Summer is coming to an end. As I've often mentioned, summer is my favourite season and I'm not keen on winter! So while the shift from winter to spring feels more hopeful and "lighter" to me, the one from summer to autumn isn't quite the same. We're now moving towards the darker half of the year. But I do like autumn; I love the beautiful autumn colours of the trees changing during September and October, the golden days with a "mellower" light and the cosiness! I also like the events such as Hallowe'en/Samhain and Bonfire Night.
This post is a combined one with some photos from over the summer and ideas for preparing for autumn. :)
The past couple of years I posted some pictures from my summer. You can see them here:
End of Summer (+ Full Moon Esbat Biscuits): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/end-of-summer-full-moon-esbat-biscuits.html
Summer Photos: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/07/summer-photos.html
Late Summer: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/08/late-summer.html
Now here are some pics from this summer:
|Worthing seafront- July.|
|Worthing Beach and the pier.|
|Display on Worthing seafront done by a local school.|
|Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-sea- August.|
Hope you liked the pictures! :)
Preparing for Autumn
Last year I did a post on getting ready for autumn. Read it here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/getting-ready-for-autumn.html
This year I'm sharing more ideas for preparing for autumn.
Note: If spring is starting where you are, you might like these posts:
Getting Ready for Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/getting-ready-for-spring.html
Preparing for Spring + Spring Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/03/preparing-for-spring-spring-inspiration.html
While 1st September is the meteorological beginning of autumn, the astronomical beginning is around 21st September, the day of the Autumn Equinox (also known as Madron or Mabon). The 2nd one is when we tend to consider autumn to have properly started. This year the Madron/the Autumn Equinox is on 23rd September. However, the end of August and early September is a transitional time, when summer starts shifting into autumn.
While last year we had a hot summer, the weather has been more varied this year, with some hot spells and some cooler, rainy ones. It felt more autumn like at the beginning of August! lol. But then it warmed up. These past few days it's been feeling like autumn again. The nights are getting chilly and it feels like time to start putting the fire on and getting the hot water bottle out! Also they already have the Hallowe'en stuff in some shops and supermarkets and even mince pies and Christmas chocolates, so we know the festive season is coming!
Although I'm always sad to see summer go, I do like autumn. I tend to feel more depressed during the winter and have a bit of seasonal affective disorder aka SAD. (I do have clinical depression and find that it comes and goes depending on different factors). For some people it's the other way and they can feel depressed in the summer. I don't feel as bad during autumn but I do feel a bit more "melancholy". I found this post a while ago about how some people with depression and anxiety struggle more during transitional times of spring and autumn, and thought it would be useful to share here: https://dooce.com/2014/09/18/dane-depression-fall-equinox/
Also I came across this post last year about "end of summer guilt", feeling like you didn't do everything you planned to during the summer: https://sharangill.com/2018/09/27/is-end-of-summer-guilt-a-thing/
I feel a bit like that this year, even though I know I don't need to. There is still time to do things like go to my favourite pub in Arundel and go to the beach again, it just won't be during the height of summer. And there are fun things to do during the upcoming season too.
Here are some suggestions for preparing for autumn:
Notice signs of autumn- The light has mellowed since towards the end of August and the days are steadily getting shorter. I've also noticed some trees starting to change colour. I enjoy seeing the beautiful colours in autumn.
Do an "autumn clean"- This is like a spring clean, but with getting your house more cosy for autumn and getting out blankets and colder weather things. I just washed two pairs of thick socks I haven't worn for months because I'm going to need them soon. I shared a couple of links about this in last year's post.
Update your wardrobe- As with spring now is a good to buy some new clothes/refresh your closet if you're able to afford it. I bought a new pair of flip flops a few weeks ago on sale at Tesco, but it will soon be time to buy winter shoes! Think I'll need to get some new slippers this year.
Knit/do crafts -Autumn is a good knitting season as well! I hadn't done any for months but last week I started knitting a pumpkin for this Hallowe'en. You might prefer to crochet and make decorations for your home or an upcoming seasonal festival.
Plan autumn activities- September is a good time to plan for upcoming autumn festivals, like Hallowe'en/Samhain, Bonfire Night and Thanksgiving (depending on where you live and what you celebrate). There might also be harvest festivals at local schools and churches. I remember we had a harvest festival at my first (primary/elementary) school in September, when we would donate food to people in need. It's interesting because Madron/Mabon is a harvest festival, along with Lammas, and Samhain, and it's thought our ancestors celebrated some form of them. (Although we don't know exactly how). And while the older pagan festivals were replaced with Christian ones, we're still celebrating them in some way, like with harvest festivals and May Day/Beltane. And of course Hallowe'en is the modern day Samhain.
This article explains more about the harvest festival but please note that it contains last year's dates: https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/06/when-is-harvest-festival-2018-in-the-uk-why-is-it-celebrated-and-when-is-the-harvest-moon-7920692/
A few more ideas: Plan some recipes to make during the colder weather, such as soups and stews. And this is a lovely time of year to go for walks in the county and the park. You could update your Pinterest boards too. You can find my seasonal boards at the links below:
Various Seasons: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/moonsparkle84/various-seasons/
This is a good post from Breo (a Traditionalist Witch) of Hearth of Brighid about the transition into autumn and autumnal magic: https://www.hearthofbrighid.com/the-tides-are-changing/
Last October I wrote a post called Autumn Photos + Inspiration where I shared some seasonal photos and inspiration for the autumn months: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/autumn-photos-inspiration.html
And now here are a few posts about making a fresh start during September. The first two I came across last year but hadn't had a chance to share them before.
The first post on The Happy Life Formula mentions Gretchen Rubin's book Better Than Before. I have her book The Happiness Project and I also got Happier at Home for my birthday this year. (Had previously read it and wanted it to keep). I'm currently re-reading it by month by month, like I did with The Happiness Project last year. It's about Gretchen finding ways to be happier in her home life and runs from a school year, September to May. (An American school year, depending on the school/area, since in the UK the kids don't break up till July). I have also read Better Than Before and plan to buy that sometime too.
Finally check out these posts to get you in the mood for autumn:
Hygge for autumn: https://ghenetactually.co.uk/5-ways-to-add-a-little-hygge-this-autumn/
This is also a good post which explains the Danish concept of Hygge and has suggestions for using it during different seasons: http://latteslilacsandlullabies.com/seasonal-guide-cozy-living-danish-tradition-hygge/
Article about autumn being a good season for witches: https://www.mookychick.co.uk/health/spirituality/beginner-witch-halloween-autumn.php
If you're into fashion, you might like this post about layering pieces for fall: https://www.cyndispivey.com/2019/08/21/layering-pieces-for-fall/
My post from last year with ideas for celebrating Madron and autumn: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html
Hope you've got some autumn inspiration and ideas for preparing for the new season. :) This time of year seems to go by quickly and before you know it, it's Christmas! I do wish autumn lasted a bit longer. In the UK (at least in my county Sussex), it tends to start getting significantly colder around the end of October/beginning of November. I like to wear my flip flops into October if I can! lol. Some year we've had hot Octobers though.
The next sabbat is Madron which is 23rd September this year. I'm planning to do a Madron inspiration post later this month. Hope you're enjoying the last days of summer/beginning of autumn and wishing you a good autumn! (Or good summer if that's coming up for you!). :)
P.S. I'm currently taking part in Simply Fiercely's Slow September. Every day during September you'll get a short email with a simple task to do to help you slow down and feel more at ease. You can sign up any day this month and get the next email in the series. Check it out here: https://www.simplyfiercely.com/slow-september/
Photo: Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-sea. Moonsparkle 2019.