consult your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself.