OPEN THREAD: Happy Equinox! Let’s talk old resolutions & future plans

So! It’s autumn equinox.

(Or spring, my southern friends!)

I wrote earlier about the energy of the autumn equinox, it’s turning-point quality, it’s encouragement to spend time looking both backwards over the year so far, and forwards, towards the colder, darker months, acknowledging the internal shift that comes with the change in season, the ending of one cycle of the Wheel of the Year, ready to begin again with Samhain next month.

Some of this ‘shifting’ is deep and soulful and internal. As I wrote earlier, I’m going to spend this evening with my tarot cards, reading a ‘Bridge’ spread to illuminate my current journey and help me to understand what this chapter in my life is all about. Another thing I want to do is to – finally – create a permanent altar in my home.

But this also feels like a time of lighter ‘resolutions’. It’s not only about shadow and soul work.

September brings the urge to get organised, to clear out old crap and create space for something new. Time to make commitments, set intentions, begin ’tilling the soil’, setting intentions for the year ahead, and rounding off this cycle of the Wheel of the Year.  For me that looks like spending lots of time in my new attic studio, getting my shop organised and setting up new systems. Cleaning and sorting and making things feel nice.

II look back on the new year’s resolutions I made at the end of 2016. I wanted to join a community class and bake more bread – both things I’ve done and really enjoyed. And I chose a word, ‘connection’, to be a theme, a perspective, to bring to my year.

I’ve spent a lot of this year feeling sorta disconnected, if I’m honest. Distracted and not-fully-present. Caught up all the time in the slightly-anxious search for a home, and the logistics of making that happen, and the logistics of running a business from a shared spare room, and navigating the news cycle and trying to show up, but feeling far away from so much. It’s hard to feel ‘connected’ when you’re constantly, anxiously seeking to have your needs met.

Now, though, happily ensconced in my new little home town of Machynlleth, I feel like the connection thing is starting to come through. It’s so easy to make friends here, so many community projects to join in with. I feel enlivened and inspired by the people I’m meeting, and I’m starting to feel connected, part of something. The tiny beginnings of roots are sighing with relief as they push gently down into the friendly soil.

Now, as the days shorten, I want to look more closely at Little Red Tarot. I want to organise better, I want to know how I’m spending my time, to work more intentionally, and less. Over the years, this business has moved from being a little personal blog to a many-branched tree that sustains me and pays others too. I feel like Little Red Tarot is asking me to step up now, and to put time into making a longer-term plan for this site and the role I want to play in it. It’s exciting! And scary. Like all the best things.

The other thing I want to do is be more crafty and creative with my hands. So much of my work is online, but here I have the space to spread out, unpack my sewing machine, make a mess in the kitchen. I’m playing with plant-dyes and incense-making, and it feels really, really good to potter and play like this. So my autumn resolution is to make this a more regular practice.

Well, that’s me!

What about you?

This is an open thread post – if you’re feeling this seasonal shift, especially if you’ve never commented here before, please jump into the comments below and share your equinox feels! What are you closing out now as autumn/spring draws in? What are you saying goodbye to, and what do you want to welcome in for the new season?

I would love to hear about it.

37 comments

  1. Rash says:

    We’re in the same mindset it seems.:-) I plan on focusing more on my website. I hope to write on a more consistent basis and do readings. (I just need to get over this damned shyness and fear). Also – and this may sound weird – I’m going to FINALLY sort all files and documents on my laptop and in “the cloud”. I’ve got stuff spread out between Dropbox, Google Drive and stored locally. It’s a freaking mess.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Wow Rash – that’s exciting, especially as someone who really enjoys your posts and videos. I hope you can get past the shyness and fear (if it helps, you seem very confident and self-possessed in your videos!) – I see way too many brilliant people holding back from what they want to do because of fear. Good luck with it all, and can’t wait to see the new website :)

      Ah nothing like some serious tech admin to make you feel super organised! Just cleaning up my desktop can sometimes alter my whole mood (sad I know…)

  2. angharadlois says:

    Happy Equinox! /|\ Thank you for this gorgeous post, those photos really capture the heart and magic of this season, which has always been my favourite.

