Autumn rituals for igniting creativity with Laura McMahon

Posted on October 20, 2023 by Sarah Robertson

As autumn’s gentle rhythm takes hold, blogger, copywriter, and digital marketer Laura McMahon embraces the magic of this season with autumn rituals that elevate the ordinary into the sacred. From vision boards to nature walks and the spell of words, these practices offer the spark we need in this season of change.


Autumn, with its mellow pace and transitional energy, has long been celebrated as a wellspring of inspiration for artists, writers, and creatives. There is something so bewitching about the change in the air, the leaves shedding, and the natural world shifting towards darkness once again. A magical potency which inspires us to go inward and explore our own inner transformations in many distinct and imaginative ways. 

It’s always around this time of year that I crave a little more ritual in my day-to-day life. I love to explore how ordinary habits can be elevated to something a little more sacred and how simple rituals can be tweaked to support our well-being and deepen our creativity. From creating vision boards to venturing on mindful nature walks, scribbling in morning pages or carving pumpkins, seasonal rituals can help us harness the magic of autumn and ignite our creative spark as the darkness draws in.

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Choosing to introduce a simple daily ritual at this time can be so supportive to our nervous system and allow us to gently relax into the season.

Everyday autumn rituals to bring small doses of joy

Let’s start small, shall we? As beautiful as this season is, it doesn’t come without challenges. The shift in weather, the darker evenings, the never-ending viruses and the quickening pace towards Christmas, it can all feel really overwhelming. 

Choosing to introduce a simple daily ritual at this time can be so supportive to our nervous system and allow us to gently relax into the season. Prioritising a few grounding and calming habits can be the first step in really nurturing ourselves and allowing our creativity the safe space it needs to find a way outwards. 

A steaming cup of tea sat on the back doorstep, a candle lit at breakfast, a cosy blanket and well-thumbed book. Whatever your go-to comfort is, think about setting it up so it’s close at hand or linking it to another daily habit, treating it as something sacred each day. 

Autumn rituals

Writing ‘morning pages’ or trying out creative writing challenges

The power of words is immense. Their significance solidifies our perceptions, influencing our beliefs, guiding our actions, and ultimately shaping the reality we inhabit.

Autumn, with its cosy vibes and stormy nights, creates the perfect environment for nourishing our writing and flexing our storytelling muscles. Engaging in creative writing challenges that embrace the season, trying our hand at a short story, capturing the mood of autumn in a poem, or penning a letter to someone you miss. There are so many ways to broaden our writing comfort zone. 

Morning pages, popularised by Julia Cameron in her creative handbook “The Artist’s Way,” refer to a daily practice of writing pages every morning, preferably in longhand. These pages are essentially a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise, giving us the space to write whatever comes into our mind without our usual censoring or editing.

By writing freely, we can gain insight into our own patterns, desires, and aspirations. This increased self-awareness can be such a valuable tool for personal and creative growth.

A writing ritual of any kind can push our creative boundaries, enabling us to explore new genres, themes, and emotions, all while channelling that spellbinding energy of autumn.

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We can take inspiration from the changes around us by lacing up our boots and heading out the door to see perfectly ordinary miracles everywhere we look.

Creating an autumn-inspired vision board

Crafting a vision board is a simple yet powerful way to open up our creative intentions and goals. This hands-on, tactile ritual involves gathering and adding images, words, and symbols that evoke the essence of autumn and represent the creative projects or ideas we might wish to pursue. 

By immersing ourselves in images we love and adding natural touchstones of the season, we can tap into the sensory experience of autumn. Fallen leaves, acorns, favourite recipes, warm fabrics, natural textures, words which resonate, magazine images – all these pieces can help us form a visual manifestation board of our feelings this season. 

The goal is not a perfectly crafted Pinterest-worthy display, it’s more about the creative journey of finding the things that mean something to us and bringing them together. 

Nature walks as a doorway to inspiration

Autumn is a time when the natural world undergoes incredible transformations. We can take inspiration from the changes around us by lacing up our boots and heading out the door to see perfectly ordinary miracles everywhere we look.  

Absorbing the scents and feel of the season is a wonderful way to connect with the wild world outside our windows. As we crunch through fallen leaves, listen to the rustle of the wind, and witness the changing landscapes, we can choose to pay attention to the intricate details and capture them in our own unique way, be that through photography, sketching, or simply immersing ourselves in the moment. 

These encounters with nature, however short or seemingly mundane, can be turned into a regular ritual and fill our internal cup with inspiration and new perspectives for our creative expression.

Autumn rituals

Betwixt & between: uncover Halloween rituals

Different cultures celebrate this liminal season with rituals with a long and ancient history, providing an abundance of inspiration for creative minds. Despite the commercialisation we see around the festival of Halloween today, there is ancient wisdom to delve into and time-honoured rituals to be uncovered.

Halloween, as it is known today, is deeply rooted in the history and folklore of several cultures. It originated partly from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. During this time, it was believed that the veil between the living and the spirit world was at its thinnest, allowing the dead to revisit the earth.

People would light bonfires, wear costumes to disguise themselves from malevolent spirits and offer food and drinks to appease and honour their ancestors. Over time, Halloween evolved and incorporated elements from various cultures, such as the Christian influence of All Hallows’ Eve, resulting in the contemporary celebration we know today.

How can we honour both past and present celebrations? Rituals such as pumpkin carving and apple bobbing are simple to enjoy with young children and provide them with fun, seasonal traditions to look forward to each year. Lighting candles or incense and connecting with our ancestral lineage is a much deeper, personal ritual, which can also be supportive during this seasonal transition. Using tarot cards, rune stones, pendulums, or other divination tools for creative inspiration and guidance is another ceremonial, mystical path to explore.

Autumn gifts us with so much potent magic for creative expression, and by embracing seasonal rituals, we can tap into the essence of this spellbinding time of year. Whether it’s through simple sacred habits, vision boards, nature walks, or wordplay, these autumn rituals help ignite our creativity and stretch our imagination within the transformative energy that this threshold season offers.


Laura McMahon of The Smallest Light is a blogger and freelance copywriter who also offers digital marketing services to small, indie brands and creative folk seeking support in sharing their brand online. Laura loves to find inspiration and ideas, centred around simple ways to connect with the natural world and unearth seasonal magic all year round. You can read much more at her website and find Laura over on Instagram and Pinterest too.