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"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better"

- Albert Einstein

Honouring the Autumn Equinox in the Forest of Dean

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

The Forest of Dean is a special place – where England meets Wales, separated by the meandering

River Wye; known to the Britons as Din, meaning Hillfort, and to the Anglo-Saxons as The Forest of

Denu as the area was historically inhabited by the Dobunni Tribe. Nestled between two rivers, this

place is blanketed some of England’s most ancient woodlands. For me, this place is characterised by

blissful stillness interspersed with the solitary call of the buzzard. Despite its obvious present-day

tranquillity, a long history of civil unrest and industry lie just beneath the surface of the fecund forest

floor…


And so, as much as the changing of the seasons remains a constant (the diverse community of trees

a firm reminder of where you are at any point in the year should you choose to gaze upon them),

what a perfect place to be as we consider making the transition into autumn at this coming equinox.

A time of balance but change, where light meets dark on equal terms in that fleeting moment before

the dark takes its rightful place and grows to honour of a period of dormancy, contemplation, and

change.


The work we engage in at Wilde Earth Journeys is all about Thresholds, whether that’s crossing

obvious thresholds into and out of the Forest during one of our Shinrin Yoku walks (often a gate or

style, and sometimes a small bridge which we’ve never actually risk assessed for trolls!), or the

celebration of a life event/transition during one of our unique nature-based ceremonies. And life is

kind of like that – a series of thresholds that must be crossed – some obvious and significant, some

more subtle. And while many thresholds are clothed in ritual (being born/named, getting married,

dying to name but a handful), us humans often ignorantly plunder through many more of the

abstract and ethereal crossings in life, such is the nature of modern-day ‘civilisation’ where we have

become so disconnected from our true nature.


While it’s a personal choice, we are seeing more and more of our tribe purposefully seeking out and

honouring these unwavering transition points during each circle of the sun. Indeed, becoming

attuned to the cycles of nature allow for the developing of an innate ability to spot those

understated but notable thresholds in one’s own life that we often time call personal growth.

Perhaps as our ancestors did you already do, maybe you’re curious and looking for something a

‘little more’ than the familiarity of life that you’ve grown accustomed to…. Wherever you are on

your journey, we thought you might like a few ideas for how you can honour this autumn equinox,

or Alban Elfed, in the tongue of our brothers and sisters from across the water.


Alban Elfed is a time of beautiful thanksgiving, so how about holding an equinox feast? Get together

with friends and bring a dish each or keep it simple and have a family picnic. Enjoy your feast

outdoors or on a rug inside (affectionately known as a carpet picnic in our house!)


The equinox is also a time of inner reflection, harmony balance and acknowledgement of what we’ve

reaped or harvested in our own lives over the past year. Why not take a walk in the woods. Perhaps

even find your very own tree and spend some time with it. Give yourself permission to be curious

and allow anything that need to arise, arise. The forest always knows what you need!


The autumn equinox is an especially excellent time to kick back, relax, slow down! It’s a time to

honour the shifting seasons, give gratitude to what we helped nurture and grow into being within

our own daily existence and take some time and space planning for the coming year. An excellent

way to do this is to write down some intentions and that all important first step that will set you on

the path towards your dreams, desires and wishes. It’s a new moon this coming Sunday (25 th

September), so you’ll get an added energetic boost from the universe too!


Conversely, Alban Elfed can spark reflections on loss, death, and the natural cycle of life, after all, the

autumn equinox officially marks the death of summer. Whether you feel full of grief at the loss of

summer or are ready to rejoice this transition point in the year, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the

season that was and look forward with gratitude to the summer to come. Death brings new life, and

so this might be a suitable time for you to consider what you want to relinquish or give up. Writing

these things on a piece of paper and then burning it (safely!) is a simple ritual that may help the

process.


After something a little more? I also found this wonderful banishing spell by The Witch of Lupin

Hollow Here. For those that are curious, in ancient mythology the Apple is one of the most sacred

trees and symbolises good health and future happiness. Since ancient times it has also been known

as the 'Tree of Love' and is associated with Aphrodites, goddess of love…


This autumn equinox, whether you simply light a candle, take a contemplative walk in the woods or dance naked around a fire, we hope that you find a way to honour this next cycle that feels authentic to you!


Namo Namaha – Go well and go wild!

Kelly


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