Today is Michaelmas and it is not for nothing that this festival falls just after the autumn equinox. In the spring (leaf time) the sap rising in the plant kingdom and mother earth is expansive, her leaves reach out and the landscape looks full. As humans we make the same movement- spring and summer are times where we start to expand too; we loose some of our normal rhythms; we stay up later, have picnics, spend more time outside and move into the summer mood of dreamy formlessness. Shakespeare wrote about this phenomena in Twelth Night. He refers to “midsummer madness…”
As we move into September we can feel the beginning of the drawing in process. Autumn is root time, where the sap leaves the leafs and nourishes the roots of the plant. Many folk struggle around this time. Holidays are left behind and form again is imposed upon us. I have noticed over the years that many of my clients have felt unwell or struggled in September, so I have offered them the picture of St Michael- there he stands with his sword in hand (the sword represents the human will) keeping the dragon at his feet and mastering it. The dragon in many traditions has represented the untamed mind taking us away from the present: it can represent worries, fears and pain. St Michael is a picture of standing in the now, attending to the present and saying ‘no’ to the chattering mind.
Autumn for me is coming back home- nature is retreating and I can enter a deeper place within myself. It is a time for creativity and renewal. It sets the tone for the winter where we are required to find our own light in the darkness.