The Autumnal Equinox: Finding Balance
When you eventually see through the veils to how things really are, you will keep saying again and again,
“This is certainly not like we thought it was”. — Jalaluddin Rumi
The next couple of posts will be devoted to the Autumnal Equinox, this year occurring on September 23, when the day and night are equal in length. If you are interested in aligning yourself more with the turning of the seasons, there are some beautiful things to embrace in that pursuit. First, though, what does it mean to focus on the energy of Autumn?
This Equinox signifies the end of the summer season, as now the days will begin to grow shorter and the nights grow longer. The tradition of the Autumn season was the time of the harvest, and preparing for the winter’s scarcities to come. It signaled an end to the expansive, and extreme bursts of heat, growth, and light found throughout the summer.
In metaphorical terms, it is about reaping what you’ve sown, bringing to bear all that you’ve been doing throughout the year in a systematic and strategic manner, and preparing for the remainder of the year which can tend to feel speeded up, hectic and extremely stressful due to the impending holidays. Fall is the moment of pause: when the seesaw is at it’s most perfect point of balance. It gives us a moment to catch our breath, ground ourselves, and assess. We strive to cultivate balance, to emphasize clarity over calamity. We tap into our intuition and our knowledge base that has less to do with our waking reality, and more with our dream state. The cooling off of the weather means our bodies cool off internally; we can smell the turning of the leaves, the air gets crisp. We find ourselves snuggling into blankets and gathering around fireplaces, and so our gaze to a quieter, more restrained sensibility.
In the Native American tradition, the Autumn season is about the full manifestation of the adult male and female. It means coming to terms with how you view your adult responsibilities, and strengthening your connections to those that came before, your ancestors. In the Pagan, Druid, and Wiccan traditions of ancient England, Samhain (October 31) is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, when intuition, magic, and ancestral connections are strongest. These ancient rites and rituals eventually found their way into our modern American culture with the celebration of Halloween, and the Latin American tradition of Day of the Dead on November 1.