How are you managing the post-Labor Day shift from the light-filled, playful energy of the summer to the more purposeful structures and routines of the Fall? Kind of tough sometimes, isn’t it?
Every change of season prompts us to go within and reflect, to pause and review our lives. This particular point on the Wheel of the Year marks the shift between the expansive activity of the summer to the slower, hibernating vibe of the winter. And at the Fall Equinox, you have the opportunity to consider how you want to embrace the coming winter’s deep, inward energy to set intentions and goals for the next round of the Wheel.
When exactly is the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox this year?
According to astrology, it’s when the Sun moves into the zodiac sign of Libra. This year it falls on September 22nd but can occur any time between September 21st and 24th.
Scientifically speaking, the Fall Equinox begins when the sun crosses the “celestial equator” which is the imaginary line when the Earth’s equator is projected into the sky. At that moment, both the Northern and Southern hemispheres will receive an equal amount of sunshine – the hours of daylight will equal the hours of night, hence the name “equi-nox.”
“Equinox” originates from aequus, the Latin word for “equal,” and nox, the Latin word for “night”. So this is a powerful time to embrace the theme of balance in all areas of your life – dark and light, masculine, active energy and feminine, receptive energy, inner contemplation, and outer activity.
Since ancient times, cultures all over the world have celebrated the Fall Equinox as the “second harvest.” Most of the crops have been taken in and it is a time to give thanks for the abundance of the Earth, and to express gratitude for all the good things in your life.
Interestingly, our American Thanksgiving was originally celebrated on October 3rd which makes more sense agriculturally, but it was subsequently changed a few times until we arrived at our current date of the fourth Thursday in November.
So, how can you harness this rich Equinox magic to bring more balance and express more gratitude in your life and relationships?
There are so many models you can embrace to restore harmony, internally and externally. One of my favorites is to look at the symbolism of the four elements – fire, water, air, and earth. Water represents our feelings, intuition, and relationships; Air is connected to our minds and how we communicate; Earth refers to our bodies, and fire symbolizes spirit.
Weaving this elemental magic with the intentions of gratitude and harvest, here’s a two-part ritual to help you fully step into the well-balanced energy of this year’s Fall Equinox.
- Take some time to create sacred space with Libra-inspired colors (pastel blues and pinks), aromatherapy (bergamot or basil oil) and music (wind instruments since Libra is an Air sign).
- Collect symbols of the four elements that are meaningful to you – maybe a special rock or crystal for Earth, a shell from your favorite beach for Water, incense for Air, and a candle for Fire. Be sure to have some small pieces of paper and something to write with, too.
Part 1: Gratitude and harvesting
- Using the elemental associations to the mind/body/heart/spirit model of wholeness, sit quietly, and reflect on the gifts you’ve received in each of those areas since the Spring Equinox. What new skills did you learn, or terrific books did you read? How has your beautiful body supported you over the last 6 months? What relationships have you deepened or perhaps attracted a wonderful new friend? How have you listened to your intuition or paid attention to your dreams?
- As you consider each area, speak out loud what you’ve “harvested” or what you’re grateful for and hold the corresponding elemental symbol as you do that. Let the sweet essence of gratitude permeate your whole being!
Part 2: Intention setting
- Now, from that grounded, balanced space, widen your vision to look ahead over the next 6 months. This time, you’ll write down your reflections for each elemental association. Is there a course or class you’ve been wanting to take, or a blog you’re inspired to write? What luscious self-care practices do you want to commit to, or recommit to? How can you nurture your heart-space… is there an old friend you want to reconnect with, or family member you want to reach out to? Where can you create a sense of sacred space in your life and/or work environments… can you schedule 10 minutes of “creative silence” there every day?
- Once you’ve determined your intentions in each of those areas, you can send them off to God/Goddess/Universe in creative, elemental ways. For your air/mind commitments, write them on a leaf and let the wind carry it away. Write your body-related one(s) on a rock and bury it, or for your heart-based ones, throw them in a body of water. And to manifest your fire/spirit intentions, simply burn them and allow the smoke to carry your wishes out into the world.
If you’d like to hear about other Fall Equinox rituals or learn an elemental balancing chant, definitely check out my YouTube video from 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg2HJQ65xtc The dates and hairstyle may not be current, but the information is timeless!
Whatever you decide to do, remember that you can always carry that sense of harmony and balance within you, even as the hours of sunlight continue to fade. Be sure to be intentional with your well-balanced, thankful Fall Equinox magic so you can tap into that energy when you really need it!
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Life & Relationship Coach, Deborah Roth, MA is also a Counseling Astrologer, and Interfaith Minister. She leads women’s New Moon Circles and Full Moon TeleMeditations every month and loves designing creative, meaningful rituals for individuals and couples to energize their lives and relationships.