Like it or not, it’s that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. The autumn season officially arrives Wednesday September 23rd with the autumn equinox as well as the pagan holiday Mabon – the day when the daylight hours equals the nighttime hours. Once this day is over, the nights will start getting longer as the days grow shorter and colder (for those of us in the northern hemisphere).
Many people celebrate the autumn equinox with various rituals, reaping the harvest while they prepare for winter. It’s also a wonderful time to reflect on the past as you prepare for the future. It’s a time of balance and renewal.
Here are some ways to celebrate the autumn equinox:
Meditate on balance.
Meditation is wonderful anytime but today it’s extra beneficial to meditate on balance. There are only two days a year (the spring and autumn equinoxes) when our planet is perfectly aligned with the sun. Use this energy to cement balance into your life. The meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or long. Simply sit with your eyes closed holding the intention of having balance in your life.
Balance your life.
Ask yourself how balanced your life is right now. Are you balancing work with play? Are you balancing time for yourself with time for others? Are you balancing your home life with external commitments? Take time today to discover where your life is out of balance and how you can realign it with a balance that works for you. It may not be perfect when you’re done but at least you’ll be well on your way to rebalancing your life.
Autumn is a time of harvest. Even if you don’t have a garden or crops, you still have plenty you can harvest. Take stock in all that you have – your relationships, your possessions, your health, your finances, anything that’s important to you. What can you harvest from these things? What is ripe for the picking? Take some time to discover what you can harvest now and bring into the winter months with you.
Get into your garden
Spend some time in your garden, cleaning out the dead growth and preparing your beds for the colder months. Not only will your plants thank you but it will give you the opportunity to connect with the earth. It’s also an ideal time to plan ahead for the spring planting, digging holes now as needed while the earth is still warm and malleable.
Even though Thanksgiving is a couple months away, the autumn equinox is an excellent time to give thanks. It’s a time of harvest and of reaping what you sow. Give thanks for all the wonderful (and maybe not so wonderful) things in your life, including people, events, health, hope, courage, strength, animals, nature, any and everything that makes your life better. Practice this through meditation or writing it out. I find writing it out strengthens it in my mind and makes me feel better. Whatever you focus on expands so this is a great practice of focusing on the positive.
Learn to let go.
Autumn is a time of death and renewal. It’s when the leaves die and fall from the trees, when plants die or go dormant, and when many animals hibernate or slow down. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking it’s a time of darkness and depression when in reality it’s simply the quiet time before the renewal in the spring. Allow yourself to use this time to slough off anything that’s no longer serving you, be it a relationship, job, situation, location, things, etc. Now is an excellent time to let them go for good. This letting go allows for something new to spring up in its place.
Honor your ancestors
A national holiday (and a day off) in Japan, the autumn equinox is a time to honor your ancestors and grieve the departed. You can do this solo or with other family members. Some people visit grave sites while others spend time in quiet contemplation. Reconnect with your past and your ancestors past. What can you learn from them? What can you learn from yourself?
However you plan to celebrate the autumn equinox, I wish you all the best in the coming months. Also – what are some of your autumn equinox rituals? I’d love to hear them.