Now westlin winds and slaught'ring guns
Bring Autumn's pleasant weather;
The moorcock springs on whirring wings
Amang the blooming heather:
Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain,
Delights the weary farmer;
And the moon shines bright, as I rove by night,
To muse upon my charmer.
- Robert Burns
We’ve always been fans of Autumn. It’s the kind of season that makes us wonder: how can a person not like Autumn? It’s the perfect combination of temperatures, colours, and regeneration. A perfect brew, if you will.
If you’re inclined to believe in the rejuvenating powers of an equinox, then don’t overlook the 23rd of September 2023.
Twice a year, the sun perches directly over the Equator. Day and night are of equal length. Sounds like the start to some mystic spell, doesn’t it? The other one of note is the Spring Equinox, a time of celebration for many in the Northern Hemisphere. Longer days, warmer weather... it’s all more than welcome. Those who are looking for a fresh start, for new beginnings and transformations, open their arms wide to this time of year.
And after all that spring and summer fun, as the weather starts to cool and our evenings in the sun come to an end, the Autumn Equinox arrives to inspire us. It’s a time to reflect upon our lives, to revel in the abundance that surrounds us, a time for us to take stock in all the things to be grateful for. Sometimes that’s hard. Life isn’t always dandy. But that’s why this equinox is a vital one. It’s the gratitude journal of the equinoxes.
Time is cyclical. Our lives are too. Nothing stays the same, nothing lasts forever. It’s almost strange that such a word exists: forever. Forever does not exist. The equinoxes are a time to celebrate the changes in our lives, as inevitable as they are, and to find the beauty and opportunity in them.
As you are lured into the next season, you’re encouraged to align with the changes that are coming. What will this new season bring? As energies change and winter approaches, it’s a time to reflect on what’s important to you.
As the quiet draws in, what thoughts and changes will you seed?
Alright. Enough of that woo-woo spiel. Time for the fun stuff. Activities. So, as the Autumnal Equinox approaches, what can you do to celebrate?
It’s easy to focus on the negative. We all do it, often more than we should. We let one little thing get us down. So, to welcome in the Autumnal Equinox, it’s time to write down all that you’re grateful for that has happened so far this year.
You might be surprised by how many things there are to list. Dig deep, think both small and big. Sometimes we forget the little moments, but they can be the most important at the end of the day.
If you’re finding yourself stuck on a gratitude list, why not start by noting down the things you’re going to let go of? People, habits, thoughts... it’s up to you.
Make a playlist of songs that inspire you to feel the hope and regeneration of this new time. Whether it’s Teir Abhaile Riu by Celtic Woman or Tis Autumn by Nat King Cole, these songs should boost your mood and energy.
Play them while you cook a feast bursting with seasonal goodies, from apples to pumpkins. While you clean up that room in your house you’ve been ignoring for months. As you write down the affirmations in your journal.
With that same journal, it’s time to consider your life. Write down the things that make up your life – the big, and the small. Do these things bring you joy? Fill you up energetically? Drain you? Is your routine a bit stagnant and needs changing? Now is the time to not only consider but take action.
Set goals for the coming months. This is not a ‘New Year, New You’ mentality. This is defining the things that will make you happy and taking steps towards making them happen.
Consider yourself too and the role you bring to people’s lives. If you aren’t your best self, how can you be sure you’re bringing your best self to your loved ones?
Who doesn’t love a good craft project? If you don’t, you’ve not been doing it right. There are no rules or restrictions when it comes to craft. You don’t have to do leaf art outside in the cool Autumn air. You could grab yourself a cocktail and sit by the fireplace while you get creative.
Invite a bunch of friends around and have a craft party. And you don’t all have to do the same thing. The thing about craft, about art, is it is so personal. So, get personal.
Now here’s the definition of go big or go home. If you really feel like outdoing the Autumnal Equinox this year, why not hunt down some local Harvest Festivals in your area? Perhaps you’ll find yourself at a fayre or wandering the local farmers’ markets.
If nothing catches your eye, there’s no rule that says you can’t host your very own celebration with friends and family.
Everybody celebrates in their own way, with everything. Some throw a rager for their 30th birthday, while others disappear into the wilderness with a few of their closest friends to enjoy the peace and quiet. There’s no right or wrong.
So if none of the above activities call to you, what about simply getting out and enjoying the natural beauty that comes with Autumn? Warm oranges hug you like a tartan blanket beside the fireplace. A cool breeze makes you catch your breath, knowing winter is indeed coming.
Go for a hike in the open wildness of the Scottish Highlands. Take a stroll down a quiet alleyway in the Cotswolds. Hop on a train and venture as far north as you can. Or jump on a Rabbie’s tour and let us show you the beauty of the world as it turns from vibrant to warmhearted.
We could argue that all of our tours will be great during Autumn. The crowds have cleared (somewhat) and you can sneak in before the weather grows too cold. Still, the choice can sometimes be overwhelming.
If you’re visiting Scotland, why not head to the famous Isle of Skye (either from Edinburgh or Glasgow) and visit the Quiraing? Don’t forget the other islands – Isle of Arran is known as Scotland in Miniature and has everything you could possibly want in one wee neat package. What about a tour that boasts some of the most amazing castles and palaces, backed by a stunning Autumn pallet? Or you could head down to the Scottish Borders and see Hadrian’s Wall. And then there's the iconic Glencoe.
If you’re exploring England, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Bath, Oxford or the Cotswolds. Imagine strolling the cobbled streets of a traditional Cotswold village, on your way to find a café for your morning coffee, a light scarf hugging your neck, and the tingle of cool Autumn air on your cheeks.
Or maybe now is the time to finally discover the wildness of Ireland, as far north as you can go perhaps? A dramatic Irish coastline strikes at the heart of wonder at any time of the year, but under the delicate glow of Autumn’s cooling sun?
You might get lucky and see a different side of the dark and ominous Dark Hedges, as the leaves of the beech trees turn their gazes towards the ground.
Wherever you go, whatever you do... keep an open mind. And if you join us on tour, we can’t wait to show you the artistry of Autumn in some of our most beloved places.