Updated: Oct 8, 2021
The poet Keats described Autumn as the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" which seems particularly true at the moment. The gorgeous haze rising over the valleys in the mornings with the sunlight shining through it, the dewy grass and the leaves starting to change colour. All these gentle reminders that we are heading into the golden season. In Greek mythology, the Autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In her anguish Persephone's mother, Demeter who was the goddess of the harvest, caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was returned to her, which marked the start of Spring.
This week we saw the Autumn Equinox which occurs twice a year and marks the day in the calendar when the day and night are the same length. The word Equinox is dervived from the Latin words aequi, which means "equal," and nox, which means "night". The Pagan community celebrates the Autumn Equinox with the Mabon Festival which honours the changing seasons. Mabon focuses on the balance of light and dark, their inextricable link, and the coming of the winter season. Some rituals practiced during Mabon include building an altar with harvest fruits and vegetables, meditating and reflection, gathering and feasting on apples as well as offering them to the goddess, sharing food, and counting one's blessings.
Why not try making some Equinox rituals of your own to practice at home; you could create a beautiful meal with fresh seasonal ingredients to share with friends or take a long walk with a peaceful resting place to spend some time reflecting. You can celebrate the autumn equinox by harvesting your inner fruits of awareness and finding gratitude for what that you have reaped and sown over the year. Even mistakes can become the most beautiful lessons when we truly hold gratitude in our hearts.
SoulSimple: News from SoulSimple Retreat and Vittoria's Story
For the last couple of weeks, Vittoria and her team of Wellbeing Specialists here at SoulSimple have been spending time working on a new and powerful programme of life changing Retreats completely dedicated to empowering women.
Our goal at SoulSimple has always remained the same; to guide people in making strong and positive steps to a better sense of wellbeing and balance, in both body and mind. We want to give you the tools you need to reclaim your health and change your present and your future for the better. Vittoria's incredible journey has led her here to create SoulSimple and her vision to change the world through wellbeing. We will be sharing more of her inspiring story with you over the coming weeks and months.
SoulNatural: The SoulSimple Guide to the Natural World
Like Blackberries, the Rose Hips are now in abundance in the hedgerows and it is the perfect time to harvest them. Traditionally, it is said that the best time to pick them is after the first light frost has nipped the plant as this will help sweeten their flavour. The Hips should still be firm and have good colour, typically, red or orange. You can leave any shrivelled Rose Hips on the plants for the birds to enjoy; they won't be as tasty and may even be too mushy to pick. Ripe Hips can often simply be plucked off the branch or you can clip them off with scissors. It is worth wearing garden gloves to avoid being pricked by the thorns on the rose canes!
Once picked, it is best to use the Hips as soon as possible or, if you don't need them all straightaway, to freeze them. You can dry Rose Hips but that will cause them to lose a lot of their precious Vitamin C content.
Depending on what you plan on using them for, your Rose Hips now need to be cleaned and prepared. Rinse them in cool water and pat them dry with a clean cloth. One of our favourite things to do here at SoulSimple is to make a fragrant and fresh Rose Hip tea. Super easy and refreshing, once you have cleaned your Hips, simply bring a pot of water to the boil (roughly one cup of water to one quarter of a cup of fruit) and pour over the Hips. Leave to infuse for fifteen minutes before you strain out the pulp - a tea or coffee filter works well for this - and enjoy your refreshing vitamin and antioxidant rich drink! If you wish to sweeten the taste a little, you can also experiment with adding a little mint or honey to the tea.
If you have excess fruits, you can also experiment using Rose Hips for skin and body care. The Hips can be used to infuse with an oil, such as Almond (try to find organic and cold pressed) to create a vitamin rich, anti-ageing serum.
SoulScapes: Art, Sound, Dance and Movement
Our SoulScapes philosophy embodies all things creative - Art, Sound, Dance and Movement. Wellbeing is not just restricted to our physical bodies and it is important to have a creative outlet from which to channel and embrace your feeling and emotions. Experiment with what feels good for you and lights a creative spark inside your soul!
A soothing activity to try around the time of Equinox can be using natural objects to create Autumnal art. It can be magical to hunt for and use the things around you outside right now; leaves, branches, pine cones, hazelnuts...if you prefer painting and drawing, you can change your colour palette to include Autumnal hues and see if this offers any different inspiration to your usual practice. This is a gorgeous way to spend some time alone with your thoughts or involve friends or children as an new way to bond.
SoulWoman: Nurturing yourself at Home and Healing Stories and SoulShine: The Vitality of Happiness
In both the physical and mental sense, vitality refers to a feeling of aliveness. In our last blog, we looked at what happiness means to us and why it is so important for our health and wellbeing. We also looked at the core principals that we believe to be fundamental in achieving a more fulfilled and positive life experience:
Have a sense of purpose
Respect yourself, in both body and mind
Make peace with who you are
With these in our minds, we can begin to make a plan and take steps towards, perhaps not a new, but different, way of living.
Purpose ignites passion! When we talk about finding a purpose, this can be through many different channels. It might be through work and finding a role or industry that really captures your interest, through local events or charities that you are passionate about and involving yourself with those, perhaps a commitment to making your life more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It really can be anything but once you have found something that ignites a passion in you, you will feel a renewed vitality and drive to push and get better and do more of it!
Hand in hand with this, is finding gratitude and expressing it for all of the blessings we have in life. To do this, we often have to live more in the present and be truly open to what we have in this moment, all around us. It can be as simple as a sunny morning or the beautiful, glistening dew on the grass or perhaps a message you have received that made you smile. Be grateful for the gorgeous people in your life, family and friends, and the home you have which keeps you safe in your part of this miraculous world.
Last, and probably most importantly, remember to respect yourself in both body and mind. You are YOU and you are the most perfect, complex, magical, extraordinary being! You are 22,000 breaths every single day. You are 37.2 trillion cells. You are hundreds of thousands of footprints all over the earth. You are one incredible being. You can do anything and be anyone you want to be. Learning to truly embrace yourself is learning to embrace life and become more open to receiving its wonderful gifts.
Until next time, have a beautiful week!
The SoulSimple Family x