WHAT IS THE AUTUMN EQUINOX?
Equinoxes occur twice a year; one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. You can check out my blog about the Spring Equinox here.
The word ‘Equinox’ is derived from Latin, meaning ‘equal night’. The equinoxes are solar festivals in the Wheel of the Year, and happen at the times of the year when day and night have become approximately equal length all over the world, with roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR
The Wheel of the Year is celebrated by many spiritual seekers all over the world, including pagans, Wiccans, witches of all kinds, and also nature-lovers who do not follow a specific spiritual tradition. It celebrates the turning of the seasons, and those who follow its rhythms mark its seasonal festival days or ‘Sabbats’.
The Autumn/ Fall Equinox (also known as Mabon) and the Spring Equinox (also known as Ostara) are two of these days. The Autumn Equinox occurs between the 20-23 September in the Northern Hemisphere and the 20-23 March in the Southern Hemisphere. The Spring Equinox falls between the 20-23 March in the northern hemisphere and between the 20-23 September in the southern hemisphere.
For more information about and rituals to honour the Wheel of the Year, you can join my membership here.
WHAT DOES THE AUTUMN EQUINOX MEAN SPIRITUALLY?
The Autumn Equinox is the second of three harvest festivals. It comes six weeks after Lughnasadh and six weeks before Samhain. Harvest festivals are common to many different cultures around the world, and are traditionally held to celebrate the bounty of the earth at this time of the year and to give thanks for the generosity of nature.
These special celebration days are the perfect time to take stock of our own ‘harvest’. We may wish to consider the things that we have been working towards during the last six months since the Spring Equinox. What in our lives feels like it has come to fruition, what have we achieved, and what perhaps hasn’t worked out as we intended?
We can then choose to learn from the things that have not worked out, celebrate our achievements, and give thanks for the abundance in our lives and the things that are now bringing us contentment and making us feel fulfilled.
Another theme of the Autumn Equinox is balance. We become aware of the need for balance in our lives as we notice the balance between the light and the dark at this time of the year, and begin to prepare for the darker days of winter ahead.
This preparation could be practical; getting our home ready to be a cosy refuge during those darker winter months, and storing food and resources for the winter, or metaphorical; making sure we have spent enough time in the energies of summer, enjoying the lightness and warmth of this season.
Solar festivals involve a holding of opposites. At the Autumn Equinox we are celebrating the abundance of the harvest and the bounty it has given us, but we are also aware that the nature around us will soon start to decay, and that we are moving from the light of summer into darker nights and days.
CELEBRATING THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
If you’d like some inspiration on how to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, you can find a special module in my Membership focusing on this topic. It includes ideas for marking this festival day and a special exercise to help you work out which areas of your life need more balance at this time.
My Membership is filled with practices (meditations, Soul Journeys, classes and rituals) so that no matter how long you have or what type of practice would most nourish you, there is always something that you can reach for. And it also includes information about and rituals to honour the special days when the Wheel of the Year turns.
If you’d like to explore deepening your spiritual practice this year, we would love to have you join us! You can find out more here.