Published on New York Spirit
An equinox is the day when day and night are of the same duration. There are two equinoxes in a year–spring and autumn. After spring equinox, the sun starts spreading its reign and days are longer. Inversely, after the fall equinox, nights are longer as we proceed to winter. September 23rd is the day of fall equinox this year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun enters the astrological sign of balance–Libra. Equinoxes hold an exceptional divine significance for all the celestial bodies including us.
Fall equinox is considered to be a mythical event in many cultures across the world. Wiccans celebrate ‘Mabon’ thanking God for the harvest in their lives. They consider it to be a time of inner searching. It is the time to respect darkness and prepare for the upcoming season of light by hibernating. Witches go into long meditations.
Greek mythology tells us that it is the time when the goddess Persephone bids adieu to her mother and return to her husband Hades in the underworld for six months–a symbol to remind us that it is the time to travel from the external to the inner realms.
Buddhists in Japan observe Ohigan, a week-long celebration during equinox. Ohigan means “other shore” referring to the souls reaching Nirvana. It is considered a celebration for such souls are departing from this world of suffering and ignorance to a world of enlightenment and peace. They visit their ancestor’s graves, clean them, decorate them, and recite prayers.
Studies and investigations have revealed that many ancient monuments are interconnected with the equinoxes. For example, two of the faces of The Great Pyramid are oriented at such directions which are the exact points of rising and setting sun on the equinoxes. Its eight sides are visible only on the equinoxes and through wind due to the structure’s concavity. The Maoi of Easter Island also faces the sunset of equinoxes. The Mayans built Chichen Itza in such a way that on the days of equinoxes, the sun rays form a pattern of ascending and descending on the nine steps of one of its pyramid. During the fall equinox, the setting sun’s moving pattern gives the impression of a snake descending down the steps. There are many more such sanctuaries that are built in alignment with these days. The ancient civilizations were indeed trying to tell the significance of the day.
What does the day of fall equinox tell you?
Balance between duality– The equal day and night time represents that the world is in a state of balance. The equator is in alignment with the sun; hence all the influences on the planet are in equilibrium. The day tells you to balance your inner world, too. Sadhguru tells us that the equinox is a day when one has the best possibility of outshining the limitations and compulsions of one’s physical longings. Lord Shiva is said to be in the form of ‘Ardha-nari’–half woman and half man–because masculine and feminine are on an even keel on this day.
Understand and honor the darkness– Darkness is a vital part of any transformation, be it nature or man. Unless we feel the pain, joy cannot be recognized. Unless we know the descent, how can we ascend in our levels of consciousness? Darkness has to be understood first. Introspect the inner darkness and then rise out from the sea to reach the light.
Phoenix effect– This is a time to go deep within, as exemplified in folklore where warrior deities in various culture go underground (Kali in Hinduism, Persephone in Greek mythology) to fight the devils of ego and evil within. After all the vices get burned, then the phoenix self will be reborn from our own ashes.
Celebrate the Fall Equinox.
There are various ways to honor the day. The Chinese have a ritual of standing facing west, lighting white candles, and placing white flowers on the altar. You can do things like:
De-clutter your house. It is time to throw away what is unnecessary and make space for new things. Wash your walls, windows, and glasses with a rock salt-water solution to clean and remove negative energy. Indians have a festival in autumn called Diwali, prior to which every house is cleaned, renovated, or painted, and no corner is left untouched. It brings energy in the months where everything seems to be a little pale and blue.
You can plant some seeds today. If you do not have a yard, use an indoor pot. You can plant tulips, poppies, hollyhock, sweet pea, or any of your favorite flowers. Focus on the things you want to accomplish in the coming months. Say it while planting them. Water the soil. When the plant shoots up, you will be reminded of your goals and intentions. Flowers blooming may coincide with your steps toward these goals.
Since nights are longer, a lot of wisdom can come through our dreams. Put some lavender inside your pillow, as it promotes peaceful sleep and transcendence to other realms. Try to replay the dream in your mind when you wake up. Tell it to someone close. Try to see the symbols–animals you see, things you eat, feelings you feel. You will figure out a pattern. You can find out what your inner self is trying to convey.
How to use the energy of Equinox
The energy of this season lies in assisting us with our longterm goals. Seeds of wisdom are planted now so that they can sprout in the spring. We develop by expanding our roots into the earth’s core energy. It is a time to count our blessings, feel gratitude for what we have, and reflect on our karma.
Go out for a silent walk among the trees. See them shaking their bodies and leaves, anxious to touch the moist soil, and contemplate the joys and serenity in your life. Savor the changing colors of the season. Meditate, be grounded, and walk on the fresh grass, soil or sand, bare foot. Soak up the energies of nature.
Fall is a season for letting go and accepting the ephemerality of things. Leaves turn into mixed shades of yellow, orange, and brown, and wind sweeps them to their last juncture. The sky becomes a canvas and the clouds are splattered in different strokes and hues on it. Nature is in a process of renewal. It is time for us to focus on letting go what doesn’t serve us and focus on what new should be introduced in our lives for our growth.
As Earnest Dowson puts it,
Let misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little time’s deceit.
May this fall be a rise in our spiritual journey! May this Fall Equinox balance our inside and outside worlds!