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The Balancing Autumn Equinox

, by , Category: Seasons

The Balancing Autumn Equinox

According to Celtic traditions this month, the month of the Apple Tree, is also the month of the festival of Harvest and Gratitude. Occurring between the 20th and 23rd of September on the Autumn Equinox, this is a time to celebrate the power of balance. 

Nourishing the inner self

Derived from the Latin aequus meaning equal and nox meaning nigh, Equinox marks the times when day and night are equal in both hemispheres, in perfect harmony all over the World. This autumnal equinox sees the sun enter Libra (the scales): now we can take action and move into a new energy phase to balance the outer world with the inner. By doing so we release the past and move forward with clarity, effectively giving thanks and accepting our present, we celebrate the bountiful autumn harvest, literally and symbolically. 

As the falling fruits and leaves and the descending tree-sap nourish the ground, composting and giving their energy back to the Earth, the seeds within are stored and incubated for new life to come the following spring. We too can give thanks and harvest the fruits of our years labour by nourishing our inner selves as we celebrate our outer lives.

Celebrating Earth

The Autumn Equinox is the perfect time to celebrate the Earth and all her gifts, our friendships, our family, our projects, our creations and our achievements. This is an ideal time for reflection and appreciation of the things we have gained in the past year; and for the fact that we have made it through those painful losses. We think about our success and our failures and reap the rewards of experience in both; we reconcile opposites and see them as part of the whole. We seek out new ways to harmonize dualities as we reconnect and let go of old polarizing habits, clearing the path ahead of ‘them and us’ notions of division. 

Instead we seek unity and recognize the power of a balanced existence. We acknowledge our feminine and our masculine sides, our light and our dark, our conscious and our unconscious; what we know and what we have yet to discover.

The Equinox around the world

Since ancient times, this festival has been celebrated and marked in many cultures and traditions the World over. 

The Egyptians designed the great pyramid in such a way as to be aligned to the chief star in the constellation Draco; at midnight it captures the light down its central shaft. 

This symbol of the Dragon and its connection to the Autumnal Equinox can be found also in Celtic lore. The Earth Dragon is said to emerge and collect the fires of the season to bring back with it to the heart of this planet, keeping them kindled throughout the winter months. 

At the ancient Mayan sacred site of Chichen Itza, the incredible pyramid El Castillo is dedicated to the feathered serpent God, Kuku, when the sun rises on the morning of both Equinox’s it creates an undulating pattern of light on the nine surfaces of the Pyramid which create a shadow in the shape of the serpents head. As the sun sets on the Autumn Equinox the scales undulate and disappear giving the impression of the serpent descending down into the heart of the Earth. 

In Mexico, at Teotihuacan, the famous Temple of the Sun was built to exactly face the point on the horizon that the sun sets on both the autumn and spring equinoxes. 

In Ireland Loughcrew Megalithic Cairn is a gathering place even to this day. On the morning of the spring and autumn Equinox the rising sun illuminates the passage and the scared carvings, the double spiral in particular being a symbol of the Equinox, signifying the turning of the year and the balance between light and dark.

Marking the time

As this ancient magical celebration occurs, we can do many things to prepare for the festival and to mark this special time of year and reconnect with our natural selves. This is a very auspicious time to clear out the clutter and cleanse our homes making them warm and bright, as we retreat to a more indoor life come winter time. 

The Druids use sage sticks and high bells to smudge their homes clearing out negative energy and psychic dust from the corners.

We can create a nature table, shelf or alter to honor the 5 elements of Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Ether, and reflect in particular this season. 

We can place fruits and nuts we collect, grasses and flowers, dried autumn leaves, crystals washed and re charged under the new moon shells and anything else which has personal significance. 

We can light our fires and candles, burn incense, gather in heather and herbs, display them and scent our homes. We can organize an Equinox celebration, inviting together our friends and family to feast and celebrate the bounty of the season, each person bringing some of their own personal abundance to share, be that food or produce, flowers or crafts anything which they have a surplus of. 

We can make crafts together using natural materials and fibers (this is really fun to do with our children). We can give thanks for what the year has brought to us and welcome the winter months in with good cheer, our homes cosy clean and comfortable and filled with the people we love and who are dear to us.

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