? A basket (in fall colors or with trimmings to make it autumn-oriented)
? A doll-sized scarecrow (or materials to make one of your own)
? Real or fake autumn leaves
? Real or fake gourds/nuts/seeds of the season
? Dried herbs or potpourri of the season (apple scent works well)
First you‚ll want to prepare your basket. It can be a small or large basket of any style, but you can decorate it for the season any way you desire (if it has a handle, consider winding or gluing acorn strings around it). Into the center of the basket, you place your scarecrow figure. It can be bought as a harvest decoration at a store, or it can be one you make yourself out of straw and fabric˜if you opt to make your own, you can dress it up appropriately and give it season-appropriate clothing and symbols.
There is the option of making only the torso of the figure since only that will show, but if you‚ve already got one with legs, they will be covered up by the ornamentation. Find a way to anchor the doll into the basket. Then you can dump an apple-cinnamon or autumn-flavored potpourri or series of dried herbs around the scarecrow in the basket, and intersperse this with leaves, nuts, and gourds. Buying tiny craft gourds around this time of year is easy and cheap, and they don‚t go rancid in the middle of the season, which is a plus.
You might even throw in stars made out of twigs and tied together with wire, or any other symbol that means something to you. The basket has a nice effect of decorating a table or altar for the time between the autumn equinox and the landmark of Halloween. Ritual use:
In ritual, you can use an actual corn dolly instead of a crafty scarecrow, so that it has more meaning, and each item added to the basket can have symbolic value. One suggestion is to gather up enough acorns to stand for your wishes for the season, and ceremoniously place each in the basket as you think of its purpose. The basket can be anointed and dedicated to a deity if you wish.