There’s much to love about the fall season. Spiritual teacher and shaman Alyson Charles believes that the fall equinox—the time of the year when we have equal parts day and night, or light and dark—is an open invitation for anyone who wants to do some inner work and harness their personal power.
“It’s an incredibly beautiful time to call forward all of our nature allies to really give us some new strength and guidance moving forward.”
“The fall equinox is a very, very powerful, energetic turning point for all of us,” says Charles, author of the upcoming book Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul. “It’s a time to create the changes that you want to see in your life. It’s a time for us to turn inward and go deeper, more than ever before.”
To reap the benefits of this time of year, here’s what Charles suggests:
“It’s an incredibly beautiful time to call forward all of our nature allies to really give us some new strength and guidance moving forward,” says Charles. If it’s not feasible to spend time outside, Charles suggests an indoor alternative to connect with nature: create a simple altar space. “At my altar, I have some feathers that I found on some of my nature walks,” she says. “I have a piece of driftwood from the beach in Mexico, where I got proposed to by my fiancé. I have some incredible flower elixirs. I have one giant crystal that really speaks to me right now. I have my animal power book. I have rosewater and sacred herbs. All of those things that I listed are elements of nature, and I, of course, have candles as well. If you can, just create a simple little space—maybe just a candle and a rock that you love, or a crystal that you love.”
Do the inner work:
“If you’re not connected to the wisdom of your own heart, then you can more easily get pulled or swayed into thoughts or opinions or feelings that are not actually your own.”
Charles contends that now, more than ever, inner work is important. “If you’re not connected to the wisdom of your own heart, then you can more easily get pulled or swayed into thoughts or opinions or feelings that are not actually your own,” she says.
Charles adds that committing to working on yourself doesn’t have to be a chore. “You don’t have to sit at your altar and do these things for hours,” she says. “It literally can be a devotion to sitting first thing in the morning and placing your left hand on your heart and asking, how are you feeling today? How do you want to be supported today? What do you need to feel more joy, more unconditional love, whatever it is that you’re calling more into your life?”
She adds: “I promise you, if you start your day from heart connection and honoring nature and honoring great Mother Earth, it will change the entire course of your day. You will be able to stay connected with the wisdom inside of you rather than feeling bombarded by all of the noise and confusion that’s outside in the world right now.”
Channel animal strength:
“Every single animal and creature on this planet represents different wisdom teachings and healing attributes.”
To support this important inner work, Charles suggests channeling the energy of animals. “Every single animal and creature on this planet represents different wisdom teachings and healing attributes,” says Charles. “They are our allies in infinite amounts of ways. Once you start to become aware of an animal that has been presenting in your life—perhaps it’s showing up in your dream and, the next day, you hear it being spoken about in a conversation, and then you open a book, and that’s the same animal that you see—that is an example of how a power animal is entering in your life and trying to get your attention.”
The three power animals that are primed during this special time of year to guide and teach us, Charles says, are the whale, the owl and the seagull. “The whale is urging us to do that deep shadow work, to go into those deep dark ocean waters within ourselves. The seagull represents tidying up and cleaning up. It is time for us to clean up our side of the street so we’re not unconsciously or consciously contributing to additional pain and messy energy. The owl is saying, if we commit to doing that shadow work and blind spot work, what is next for us is a beautiful, powerful time of an awakening of our spiritual gifts.”