Autumn: The Croning Time

Autumn: The Croning Time

Author:   Lady Abigail   

Spirited away, my energy gently glides above the treetops like a down feather blown within the circling wind. Below, I see the quilted workings of Mother Earth in the patches of green grass, freshly plowed ground and fields of grain ready now for the harvest. The air is sweet and cool as it moves round my body and delights me like loving whispers of voices unknown. Faeries dance on wing; their joyous laughter calling my spirit ever on. Reaching down, I try to grasp a bright purple leaf from atop the sugar maple. As my energy moves within the magickal moment, I feel the sun warming me as it moves through the essences of my being, giving glimmers of what possibilities lie just beyond. . .

And then, in a sound, a spark of light, the cracking of a twig, I find myself laying atop the freshly cut hay ready for baling. Yet looking down I find within my hand the big and beautiful purple leaf from the top of the old sugar maple. Did I pick it up in my dreams or from under the tree? In my heart I shall always believe it came within that veil of magick just between dreams and what others call reality.

I always looked forward to sharing my adventures with my Great Grandmother. She, in her wisdom, would listen to each of my quests with attentive wonder and delight. It didn’t matter if they were ones of my chasing a frog down the creek bank for a few short and muddy hours, or those that carried me above the tree tops and into the veils of magick and possibility. She was there for me, smiling and teaching; teaching me many lessons I still remember even today.

Now that Autumn is here and Samhain is quickly approaching, I cannot help but remember the magick I felt and still feel today in this time of changing. The energy seems to rise within my spirit, as it sparks and dances across the essence of my soul. It touches me in memories and stories shared as my Great Grandmother would teach the old ways and the understanding of the Seasons of Life. In this, I again feel I can soar above the treetops in the arms of Autumn.

Fall is more than a season or that time of transition from summer to winter. Fall is what my Great Grandmother called the “Croning Time;” that time where the giving of life moves to the teaching of life within wisdom, no longer giving birth to new life, but nurturing all that is life and all that life brings.

Autumn is the “Spirit Goddess of the Changing.” She is guardian of the Croning Time.” Autumn in Her feminine form, is welcoming us unto Her as She, in wisdom, changes to the Crone. Autumn is a Grandmother Goddess and a keeper of the Cauldron of Life. She is wise with great knowledge and the understanding, which has grown within and of her experiences. Proud and strong, She dresses in the glorious colors of all that She is and shall be again.

As the Great Crone, Autumn, welcomes us with understanding of our own personal changes within the seasons that are life. She teaches us that Fall, as the Croning Time, is a time of celebration and joy. As we celebrate the seasons and ourselves, we find the wisdom within to see the beauty held in all the colors that make life the magick that it truly is.

Today in the eternal goal of everlasting youth, we find disgrace in and hide the changes of our personal seasons of life. Wrinkles are no longer seen as the lines of knowledge and understanding from the roads in life we have traveled and conquered. Now they are marks of shame for what nature brings us. We fight and pull and dug until sometimes, we cannot even recognize the reflection looking back at us in the mirror.

Graying hair is no longer a crown of wisdom, but a symbol of old age to be hidden. Age is no longer held as a destination of honor but is approached with the fear that we will be cast away, unimportant and forgotten. For our society finds it easer to lock away the wisdom of the aged behind closed doors than to seek the secrets held within. Perhaps age causes us dread because it uncovers within what our emotions fear. For when we are faced with those aged by life it reminds us each of the approach of inevitable death. Death no longer being a new beginning but the end of what was.

Autumn, as the Great Crone reminds us, that time life and death are but a thought, a moment flashing past eternity. Not to be feared but each to be relished and enjoyed. For as with the seasons, each holds it on gifts. Spring, Her excitement of the possibilities of the magick life holds anew. Summer, Her knowledge growing as She gives birth to new beginnings and eternal hope. Autumn, in Her wisdom and beauty reminds us of all that we have and all we have to give. Winter, wraps us in Her soft blanket of white that we might rest within the arms of Mother Earth to be reborn again in Spring. For this time shall come again as time circles forward in the Great Wheel of Life.

For thousands of years, women of wisdom and age were honored, valued and revered as the Elder Women. Autumn, as the Spirit Goddess of the Changing, is also the guardian of the Croning Time. Dressed in Her radiant colors, She reminds us of the respect held by those who are entering The Croning Time. Autumn allows us to reclaim our identity and status of the ancients, as Crones and Elders. We are coming of age, accessing our wisdom and acting upon it. Croning is the process of becoming active wise women.

