Autumn is the best time of year for those of us still "in the broom closet." We can let our pagan imaginations run wild as we decorate for the season, and while the cauldrons and gargoyles do get put away after Samhain, the candles and incense and all of the blessings of nature get to stay out.
This year I downsized the Samhain decor somewhat--I simply couldn't get into the spirit no matter how often I played Danny Elfman's "This is Halloween." Still, this worked out well for me once I started putting all of the bats, crows and spiders away. Normally I have to lug three or four storage bins up to the attic. This year I was down to two(ish). Much of what I decorated with I could leave out without raising eyebrows--pumpkins, autumn garlands, berries. Candles, of course. The "Evil Cauldron of Love" (as we like to call the candy bowl) has been replaced by the "Evil Pumpkin of Love," and miscellaneous winter squashes are left out in the hope that I will cook them...eventually. In the garden, the Jack-o'Lanterns have moved on and the mums
have been moved from their pots on the porch to fill in the autumn
There's a purity to this time, and a simplicity to the rituals that is a relief to me. In the mornings I can sit quietly by the fire (earlier now that Daylight Savings has kicked in) with my coffee, and center myself for the adventures of the day. In the evenings, a stick of incense and a glass of wine are all I need to give thanks for surviving the day's adventures and for the blessings I've been given. All of this in front of my family or even guests. Autumn, for me, has become a time for the discreet witch to let it all hang out. Blessed be.