September 12, 2020 4 Comments
Welcome to our collective favourite season, witchy folk! Perhaps that’s a generalization, but the Autumnal vibes are an absolute mood in the spiritual community, and for so many reasons. This season we have two Sabbats to celebrate; the first of those is Mabon, otherwise known as the Autumn Equinox, and the hemispherical counterpart to Ostara, in which we celebrate the Spring Equinox.
Not only is Autumn the season of flavoured lattes and pumpkins, it is the season of the colours of the Earth – oranges and reds and browns, greens and glorious yellows. We have beautiful harvest vegetables and burgeoning berries; a veritable feast of offerings from our beautiful Mother Earth to celebrate.
For Mabon, we focus on the beginning of the end of the harvest season and the descent into wintery darkness. Spiritually, we are reaching the closing-down portion of the year – as the days get shorter and the evenings are longer, we assess the outcomes of our labour (physical, financial, emotional, spiritual) across the past twelve months. Summer is celebration, and Autumn is when we reap what we’ve sown. So, as we draw towards the end of this summertime haze and commence the darkening and hibernation periods, we’re beginning to wind down business and take stock of what we’ve achieved.
Seasonal altars are a great way to focus our attentions and intentions towards that for which we are grateful, and the things that we want to manifest in our lives. Not only does the season dictate our physical activities, it also directs our spiritual lives, and the altar is the witch’s way of centring that energy.
With so much to love and celebrate about Autumn, let’s take a look at some traditional (and not-so-traditional) items to feature on our altars during this time.
The humble apple is a beautiful representation of so much in the craft. For example, when we cut open the apple, we can see our beloved pentagram in the middle, representing the four elements and Spirit. As its own entity, the apple represents life, immortality, beauty, youth and rejuvenation, so grab a shiny apple in any colour and pop it onto your altar to draw to you those beautiful associations.
The cornucopia (or any harvest basket) represents the collection of the fruits of our labour. Fill it with breads, fruits and vegetables, or get creative and stock it with Mabon-related crystals like Amber, Red Jasper and Citrine, and spilling grains and husks of wheat.
Okay, I know this one sounds like it comes out of left field, but hear me out.
Nuts are traditionally associated with Mabon and represent secret treasures hidden within. Choose your nutty altar elements according to your intentions; almonds for abundance, brazil nut for grounding, pine nuts for purification, or pecans for longevity, for example.
Acorns represent rebirth and new life, which is the perfect counter-measure to the energies of Autumn; as physical growth slows and prepares for winter, our spiritual practice can turn to rest and rejuvenation, making ready for the next cycle of planting. Gather acorns in the wilderness or local park, or, if that option is not available to you, fashion one out of craft supplies or even bread dough.
Blooms are not just for Springtime altars. In the Autumn, we can celebrate and feature flowers such as the Marigold (or Calendula) which corresponds with protection and transformation. Goldenrod represents divination; Dahlia dignity. One of my absolute favourites, the bright-blue Cornflower, strengthens our spiritual, magickal and meditative practices, making it perfect for the altar.
We know our deities love their adult beverages, and cider is the perfect Fall-themed brew. Purchase or make your own apple cider – it doesn’t have to be alcoholic. Just boil up some apples with water, cinnamon, sugar and allspice to add that personal touch to your offering.
I didn’t want to just offer you traditional options for your altar this Autumn, so I crowd sourced with my coven and asked for their suggestions of more unusual or left-of-field Autumnal Altar items:
Yes, bones! We’re moving into the time of the year when the veil between our two worlds thins and we are headed towards the spooky season. Whether you use bones in your everyday practice or not, this is a beautiful way to honour your ancestors and the spirits who surround you and your magickal practice.
This is an absolute favourite of mine for altar work, because I work with Hekate, who, of course, is deeply connected with the underworld and the passage between the realms. For this time of the year, pomegranate can be offered on our altars to signify transition and the balance between light and dark; as above, so below.
