I’ve written about September wistfulness before, but again I noticed this year an undercurrent of Autumn creeping in under these sunny days in early August. I am in a happy daze from Imbolc to Lammas, because it is my season. Yet, as the Wheel of the Year turns ever onward, I get a bit wistful and melancholy when August arrives. I read somewhere once that August is like a month full of Sunday blues, and that’s not far off the feeling at all.
By now, Lammas is over, the bread has been eaten, and we all eagerly look forward to Samhain. If, like me, the summer feels like it lasted a week at most, you start digging your heels in, wanting to wring every last drop of summer out. All the while, you are surrounded by people giddy for Samhain, fall weather and more. I get there, eventually. After Labor Day, I start going with the witchy celebratory flow. But it is still August. What’s a witch to do?!
Carpe Augusta: Now’s the time to squeeze in those things you meant to do, but didn’t get around to, so seize the entire month of August. I had my first picnic today (better late than never), am planning a kayak adventure, and a few explorations. I will wear my sandals until it’s too cold to do so, and will enjoy swimming and all the summer things I can while I can. Sure, there is a wee bit of panic setting in, but I will work through it.
Acceptance: Nothing I can do about the onward march of the season, so I do accept it. I plan on going to a craft store to check out all the holiday gear (Halloween starts in August, obviously) and get some ideas for fall decor. Lots of deep breathing goes on, and I meditate more deeply on summer moments. Every moment I am in the sunshine, I revel in it, storing that Vitamin D in my bones.
Divination: One of the events I look forward to in the coming months is my participation in a Psychic Fair, so of course I had to get a few new decks to work with in the meantime. One of the things I love about Divination is how much insight you gain from the cards. Ideas, concepts, suggestions for areas I’d been neglecting or hadn’t thought of, a revelation or two, or just plain reminders of what I’ve been ignoring. It’s also a great time to truly go through your favorite deck, by picking a card a day and journaling about it. Get to know your decks more deeply, or focus on just one, and see what you learn.
Altar Time: It’s a great month to deepen your spiritual practice. Clear the altar, and place only the most basic items on it. I like to make sure that all the elements are represented, so will add items from my hikes or from nature as much as possible. The simplicity draws me to it, and I can build on it with more items as the month goes on. If there is a deity you are called to, or one you are beginning a relationship with, now is a good time to dedicate an altar to them. Begin an online course, do research and reading, or create some art surrounding your deity and their attributes. Now is the time to start deepening your spiritual practice, if it’s been gathering dust like your altar had been. All this can be in preparation as the Wheel turns towards Samhain, our pivotal celebration.
Volunteer: At our community Lammas ritual, I was moved by the attendees, as they discussed their dedication and interest in volunteering. None of us seem to have much spare time, but it awakened in me a determination to add volunteering to my schedule soon. People were contributing to may areas: food banks, school backpack supply gathering, working with the homeless population, and more. Look around your community, and see what needs to be done. If possible, tie it into something you love: working with children, gardening, books, etc. If we all do a little bit, it can add up to a lot of good in the world.
Socialize: Been a hermit in the heat? Make time to be with friends, arrange to meet a friend for a beverage, play tourist in your own town, find out local art events (plays, art exhibits, poetry readings, book signings, etc.) and attend. Like sports? Go to your local baseball team’s game. Love to cook? Meet a friend at the Farmer’s Market, and discuss recipes while you gather your supplies.
Organize: Now is the time to organize your supplies. Bottles of moon water stacked all over the place? (raises hand). Piles of herbs, melted candles, and clutter everywhere? Prepare for the darker days ahead by having your supplies organized and ready to go. Find a new storage container or space if items are haphazard all over the place. Have it all organized for the longer, darker days ahead. We have lots of work to do as the year winds down, so make sure you are prepared.
Do nothing: Schedule a day where you do absolutely nothing. Just gather all the books you wanted to read, decide on a pile of movies you want to watch, stare at the ceiling for hours and revel in the bliss of doing absolutely nothing for twenty-four hours. Take bubble baths, eat your favorite treats, and stay off all social media. Don’t do guilt, don’t do lists, just be. Consider that time recharging your batteries, because we will need you in the days ahead.
Whew, just writing that list made me feel a bit excited about August now. We have lots to do as the year moves onward, so if you have Witchy Ennui, take a look at this list, or make your own. May your August be filled with some memory-making moments, and filled with as much or as little as you deem necessary.