September 21, is the Autumnal Equinox, the time when night and day are of equal length.
“This time holds the night and day in perfect balance… As the wheel turns towards the dark half of the year we honor the aging of the Great Goddess as she passes to the Crone stage…” says Natalie “Fox” Maisel in her ritual for Mabon, the autumnal equinox (available for download, here.) “At this time we give thanks as we yield our harvests and turn inward for the cold months. This is an auspicious time to finish old business and take time slowing down from the business of the past season.”
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love it so much, I wish the whole year was autumn. When the air starts to turn cool it’s so invigorating to me. I feel this real internal pull towards center; a deep going in, and in, and in. I feel most creative at this time of year, and deeply intuitive. I also feel a real need to slow down. My yoga sadhanas get deeper, more meditative; lots of long holding postures and slow transitions. I feel especially grateful for fall this year, as it is the first year in many that I am living in a place that has a change of seasons. Last weekend my fiancé and I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains to hike in the cool mountain air and sip hot apple cider as the sun slipped behind those dusky blue ridges. It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
As Natalie’s words above highlight for us, this is a wonderful time to heed the natural instincts we are feeling. If you feel a little sleepy, and slow, like you need some time to rest and think, go with it, you are on the right track. This is the season for resting and thinking, for taking inventory of what we have been running around doing all year. I encourage you to take some time to take care of yourself, and give yourself the gift of some processing and transition time in your life. It is also a great time to leave behind things you don't need. Behaviors, relationships, or ways of thinking that are no longer useful to you. As the poet Rumi says, "Change rooms in your mind for a day."
This time of reflection is also a great opportunity to re-establish contact with Gratitude. As you make your inventory of the past year, consider starting a Gratitude Journal, and writing in it daily. I find just a few lines, even a word, helps to keep me rooted in mindfulness and gratitude for “what is”, and makes acceptance of “what isn’t” much easier.
During this change in seasons the body, as well as the mind and spirit, need some special care and assistance. Check back to my blog during the couple weeks. I will have several posts focusing on how to honor and assist your body as it rides this turn of the Seasonal Wheel.
May this autumn season of harvest bring you bounty and blessings in your life-