The Crestone Eagle • October, 2021

Remembering the Roots: Threshold of the Liminal

by Jessica Forman

The harvest is upon us. Cottonwoods and maples have well begun their turnings and the mountainside is awash in gold. The light has changed and the first of the autumnal breezes have come to caress our brows. 

What will you offer back in gratitude to the Earth for her generous harvest?

What do you celebrate at this mighty threshold? 

Toes hanging over the near edge of the dark time, where the sun hangs low and dreamtime claims zenith: Welcome to the Liminal.  

This is the time of year where we honor all the fruits of the harvest and begin looking death in the face. The sap will retreat, the herbaceous plants will die back to their roots (if not completely), green becomes brown, Persephone descends to the Underworld. I believe a part of each of us goes with her. Transformation happens in the dark, you know. 

As the vitality of the world retreats to the unseen, to the roots held firm within the Earth, we are naturally called to hold vigil in the inner temple, caring for the quiet concealed matters of interiority. 

Fall demands a reckoning. What can we no longer carry in our hearts, towards the snow halls of winter and beyond? What has well past ripened, and is still being grasped with well intentioned, yet naïve hands? 

Autumn’s song is one of courage and lamentation. She whispers: if we are wise, we would throw much into the fire, “grieve the hell out of it” (Martin Prechtel) and trust in the way being made by our feet embracing the path. 

We are in this together. 

Earthen allies for Liminal times

• Reishi is a magical master of the deep forest. Asia Suler, an Appalachian herbalist, speaks of it having almost psychedelic qualities. Psychedelic as in “mind opening” (which on some level, I think all plants possess if we let them in enough). Herbalist Sean Donahue has spoken of his experience clinically with small doses of Reishi exhibiting effects on people’s dreams, as if the mushroom was supporting them in a processing of their inner lives. 

• Queen of the Flowers, Rose, is a loving companion for our watery, hearted journey of surrender and release to the alchemical fires that can and must claim parts of our identities if we are to fully birth anew come spring’s first dew. 

Ritual

Gather items that represent something(s) you are complete with, or is complete with you. Make a fire or dig a hole invoking the Divine and/or your most trusted allies of the spirit and speak out loud your truest most humble truths, pains and hopes, asking for support and protection. Offer your items to the fire or to the Earth. Be with your process fully. Watch the burning and tend to the fire fully until complete, or, tenderly bury said items. Express your gratitude, closing out the ritual. Drink some rose petal tea and take a bath. 

*A clarifying note: Last month’s The Fox Woman story was a telling of an old tale, not Jessica’s original work.