I've been reading in recent weeks how some folks within the pagan blogosphere have felt the thinning of the veil coming on early this year. And I must say I haven't felt that. The natural world around me has taken its time winding down and I am only now this week feeling the magic that is autumn. Maybe it's the cool, rainy day we've had today but I think it's mostly the four flocks of geese I've heard flying high above me. I love to hear them as they call to each other on their great journey. I always wonder where they originally came from. Was it a hundred miles away or a thousand? How long before their next landfall? Are they tired and sore or happy to feel the urge to migrate?
It's always fascinated me, these signs of autumn. I think I love this time of year more than the spring, and not just because the spring is so much harder on those of us who suffer from allergies. There's a crispness in the air that is unmistakable and speaks of the icy blasts to come. The leaves are falling in droves and starting to transform into their brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. Pumpkins are out in force as are gourds, hay bales, corn stalks and other seasonal produce.
Dragonflies and other migrating insects are flying through the yard, visiting the last of our flowers for fuel. The lightning bugs, or fireflies as some folks call them, are long gone as are the ladybugs. The mating season for the walking sticks has come and gone and most of the stinging insects are gone too. The only bugs left are the flies and the fleas desperate to get indoors before the weather turns truly cold, the damn things.
Our local possum has been coming out earlier every day to fatten up for the winter. The barn cats are all growing their winter coats and I imagine the wild creatures of the woods are gearing up for the cold too. The local humans have been busy as well. The colorful pumpkin lights and garland are hanging with joy. The jello-esque light up pumpkins are glowing with glee as are the kitties who like to beat them up. We are working towards wintertime goals too. We've got wood to cut and windows to winterize. We'll probably bring our plants in this week.
Since the veil between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead is thinning this is the time of year to honor the ancestors. A small prayer with an offering of corn meal, tobacco, incense, herbs, gemstones or whatever is appropriate for you is ideal. Personally, I like to make offerings throughout the Samhain season. A little corn meal here, an apple there, a small rite on the astronomical date of Samhain (which falls on 7 November) and a fervent prayer when the wind howls are my way of honoring the dead.
Ah, the fall. There's nothing like it.