The Seasons Turn
The Autumn Equinox is one of the four pivot points of our year that signal major changes in nature. They set the tone for the next months of the year. Humanity’s knowledge of these special days is quite ancient and deeply embedded in our psyches due to our conscious and unconscious connection with our planet.
When Summer Gives Way to Autumn
When the sun enters Libra in western astrology the Autumn Equinox occurs – in the Northern Hemisphere – this year on September 23. Please note that in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reversed for autumn and spring, winter and summer.
The opposing point is the Vernal (Spring) Equinox beginning when the sun enters Aries. The term equinox references the two days each year when we have equal light and dark. The other points are the Summer Solstice when the sun is highest in the sky and the Winter Solstice when the sun is lowest.
The Autumn Equinox in Ancient Times
Mankind’s recognition of these powerful points is still visible from ancient times, as reflected in temples, thousands of years old, specifically aligned to the movements of the sky. There is something overwhelming about being in these ancient places on these powerful days. Watching the sun align with special entrances, statues, altars, and chambers at sunrise and sunset shows how our ancestors relied on these points to plan their future hunting and planting – their sources of sustenance.
17,000-year-old cave paintings show a time tied to preparation for hunting ancient bulls. This offered guidance for individuals and tribes. This has determined what we call “time,” an invention that we created, yet it seems as real in our lives as the nature we encounter everyday, both within and without ourselves. That’s because it’s our powerful connection to everything that gives us life and commonality – the earth, the sun, and the apparent movement of the stars.
When we look at the ancient monuments our ancestors built in honor of these special days – the solstices and the equinoxes – we begin to understand their importance in our lives. In those times, humans needed to know when to hunt or plant. We look to the sun’s path to guide us today in less tangible ways.
Places of Power
While Stonehenge and Newgrange are some of the better-known sites aligned with the Equinoxes and Solstices, there are many others around the world, including the Maltese goddess and astronomical temples. The Great Pyramid specifically appears to have used the Autumn Equinox for its perfect alignment with these solar points. Later, the Hitching Post of the Sun at Intihuatana, Macchu Pichu, and Chichen Itza’s Snake appears on the equinoxes, just to name a few.
Our ancient astronomical sites to the earth, the sky, and time appear to also be temples for celebrating our passages through these portals toward new phases of our lives. We experience changes both inside ourselves and in the outer world, when the sun is at its lowest and highest points, and when the days and nights are equal in length – the equinoxes when there is a balance of light and dark.
A Time for Reflection
The Autumn Equinox is when we go into more profound darkness. This is symbolized by days growing shorter and the plants going underground, while some of the animals humanity used to depend upon for sustenance retreated from the cold. In a personal sense, this is a time to look inward to see what riches we contain that we can cultivate.
The Autumn Equinox is a time for introspection; to nurture our spirits and our gifts so that, like the flowers, they will rise, beautiful and new when spring arrives. Think of your inner exploration at this time as something that will also give you new life.
How to Use this Autumn Equinox
This particular Autumn Equinox on September 23 will feel somewhat serious. Use that energy to focus on clear communications in relationships. Add a bit of romance and idealism into what you speak. Don’t worry about feeling confused throughout this process. That will pass. You’re creating something special with specific people that will blossom in the future.
Welcome the darker days following the Autumn Equinox as an opportunity to experience a richer inner life that will give you strength and inspiration, just as ancient humanity did.
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