Croning can begin at any age and is particularly relevant for women 45 and older. Yet, even men can become Crones within their on understandings of this passage. Personal experiences of aging provide the understanding of your path within this Time of Changing. It is up to us to decide how the circumstances of life transform us and move us forward.

We can no more hold back time and aging than we can stop the Great Wheel as it moves forward in its seasons. Perhaps the reason we all find such a joyous renewal in the energy of fall is the power that Autumn gives us over the fear of change, in both life and death. Change should not be feared but celebrated, for life has given us another year of wonder, magick and beauty.

My Great Grandmother opened my eyes to the magick of the seasons. She walked with me as I found the Goddess all around me, dressed in Her bright and fiery colors of reds, oranges, purples, and gold’s. When I became tired, she encouraged me to walk forward on the hillsides and watch the morning rise as the glistening dew gave a kaleidoscope of color on the leaves. When I became weak, she would carry me until I could once more hear the sweet mystical voice flowing in the breeze that would renew my spirit.

Autumn is the Croning Time, a time of magick, a time for renewal of spirit. As you experience the mysterious energy of this mystical season, allow the child within you to replenish your soul . . . and again look to the treetops in their beauty and touch the veils beyond.

Now I am the Crone, proud to teach those within my life in honor to my Great Grandmother. Let the magick of the Season truly touch your spirit as you walk forward in the colors of life.

By; Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN area
Copyright © 01102009

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Dec. 6 is 19: Approach of Spring

19: Approach of Spring

Thursday, Dec 6th, 2012

hexagram09

It is as if spring is approaching. Good times ahead feel inevitable; there is vitality in the air. This is a most auspicious time. Like a snake emerging from hibernation, negative forces are barely stirring and can be effectively controlled. This is a time of hopeful progress, and must be used to best advantage. When approaching good fortune, paying attention to what is happening now earns great dividends. All in all, a clear road lies ahead.

Take some action now, for at some point this ripe opportunity for advancement will be reversed. No spring lasts forever. It’s wise to stay alert and note the changing seasons and the energy they call for.

Spring is the season of new relationships. In the bounty of good times, new bonds form effortlessly. Relationships born in spring can serve well to warm the following autumn and winter.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Jan 5: 24: Returning

24: Returning

Hexagram 24

General Meaning: There is a turning point that recharges you and eventually brings success. This hexagram is associated with a turning back of long nights towards more light, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the seasonal change when our hours of daily light begin to increase again. This is the beginning of a turnaround; a time of letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. Ironically, it all starts with rest.

Don’t move too fast. The new momentum is just beginning; the turn-around demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force will not be spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest applies to many situations — recuperation after an illness, the slow return of trust after period of estrangement, the careful development of new relationships after a splitting apart of old ones.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 11th is 12: Standstill

12: Standstill

Hexagram 12

General Meaning: A state of standstill is a state of decline. Confusion and disorder prevail. Inferior elements are on the rise, while the powers of clarity and creativity are waning. In such times, the wise take shelter in their own integrity and quietly remain faithful to their highest selves. Retreat from public activities and common exchanges until the time once again favors assertive action.

During periods of stagnation, inferior elements can rise to power. When the inmates are overrunning the asylum, summon up your fortitude, hide your worth and withdraw. Concentrate on your personal affairs with a quiet dignity, even if that means giving up short-term rewards.

Desiring to change a situation too quickly often creates extra conflict. By accepting hardship, while striving to maintain integrity, you are preparing for future growth. A seed of prosperity is often hidden inside the husk of misfortune.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 7th is 20: Overview

20: Overview

Hexagram 20

General Meaning: Overview is a time for composure and contemplation. As a result of profound introspection, a hidden force reveals itself, and may influence others without their being aware of it. Do not underestimate the power of such a subtle force. Like the wind blowing across the treetops, its presence is perceived through the effect it has on everything it touches.

Shallow wells rarely strike water and shallow minds often come up empty. The ability to keep still and simply observe deepens resolve and attracts good fortune. Discern the difference between what is deep and what is surface within yourself — and you will be able to distinguish between the two in the world as well.

