Autumn Equinox Wild Women Gathering – Saltburn Beach 2020
What a beautiful, meaningful, perfect celebration we had.
We began the evening with a gentle stroll around Saltburn Valley Gardens, to find a little piece of autumn as offerings for our equinox altar.
As we strolled, we chatted, caught up with news from those we haven’t seen in a while, and got to know those who we were meeting for the first time.
We talked of our joy for the coming season, and of plant medicine and folk wisdom. We talked of the women who have come before us, and also of how needed this time for us was.
Then we headed to the beach with our treasure and began to set up our sacred space.
The women took to beautifying the altar, immediately, with energetic intent, and created the most stunning, seasonal equinox altar you have ever seen, almost as though they connected to some inner wisdom and knowledge that they have done this many, many times before. Mugwort, brown and crispy fern leaves, pine cones, elderberries, sunflowers, teasel, Himalayan balsam, herbs, flowers and fruits brought from home and personal growing spaces, handmade felted pumpkins, and wheat that we found washed up, from being blown from the cliffs above, from the farmers’ last harvests. On top of this, candles and lanterns that were brought from home, were added to the space.
Then we began our circle by each introducing ourselves using our matriarchal lineage, which is a beautiful way to honour those women who have come before us or prompt us to discover more information about them after the event. Following this, we each lit a candle to represent our inner-light and the power we all have inside.
I then went around each woman and practiced the lost art of smudging by burning herbs. This particular bundle was made with home grown and foraged herbs; mugwort, mullein, and garden rosemary and lavender, to cleanse their energy of negativity and invite in positive energy for the future, offering a fresh start for the month ahead – just as our ancestors have done for thousands of years before us.
We quickly moved on to the next stage of the event, as I explained the importance of the equinox, why it’s important to celebrate this prominent time of the year, and the lessons we can take from it.
We settled down after this for a powerful meditation on how our cycles relate to the seasons and the lost messages that our ancestors took from this. The waves were crashing in the background as the tide grew nearer, the fire was roaring in the centre of our altar, birds sang and bats swooped above our heads. It was a beautiful, powerful and peaceful moment that allowed us to reflect on how this affected us, and lead to deep and energetic discussion.
I took this opportunity to offer my gift for the evening, a tea blend specially crafted for the season. I use this as an opportunity to teach how the herbs in my tea blends support us, as women, and how the women before us have used them for so many years before us.
Finally, we entered our sharing circle, where we each released what what had been resting in our hearts. And in return, we listened with our hearts and we were heard.
We finished off our evening by exploring what we were thankful for, from our year so far, the lessons that it brought and acknowledged and let go of the things that are no longer serving us. We released them to the fire, either alone or wrapped in herbs, with potent intention.
As we packed up and left the beach, we noticed how much lighter our bodies felt and how much fuller our hearts were, so thankful to each other and for the opportunity to share and connect in such magnificence and beauty.
Until next time, wild women!