The long days of summer are over. Fall has arrived, if not in your backyard, then at least, on your calendar. The Autumnal and Vernal (spring) equinoxes are the two times a year when the length of the day and the length of the night are more or less equal.
The weather, fickle as it always is, is less reliable than the angle of the sun when it comes to knowing Fall has arrived. It snowed in Denver the other day and then returned to a sunny 70 degrees. There are deluges in Georgia and heat waves in California.
Some will know it’s Fall by the return of football season, children returning to school and the final race to the world series in baseball.
What tells me it’s Autumn is the gray and black squirrels (newborn last Spring) scampering about the oaks gathering acorns. The Jays and the Acorn Woodpeckers are competing for the same booty and then burying it the ground or hammering into the telephone pole. The persimmons are turning orange. I am going to bed earlier and awakening a bit later as the nights grow longer.
Ancient cultures made monuments to honor the solstices. That we make meaning from this time is built upon the wisdom of the ages. How we make meaning is personal and cultural.
In general it is known as a time of harvest. The harvest invites gratitude and the observation that we reap what we sow. With the shortening and cooling of the days comes the natural desire to hibernate by slowing down, reflecting, preparing.
Just as those squirrels gather their bounty for the winter, we can take time to reflect upon how well we’ve lived our year to this point, what needs cleaning up and completion and how we want to prepare for a new cycle that begins at Winter Solstice.
As we are in the sun sign of Libra, the perspective of balance between the dark and light, balance of polarities, is especially poignant. I had a wonderful call with a client today that illustrates how we can work with polarities with one simple question that accommodates “and.” As we explored her vision of her most robust future, she mentioned both adventure and living at a relaxed pace. She then laughingly wondered how she could have both. At first glance we assume adventure and relaxation to be contradictory. Curiosity offers another perspective. I asked her what it would be to be in relaxed adventure? A new doorway opened.
I invite you to take something you are playing with as either-or, that creates a black and white debate in your mind, and write your own inquiry similar to the one above. The Autumnal Equinox may well infuse your contemplation with balanced energy.
Another Autumnal sign and energy is that of Scorpio. Scorpio is all about the sting, the transmutation of energy, initiation. It’s a great time to reconnect with the soul and inquire as to your soul’s purpose. It’s a good time to heal old wounds, create alignment in your chakras. You might like to meditate upon the chakras, do some chakra chanting, work with a healer, shaman or spiritual coach/guide to facilitate these processes.
Finally, many of us have been busy discarding old items, clearing out closets and garages, clearing our very hearts of clutter and things we no longer need. It turns out this is natural energy to feel this time of year. The Autumnal Equinox encourages it. As we head toward the nadir of the Winter Solstice, as we head toward the end of the year, it is natural for us to assess the path we’ve walked the past 9 months and release that which no longer serves. It is also natural to begin to prepare for the upcoming year, the beginning of a new cycle at the Winter Solstice when the days begin to grow longer again and the energy is just turning toward expansion.
You might like to assess your year so far and ask:
What will you claim and celebrate?
What will you release?
What feedback or learning are you taking with you to prepare for your next adventure?
What seeds will you gather for next year’s crop?
How does your heart wish to express gratitude?
Then pick one and follow through in some way that resonates with you.
Happy Equinox dear ones!
A nod and apology for my northern perspective to the Southern Hemisphere where they are experiencing their Vernal Equinox – may your Spring be abundantly joyful!
Copyright(c) September 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved
Resource (book) for ritual: Nature-Speak by Ted Andrews