~Autumn Equi…


~Autumn Equinox~ Balance of dark and light

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This past Saturday marked the passing of fiery summer and the birth of riper slower autumn. The Autumn Equinox is the mid point between the two solstices and holds light and dark in balance, neither one dominating but dancing in equality. It is when there are nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night. A moment of pure balance, now there is more dark hours then light up until Winter Solstice when the light hides itself on the darkest day of the year. After solstice the light begins to return slowly eating away at the dark hours until it meets back in balance for another 12-hour day and 12 hour night at Spring Equinox. From there light holds over dark and the days are longer up until Summer Solstice where the light peaks, reigns over the night and then begins its journey once again into darkness.

And so in the cycle of things, light and dark have just met in balance. Even the word equinox, derived from Latin meaning “equal night” expresses this special day. The Earth’s axis  is neither tilted away from the Sun nor towards it but it directly aligned it. The center of the sun is in the same plane as the Earth’s equator. Cool!

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What else does the Equinox and Autumn itself mean?

All over the world this is is a time of balance, celebration, harvest, and gathering.  In many cultures it also represents the mysteries of turning inwards represented by the nights being longer then the days.  It is the time to reflect on the fruits of the past year, what have we learned? What would we change? We gather and share stories from the year.

In ancient Greece the Goddess Persophone was honored and this is when she made her descent from the summer world into the underworld.

In Celtic traditions Autumn Equinox was called Mabon, and  communties would gather together and make a large man made from Barley. He was called John the BarleyCorn man and it was believed that the sprit of the harvest lived inside of the Barley Man. The village would gather and burn him in celebration of the harvest and with thanksgiving for the food that would sustain them through out winter. The burning of the Barleyman also represented the cylces of life and death, his body nourishing the fields for life to pop up again in spring.

In many Native American traditions Autumn is associated with the direction of West on the Medicine Wheel. Ruling over grounding, wisdom, and introspection, where the sun sets we also set inward. In coyotes guide West represents, ” The essential energy…is that of gathering together, in communtity, to share our bounty; of Harvest and Celebration”.

 

We can see that cultures from every part of the world have rituals and celebrations to honor the pivotal change from summer to autun, autumn to winter and so on. Living in the modern world it is much easier to slip away from seasonal awareness. We can buy apples any time of the year, we can stay inside and never feel the touch of winter in our bones, and as Ingwe, our great elder and teacher, lamented we can go a whole year with out ever touching our bare foot to the Earth.

So how can we get back in touch with the beauty of each season?

~ Make seasonal dishes with apples, pumpkins, squashes ( cider, pies, soup!)

~ Bring Fall into your home, decorate wit gourds, colorful leaves, acorns

~ Research your ancestors seasonal tradations!

~ Give Thanks for the gifts and experiences from this past year

And most importantly make time to connect with yourself, community, and Mother Earth.

Sit on the Earth and reflect on this past year, what are your greatest harvests? What ideas/projects fruited? What would you do differently?

And rejoice in the beauty of connecting to this time. How does it feel to notice the season? The shift in light? What is just beyond your awarness.. what are you not noticing out there?  What is Fall whispering? Go that way into the mysteries of Autumn…..

 

 

~ by rcnature on September 26, 2012.

One Response to “
~Autumn Equi…”

  1. Nice explanation of the Fall Equinox! Thank you!

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