Friday, September 22nd at precisely 4:02PM is the Autumnal Equinox.
This is the exact moment the Sun will cross the Celestial Equator and we will have a practically perfect, equal and balanced day.
“Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.”
Of course, we won’t have exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night, because we do not all live exactly on the equator, but the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes are the days that we get the closest, having a difference of night and day by only a few minutes.
I always love the equinoxes and solstices. I love what they represent in our earth and how they always seem to parallel to our own lives. And mostly I love any reason to reflect. To take stock of how far we’ve come and what we still need to do to press forward.
With everything that has been happening the last few weeks and months, balance has been something that is on my mind quite a bit. As words like upheaval and disruption roll around in my mind, my body has been drawn to balancing postures and long holds.
I love when I can see so clearly how the world is influencing my personal practice.
In the week following Harvey, I wanted fire. I wanted tapas and movement and strength. I had felt so stagnant, flooded- in and stuck. I desperately needed a way to release that energy.
Then as I spent the following week working and volunteering, I graduated pretty naturally into heart openers. Every day I felt as though my heart could explode with gratitude and awe of the love that was all around me. I think I practiced fish pose everyday– as though my body had to physically expand to make room for all of the love inside of me.
Last week was all about cleansing postures. I wanted twists and I wanted folds. I think my muscles and organs knew how badly we needed to release, and as I watched my entire street carry all of their belongings to the road, my body also needed to cleanse.
These past few days though, I’ve craved balance. In my classes and practices, I have been finding new ways to test my balance and strength. Almost like I want to make sure I still have hold of it or maybe I am just searching for control.
Then it hit me, the Equinox is this week. Of course I am drawn to symmetry. The earth is preparing for fall just as the sun is gliding into Libra, the astrological sign symbolized by balanced scales.
The Autumn Equinox invites us to turn within, to assess our state of balance between the light and the dark. It is a time to take inventory of all we have gained and that which needs releasing so that we can lay the foundation for a new life cycle to grow.
As the weeks go by I’m inclined to believe that each event that happened this summer has been pushing me forward and pressing me to let go. A little at a time, things are being shed from my life and my mind. (Though not my body, I am certainly suffering from the Harvey 15). And now, Harvey is allowing me to release even further, letting go of my car and preparing to move.
Believe me, while I am grateful to have the opportunity to cleanse, I have to admit, I am anxious to feel more stable and settled. The thought of hibernating for the winter is becoming pretty appealing.
But I know it will come.
This beautiful solar event is also here to remind me that everything is a season. We are never in a permanent state and that is lovely and sad, beautiful and frightening, and exactly what it should be. There is such beauty in change.
This equinox and corresponding full moon are also synonymous with the Harvest Season; a time to reap what we’ve sown, to express gratitude, to cleanse, and to reflect and prepare the ground for regrowth and new opportunities.
Around the world, autumn is a time of both anticipation and readiness. We gather with gratitude for what we have while preparing to be resilient for the colder, darker days ahead.
If my experience is indicative of the whole, we have all had our resilience tested time and time again lately. But it seems we are proving stronger each round.
I can see my loved ones and my community pushing forward in a way I haven’t noticed before (of course that doesn’t mean it was never there).
Our harvest festivals celebrate sharing, abundance, and love; and that is exactly what I’ve seen. I’ve seen us coming together in times of need and offering up when we’ve got more than enough.
Sharing, abundance, and love: such perfect sentiments for setting aside a day for celebrating what we’ve created, letting go of what we no longer need, and preparing for what is to come.
So if you’d like to join me, these are just a few of the ways I’ll be honoring and celebrating this week.
1. Make a Gratitude List
Make a list of everything you are thankful for as a way of reaping your inner harvest. Better yet, start a gratitude journal. Gratitude brings abundance.
If you don’t know where to begin, start with the food you have to eat and the roof over your head. It will flow naturally from there. May your inner harvest be bountiful!
2. Deep Clean your Work and Home
(This one shouldn’t be too hard after all the demo we’ve been doing)
Restore balance in the home by doing a fall deep cleaning. Get rid of anything that you no longer need to make space for the new season.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and the biggest transformation of an environment occurs when it is cleaned up. The healing is in the doing.
3. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin anew. As the temperatures begin to cool and people begin to spend more time indoors it is a great time to begin a new project.
- Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
- Pick your top three choices.
- Make a plan to start one and go from there.
Feel free to share your lists and projects with me here! Or let me know how you are celebrating and finding balance these days!