The days grow shorter and the dark rises up from the land so early. Days and nights grow colder and the last of the autumn's harvest is stored for winter. We enter the between time, not yet winter not past fall.
Large pots of savory root and winter squash soup bubble on the stove. Wollens are pulled from closets and fires are built at dawn and in the evening for warmth. Baked treats fill the house with the smell of comfort and sweet spice. The last of the summer herbs are hanging to dry all around the house.
Our attention begins to turn inward. Our energies come home as colder days and nights keep us closer to the hearth. We are often more able to "go into the deep" at this time of the year. Access to other realms is startlingly easy. Dreams may be more vivid, we may seem to 'know' things without knowing how, we may be prone to day dreams, or we may hear the whispers or see shadows of dear departed loved ones.
Food and nourishment become important parts of our self care. Now is the time to open the coffers and create immune supportive, soul supportive and delicious medicines and foods. Magic is found within the alchemy of intentional preparations. A simple prayer or whispered words of love or gratitude over our food can have profoundly healing affects.
One of the oldest and most revered fruits is the Apple. Some of its folk names are : Fruit of the Gods, The Silver Bough and The Tree of Love. Apples have been around for 50-65 million years. From Eve to Avalon and beyond this somewhat unassuming fruit is connected to many legends and folkloric tales. Long ago, the apple was one of only three things that was exchanged with another living thing. It could not be bought or sold for money. It had to be exchanged with something else living.
Most of us are familiar with fall and warm apple cider or apple cider donuts. The cinnamony sweet taste of both is warming and delicious.
Magically speaking, apples were used in divination and love spells as well as for healing. Old recipes use apple cider for immortality and longevity. Samhain is a potent time to use apples as they are also believed to house the soul.
To dive more deeply into the season and its intentions, I have combined another autumn plant, just as deeply steeped in folklore and legend. The Empress of the Dark Forest, also known as Osha. This sacred plant has also been used since the beginning of time. It goes by many names and is associated with bear medicine.
Its affinity for healing the body and spirit are well known. It is a dreaming plant, meaning it can assist with connection to and contacting your soul wisdom through dreams.
Traditionally, Osha has been used as a rattlesnake repellant, as protection in the spirit realms and in rituals to produce rain. It also has an affinity for the respiratory system and can be a huge aid with colds, flus and coughs.
The combination of these beautiful, sacred and magical plants can be very healing to our bodies, our minds and our spirits. May we deepen our connection to our health and set the tone for the winter ahead. May Empress of the Dark Forest Tonic guide you to the magical wilds within and keep you safe on your adventures.
Empress of the Dark Forest Autumn Tonic
Lark Fox is a Priestess, an herb wyfe, Seer, intuitive healer, writer and ceremonialist.
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