The Autumn season is beginning to make itself known in my little corner of the world. While the days are still hot, the nights and mornings are cool and the shadow of night is lingering longer with each passing.
Autumn is always an intensely emotional season for me. It’s a transitional season, and transitions are always emotionally turbulent for me—many highs and lows and in-betweens before reaching the other side.
Autumn is also a very nostalgic season for me. In fact, there’s a photo that was taken of me and some girlfriends many, many moons ago that has always sort of encapsulated that nostalgic Autumn energy for me. We were in 8th grade at a friend’s house for a sleepover, and someone snapped a photo of us on the couch in front of a window full of Autumn-leafy trees. We were all toothy grins and unwritten stories in that moment. Otherwise, there was nothing especially unique about the experience, or even the photo, but somehow I have always felt a pang of nostalgia every time I look at it.
This nostalgia is very much about childhood innocence, the liberty of youth, unlimited potential, and the beautiful haze that the rose-colored glasses of hindsight can cast on a memory.
This leads me to one of the themes I’ve chosen to explore during this season: That’s the theme of Homecoming.
Autumn is a time of back-to-school, football games, hearth fires and family. There’s a reason why secondary schools and universities host their homecoming celebrations in Autumn. it’s the season when we are transitioning from the wild days of Summer, during which we are focused on external enjoyment and exploring the greater wide world, toward the more somber days of Winter, in which we are largely home-based and internal and more secluded. This is a time for returning to the roost to cosy up our nests for the long dark cold Winter ahead.
Homecoming has some interesting associations for me.
In high school, I wasn’t the homecoming queen, but I was a homecoming attendant my Junior year. It was the first time I felt like I was really seen and valued in the way so many high school students want to be valued. (Nevermind the fact that my best friend was the quarterback and he leveraged his influence to get me votes.) And during my Senior year, I had a prominent role in homecoming half-time performance, which also gave me a sense of being a worthy cog in the high school machine. At this time in my life, homecoming was about personal validation and relevance in my community.
As I became older and moved out of my childhood family home, I began to question my relationship with the very notion of home. What did home mean to me? Where was it? At that point, my childhood home had been sold to a new family and my parents lived in a new house in a new town. It didn’t really feel like home as I once knew it. Still, it was where I came to experience those feelings of belonging and security that one can often only find in the home of their primary caregivers.
In my twenties, I invested in a house of my own. The home I bought and decorated for myself was mine, but was it fully home? I was the only human living in it. Did that matter? It was something that was wholly my own, though, and that made it feel very safe and rooted to me. It became a place where I could experiment with various versions of myself and all the many interests that happened to spark my Manifesting Generator fancy.
When I sold my house and began traveling more, my relationship to home took on another layer of meaning. Sometimes it was enough to think of home as the country in which I was born, other times it was the town where most of my established friendships existed, and occasionally, it was simply my own bed. This version of home had to do with comfort and familiarity as well as safety and security.
In recent years, I’ve been delving more deeply into astrology and learning more about my own cosmic makeup. My North Node [in astrology] is in Sagittarius in the 4th House. The 4th House is all about home and family. Sagittarius is an expansive sign (ruled by Jupiter) and encompasses widened perspectives, philosophical and spiritual pursuits, global travel and higher order thinking. The message I get from this north node planet placement is that I am meant to be exploring a broader definition of what home is and how to integrate the concept of home into my life.
To that end, I have spent the past few months getting really curious around my relationship with the concept of home. I spent the past two moon cycles planting and nurturing intentions that would foster this exploration. I have been dancing with the themes of home and hospitality and family and the kind of stability and security that only these intimate relationships can provide.
What I have come to understand thus far (and I imagine I will continue to expand my understanding as I move ever closer to my north node magick) is that home is within me. It is a sacred space inside my Self that holds every experience, every connection, every lesson learned and every feeling felt; and it has all been processed and integrated in such a way that only I can fully utilize the medicine it contains.
Homecoming, for me, is coming back to my Self, reconnecting to my Soul. It is deep and primal and personal. Homecoming, in this way, allows me to be more present in the world, more authentic with my expressions, more open and receptive [and therefore more generous] in my connections with others. It is a rich and sacred rejoining of all that makes me deliciously ME.
While I can come home to my Self at any time, I do feel the longing to do so grows stronger in Autumn. I spread my wings and fly outside my self and into the world a little more unreservedly in the wide open freedom of Summer. When Autumn comes I feel a readiness to settle back into my Self in preparation of the long dark Winter’s rest that’s coming.
I give in to this readiness by spending more time alone with myself. Not absentee alone-ing, this is not about distractions, but is about taking my Self on proper dates, consciously choosing my own company and doing something that feels enjoyable, inspiring, enriching to my Soul. I will check in with my Self, ask my Self how I’m feeling—physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically—and see if there’s something I need to provide for my Self to create a better sense of balance and equanimity. And I will find specific and ritualistic ways to show my Self love. There’s no need for a map or schedule on this one. It’s all about feeling and allowing love to flow in the moment. If it feels delicious and sacred and nourishing, then it’s on the menu.
How do you experience homecoming? What rituals and practices might you incorporate into your own life as we transition into the slower, cozier, transitional season of Autumn?
Whatever you choose, I hope it’s rich and rewarding and fills you up with ooey gooey bliss!