Each season brings its changes, but the fact of change is dramatically underscored in autumn. Those of us who live in northern climates are privileged to see some of Nature's most breath-taking beauty in the vivid shades of red, orange, and yellow of fall foliage. The cooler temperatures invite us to spend more time outdoors; our senses are aroused by the smell of wood fires, windfall apples, and the products of the harvest. But as we reach the equinox and look toward winter, our pleasure is shadowed by our knowledge that all of this is transient. So quickly do the trees go bare! Night falls even earlier, soon many of us are rising in darkness, early frosts blast the autumn flowers, and the chill sets in. Perceiving these changes, one's mind may turn to past loves and lost ones, bring the realization that "in all things dear and delightful to me there is change and separation."
If you want to reflect on the nature of change, while at the same time adding a touch of cheer to autumn evenings, you can light a candle (itself an ephemeral thing), and say:
I set this candle
Excerpted from By Candlelight by Janina Renée.
Janina Renée is a scholar of folklore, psychology, medical anthropology, the material culture of magic, ritual studies, history, and literature. Her books include Tarot Spells, Tarot Your Everyday Guide (winner ...