    I feel like I’ve been a fallow field this year; it’s been hard but necessary, taking the time to heal. And now – at last! – I’m in sync with the season! I’m looking forward to getting the chimney swept, finally hanging some pictures, making hawthorn brandy and sloe gin, and crocheting my first sweater. This autumn, my first published articles on pagan themes will make their way out into the real world on paper, which is a big and slightly terrifying step for me, even if the articles are only short (in one case) and light-hearted (in another).

    Balance is the word I am working with this season. It’s not something which comes easily to me – I tend to dive headfirst into one thing and then another. But trying to combine a distance learning masters with shifts in a shop, volunteering in an archive, the renewed hunt for a ‘career’ job, my writing commitments and my incredible edible volunteering means I need to be really honest with myself and others about what I can actually do. It also means letting go of some of my crippling perfectionism – which I hope will get easier as the sun leaves my pernickety Virgo rising sign! And tending to my home environment is an important way of grounding all of these commitments and mixing some nurturing self-care into the overall balance.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      A fallow year… beautiful. In our productivity-obsessed culture it’s such a relief to read that, to know that it’s not only okay but healthy and necessary to let things sit, heal, recalibrate. Sounds like you’re emerging into a really nourishing time.

      Love the focus on balance, and wow – you do a lot!! Glad perfectionism is the first thing to cross off the list ;)

  3. Bianca says:

    There will be a lot of cutting down to the essential, I feel. In October I’ll start a new job and that will leave me with less free time, but I want to see it as an opportunity to get closer to what truly matters to me and leave the rest behind. More than the Seven, I think this will be the season of the Eight of Pentacles for meXD Oh, and I too am planning to have more space for being crafty! Will we see your handmade wonders in the future?

    (Of course, thanks for the post. Happy Equinox!)

  4. Carol says:

    I am one of the shy ones. And also one of the new ones. Only a few months into my journey with tarot and trying to rediscover the spirituality I once had. (Your work has been incredibly valuable to me for both, so many thanks, Beth!)

    This year has been full of high winds and stormy seas. I feel…buffeted. Worn and disoriented. I think perhaps reorientation and grounding are the themes I want to offer up to this new season. I want to discover (or rediscover) who I am beyond what others have told me I am or should be. I’m coming upon several crossroads and I am looking forward to quiet energy of autumn to help me look within. I have some internal cleaning to do and some decisions to make. Autumn always feels like the right time for it.

    Happy Equinox, everyone. I hope the new season bodes you all well. :)

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Thanks for speaking up Carol… so good to have you along!

      Wow, this: “I want to discover (or rediscover) who I am beyond what others have told me I am or should be” …sounds huge. I hope autumn’s energy is gentle and illuminating for you as you explore and step into yourself. What a wonderful, empowering season. Loads of love xxxx

  5. Casanna says:

    Hi, I’ve enjoyed your post a lot. Happy Equinox. For me, there’s an inflection point. I´ve won a trial that gives me a right that let’s me be calmer about my future and my income. In 2 weeks I expect it to be set. I’ve just moved to a new home too (well, it was in last april, but it is now, in autum, when I feel I’ve rooted here, and don’t miss my other home (it was a real paradise in the middle of the country)
    After writing this, I’m going for a walk, alone, feeling and tasting the late afternoon air in the country and looking at the beautiful sunsets that are here.
    I feel a new stage in my life is opening in a lot of aspects, and I love the light and the autum light, that’s my favourite season.
    When all the stuff relating to the trial are set, Im travelling t oa place I like, despite it is some kind strange travel, to set an end-start point.
    And I’m wishing to spend more time with my web an blog, they are totally abandoned, and beside the fire at home
    That’s my feeling in this equinox. have a nice time all of you, beautiful people around the world

  6. Bonnie says:

    I’m only a month in to my tarot journey, but it has been an incredible experience for me so far. I haven’t done any spreads yet as I’m trying to get familiar with the cards and with implementing a daily mindset practice. I found tarot as a way to improve my mindfulness and self-awareness. During this equinox, I hope to continue the journey through my headspace. I don’t want to be afraid of being alone with my thoughts anymore. I’ve become more comfortable living inside my own head, but I still have a long way to go. Cheers to the equinox bringing more positivity and awareness into my life!

