EARTH & SPIRIT: could not wait for this year's Equinox. It is one of my MOST favorite times of the year and I set my intentions to begin at Equinox for my writing and newsletter after a year off. I took time to focus on what was around me, what was most important to me, and fully immersing myself in Nature and her rhythms. Since 2016 I have been celebrating the Autumn Equinox.
The rhythms of nature mirror our internal rhythms. If we choose to align with them, they can guide our continual growth and constant evolution.
We all have a common craving, hunger, thirst to experience the divine. Not to be confused with perfection as that implies sameness. For me, it is through the creative side of me or more importantly, the value in our food ans Nature that I feel most close to the divine. It can be sensual. It can be simple. It can be comforting. Food, through its demands of growing and caring for it, through its importance of most all rite of passages or through a meal shared with friends: it is a way to see the sacredness and interconnectedness of all things. I grew up that way with my Ukrainian grandparents living their lives of the land and also by growing up in the Northwest Territories, both guides of fully living and experiencing Nature taught me food was sacred and connected us all. It is to have some thought put into it, some work put into it, some honor put into it.
Fall Equinox is more than returning to the soil, plants, animals, and running waters for replenishment, it reminds us how interconnected we are. We seem to separate ourselves from our Source and from our earth. No wonder we feel alone. No wonder we don’t think we are ‘enough.’ We forgot our natural connection.
It is the beginning of our seasonal darkness and female energy, reminding us we are all craving home. We realize our relationship to food can serve as a vehicle through which we can learn about our relationship to life.
As with food so is it with our inner perennial philosophy, the cycle begins nature begins with Spring. Spring brings us new energy, new ideas, and fresh starts. Summer, follows, and asks us to be patient as we wait for our planted seeds to grow. Fall is the time of harvest when we give thanks for all we’ve received and let go of what is no longer of use. Winter then becomes a time of turning inward and restoration until we are reborn again in the Spring. Each season holds powerful energy for us to tap into and set intentions around, ones that will carry us through the next three months.
Fall prepares us for a period of rest. We create balance, let go, give thanks and then expand our energy before resting. During this final stage of Fall connect with new things, spread your roots, and fill yourself with new experiences. Know this material will nourish you over winter and will become fuel for a new cycle come Spring.
Recognize what throws you off balance. This can be a person, a thought, an action, or really any energy. Make a list of things you are allowing to drop. Know that you have the next three months to release these energies, but start to mentally shift your vibration into creating a reality without them. Burn your list as a symbolic expression of your resolve to let go. As you watch the words drift away in the smoke, set the intention for the energy to be made into something new, something aligned with your center.
Make a second list of your gratitudes. Write everything you are grateful for in your life. See the abundance that has been brought to you already, Instead of asking for more, honor what already is. Honoring our abundance in Fall, creates a container for us to fill come Spring and attracts the energy we need for the next cycle.
The Autumn Equinox is about Balance.
Equinoxes have a very special energy because they mark a time of balance where day and night are equal. Isn’t that beautiful? We are all EQUAL around the world for this fleeting moment of a day. The autumn equinox is one of the most powerful energy of the entire year. It sets everything in motion and starts the point of transcendence of the darkness. With this energy, it is the perfect time to release and let go, and it seems that Mother Earth is also doing the same.
Life is always a dance between the highs and the lows, but the more you can keep your inner world centered, the easier and more peaceful your life will feel. One of the main ways to find peace from within is learning to let things go. Many of us carry around hurts, pains and traumas for far too long and this can take a toll on our body, mind and soul.
Every so often, when strong cosmic forces come together like a New Moon and an Equinox, we can use this energy to make subtle or strong shifts in our lives. In order to step into this energy and to really feel the loving and guiding support from the natural energy of the pull of the moon and the balance of the earth axis, we have to learn to let go and release all that is weighing us down. We have to let go of outdated thoughts, feelings and pains and surrender to the present.
In the Northern Hemisphere the Equinox symbolizes the start of Autumn, a time where all of nature has to surrender and allow the dead leaves to drop. This important cycle of “death” is necessary in order to recharge and make way for the new. Some people may feel odd to celebrate it or use it as a guide but it has been a focal point in almost every culture in history. It is not Pagan in my eyes or thought. It is a guide with Nature.
