Death in the tarot is a 3 card, meaning he’s related to the Empress. If the Empress is the garden, a wealth of fecundity and creation, Death is what didn’t work out. And in that sense, it’s not a state, it is a process. You clear out what is dead or dying, you add it to the compost heap. You allow it to break down. And hopefully, next season, you can use that fertilize the new round of crops or flowers or ornamental trees.
– Jessa Crispin
Autumn seems to be a time of memories. A time of looking back to childhoods of newly sharpened pencils and fresh books of lined paper. New starts and great hopes. This year I promise I’ll keep my homework neat and tidy and do it all as soon as I get it.
Autumn is a time of reflection. We look back on what we have harvested, we look back on the success of the year. We go even further with Halloween, Sahmain or whatever you chose to call it. We go further back than our own lives, we go back to the memories of ancestors, long gone, never known.
“Wild is the music
of autumnal winds
Amongst the faded woods.”
― William Wordsworth
There is something evocative of autumn which summons safety and warmth even though we are headed into the darkest time of the year. The cosy aura of autumn defies the approaching winter. The golden leaves and russet fruits, the amber sparks of fire. Are we summoning the darkness with our lights or are we warding it off?
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
– Emily Dickinson
A tree in autumn
Branches slowly appear
Like the antlers of a stag,
Strewn with rich nutty velvet
The scarred, dry bark
Feels the warmth of the dying sun.
Winter is almost upon us.
Another year has nearly passed.
Wearily, the tree performs
Her autumn duties;
Turning lush summer greens –
Shades of freshly cut grass and tart cooking apple –
Into copper and russet displays.
Feathers of fading sunlight
Now reach the forest floor
Casting gold lustre on all that lays there;
The midas touch.
She sighs and releases
Another scatter of leaves
To the decay below.
Turning fire to death.
Turning death to life.
There is a lot you can write about this time of year. The fading vegetation, the migrating birds. The abrupt weight of darkness as the clocks fall back an hour. This is a time when the turning of the year feels much more noticeable. We have halloween and bonfire night, christmas is coming along with other winter festivals. You can write reflectively on the year that has passed, about hibernation and the joy of the harvest. Or death and rebirth, or the return to school.
Find a warm and cosy spot, nestle up, pull a blanket around you and let that freshly sharpened pencil jot notes over the new book of lined paper. Mistakes are allowed. Rewrites are allowed. For now, breathe in the crisp air and let your mind drift.