  7. I’m trying to move out of this feeling of being stuck, as I wrote about in my post for this community on grounding, creativity, and process. This year, Rosh HaShanah, what’s known as the Jewish new year, coincides with the Autumn Equinox, which I love. Interestingly, Rosh HaShanah wasn’t codified as the new year until long after the Torah was written. There, it’s referred to as Yom Truah, the Day of the Shofar (the ram’s horn, which produces a soul-piercing wail when blown), and was in the seventh month, which places the biblical new year at Passover. This leads modern scholars to believe that there were two halves of the year, one for planting and one for harvest. The day that’s become Rosh HaShanah marked the beginning of the harvest. And the way this all effects our conceptualization of the year today is through understanding Passover as a type of new year for the body–the Jews are freed to leave Egypt–and Rosh HaShanah as a renewal of the soul. (And, just as a side note, there are actually 4 total new years in the Hebrew calendar!).

    This is all to say that it really resonates, the coincidence of Rosh HaShanah with the equinox. Both are days of harvest, and I feel that the equinox also supports the Jewish concept of teshuvah–turning. This marks the turning of the wheel of the year, as well as the turn to the inner self.

    Personally, I’ve shifted a lot since the solar eclipse a month ago. It’s really jumpstarted a process of transformation for me. I’m excited, and a little afraid, to see what changes this turning will bring.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Shanah Tovah Umetukah Kathryn! (I googled that, hope it’s right!)

      Those symbolic (and agricultural) parallels are really strong, right? I guess regardless of the calendar or tradition, autumnal energy just calls you inwards, it’s so poignant.

      Love hearing about all the new years in the Hebrew calendar! Especially this distinction between new years of the body and the soul – I had never thought of it that way, but it feels like the Gregorian new year and the autumn equinox could be seen that way too… or rather, that I have been seeing them that way for years but hadn’t really put it that way before. Thanks so much for sharing all this information.

      Happy shifting, happy transforming to you <3

  8. ACB says:

    Amazing Beth. I’m always delighted to read the comments on your blog! I’m closing out from moving, from relationship to living with family to travel and getting a room mate in this part year.

    I’m saying goodbye to my car that was a write off, my job hunt for a job I didn’t want and my belief that I am not able to take good care of myself. I’m saying goodbye to not loving myself enough to put myself first, to prioritizing others before myself and to believing my anxiety when I feel spun up.

    I am welcoming trusting my choices, loving myself enough to set boundaries and protect them, choosing nourishing recipricol relationships and looking for jobs that I want, or taking a job that I need.

    I am welcoming myself back into my body, into my home (after three years of not having a grounding space of my own) and into communities: of queerlings and healers that live everywhere, of those that are like me, or those who are activists, change makers and mentors in this world. I am welcoming myself home.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      This is all so beautiful, warm, strong and empowering. Like you’re really choosing your self, your health, your happiness.

      Happy grounded. Happy homecoming. I feel so happy and excited for you. <3

  9. Luna
    Luna says:

    I finally paid the deposit for my first home today, and if all goes to plan I’ll be getting the keys on Wednesday! I’m moving into a lovely little place with my cat, down the street from some of my favourite people. I can’t wait for my first autumn in my new home!! It’s been a weird and difficult summer, with both broken heart and broken bones so I’m looking forward to having my own space to figure out what I want, what I need, and space to appreciate how much wonder and joy I already have in my life <3

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      LUNA! Is this any way to tell me your news! Calling you in 5… 4… 3…

      But also: congratulations! You’re my autumn buddy and I’m so glad this has happened for you now :)

      <3

  10. camille says:

    I’m also one of the shy ones ;) so here goes my equinox contribution
    I went for a short walk with my dog companion just before sunset, the light was amazing.. I spent 10 whole minutes just looking at the golden light reflected on a small patch of cornfield, the dog was rolling in the grass and sniffing around, it was not planned (that’s beyond my mental possibilities at the moment) but this was my ritual for today, it was simple and soft and a tiny bit bittersweet but I decided to just witness my emotions and soak in that beautiful light
    I’m on my way to my new-ish home in a few days, saying goodbye to friends and family that I don’t see so often, I’m taking that warm energy with me, and I’ll get back to work with it in my heart

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Oh Camille, thanks for sharing this simple, profound moment. The light at this time of year is always so poignant and magical, how beautiful that it created its own ritual for you. I felt like I could taste the air as I read that.