Another one for the spirits – a scrying mirror or, as some coven-mates cleverly suggested, a re-appropriated picture frame with the glass painted black on the inside (DIY tips are always a hit with me) is a beautiful representation of, quite literally, reflection. Connecting with the spirits and your ancestors, and reflecting on the year gone by. It also doesn’t hurt that mirrors make your altar look bigger and your candles more plentiful…
So now you have all the ideas you need to create a beautiful, meaningful and creative Autumnal Altar. What will you place on yours?
Kirsten Cailleach is the founder of One Boss Witch, a blog and online store. She also presents the One Boss Witchcast podcast, and moonlights as a Producer at Witch With Me
May 08, 2023
Very helpful! Thank you for this outline.
May 08, 2023
Thank You for this article! Fall is here. <3
September 29, 2020
Thank you that was beautiful and very helpful.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
May 17, 2023
Bruja/o/x culture (brujería), stem from an ancient set of mystical beliefs and practices that have been passed down through generations in Latin America. It has its roots in the indigenous spiritual traditions of the region, as well as elements from African and European cultures and today’s Instagram hashtags #bruja and # brujería have over 2M posts combined.
As other magical practices, brujería orbits honoring spirits and deities, divination, nurturing specific traditional healing methods such as curanderismo, and rituals to protect oneself from negative energy. Get yer charms out!
In Latin American countries like Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Cuba, Colombia, and Brazil it is still a vibrant part of daily life for many people, though there are some variations depending on location. The original practice was brought over by Spanish conquistadors during their colonization of the Americas, and the stories say the cobblestone streets were “paved in slave bones”—see a pattern of repressed magic much? Seems everywhere we turn there’s a need to rise up from the lid put on us for being natural… No longer, though. You watch! This next 20 years will have diverse magical cultures openly practicing without fear, the time is nigh 😊🌿☽🌕☾
Now evolved into something unique to each region, brujería remains a source of immense pride for those who practice this tradition, which continues to hold strong despite attempts to marginalize or even eradicate it
May 09, 2023
April 30, 2023
Are you looking for insight into your archetypal planetary vibes? Do you want to know what the stars have in store for you in May of 2023? We Spirit Nesters can help you to gain insight into the events going on. With Pluto’s ingress to Aquarius, the upcoming trends vibrate with Uranian energy, so expect the unexpected! From love and romance to career and financials, May prepares us for individual and collective freedom or to take steps towards clarity and avoiding potential pitfalls. Read on to get into the flow of your elements and how each sign expresses itself in what's coming up!
Astrological Movements: In May, we see the Sun in Taurus and Mercury in Gemini, which will inspires an increase in mental acuity with a skosh of practicality. This is a sweet, sweet time for learning new skills or tackling projects that require careful attention to detail. However, it's also important to be aware of potential communication issues that may arise due to this pairing. You'll want to think carefully before fully speaking your mind during this month! This isn’t to say withhold info, but just be prepared to take the repercussions if you do, from both sides of the coin…
Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) can find themselves feeling energetically active during this month as they take on new challenges with enthusiasm and learn through friction, that’s what squares do, and there’s potentially enormous power in that, though not always 100% comfortable. We all know what kind of magic happens outside that zone, though, yes?
Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo Capricorn) can expect stability and security thanks to the positive energy flowing through their world right now, but it’s super important that you know in which house Aquarius sits, because that security can be going through do-over renos, you feel me? And we’re not just talking light stucco here, we’re talking a new roof level of shift, lol.
Air signs (Gemini Libra Aquarius) can prepare themselves for exciting conversations as creative ideas come into play – but don't forget that words have power too and can anchor you to stuff that you might not have anticipated! The intellect is in full gear and, depending on where your moon sits, you could be having emotional epiphanies in May that will set stuff free that you might have been holding onto for too long.
Water signs (Cancer Scorpio Pisces) can experience heightened emotions during this period which could lead to solidified feelings emerging that you FINALLY understand, so make sure you take time out for yourself to feel them all the way through, up from the heart center and like a pinball machine bounce them around until their out on paper or in song or other creative force. Emotional inventory always feels correct and May has the vibes to take you through with the strength of an ox 😉
May 08, 2023
I love all of the suggestions and will be incorporating many into my Mason altar. I always enjoy reading these informative and entertaining articles. Thank you so much!