Welcome the Season of Autumn
The seasons are changing, and although many of us hate to say goodbye to the carefree days of summer, autumn is once again upon us. Everything is in balance again, day and night, light and dark. And as such, it is a perfect time to reflect on who we were, who we have become, and who we will be.
What is the Autumn Equinox?
The Autumn or Fall Equinox marks the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. It usually lands on September 22 or 23, but because of the difference between how the Gregorian calendar defines a year and the time it actually takes for Earth to complete its orbit around the sun it could also fall on September 21 or 24, but that is a very rare occurrence.
Symbolism of the Season
While many of us will start thinking about typical fall things like pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, and planning our Halloween costumes, there is so much more to this season. It is the time of the harvest, of preparing for the longer and colder nights, and of personal reflection.
Transformation and Change
Both the Spring and Fall Equinoxes mark times of change and transition. But where we look to outward growth in the spring, in the fall we look at the inner transformations that are to come during winter’s heavy introspection and self-work cycle. As the leaves transform from their verdant shades of green to the burnished shades of gold, red, and orange, this is the time to see where we could use some polishing so that we can glow.
In some traditions the symbolism of the serpent is tied in with the celebration that comes with the start of fall. Especially in how it sheds its old, dull skin so that it can become not only bigger but also more vibrant. The process of shedding its skin leaves the snake vulnerable for a period of time as its eyes ‘blue’ and become cloudy, making it hard to see. We are also equally vulnerable when we are in transition and much like the snake, the transformation may not be very comfortable, but not growing and changing is likely to be even more painful in the long run.
Reflection of Our Inner and Outer Lives
The cooling temperatures herald a time of not only being inside where things are warm and comforting, but also of mentally and spiritually turning our focus within ourselves. Are we going in the right direction? Is the path that we set out on at the beginning of the year still serving our higher purpose? Where are we regarding our own Great Work, and what can we do to ensure that we are doing everything in our power to manifest it? These and so many more questions are where our thoughts naturally seem to go at this time of year.
Is the life that you feel will be the most nurturing to you soul the life that you are currently living? If not, what can you work on during the rest of the autumn and winter seasons to help you achieve that life in the coming year?
Even though the times of day and night aren’t quite equal the overall energy of this time is one of balance. Even the sign Libra, which occurs during this time, is about balance and equilibrium. Summertime tends to be a busy season and the holiday season is usually equally frenetic, leaving the beginning of fall to help us to find our center of balance and to ground ourselves. If you don’t already have a regular meditation practice, this is the perfect time to begin one. Even just 15 minutes a day can help you to find your center and make dealing with stressors easier.
“Autumn is about to show us how beautiful it is to let things go.” -Anonymous
I have always loved this quote and it truly sums up the energy that becomes dominant during this season. Just as the trees give up their leaves, this is the ideal time for us to give up those habits, practices, and even relationships that no longer serve us. We have been changing and growing all year long and as such our needs have most likely also changed. Holding on to dead leaves does not help the tree weather the cold of winter, and holding on to outdated aspects of our lives will not aid us in moving forward either.
It would be hard not to notice the bounty of the harvest season. Everywhere we look we can see farmer’s markets filled to overflowing, children bringing home artwork of cornucopias, and in the seasonal decorations laid out to welcome the new season.
Part of preparing for the cold time is to see what you have in your storehouse. What are you in abundance of and what are you lacking? The better prepared you are, the better you’ll be able to use the rest of the season to ensure that you can not only survive the harshness of winter, but also thrive in your own way.
Creating an Alter for the Autumn Equinox
Creating an altar to celebrate the Autumn Equinox can help you to draw the energy of the season into your life and living space. It doesn’t have to be big or grand, a simple shelf can be just as powerful as a large table.
What You Will Need:
- A table or shelf.
- An altar cover or cloth (I personally like to add one with rich tones to both protect the surface and to reflect the colors of the season.)
- Fruits, gourds, nuts, pinecones, and anything that symbolizes the season to you.
- Some people like to add statues of deities that are associated with prosperity, the harvest, and abundance.
- Crystals or gemstones that are affiliated with the season, such as Labradorite, Citrine, Carnelian, Smokey Quartz, Dendrite, Pyrite, and Black Obsidian.
- Incense: (Some suggestions are sandalwood, dragon’s blood resin, cedarwood, patchouli, and cedar.)
- A fire safe bowl.
- You can even incorporate items to reflect the five elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Ether (Spirit).
Spend as much time as feels right in setting up and creating your altar. This is your sacred space and you might find yourself shifting items around every so often. Pay attention to what items you move as they might be trying to get a message or lesson through to you.
An Autumn Meditation
Create three separate lists:
- What you are grateful for? What do you want to continue to have in your life?
- What do you desire to have in your life? What do you want to create or manifest?
- What are you now ready to let go of, either because they are no longer relevant or because they are holding you back from being the best version of yourself?
While you are creating these three separate lists you need to focus on what you are feeling, wanting, and writing. This becomes a meditation in and of itself. So, turn off the TV and block out any other intrusions or distractions. Focus and put all your energy into the lists. Intent is so important in manifesting what you desire in life.
When you are done and feel that you have no more energy to pour into those slips of paper, burn them and place them in the fire safe bowl until they are nothing but ashes. When everything has burned out, take the ashes outside and release them to the wind.
Embrace the Change
Even though many of us are sad to see summer go, fall has a beauty and graciousness all its own and inviting it into our lives can be a wonderful gift to ourselves.
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