During a period between events, the practice of stillness with awareness is fruitful. Only by observing and absorbing the true nature of things — by apprehending the rhythms and cycles that guide all creation — can we discover the laws that apply to our own individual lives. Examine yourself and the overall situation — not just with the thought of discovering truth, but with the vision of concentrating your personal power.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for November 27th is 26: Containment of Potential

26: Containment of Potential

Hexagram 26

General Meaning: This hexagram points to the containment of great power that increases as it is wisely stewarded. Like a river that has been dammed, or a boiling pot with a lid on, holding and containing power produces enormous energy. During normal times, daily ritual and habit help keep life ordered and serene; but in times of great opportunity, great fortitude is required. Focused attention is what will be required to channel this great potential and achieve supreme success.

In a current situation you have considerable reserves of energy and support to draw upon. This is the right time to channel creativity by collecting and organizing good ideas and plans. In this way, even large or extremely challenging undertakings can be successful.

A hidden source of power for the great is the study of the past. The lives of wise and successful men and women are like buried treasures of wisdom. Great good fortune comes to those who unearth these valuable treasures by applying the lessons of the ages to current events.

A Taste of Autumn

A Taste of Autumn

Author: Lady Rain StarDragon (Teresa Garcia)

Over the past several days, I’ve watched the maple tree between the laundry room window and the Mountain. Slowly, the vibrant green has yellowed to gold, and today, the whole tree now blazes a brilliant vermilion. Other trees still wear their green, like our own maples, while yet others are changing into their yellow robes. Across the street and all through the neighborhood, those that have apple trees have the golden and scarlet fruits of the season.

The air bites when I step out into the chill, sending a delicious shiver down my spine. I am constantly in a state of in between, my dragon self balances well with my human self, and so I can sense when my plumes stand up a little, and the shiver passes clear to the tip of my tail. When walking in this, the blasts of wind the town site was chosen for combs through my head and I can’t always resist the urge to spread my wings and revel in the feel.

Now is the time for hot apple pies heavy with cinnamon, and soon the pumpkins will be ready for harvest. Thoughts of warm pumpkin bread and persimmon cookies dance through my head. Sometime soon, I know that I will give in to the desire for pie, and indulge in the ecstasy that comes with baking, and then eating the fruits of my labors with loved ones.

The sky is gray, the clouds high and not touching the Mountain; yet again I’m sure the Mountain will wear a little more white. The wind and rain that caresses the land at night brings forth a purr from me, and inwardly I coil. Now is not the time to den though. This is the season of the harvest and the hunt.

Where Tia is, I know that she feels similar urges to mine. If I close my eyes, even during the day I can hear the short pant of her breath as we run through the forests in our dreams. Though we are different species, there are things that we share…

However, it is the waking world of physical form that I am in now, not the metaphysical one where not all is as it seems at first glance. Even in this waking world, I can practice my art. I can be One with Nature, draw it deeply into myself.

I have noticed that lately I have started wearing clothes that echo the changing leaves, a subconscious nod to the stately trees that teach me so much. The trees begin to draw their essence further inside of themselves, and I do as well.

The chill encourages this, this time of introspection and preparation. Now is a good time to finish things, and then I can have a little rest. The earth murmurs softly as the wind passes by, a reminder that change is the only constant.

The ranges around are still mostly green; various evergreens make up most of our forests here, despite the deciduous trees that are beginning their turning.

It is said that at this time, the veil between worlds is thin, and I’m inclined to believe it. I’ve always noticed that at this time of year, dreams become easier to recall and more vivid. It could be inspired by the weather, which inspired deep contemplation, but there is more to it.

The pendulum swings and the wheel turns, this is the way of my world. The voices grow louder, and sometimes even those that aren’t particularly open have interesting experiences.

It is also said that, in folklore and traditionally, anything left in the fields after the 31, must be left for the fey folk. Not only is it easier to pass between worlds, but they need food as well… It’s said that they blight anything left in the fields, I have sometimes wondered whether it’s because of the freeze possibility messing with the food, or whether it’s from them taking the essence… or some combination. At any rate, much of modern society doesn’t seem to follow this.

Perhaps it is a good idea to let the late stuff stay though… the nutrients return to the ground to nourish the earth, and animals have food to eat… The deer will not be quite so hungry, and the predators will benefit from this, but so will those prey animals that are fed upon. With the scat and vegetation turned under, the soil will be richer, and we will have a little less impact. But these are random thoughts as I let myself mingle with the season.

The waters grow colder with the temperature changes, and soon enough the lakes will begin to freeze. Ice will form over the rivers, though some larger ones will stay unfrozen. Small streams will sleep. But for now, we are between, and Summer mixes with Winter to make this Autumn.

