The Magic of Autumn

This altar above was created by myself and a group of women friends for our Autumn Equinox Ritual. Building sacred altars is one of my very most favorite things to do in the world!

Autumn is the time of the archetypal Priestess preparing for her descent to the Underworld of herself during the darker, colder times of the Wheel of The Year. What do we need to release? What seeds of hope and goals will you be germinating in the coming months during the silence and stillness of winter? It is empowering to gather with others during this time to celebrate the ancient festivals of our ancestors and to have support on our inner journey. We've begun the autumn session of Roots Deep, Branches Rising. I love to meet every week for ritual and ceremony, for celebrating the Wheel of the Year and the cycles of Mother Moon and to teach and learn in a circle of women.

The Spiritual Renaissance Publication
Portland, Maine

I'm excited that an article I wrote was published in Spiritual Renaissance's autumn publication! You can read it below! If you'd like to visit the Spiritual Renaissance web site, here it is: Spiritual Renaissance web site!

I have learned through being alive long enough, that if I keep following my heart, my life will begin to look like my favorite dreams of childhood. I really believe that if we are looking for answers as to what we are meant to do in this world, we can look to what most inspired us as children! In other words, ask yourself, "What did I most want to be when I grew up?"

OK, it may be "too late" to be an astronaut but you can still take an astronomy class or study astrology. Or maybe you can volunteer at the planetarium or take classes at a local school. No matter how old you are, you can still reach for those stars that you longed for as a young child!

Picture yourself like Hansel or Gretel (minus the oven) (Though symbolic ovens can have a way of transforming us for the better at times! Just ask any fire Goddess!)....When you feel like you've reached the danger point, turn around on the path and head backward towards your innocence and safety. For little did you know that along the way to growing up, your Wise Soul scattered small pieces of the bread of your life along the pathway so that you would not lose your way back if you needed to retrieve some of that childhood wisdom one day in the future....

Follow your intuition home!

(And, I do sincerely invite you to e-mail me if you need help doing this. I am a great tour guide through the inner realms!)
The Magic of Childhood in Autumn

(or Autumn as My Magic Mirror!)

by Melissa Potter

 Fall is my most favorite time of the year! I am excited to learn, to delve deep, to decorate for Halloween! I love Thanksgiving ~ both our American traditional Thanksgiving in November and the Neo-Pagan Thanksgiving, known as Mabon or Autumn Equinox, in September. I am filled with memories of childhood during this time of year.

When I see myself as a young girl, it’s from the perspective of looking down at my own feet as I walk through the brightly colored leaves on the city sidewalks. There are mounds of red, orange, yellow, and best of all, the multi-colored, fiery, maple leaves in the gutters alongside the curb. I am making a path with my swooshing and have to be extra careful not to step on a crack, lest I break my mother’s back; and to watch for the places where Mother Nature has pushed herself up through the concrete and made swells in the sidewalk where old beautiful tree roots burst through.

In my body-memories I can sense the magic and spookiness of Halloween. I can smell the scent of the apple orchard we visited each fall. I can feel the cozy fabric of my new corduroy pants and other school clothes and I can see the castle walls of Prattville Park (the ones I loved to walk upon) covered with autumn leaves.

My thoughts, back then, were revolved around what I wanted to be for Halloween. Should I be a witch (again) or a gypsy (again)? When I was a gypsy, I could treasure-hunt through my two, teen-aged aunts’ jewelry boxes. They were filled to overflowing with 1970’s wooden bead necklaces and bracelets and trinkle things in every color. I wore a bandanna around my head and an exotic mole on the left side of my chin. It was so exciting!

I vividly remember, in the very cells of my body, walking up and down the streets of our neighborhood in the Prattville section of Chelsea with my mother and sister, Kimmy on Halloween night. (I only had one sister back then ~ I now have three! Kristen and Kelly were still star-dreams in the quiet night sky of my Mother’s womb. Did my father ever go trick-or-treating with us? I can’t remember! ) I can practically hear the cold, October wind blowing, the leaves swirling and landing, the swish of our feet through the piles of them. And there was nothing more exciting than the heart-thumping thrill of knocking on the doors of the “haunted houses” that had scary music coming from their windows!

After trick-or-treating, we would go back to Jones Avenue, the small, dead-end street where my Nana’s house was. Into the front parlor we would dash with our pillow cases filled with candy! Onto the rug we would fall as quickly as possible to empty out, and count the candy bars. My favorite were the Sugar Daddy’s! And how I loved when my Mom and Nana asked me for a piece of their favorite candy!

