Autumn Equinox 2016

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img_9218The harvest season is nearing its end so now is the time to celebrate! The Autumn Equinox, 20-23rd September, is the time of the Harvest Festival and a time of recognising balance and imbalance, as day and night are of equal length.

Seeds and fruits are ripe and ready to pick, by us and the other animals around us. My mum is overimg_9228run with squirrels at the moment feasting on the walnuts in her garden. Oaks’ acorns feed the woodland animals and Elder and Rowan berries feed birds such as blackbirds and wood pigeons. Alder is mentioned as having a special place at the autumn equinox and was used as a divinatory herb in smudges and decorations. Alder whistles were used by druids to ‘entice air elementals and whistle up the wind’.

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Gardening at this time of year mainly includes cutting back perennials, pruning and sweeping up leaves. How can we garden in our own lives? What needs pruning out? Also what seeds do we want to store for next year and how can we nourish the ground for them to grow. Glennie Kindred suggests planting a tree to represent that which you wish to nurture for the following year. You could plant a  tree in your garden, with friends, or send money to a tree planting charity that will plant one for you.

img_9209Seed saving is an important part of the autumn for me. It not only means that I am self sufficient as far as possible with seeds for plants that I want to grow next year, but also that I can pass them on to friends, customers, and seed swaps. This helps us to have seed sovereignty rather than relying on big businesses that are often not organic and may produce genetically modified seeds. Seeds such as nettle and plantain can be collected and dried and added to your food over the winter to help supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals.

I am looking forward to the longer nights to spend in front of the (gas) fire knitting, and have asked some friends to come and celebrate the equinox with me around our spinning wheels!

Enjoy the equinox!

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simone melanie, 2016

Thanks to Glennie Kindred and Jaqueline Memory Paterson’s books for their wisdom about the autumn equinox.

 

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