The autumn equinox falls between September 21st-23rd. The sun makes its apparent journey southward across the equator and the world experiences a day and night of equal length. It’s a still point in the year, perfectly balanced between dark and light and counterbalanced with the spring equinox in March.
Nature offers such exquisite gifts when we let ourselves lean into its rhythms. The equilibrium of the equinox is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the balance and union of opposing forces in our lives: between the light and dark, death and rebirth, the masculine and feminine, the inhale and exhale of breath, the seen and unseen, and our own inner and outer journeys as we expand and contract through life.
We’re standing at a doorway into winter, on the cusp of transition. It’s a time to gather family and friends, to celebrate and give thanks for our own abundant personal harvest, the gifts we’ve received from each other, from the land and from our botanical family of healing plant allies. It’s also a time to rest after the labour of harvest and to prepare for a descent into the more reflective nature of winter and the peace it brings. Glance back through the year and we can see which of our hopes and aspirations have flourished during the expansive summer months, and release those which no longer serve us so we can create space for the new. Look ahead and we can contemplate which new ideas and seeds we could drop into the darkness and dreamtime of winters sleep, to re-emerge strengthened and nourished in the spring.
From now on the sunlight softens and wanes. The darkness chases the light, and the nights stretch out ahead until we reach the winter solstice when the sun grows strong again. The last of the sun’s fiery energy will soon flame into golds, oranges, and reds before the trees drop their leaves onto the land like dresses after a late summers ball. The energy of the natural world slows, sinks down and returns to the dark, as the sap descends deeper into the earth and life folds within. Like the descent of the Goddess into the underworld in ancient Greek mythology, when Persephone’s departure into the deep mystery of the darkness heralds the decline of nature and the coming of winter, we too can fold into the darkness as the nights draw in, sink into our intuitive wisdom and dream.