Celebrate Autumn Equinox: A Ritual of Release

“A real relationship with nature is vital for our magical and spiritual development, and our psychic and spiritual health. It is also a vital base for any work we do to heal the earth and transform the social and political systems that are assaulting her daily." Starhawk

Dear one, can you hear it? The quiet whisper of Autumn on the cool morning breeze? The faint footsteps of the old crone as she draws near?

As we turn toward the dark time, her death song can be heard in the stillness of morning light as fog begins to lift from the ponds surface, at dusk when the vibrant sounds of summer night begin to wane and the first leaves begin to turn color and fall from their branches.

The winds of change are upon us now as we prepare our hearts and minds for Autumn’s approach and the dying of the fertile Mother of Life. It's a reflective time in the wheel of the year that invites us to look back upon the season of light, growth, and becoming...

What has given shape to my becoming over this growing season?
What am I learning that is changing me? What can I no longer unsee?
What fruits or soul lessons am I harvesting and bringing with me into the dark time as a source of sustenance?
What must be cut away and left behind?

September is a tender time of the year as we begin to sense the presence of death draw near. Grief is bubbling up to the surface in our hearts as the vibrancy of summer begins to fade. Nature’s descent into the sacred dark is a reflection of the inner passage we all must make in the changing of the seasons. Going inward, the task is to bring forth the light of transformation. These are themes that we will be drawing upon at our upcoming Autumn Equinox gathering so we hope that you will join us if you feel called!

What is the Autumn Equinox?

The word equinox is derived from the Latin aequus meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night”. This is the second day in the year when the length of day will equal the length of night. In the northern hemisphere, after this day the nights will grow longer until the Winter Solstice when we meet the longest night of the year. In the southern hemisphere it’s the opposite.

On this sacred day in the cycle of the seasons, we are being made ready to let go, to release and unburden ourselves from the deadweight of old skins. Just as we witness the final harvest take place (the length and timing of which depends on where you live), nature is preparing her return to the underworld, to focus giving energy back to her roots. As the wheel turns toward darkness it is important that we too prepare ourselves to embrace our own inner root-tending.

The time of the equinox invites us to enter the sacred pause at the very end of the in-breath, the moment right before we surrender into exhale. This is the energy portal available to you and all of humanity on the day of the equinox. Much has been building collectively over these past many months since the Spring Equinox. We have witnessed so much growth, expansion and collective power in many areas of our lives (ie. beautiful strengthening of mutual aid support networks, growing Indigenous-led resistance against pipelines and old-growth logging, etc.) while at the same time we've also experienced devastating losses (ie. Texas abortion ban, devastating heat waves and droughts such as in Iraq and Syria, raging wildfires across the West Coast, return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, flooding in Venezuela and impacts of hurricane Ida on the east coast, and so so much more).

There has been a waxing and climbing of energy since Spring so it is important that we now take this opportunity to ground ourselves in practices and embodiments that strengthen our resilience, faith and devotion in the pursuit of liberation for all kin and kind. Preparing for the dark time by consciously entering into ritual is one way to create this strong inner foundation. It’s imperative that we form a reverent relationship with our bodies and the lands/waters we occupy. The source of our power lies here in the quality of these relationships. Indigenous people have long known that the health and wellness of the people is interwoven with the health and wellness of the land/waters. For our efforts to be integral and true, they must be decolonial.

Below we guide you through the steps of creating an Autumn Equinox Ritual which will release you of old skins and ways of being that no longer serve you and our shared collective evolutionary journey. This energetic shedding will set you on the path toward greater self-knowing as you enter the winter months and will prepare you for the inner work that lies ahead.

Orienting to Cyclical Time

If you are in the beginning stages of disentangling yourself from the death-grip of capitalism, shifting from linear time to cyclical time can seem quite foreign and unfamiliar at first. We become so used to perceiving time as a never-ending accumulation of one event after the other... a building of sorts, or perhaps you might visualize it as a line with a start and an end (life/death). Be gentle with yourself as you begin to open your mind and body to your natural biorhythmic movement. Disorientation, dislocation and disassociation are all manifestations of the trauma of separation from nature.

Beginning to make the shift toward nature's cycles will take time. The best thing you can do to support this shift is to spend more time immersed in nature. Whatever you're doing in your life now, simply add 10-15 min of intentional time in nature to your day. This time should be slow and mindful, or in stillness as you take in your surroundings while staying connected to your inner landscape.


we hibernate and heal during dark ages

until you forget the world used to revolve

around mothers

until you forget how a spell is just

earth and breath joined across a tongue

until you forget how a finger or a look can be a wand

and the earth can tell you how to burn

and how to grow and when to harvest

and what it is to love as mother birds,

as a lioness, as peach against teeth,

as flower following sun

how a stand of trees teaches us family

how a ghost teaches us devotion

yes until you forget that ancestors walk with us

and guide us and make us dream

until we see the truth of it all

how we are each of us a pulse

in the singular life of the divine

unable to comprehend how beautiful

it is to take one, whole, perfect, never again breath”

Excerpt from “We are no longer surprised” by Adrienne Maree Brown


This ritual of release is a devotional offering to "the one who protects what is most sacred". It is for the one who feels called to the energy of the Equinox as a portal, an opening, an anchor, a resource; to ground this work in the living landscape of our lives; to navigate and transmute the forces that seek to compromise and weaken unity consciousness. This ritual is designed to awaken the power we have to enact our responsibilities. It is also designed for the solo ritualist though it can be adapted for groups.

Time Commitment: 2-4 hours (4 hours if you are following the template)