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Crisp Air and Turning Leaves
Ah Fall, the crisp morning air, the sweet breeze whisking away our humid Summer travels, the anticipation of color, of transformation, of newness. Autumn brings learning and leaving and loving, and bright trees full of Fruity Pebble colored leaves. Even if you aren’t headed back to school, the feeling of anticipation as the air changes sways you to new discoveries. With that change comes possibility, reformation, education, death and glorious rebirth.
Fall is the most wonderful time of year!
The relief as days head from hot-and-hotter to cool-and-cleaner is palpable. We open our windows, put away the AC units and feel freshness renew our insides and out. The world is full of magic this time of year! As we move toward the Equinox on September 22, we breathe in the magic of the coming season.
We might want to borrow from the Hebrew and celebrate the Jewish New Year, September 26, and dip our apples into honey wishing for a sweeter future. We can atone, and fast if we feel the need, and as we move forward into the magical season we prepare our spells and cast them when we’re ready. Candles burn brighter, pumpkins and spice make the air sweet and savory and we become tighter and smoother as we shed our open toes and pull on our walking boots.
To help with finding your magical reality in this changing season, I’ve compiled an eclectic list of books filled with wonder, poetry, spells, and haunted places. Enjoy!
For those long nights with the windows open:
Spells – Isaac Asimov’s Magical Worlds of Fantasy. From the tiny chilling two pages of “A Literary Death” by Martin Harry Greenberg, to “The Witch is Dead” by Edward D. Hotch, to “The Snow Women” By Fritz Leber, these wondrous tales of magic and mystery, spells cast and spells broken, and magical realms that fold up into themselves will keep you entranced and occupied way into the cool clear night.
Candle Burning Magic – Anna Riva. I picked up this little orange and black book on a trip to London years ago. It’s filled with sweet concise chants and all the ingredients you will need to begin your workings. There are simple charts with ingredients for creating your own spells and all the tools you need to set up your alter. It gives consise info on what incense works best for prosperity work, what oils and candle colors aid in various healing and love-magic rituals, and more. It’s a must have magic dictionary.
Earth Mother Astrology – Marcia Stark. This compendium of wisdom will help you to identify the makings of the Astrological World and how it relates to feminine mystique and magic. Chapters are devoted to Herbs and Astrological signs, Planetary Rulership Over Vitamins and Minerals, Music and Color, Healing with Gemstones, Flower Remedies and more. The healing rituals and spells are strong. Use wisely.
The Fifth Sacred Thing – Starhawk. Those of you familiar with The Spiral Dance will know that Starhawk is a wonderful witch and healer. She also writes provocative fiction. This story, set in a 21st century draught-filled and vacant California, will hit home. Two separate realities exist in this harrowing tale, one based on fluidity and one based on lack – one in harmony with Earth, Air, Fire & Water and one in flux. How they come together and how they work upon each other is fascinating. Read it for her prescience and read it for its love story, its passion and its hope for a better world.
For travels and poetic haunts that ring true to fall’s essence:
Spooky New England – S. E. Schlosser. This book of haunted places gives stories passed down through generations new life. Featuring folk tales and haunted towns from Maine to Massachusetts, it’s a map of lore for the brave and curious traveller filled with ghost stories, tales of darkness and tales of invisible wonders.
The Vermont Notebook – John Ashbery & Joe Brainard. Diary entries, lists filled with canning tips, lovely line drawings, and this: “Things, copper sky, black trees. Some gracious, some indifferent. The matter is: stones building up under the surface that finally swell and burst out into sunlight.”
Wicked French for the Traveller – Howard Tomb. All the phrases you need to know to negotiate that trip to paris and to make sure the waiters don’t look down on you. Need I say more? Well then Tire-toi morpion! (Buzz off depraved crab louse). Works like a charm every time.
A Handmade Museum – Brenda Coultas. “When the wind blows keep Brenda Coultas’ book by your side” – Bernadette Mayer. Prose poems from the Bowery to the Deep South, with a touch of movies and a bit of harvest time and tilling soil. Filled with musings on culture, politics, and nature. Read “At The End Of The Month In The Beginning of the Year,” “An American Movie,” and “Weather Report.” Read it all, especially this (from “Calendar”): Roll down the wheat, roll down the corn. It was perfect circles.
Summer’s winding down and this is not a bad thing. The heat will always come back. For now let’s embrace the coming fall and open our hearts and minds to the winds of learning and wonder. Grab your wands or walking sticks and take a stroll through the woods. Welcome the spirits into your heart and home. Now is the time.
***This piece first appeared in Luna Luna and was republished here with permission. ***
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