Some traditions depict this time as a War between the two Kings of Summer and Winter. I’ve often thought of it more as the union of Summer and Winter, the blending and uniting of the two… male and female each season, yet neither sex as well. Two forces or essences swirling and merging, pressing into each other until at last… one gives with a last sleepy sigh and gentle nuzzle.

Summer sleeps then in the arms of Winter, and he/she covers them both with a mantle of snow as he/she watches the Beloved sleep and incubate the new life, resting for the next shifting in the Spring.

This is the Deep Magic, working with these forces that eternally shift and merge, draw apart and dance together again. This is what holds me trapped as I dance with Life and Death, Growth and Rest.

When people ask me what I think about the weather, I never know how to answer them in the moment. It is the weather, and the season, and I am a part of it, responding ever to the promptings. I’d like to share the ecstasy that a good gust of wind gives me as it passes by, leaves swirling giddily in its wake.

This is all that I can do… leave you with a taste and a touch, and let you hear the sighs of Summer and Winter in their Autumn Meeting.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for September 15 is 19: Approach of Spring

19: Approach of Spring

Hexagram 19

General Meaning: It is as if spring is approaching. Good times ahead feel inevitable; there is vitality in the air. This is a most auspicious time. Like a snake emerging from hibernation, negative forces are barely stirring and can be effectively controlled. This is a time of hopeful progress, and must be used to best advantage. When approaching good fortune, paying attention to what is happening now earns great dividends. All in all, a clear road lies ahead.

Take some action now, for at some point this ripe opportunity for advancement will be reversed. No spring lasts forever. It’s wise to stay alert and note the changing seasons and the energy they call for.

Spring is the season of new relationships. In the bounty of good times, new bonds form effortlessly. Relationships born in spring can serve well to warm the following autumn and winter.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 29th is 2: The Receptive

2: The Receptive

Hexagram 2
 
General Meaning: Great receptivity attracts exceptional results. The natural responsiveness of pure Yin energy brings about success through support and perseverance, rather than through bold action. Thus, the wise person demonstrates strength like a powerful but gentle mare. This hexagram, consisting of all yin lines, represents a power of the feminine principle no longer honored in our modern world, but such receptivity is most auspicious.

The receptive force is sensual as well as powerful, and it can be missed by too much talk and planning. When spring comes, does the grass plan to grow? This is a time to concentrate on realities rather than potentials — how to respond to a situation rather than how to direct it. A mature mare lets herself be guided, and is skilled at graceful acceptance. In a strong spiritual way, her quiet contribution is most effective and brings success.

Do not be too assertive at this time, for if you try to direct things, you are liable to become confused or alienated. Take your time. Draw strength from carefulness and you will be doubly fortunate. Focus more on feeling than on action. Be broad and deep in your attitudes so that you can accept everything that comes your way with grace and equanimity. Be receptive and spacious like the ocean; let the river of changing developments flow to you. Allow others to take the lead for now. Strive for a natural responsiveness that is based on inner strength rather than outer show.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for July 13 is 19: Approach of Spring

19: Approach of Spring

Hexagram 19

General Meaning: It is as if spring is approaching. Good times ahead feel inevitable; there is vitality in the air. This is a most auspicious time. Like a snake emerging from hibernation, negative forces are barely stirring and can be effectively controlled. This is a time of hopeful progress, and must be used to best advantage. When approaching good fortune, paying attention to what is happening now earns great dividends. All in all, a clear road lies ahead.

Take some action now, for at some point this ripe opportunity for advancement will be reversed. No spring lasts forever. It’s wise to stay alert and note the changing seasons and the energy they call for.

Spring is the season of new relationships. In the bounty of good times, new bonds form effortlessly. Relationships born in spring can serve well to warm the following autumn and winter.

The Four Seasons

The year is divided into four seasons;

The first season is of a frigid complexion, and this is Winter;

The second is of the complexion of Air, and this is Spring;

Then follows the third, which is Summer,

and is of the complexion of Fire;

Lastly, there is the fourth,

wherein fruits are matured, which is Autumn.

– The Turba Philosophorum, ca. 12 century.

 

 The chill is on from near and far
In all the months that have an “R”.

 
 
 The NEW MOON always rises at sunrise
And the FIRST QUARTER at noon.
The FULL MOON always rises at sunset
And the LAST QUARTER at midnight. 

~The New Orleans Mistic