Hello dear friends!
Our natural world is always in flux, and yet it follows a distinct cyclical pattern. From the phases of the moon, to the life cycles of plants and animals, we can see this sacred rhythm play out month after month, year after year. But how many of us pay close attention to the heralding of each new stage, or phase, or season? We seem to be too caught up in our own lives, our work obligations, and our family dynamics to really tap into the beautiful changes that are happening all around us. Our culture has moved away from one of honoring the rhythms of nature with celebration and gratitude, to one of year-round productivity and focus on the self. However, when you take a moment get quiet and listen, you can hear the rustlings of change and our call to participate in it.
In native cultures, each season was seen as a sacred invitation to slow down and observe the rhythms of our Mother Earth. Every few months, all the people from the tribe would come together in celebration, giving thanks for the season that has gone and for the one to come, as a way to keep in harmony with the natural world. These celebrations were an integral part of the native life, and they didn’t need a paper calendar to know when it was time to gather in song, dance, and feast. They felt the seasons shift deep within them- in the air and on their skin, in the sounds of the trees and animals, within their very cells, they knew when it was time. Each of us carries this innate wisdom and sensitivity within us- we simply need to call it forth again.
Each season’s beginning was marked not only by changing weather patterns, but also by the sun, moon, and stars. Our ancestors looked to the sky for clues, as well as their animal guides and plant spirits. The seasons weren’t determined by dates on a page, but by the phases of the moon, the planting of certain crops, the day of the most or least daylight (summer and winter solstice, respectively), or when certain stars peeked above the horizon. It was all very intuitive and beautiful, and we can reclaim that close relationship with Nature, even in our modern age.
There are many wonderful ways to honor and mark the beginning of each new season. Things like creating a personal altar, hosting a seasonal party or celebration, changing your home’s décor, or participating in ritual can be lovely and meaningful ways to get in touch with the seasonal rhythms. For inspiration, here are the associations and elements that are linked with each of the four seasons:
- Color: shades of green and yellow
- Moon phase: waxing
- Element: fire/sun
- Direction: East
- Nature aspects: seeds, sunrise, warmth, flame
- Internal focus: emotional
- Energies: fertility, new beginnings, hope, growth
- Spirit animal: eagle
- Color: shades of pink and red
- Moon phase: full
- Element: water
- Direction: South
- Nature aspects: rain, plants, fruit, grains
- Internal focus: spiritual
- Energies: adolescence, exploration, play, creativity, risk-taking
- Spirit animal: deer
- Color: shades of gold and brown, or black
- Moon phase: waning
- Element: earth
- Direction: West
- Nature aspects: fallen leaves, soil, crops/gourds, sunset
- Internal focus: physical
- Energies: completion, preparation, maturity, introspection, harvest
- Spirit animal: buffalo
- Color: white or silver
- Moon phase: new
- Element: air
- Direction: North
- Nature aspects: snow, wind, feathers, pinecones, winter berries, fur
- Internal focus: mental
- Energies: intellect/learning, wisdom, crone/elder, reflection
- Spirit animal: bear
With each season comes a chance to start anew, and shift focus to a different area of ourselves and our surroundings. Each season invites us to take stock of our lives and see what is no longer working for us, as well as make a plan to move forward in our best interest. Our ancestors deeply honored the changing of the seasons, and built their lives around the rhythms of nature, and now it’s your turn to carry on that tradition.
So I invite you, using the information above about each season, create your own seasonal altar space or display. Or begin planning a gathering with friends or family. Winter Solstice is just a couple of days away, so now is the perfect time to create your own tradition for honoring the cycles of the seasons. Tell me your best seasonal celebration ideas in the comments!
Happy Solstice, friends!
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~