In September in the Northern Hemisphere, the AUTUMN EQUINOX is the point of balance between summer and winter, the time when day and night are equal, as the sun is directly over the Equator.
It is the halfway point between the Winter and Summer Solstices and marks the turning point of the year.
It reminds us that the long, lazy days of Summer are drawing to a close and it is time to prepare for the darker, colder months ahead.
This marks a change in our energy flow patterns, as, ideally we draw our focus more inwards and become more reflective on what the summer experiences have taught us.
This is the time of ‘Harvest’ – of harvesting the lessons from the summer experiences, learning what worked and what did not, what could have been done differently, what different approaches we might take next time.
It is also time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth that has sustained us and delighted us during the summer months - think delicious sweet fruits, bountiful salads packed with goodness and lovely fresh cheeses.
Time to also give thanks for the bounty we have preserved for the dark months of winter - fruit in the freezer, preserved jams and pickles, - even the occasional piece of Christmas cake we have ‘saved till later’.
These are part of the generous harvest of the summer, even if we did not personally grow the produce ourselves.
In ancient times, it was vital to our survival that we knew and honoured the equinoxes. That way we could prepare for the coming winter cold and the consequent lack of food and the ability to grow anything. Animals, normally hunted for food, would disappear as they migrated to warmer climates. It was essential that we knew when this was likely to happen so that we had an alternative supply – or were ready to follow the migrating animals before everything froze over.
This repeating cycle taught us to think ahead, plan and prepare.
It is a far cry from today’s world where we just ring for takeaway and expect somebody to come out in the cold and deliver it!
Our disregard for the seasons and the changes they bring has rather alienated us from our roots and left us feeling a bit unsettled.
We are sensing an insecurity and blaming it on world politics, job performance or the economy, when in reality we need to reconnect with our seasonal rhythms, because our body still recognises them, even if we don’t! It is tuning in to a natural rhythm, whilst we are marching to a different beat - one which our body does not recognise or feel in harmony with.
Is it any wonder that we have stress in our lives – we truly are ‘divided ‘- pulled apart by opposing forces, living out of sync with life?
SO……… How about using this Equinox to get back on track, to come back into our Self, our Soul self, to acknowledge the role of these great Solar rhythms in our lives and their essential role in our wellbeing?
Light a candle to represent the beneficent light of the Sun. It is a way of focussing your thoughts whilst acknowledging the life giving role of the sun on our planet earth.
Review the past Spring /Summer season - check what worked for you and what you would like to do differently next time. ( The Universe is very benign – it gives us another chance to improve next year! )
Create a ‘harvest list’ - of all the things you have learned, the people you have met, all the skills you have developed, all the awareness gained. This can be used as a starting point for next year’s endeavours, just like a garden diary gives wisdom for the next growing season.
Then, give yourself time and permission to spend more time quietly looking inwards to see what preparation needs to be made in order for the next stage to be successful.
Here is a Pranayama (breathing exercise) which is ideally suited to the time of the Equinox, as it is promotes balance and evenness and a quiet, inner reflective energy.
Try it and see for yourself!