The Autumn Equinox
It`s late September in the UK and this week has been warm and sunny during the day, with azure blue skies and colder, crisper evenings. The leaves are beginning to change on the silver birch trees, but the other trees are still holding on to their green colours so far. There are ripening and already ripe berries everywhere I look. The blackberries have been pretty special this year. Some of them have been so big… absolute whoppers!
The blackberries are singing their swan song now, as they will be on the turn any day soon and destined to be eaten by the mice, birds and insects. The rosehips and hawthorn berries are ruby red and glistening their “come and pick me” skins in the sunshine.
It really is glorious.
I love this time of the year. I think it could well be my favourite… although I think I say that at the turn of every season.
There`s something about early Autumn where the land is so colourful and fruitful but the weather is still pleasant that makes it a treat to all the senses.
It gives a feeling of coming home to what we know… that the earth provides.
It reminds us that despite all the convenience of modern day living, not long ago in the grand scheme of things, people lived this way. Maybe a memory of a distant past stirs in us all as we feel nostalgia, wonder and awe and excitement at seeing all that the earth has to offer.
What I really love about this time of year is how it reminds us of life`s cyclical nature.
We all have cycles in our lives, regardless of gender. On the most obvious scale we can look at the seasons of our age -where we cycle through our childhood spring time years, our summer time early adulthood, our middle aged Autumn years and our old age in winter.
As a woman, we get to move through our own seasonal changes through our journey of menstruating. Our maiden years are represented by the spring time. We start our journey with menarche (our first bleed) and begin our fertile years. Our child bearing age of motherhood is like the ripening growth of Summer. Our menopause and next few decades are like the Autumn and our wise crone years like the winter.
On yet another layer, each monthly cycle can be akin to the seasons.
Our follicular phase- post bleeding is our spring time, our fertile ovulation phase- mid cycle is our summer, our luteal phase after ovulation – our Autumn and we bleed through our winter.
When we get outside and notice nature, there`s no wonder we feel connected to it. It has a pulse, a rhythm and an energy that we share.
As the seasons move through our house, as a family we tend to honour them and bring our attention to them. We decorate our home and pay attention to what is growing, or receding in the garden. We harvest what is ready and plant for the next part of the earth’s cycle. We have traditions that welcome the changes and bring love and comfort into our homes that will be remembered through generations.
The Autumn equinox is like the spring equinox. The amount of daylight and night is perfectly balanced. In the spring, we have anticipation for the summer at this point and look forward to the longer summer nights beginning. In Autumn, we begin to look inward, ready to rest, ready to explore the darker nights and what life holds over the winter.
It is a time of looking into our own lives and seeing what is out of balance and how we can address this to bring back our own equilibrium. A time to look at relationships, living conditions, our health, our life`s purpose… things come to the surface to be addressed as the Autumn nights lengthen.
It`s a time to prepare our house – our nest for winter. To bed down, to clean and organise it. To nest.
I thought that I would share some of the ways that we mark the week of the equinox in our house. The Autumn equinox is also known as Mabon. Take a look at my notes of what we will be doing and get some ideas of how you can welcome this new phase into your homes.
I encourage you to go and find some Autumn goodies and decorate with them. Put a few pinecones in a nice bowl on your table with a candle in the middle… or… make a display on your hall table with Autumn treasures. Maybe you could dry some berries on the stems and display them in a jam jar or put aside to make a wreath. Go out and gather and connect with who you really are.
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