For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the fall equinox occurs on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Southern Hemisphere will be celebrating the official beginning of Spring, or the vernal equinox, on this same day.
As one side of the earth begins its descent into dormancy and darkness, another is privy to the bursting of light.
It’s no coincidence that the equinox falls on the first day of Libra season. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, equinox translates to “equal night.” This is one of two times in a year where the dark and light is in balance in a day.
We cannot experience light without darkness, or darkness without light. The fall equinox is a beautiful, tangible reminder of this fact.
This day is a fantastic time to focus on where balance is needed. It is also a time to focus on integrating parts of yourself that you have othered.
What have you ignored? What do you need to face?
In naming parts of ourselves that we have felt shame or guilt around, we can integrate those parts and become whole again. When we offer attention, awareness, and love to aspects of ourselves that have been buried, our fear dissolves. We can feel more connected to ourselves. We can empathize with others more easily— we can see past their hurt and offer compassion. We understand their humanity, instead of jumping right into defensiveness.
This can also be a day to decide to invest more in specific interests, talents, or skill sets that are unique to you. It may be time to focus on nurturing your particular genius more. If that is the case, make a plan. Buy the equipment you need. Decide to turn your phone off, or stop procrastinating investing in yourself. You can tend to your light all through the darkness of winter. A lot can shift in 4-5 months of focus.
This is also beautiful time to pause. By simply remembering that every day is a gift, and knowing we can infuse our days with sacred intention, enriches our experience of living.
Today, take time to pause before your tasks. Before embarking on cooking, or dressing, or sitting down to draft emails, pause. Consciously infuse your actions with intentions. Create alignment between inside and out. Make your annoying tasks less so by drinking your favorite tea, or listening to your favorite record. Schedule your time so you are not only doing the hard stuff all at once.
Today, at this Autumnal equinox, be sure to one action that is in alignment with working with your own darkness, and one that corresponds to your own light.
The equinox is a time to make peace with the darkness. As all witches, gardeners, and dream analysts know, there are great riches to be found in the dark. Our young bodies grow the most when we sleep. Our sick bodies heal the most when we rest. Our dream-seeds must be planted in the darkness, away from the light. The caterpillar in the cocoon is grateful for the peace and quiet. On this day of balance between day and night, take the time to write down and commit to a couple of habits that will allow your body, mind, and spirit to take advantage of the healing properties of the darkness, of rest, and of quiet.
The equinox this year also falls two days before a full moon in Aries. Think about all that you wish to embody now that will bear fruit six months from now, in early spring.
Justice asks us to look at the truth, and the heart of the matter. What is true for us may not be true for everyone. Our heart’s truths are not “one size fits all.” The truth will set you free, but first it might really sting.
Justice also asks us to step into a profound alignment. Our values and visions must be aligned with our actions and our words. All of this first stems from the truth of our heart. Our balancing actions, over time, will create karmic balance.
After we have allowed ourselves to reconcile with the themes of balance and the truth that Justice brings us, we can shift into a different perspective with the Hanged One.
The Hanged One (or the Hanged Man, or Hanged Woman) is about radical spiritual transformation. Now that we’ve gained clarity around our truth, we have gained a truly different perspective. The Hanged One invites us to hang out in different thought processes, different spiritual practices, and to suspend knee jerk reactions. The Hanged One also reminds us of the very real importance of making change within. By focusing on the internal, and inviting in spirit to help us grow and change, we are irrevocably changed.
The sequence of the Justice card followed by the Hanged One paints a picture of profound change. These two cards can provide a framework for this time.
If you have a deck, meditate on these two cards, journal about them, and see where they are showing up for you presently.
The equinox is a time to take stock of this year’s dreams.
What have you not yet harvested? What is stopping you? This is a time to identify what dreams or goals that have not yet materialized. Reset, recharge, realign. This time reminds us that we reap what we sow.
The equinox is a time to practice gratitude.
For Wiccans and some Pagans, the equinox is a Sabat in the Wheel of the Year called Mabon. (The word “Mabon” comes from the name of a Welsh God.)
Known sometimes as “the witches’ thanksgiving,” Mabon is the time of the second harvest. This year, Mabon takes place just days before a full Harvest Moon. We can be grateful and appreciative for everything we have been given since the vernal equinox. Take time to feel gratitude for all lessons this summer gave you. Light a candle, and as it burns, write down all that you are currently grateful for and all that you are currently learning. Embody your gratitude as much as you can today, and leading up to the full moon.
The equinox is a time to surround yourself with love.
Libra is a sign traditionally ruled by Venus. Venus reminds us that love is an action. How can you show your love, to those you love, more consistently? Gather with friends. Cook, have a fire, reconnect with friendly faces. Do a simple ritual—have participants write down what they are getting rid of, and burn them. Read poems, pull tarot cards, and begin to think about intentions for your self and for the collective. Create an intention to devote some of your time to actively loving, actively honoring what you love by way of action.
The equinox is a time to clear.
Clear your space, clear your mind, clear your doubts, clear any clutter. Give yourself more space, more time, more options to be flexible. Clearing out items, relationships, and behaviors make space for different options to arise.
The equinox is a time to make the dark a fruitful space.
This day marks the descent—soon, night will be longer than day. How do you cope with the dark? Do you need to put into place rituals of rest? Make your bedroom a more comfortable place to hold your dreams. Buy some extra candles that will create more romance with the dark in the long evenings. Plan a few projects that you can work on through the winter, that could have an impact come March or April.