If I knew better back then I could have held a crystal ball with my child hands and seen the gypsy woman looking back at me. She would have said, “Look into my crystal ball, Little Melissa. You will grow up to be an adventuring woman after all. You will be very intuitive and magical. You will, in fact, get a crystal ball by default from an eccentric roommate you will have who will disap¬pear without a trace one winter night from the haunted house you are renting with him in Nashua, NH...

You will begin reading tarot cards and collect them all of your life! You will become the witch you always dress up to be at Halloween, but a good witch, a wise-woman witch with circles of other women witches around you....look into my crystal ball and see that all the things you love now as a child, you will become when you’re a grownup, too!”

It’s so funny to me now that everything I always played as a child has come to pass in my life! I was forever playing teacher and school, writing poems and dreaming of keeping journals that would some day be published, dressing up as a witch and a gypsy (I’ve moved about fifty times in my life and Goddess knows I am a witch!) I always loved the Native Americans, called the “Indians” back then, in all the Western films and especially was heart-broken by the commercial of the Native American man on the bank of a polluted waterway with a tear in his eyes. To this day I love Mother Nature (which is what they referred to Her as, in the “Parkay Margarine” commercials!) (TV references fill my childhood memories!) and to this day I do whatever I can and whatever new things I learn about to help protect, honor and love my Mother Earth. It has all come to pass.

The childhood seeds of the things I loved most in life are the blossoming flowers and trees of who I am and who I am becoming in my life today.

Feeling My Autumn Essence

When I was in my twenties, I began recording my dreams and the fall is when they became the most potent, magical and colorful. Beginning at the first harvest festival of the year, on August 2, known as Lammas, my desire to write and journal and remember my dreams begins to fill my life with excitement. My connection to myself was always the deepest in the fall. I always say that fall is when I am in my “essence.” Friends from all over and way-back-when suddenly call me in autumn because, “It’s fall and I just thought of you, Missie,” they say to me. I was conceived in the fall and I conceived my own child in the fall as well.

I do believe that I did choose to enter the world during this most magical time of the year. My astrologer puts my conception date at October 31! I always hope that when I die someday when I am very old and a grandmother and healthy in all ways except for the old-age part, it will be during the season of autumn. It would be the perfect time to release one’s body, to offer it up to the blessed earth in time to transform, renew, and rebirth myself in the womb of some new mother in the springtime of the year.

Gratitude, Celebration and Deepening

This is a time of the beauty and abundance of the harvest season. It’s a festive time of giving thanks, feasting, and gratitude for all we have ~ our family, our friends, the fullness of the earth around us, our dreams and our hopes. I hope that you will take the time you deserve to rest and evaluate what you have harvested this past year. Have a bonfire, a campfire, a wood stove or fireplace fire. If you can do none of these things, light an autumn colored candle and feel the warmth of the fire element in your heart of hearts.

Autumn Equinox celebrates the abundance of the harvest time, gratitude and the balance of light and dark. It is a traditional time to gather in community with others in gratitude for all we have received. In the spiritual sense, it’s also a time to prepare for the coming dark & cold time of the year.

Autumn Equinox is the symbolic doorway that leads us into ourselves. In the fall we begin the journey down the double spiral pathway that leads to the inner realms. Deep inside our sacred self is the home we return to where, in autumn and in winter, we rest, renew and transform ourselves. We pull our energy deep down into our roots as the plants, animals and trees of our region have taught us to do.

It is also traditional in some cultures to have a Giveaway Ceremony. As the trees are releasing their beautiful, colored leaves and the ripe apples hang heavy on their boughs, we see all around us that Mother Earth is giving herself to us freely and fully. Look around your home and space. What is it time to let go of? This would be anything that comes from your heart, that you know you need to pass on, that you are ready to release. Wrap this gift up beautifully and gift it to a friend, gift it to a stranger, leave it on someone’s doorstep!

When I’m grateful for the blessings in my life, my heart is wide open with love, a feeling of joy, abundance, magic and well-being. Gratitude is the secret to living a life of true joy and meaning for me.

May you feel the love of the earth and spirit within your heart this day and always.

Blessed Be,

Melissa Potter

Melissa Potter, LMT lives in New Hampshire with her son, Seamus Raven and their cat, Jack. She is the proprietress of MotherRoots Healing Arts, a small healing center in Newmarket, NH that offers craniosacral therapy, somato-emotional release, therapeutic massage, spiritual counseling and inspiration! Melissa loves to sing, write and study astrology. Visit her web site at for more information.