      Have a lovely week with friends and family and filling your cup <3

  11. milksweet9 says:

    Hello! Happy Equinox!! I don’t normally comment because I tend to be shy but I’m trying. I guess I’m moving forward with attempting to be an artist full time I bought my own kiln to make cups & my website is suppose to go up in the next month because I’m sick of working jobs that aren’t art. I want to get my hands dirty with clay everyday all day instead of working full time & running home to stay up all night to make ceramics or paint paintings. It just feels like the right time to just go for it instead of waiting for the perfect moment. & I love love LOVE little red tarot a lot Ive always done tarot off & on & this lovely safe interesting corner of the Internet has made me truly go back to it & want to learn more:) so thanks:)

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Oh my god, this sounds amazing! I’m so excited for you! Wow. Stepping into full-time art is so intimidating, but I bet you’re going to completely ace it because you have so much passion and skill. Hope to see some cups one day.. :)

      And thanks for your kind words – I’m so glad LRT is helping you on your tarot journey! xxxx

  12. Tash Flora says:

    It’s actually the Spring equinox here in Australia, and new things are in abundance! I had a super busy week this week so I didn’t end up making any definite plans. However, it seems the universe was smiling on me and I ended up going on some lovely walks in the sunshine! Leading up to the equinox I’ve been paying more attention to the life and growth around me, and it seems that Spring has settled in. We’re also having a bit of a heat wave so it feels like a total change in the air. Flowers are blooming EVERYWHERE and so many lovely bee friends have been buzzing around. Today I’m planning to do some much needed cleaning and I’m going to just take some time for myself. Love all your words Beth, this blog makes me so happy.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Thanks Tash! So good to hear how it is at your end of the world… Spring is such an attention-grabbing time, right? Enjoy all that heat and abundance! xxxx

  13. anemonerosie says:

    I spent the equinox on an island in Georgian Bay, a large bay on Lake Huron, itself a great lake. So I’ve not been up to much, but I got some solid career advice and have figured out a little bit about how I want to move forward.

  14. gino192 says:

    Totally relate to what Carol said. It’s been a hard year for me and I really need the quiet energy of autumn to help my internal cleaning and also make some important decisions. Looking forward to spending more time doing the things I love and not letting my job get in the way. I want to move forward, bring more positive energy into my life and overcome at least some of my fears that have kept me from evolving and moving on.
    May we all find what we are seeking this autumn, sending my positive energy to all of us who need healing and peace and compassion,
    Happy equinox, Beth I adore your site xoxoxo

  15. Hillary says:

    Firstly, let me wish all of you who scroll through and past this post, a very Happy Equinox. in truth, this is my first one. I started my journey with Tarot about four months ago, when I stumbled upon this blog and feel in love with each post written. Within a day I had finally found the deck that I had literally been dreaming about my entire life (a story for another day).

    I feel as though this season is one of getting back to my roots. There is too much clutter in my life, and I feel as though I have strayed away into another direction that I am not fond of. Progress however, is slowly being made in the time I can spare between school, work and being with loved ones. As the leaves are changing, so am I.

    I am waving goodbye to objects, feelings and thoughts that no longer make me happy or serve in my growth. Some little tokens still have snuck their way onto shelves or a table to serve as little reminders of lessons from different season but I am still full of joy at my progress.

    Thank you for this wonderful community you have created Beth, and thank you to all the wonderful people in the comments. I no longer will sit in the shadows and not at least say hello.

