The Autumn Equinox is a moment in the year when day and night are of equal length. It is a time to reflect, pause but also to be clear about the changes you want to make in your life. The Sun is rising later now, the air has a nip in it, and shadows are growing longer across the ground. While the light in the evenings is still there, I love to head out across the land.
We live in a landscape that has been hewn and shaped by humans for the last ten thousand years. Although it is much changed, it is the native plants that our ancient ancestors would still recognize. When we partake in natural processes such as foraging for wild food, we make a physical, experiential, and spiritual link to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It is vital to take note of the wild edges of our landscape. These liminal places are the remnants of our ancient landscape and are the thresholds by which we can cross into our ancestral past.
As part of my journey into my ancestral connection, I have been making a Tree Ogham. Over the last couple of years, I have been searching for a way to enter into conversation with the natural world. Trees have always been a big part of my life, and I know that they can be a gateway to root myself to the land physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Origins of The Tree Ogham (pronounced OH-AM) originate in the migrations of Celtic people from the European continent into Britain and onto the Island of Ireland, around 700-500BC. September is the month of Apple (Queirt). The Letter Q and the tenth Fedha of the Tree Ogham.
The Apple Tree represents Abundance and Gratitude. A time to celebrate all that is positive in your life.
At this time of year, I go out walking in the landscape with my kids. We often take a small basket or tub with us to forage along the hedgerows, through the woods, and across the fields picking with great excitement the mushrooms, the nuts, the fruits, and the berries that are in abundance at this time of year. When we are picking and eating blackberries, I tell them that we are time travellers. We are standing and eating the same blackberries grown and regrown from the same plants that our ancient ancestors would have eaten from thousands and thousands of years ago.
Sharing these simple experiences with our children lets them become aware that they are part of an unbroken thread that goes back into our distant past, and like the blackberry, they will also grow and regrow their way into an abundant future.