The hills are alive enroute to Cochetopa Pass

The hills are alive enroute to Cochetopa Pass

Life is an enormous power to be understood and used as energy.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Ancient Rituals October, 2011)*

In the last few weeks we’ve experienced a solar eclipse, the autumnal equinox (here in the northern hemisphere), and this week’s spectacular eclipse of the super, harvest moon.  Each event had its own power. Each of us experienced the events in our own way, unique to us and understood at our own level of awareness, knowledge and interest.

As we move into autumn with daylight waning day to day on our way to the quiet, inner time of winter, we approach the season of celebration: harvest festivals and the holy days of many religions.  As the leaves are providing their annual show of fall color, I move into my annual preparation for winter and I’m reminded of the energy of connecting with the earth, her cycles and of rituals that emerged from observation.

In ancient times, holy days were truly holy. The people stopped. They celebrated and, perhaps sometimes recalibrated, to be in sync with the planet. They observed. They interpreted. They sought to understand the energy of events and to use that energy.  It seems that they understood intention and the power of the mind in ways that science today is proving. From their understanding rituals emerged.

  Happy dog pausing to pose on the trail ... 'come on Mom!'

Happy dog pausing to pose on the trail ... 'come on Mom!'

A drive high into the mountains to immerse myself in the beauty of the turning leaves reminded me of a ritual that Gregge Tiffen wrote about in the booklet that today’s quote comes from: catching a falling leaf. A falling leaf “represents the goodness of Mother Earth,” thus good luck emanates from catching one before it hits the ground. It is said that in ancient times wise women sent the children out to do just that. The caught leaf is carried until the end of the season and disposed of at the Winter Solstice.

Catching a falling leaf is not as easy as you’d think. My car ‘caught’ one that floated in the window. I have yet to catch mine.

I think of rituals as habits or practices that I do with awareness, intention and a sense of sacredness. We create ritual when we bring purpose and a sense of the sacred into life whether catching a leaf each autumn for good luck or blessing our food daily for gratitude and good health.

  The pass -- an historic place to steep in nature's beauty.

The pass -- an historic place to steep in nature's beauty.

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