    Sending hugs and love from Northern Canada,

    Hillary. )o(

  16. Rowan says:

    I think my year is turning out a bit similar to yours! On the outside, everything feels like its getting worse and worse, and yet within my personal life I’ve been doing better than I have my whole life. It’s not like the outside isn’t affecting me (I’ve cried a lot just this past month over hurricanes and the death of trans siblings) but it’s being weirdly offset by so much personal growth in my life. I started 2017 deeply depressed and suicidal and feeling horribly alone. I don’t remember what my resolutions are (for some reason I taped them up and commanded future me not to open them until Dec 31st, which seems a bit counterintuitive, but whatever) but I’m pretty sure they had to do with growth and building friendships because I spent that time feeling so disgusted with who I was and how I felt like I chased everyone away. And here I am in September, having finally started therapy this year and having the effects of that show up in my life, and having reconnected with my real friends and rebuilding bridges I had previously burned, and having goals for the future that seem… Possible? I don’t think I would have believed it if you told me nine months ago how I feel today.
    So instead of a Seven of Pentacles moment, I’m having sort of a Judgement moment. I feel like I’ve crawled out from the dark hole my life has been and am realizing what I am capable of and what I can do in this big scary world. So I’m going to keep walking towards that as the seasons march on.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this Rowan.. sounds like you’ve been on a huge ride. I’m so happy to read about your ‘judgement moment’ and how it feels like everything’s moving in this really empowering direction for you. Loads of love <3

  17. Mary Silla says:

    I’ve just finished my summer job again, so this always feels like new year to me. I’m looking to move, but will probably turn down a large apartment because it was unheated (and possibly unheatable) and a bit mouldy and rather far from the shops. This place is the literal legal minimum, but it is warm and in the middle of a good suburb. I feel really indecisive about it. Size or warmth?
    Also it’s a lot cheaper here, which should help me worry less about rent and have more mental space to follow artistic paths. People I hardly know want me to sell art, so I aim to take that seriously this season, as well as finally moving ahead with the book (my friend who said he’d read it actually read it and said it was genius in places but plotless. It’s a start!)
    Also I want to woo-woo more regularly.

  18. kimberley says:

    So I’m a shy lurker introvert but I’m pushing through here. This year, and the one previous, have been a black cloud and there have been times when I have struggled. Lately I’ve been pushing and pushing at my self – to get things ready for winter, to improve, to be better, and I’m tired. This autumn I want to take a break occasionally. Enjoy things. Put old things to bed. Get a new cat or two. Open up again. And a gooooood long nap or two sounds pretty damn good.

  19. Harita says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Beth! I totally feel you on the world going crazy and not sure what to do with it, meanwhile other things are happening in my life that I’m just trying get by. This year has been full of incredible gifts and difficulties for me. I married my partner of 7 years, after overcoming a lot of strife with my family. We soon after became dog-parents to a pup named Albus, ironically his puppy coat was shed and now he’s all white just like ‘the fool’s dog.’ Earlier this year my inner guide kept hinting that a spiritual journey is on my horizon, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. Suddenly, weeks after our wedding, my husband was called up for military service and I’m grappling with his absence and knowing that he will be working in dangerous environments for the next year. I’m in graduate school, I’ve been working on my doctorate for 6 years, prior to that I got a masters in the same field. But in the last 3-4 years my doctorate program has thrown every possible career-killing problem towards me and I’ve persevered through them, but it’s worn me out deeply. Finally after months of grief and pain…I’ve decided to walk away from the graduate school path for the sake of my own health (mental, emotional, and physical). So now I have a job search awaiting me in the coming months, little energy, plenty of grief, and no clear direction. I’ve been trying to just set small goals of self-care for now. I’ve returned to watercolor painting (in addition to my meditation and tarot) to help me process and grieve. I’ve found that painting with watercolors in particular has taught me to ‘let go’ because the medium itself demands respect for the water’s natural properties and flow, the more you fiddle with it the more muddled it gets. It’s quite the lesson on ‘leaving things be’ and appreciating what is. But I can feel the dark months of winter approaching and I hope that watercolor, more woo-woo time, reading the LRT blog, and cuddling with my pup will keep me afloat as I find my way. I like your idea of setting intentions at the start of this new season, I think that’s something I’ll be working on.

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