In the Northern Hemisphere, with the arrival of September comes the arrival of the Fall Equinox; in the Southern Hemisphere, September heralds the arrival of the Spring Equinox. Both events are part of the four focal points of the year: Winter Solstice in December, Spring Equinox in March, Summer Solstice in June and Fall Equinox in September. These four obvious natural events create a natural cycle that is experienced by all living creatures. Symbolically, these natural cycles mirror the spiritual cycles we engage in as humans (although, who are we to say that other species don’t also experience a personal spirituality?).
Equinox literally means ‘equal night’ and it is at this time of the year (as with the Spring Equinox) that we experience equal hours of sunlight and moonlight, or light and dark. This visual duality in nature teaches us that we live in duality. However, rather than the dual relationship that is preached to us - Light VS Dark, Us VS Them, these opposites are complementary. The Sun needs the Moon, the Light needs the Dark, the Feminine needs the Masculine, the right side of our body needs the left, the front needs the back, etc.
The time of the Fall Equinox is also a crossing of the threshold from lightness into darkness. Contrary to the cultural belief that this is a perilous and evil transition, much of who we are, or deny about ourselves, can be found in the darkness. This means that this is a time of the year when we can move towards inner reflection so that we may mine the gifts that are buried below the surface. This journey is not for the feint of heart but is a necessary part of the metaphysical cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth.
This is also the time of the year when we are blessed with many harvests. Thanksgiving is typically the time when we formally express gratitude for the harvests of the Earth but the arrival of Fall itself can remind us to express gratitude for the abundance in our lives in general. And once again, nature demonstrates to us through the dropping of leaves and the dying off of summer plants and grass that times of abundance are naturally followed by times of attrition…that are then followed by times of abundance again. This can be a tricky concept to accept when we are fed the myth of unlimited resources that leads us to unsustainable behaviours.
The arrival of Fall invites us to not only harvest that which we planted in the previous Fall (or early Spring) and nourished throughout the summer, but to also storehouse the gifts of the harvest so we may be nourished during the hibernation time of the Winter. So many other species recognize and honour the hibernation time…and yet we humans tend to make ourselves busier and busier until we arrive at the Christmas season, exhausted and desiring down time. The arrival of the darkness is an invitation to begin the journey inwards where we can deepen our awareness, nourish our innate creativity and allow a broader vision of ourselves and the world around us to emerge. The Fall is also a time to plant the metaphorical seeds of our desires so they may be nourished throughout the coming year and eventually harvested at the next Fall Equinox.
Let the arrival of Fall be a powerful time when you give yourself permission to slow down, reflect on the abundance in your life, express gratitude for all that you are and all that you have and envision a future world that nourishes and values all living things. May the complementary balance of Light and Dark provide you with the balance and harmony you desire and deserve.