I absolutely adore autumn; it is my favourite season of all. I love the smells, the harvest, the clear blue skies and crisp air. But, most of all, I love the colours. And it seems (from my Instagram feed at least) that nearly everyone else is captivated too!
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus
Colours are important and I completely believe that they affect our moods and emotions. In my family, we are big fans of colour therapy.
When I think about the feelings that autumn evokes in me, it is all to do with warmth, peace, nourishment, contentment and stillness. Recently, whilst walking in the woods, I started to think about the autumnal colours and how they relate to the chakras. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, chakras are energy centres within the body, and each one has a corresponding vibration and colour (if you want to read more about chakras, please see the list of books at the end of this article).
Autumn is full of golden hues, vibrant yellows and bold reds. The colours are fiery, and yet, they are calming, in the same way a brilliant sunset relaxes us. I read in one of Doreen Virtue’s books (I think it was either Angel Medicine or Goddesses and Angels) that watching the sunset is a great way of slowing down our energies and getting us settled for the night because the orange and red hues link us with our lower chakras – the Root (red) and Sacral (orange) chakras – which rotate at a slower vibration.
Recalling this, I thought: does autumn do the same, but preparing us for winter rather than night time? I decided to look at the characteristics that are commonly associated with the lower chakras (Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus – red, orange and yellow respectively).
- This chakra is connected intimately with the Earth, as earth is the element it is associated with. During autumn, the life force of nature starts to withdraw back into the earth where it will be renewed next spring. Autumn is a time for us to be grounded.
- It rotates at the slowest vibration (like infra-red on the Electromagnetic Spectrum). Autumn and Winter is when we, and nature, start to slow down.
- Words, or notions, associated with the Root chakra are “root”, “support”, “interaction with the tribe”. This is exactly what used to happen in times gone by: communities would come together, preparing the harvest stores, gathering around the fire telling stories, ‘rooting down for the winter’. (By the by, we need more of this community support nowadays!)
- The Root chakra is strongly associated with nourishment and our basic needs. At harvest time, despite our year-round abundance in supermarkets, I believe our instinctual mind still turns to, and gets excited by, the wondrous plenty that the harvests yield. Before our modern times, this time of year would be focused primarily on harvesting crop and preparing it to last throughout the winter.
- The Sacral is all about relationships and pleasure; this can be in a romantic sense, but it is also about every type of relationship, community bonds being one of them. It is about trust, creativity and finding pleasure in life (that is, moving beyond basic survival).
- In previous centuries, though still as vitally important now, trust in yourself and your community would’ve helped you get through the colder months. Although we have made many modern advances, these changes have occurred so fast that I am a firm believer that deep down, our emotions and instincts still crave this ‘oldy worldy’ way of living.
- The Sacral is also about our attitudes concerning abundance, which again links to the harvest. Beautiful food gives lots of pleasure, after all.
Solar Plexus chakra/yellow
- This chakra is connected to the sun, and to fire. Autumn is when we feel the last of the sun’s warmth for the year, and the continued presence of the sun is a comfort during the cold. How glad we are for those sunny days between the rain and overcast skies (in our British climate at least!) because it makes us feel brighter inside, and I also think it hearkens back to those primordial longings for the spring time, and the promise of new growth. Fire is also important at this time; the hearth becomes both the place of warmth and the place of gathering.
- The Solar Plexus is very much about personal empowerment; in this case, particularly endurance.
- It is about embracing our individuality, an individuality that is still connected with humanity. Yet, the focus becomes internal and on our relationship with ourselves. Autumn and winter are a time to slow down, go within and reflect. Just as the trees start to withdraw their energy into their centres after the bouyancy of spring and summer, so should we turn our focus inwards. The festive time of Christmas and Yule is usually a time to reflect on our true values; it is when we spend time doing what is most important – being with friends and family. It shouldn’t be about busy-ness and buying things, it should be about song, memories, stories and laughter. Autumn is the signal that it is time to slow down and ‘hibernate’ – in our case, not the literal hibernation of the bear, but cosy days in the home, warm blankets, hot chocolate and lazy days of rest and relaxation.
I know some people would attribute what I’ve just written to coincidence, but I don’t believe so. The esoteric philosophy of Correspondence posits that all things are interconnected and full of meaning; an energy centre within us can be connected to the energies of the far off planet Saturn, for instance. I like this idea. It gives us a powerful, intimate, beautiful, magical connection to the world and Universe around us. The chakra system is complex and I have only pointed out a few aspects that struck me as profoundly connected to autumn. If the slower, more grounded energies of the lower chakras resonate with sunset to prepare us for evening, why can’t they also resonate with the colours of autumn to prepare us for the winter? It hints at the idea that the underlying power of the Universe is a living intelligence, and we are children of that intelligence connected to every aspect of its being.
If you would like to learn more about chakras and eastern philosophy, there are countless books out there which offer much insight. I believe in its power and efficacy, but even if you do not, it is still an interesting topic to enlighten yourself about. You may even become convinced by its profound wisdom! The books that I have found useful are:
- The Book of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson
- Chakras and their Archetypes by Ambika Wauters
- Chakra Clearing by Doreen Virtue
This autumn and winter take some time to slow down, reconnect with yourself, marvel at the beauty of nature, eat good, wholesome food and spend time with your loved ones. It’s less about things and more about moments – make them good ones!