September 20

Honoring the Fall Equinox


"Falling leaves hide the path so quietly"

Most people are looking for ways to live a harmonious, abundant life … and those who seek a more “mystical” path are looking to unlock magic in their lives, to increase creativity, wisdom, healing, and intuition …

Walking a Nature-centric path is an excellent way to achieve those aims – Nature naturally allows us to open up the doorways of awareness, which is vital to those who are seeking magic.

Given the evolution of our society, however, it is very easy to lose our connection with Nature, to slip into “unawareness”.

Earthly Rites of Passage

Fortunately for us, there are certain times of the year when Nature gives us powerful opportunities to rejuvenate our awareness – Full Moons, New Moons, and Seasonal or Solar Celebrations.

In the Temple of Ara, we regard the Seasonal holidays (traditionally known as Sabbats) as Earthly rites of passage, states of transition between one stage and the next. They are times of conscious transition, transformation, of liminality.

Soon we’ll be celebrating the start of the Fall Season, with the Autumnal Equinox.

When the Fall Equinox Occurs

This year, the Fall Equinox occurs on Thursday, September 22 at 9:04 P.M. EDT. This date marks the start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

Autumnal equinox is an astronomical event. During an equinox, the Sun crosses what is the “celestial equator”—an imaginary extension of Earth’s equator line into space. The equinox occurs precisely when the Sun’s center passes through this line.

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Sun crosses the equator going from north to south, this marks the autumnal equinox; when it crosses from south to north, this marks the vernal equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the reverse.

In addition to giving us the opportunity to honor balance, our Fall Equinox celebration is a rite of passage from the abundance of Summer to the dreamtime of Winter.

Deeper Spirituality of the Fall Equinox

In Autumn, days get shorter and darker. The fields that are alive with Mother Earth’s abundance will soon be fallow. The outward, expressive energies of the year reach their climax. This is a time when the Earth prepares for Her winter sleep - and we, as children of the Great Mother, begin to mirror that energy. We start to pull our focus inward. We begin to prepare for our own dream time.

At this time, we are still celebrating the abundance of what we’ve achieved so far in our lives, while preparing for the next cycle of life.

The Fall season marks the beginning of the deep introspective journey we embark on throughout Winter. The chaotic, expansive energy of Summer settles and we begin to unwind and recollect ourselves. It’s about reflection and assessment. It’s about honoring and harvesting the literal and metaphorical fruits of our labor.

Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things we no longer want in our lives, things that have been a burden, or that have not served our greater good. The Fall reminds us of the impermanence of everything. We've experienced the budding of life in Spring and the flowerings and profusions of Summer; now the leaves change and fall, reminding us of the fleeting nature of all things.

The season is kicked off by the Equinox, a time when day and night are equal, but as the season progresses, the night becomes longer. This duality and interplay between light and dark exists within ourselves, and within the work of transformation - all those who long for light must first face their own inner darkness (limiting self-beliefs, constraining assumptions) and transform their relationship to it.

Shedding all that does not serve, in the Autumn cycle, helps prepare us for dealing with the unconscious or subconscious parts of ourselves, a hidden world, full of riches and potentials, symbolized and expressed through the Winter season.

This is a time when the Earth prepares for Her winter sleep - and we, as children of the Great Mother, begin to mirror that energy. We start to pull our focus inward. We begin to prepare for our own dream time.

Seasonal Energies

Each of the four seasons has its own unique energy and offers its own unique wisdom. To live in accordance with the seasons is to honor the fluctuations and changes in Nature, as well as within ourselves.

By coming into a synced rhythm, we flow with the changes, rather than resisting or ignoring them.

In this state of flow, our health (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) finds greater resilience and vibrancy.

To put it simply, to live in sync with the seasons is to honor our intuitive selves.

The Energy of the Fall Season

In ancient times, we honored “The Wheel of the Year.” The wheel is divided into the four main seasons. “The Dark Half of the Year” refers to Autumn and Winter, and “The Light Half of the Year” refers to Spring and Summer.

Autumn (just like its counterpart, Spring) offers an in-between phase of preparation for the more “extreme” seasons of Winter and Summer.

If “The Wheel of the Year” were likened to moon phases, Autumn would be the waning phase before Winter’s new moon and Spring would be the waxing phase before Summer’s full expression.

The four seasons can also be thought of as the four parts of a breath cycle. In this metaphor, Fall is the exhale. Winter is the space between the exhale and the inhale. Spring is the inhale. And summer is the fullest part of the inhale, the space between the exhale.

What Does the Fall Season Mean for Us?

As mentioned before, our typical modern lives aren’t synced with seasonal living and awareness. When we fall out of relationship with Mother Nature, we forget our resiliency, we become oblivious to the powerful cycles of birth, death, and rebirth, of change and transformation, of alchemy.

Let’s aim to change that.

Join us on Wednesday, September 21, 2022  to align with the offerings and wisdom of Autumn, to prepare for the challenges that may lay ahead of us. We will celebrate the Fall Harvest in the traditional Ara way - it will be a feast for the senses. 🙂

Spiritual Practices to Prepare for the Fall Equinox

To begin to experience the energetic qualities of the Fall Equinox, start to spend time outside during times of transition – at dawn or dusk, noon, or midnight. Or find a place in Nature that serves as a threshold – the ocean’s edge, a river, a bridge – where there’s an opportunity to “cross into the mysteries”.

Set aside a good amount of time to begin opening up to the experience of liminality. Purify and focus yourself using the Temple’s Green Breathing technique. Use your senses to experience the four elements. Open up your heart and mind to the experience – simply be in the moment.

Afterward, write in your magical journal all that you experienced. Here are some good reflection questions that I always invite our members to mull over after a ritual:

  • What did you notice?
  • What was new for you? Or what surprised you?
  • How do you feel now? What is the impact of your experience?
  • What did you learn? What created a shift in you? 

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