As leaves turn yellow and fruits and vegetables ripen, most traditional celebrations of the autumnal equinox, when day and night are nearly equal, are associated with harvest. The annual harvests were a matter of shared concern, and people often came together as a group to harvest first one farm and then another. When you are used to using your hands to do the everyday work of life, you come to understand that many hands do indeed make lighter work and food on the table. And just as important, they build bonds of reciprocity, friendship, and community. Here is what I find so interesting, in the United States, the word corn refers the species Zea mays, the tasseled plant that produces cobs of kernels in earthy hues of yellow, white, blue, and red. In Northern Europe the Germanic word corn means simply “grain.” So while the Corn Moon of the Celts and the Corn Moon of indigenous peoples referred to slightly different harvests, they came down to the same thing: The Corn Moon meant survival and sustenance. It meant that the sacred, staple grain, the agricultural foundation of the community, world soon be ready for harvest. The crops ensured that there would be food to last through the winter. A year’s worth of planting and tending had been successful.
The Christian church replaced many early Pagan celebrations with Christianized observances of Equinox. The most widely celebrated is Christmas, which replaced the ancient Yule festival around the December solstice. The Christian celebration closest to the September equinox is Michaelmas, also known as the Feast of Michael and All Angels.
These days, Michaelmas is a minor festival mainly observed in the Catholic church. Centuries ago in England, the time around Michaelmas also had a business side. Servants were paid their wages after the harvest, and workers looked for new jobs at employment fairs which also became a place for celebrations.
The Mayan Snake of Sunlight
At the precise moment of the equinox, when the Sun shines directly on the equator, an enormous “snake of sunlight” slithers down the stairs of the main pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico. The Mayans who constructed this ancient temple used advanced astronomical calculations to determine the exact angle of the staircase.
Moon Festival in China
The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is celebrated in Chinese and Vietnamese communities all over the world on the day of the Harvest Moon, which is the Full Moon closest to the September equinox.
The Moon festival celebrates the abundance of the summer's harvest, and people serve mooncake filled with lotus, sesame seeds, a duck egg, or dried fruits.
Navaratri is a Hindu festival which lasts several days in the autumn. The festival honors the divine feminine Devi (Durga) and is celebrated in the first half of the Hindu calendar month Ashvin, which falls in the months of September and October.
In Hinduism, the goddess Durga, also known as Shakti or Devi, is the protective mother of the universe, she represents death and rebirth = blance = Autumn Equinox + she is POWERFUL. She is one of the faith's most popular deities, a protector of all that is good and harmonious in the world. Sitting astride a lion or tiger, the multi-limbed Durga battles the forces of evil in the world. The most notable festival in her honor is Durga Puja, a four-day celebration held in September or October, depending on when it falls on the Hindu lunisolar calendar. During Durga Puja, Hindus celebrate her victory over evil with special prayers and readings, decorations at temples and homes, and dramatic events recounting Durga's legend.
Why do I share these cultures and how or why they celebrate the Equinox? It is because I find it important and interesting to see that we, good people – most people, have more in common than we think.
I find being curious usually leads us to a truth we are all looking for. We are connected to Nature at our very soul.
We celebrate it, value it and respect it. And in doing so we are all Equal.
We are all in Balance ans Rhythm with respect to our land if we return to its teaching.
Our beliefs and culture value the same thing, we may call it something else but in the end we are all trying to explain it in our language.
~ Just my thought but also thought it was interesting to share how much we are all alike = Balance.
So during today’s Equinox, get outside for at least an hour. Walk or sit and take a few deep breaths. It will center you. It will connect you.
Lastly, set some intentions for the next three months. These can be simple statements which call in the energy you need. They can be something like; “I am grateful” or “I am in balance.” They can also be detailed like; “I am open to releasing _____” or “I am ready for change."
Enjoy this process and enjoy the time of detox the fall gives us every year. Align with nature herself and make use of this period of cleansing out the old to make way for what is to come. It's a time to return Home.
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