Embrace the Spirituality of the Autumn Equinox and Discover What it Means to be Human
- Kamran Mofid
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Autumn Equinox:Walking with the Goddess of Mother Nature
Time to Celebrate Awakening, Balance, Give Thanks, Invite Renewal, and Tell Stories
Photo: The Thirsty Soul
The autumnal equinox marks one of two specific positions of Earth during its year-long orbit around the sun where the celestial equator (the spatial projection of the plane between northern and southern hemispheres) passes through the center of our solar star. In these equinox positions, our planet’s axis is directed neither toward nor away from the sun and the boundary between light and shadow is perpendicular to the equator.During this significant, albeit brief, moment of cosmic equanimity, the planet is divided into approximately equal parts night and day, hence the word “equinox” with Latin roots meaning “equal night.”
'When leaves begin to fall, temperatures drop and days become shorter, it can only mean autumn is on its way. No matter how hot the summer has been, the next season of the year is fast approaching, with home comforts, bronzed woodland hues and a pumpkin or two.'
To Autumn by John Keats
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
‘Marked by sensuous profusion and artistic control, this most widely published of
English poems is laden with meaning.’
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.- Poem of the week: To Autumn by John Keats
Embrace the Spirituality of the Autumn Equinox
Mother of Darkness, Mother of Light
Earth beneath us, soul in flight,
Songs of love and love of life,
Guide us to our home. ~Circle Song
Autumn Equinox is the Time for Storytelling
‘The spiritual meaning of the fall equinox can be found in the holiday of Mabon, celebrated in Paganism and other faiths that revolve around nature. Mabon marks the middle of the harvest cycle, a time when we are called to reflect upon and recognize the bounty that Mother Earth has brought to us over the past year. This is a time when we express great gratitude for a bountiful harvest and start to stock our pantries for the colder months ahead.
Compassion and empathy grow from the seeds of understanding.
To develop understanding we need to develop our capacity to reflect...
And to reflect we will need to be able to remember. And to remember we will need to forgive. And to forgive we need to be able to reconcile. Thus, this is the path to transforming conflicts, bringing peace with justice and building a better world: compassion, empathy, reflection, remembrance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
These are the values I learnt from the “Story of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral” which is the spirit my Autumn Equinox Story:
As many of us have transitioned our work from the fields to more modern methods of harvesting and creating bountiful existences, the Autumn equinox can be viewed as a magical time to honour our growth and abundance from a spiritual, professional, financial and relationship perspective. Finding ways to give thanks to yourself for all you have achieved over the past year is an important part of your journey. The more gratitude you give, the more reasons you will find you have to be grateful.
“It’s moral, feels great and keeps you healthy. But being grateful isn’t just good for you – it might hold the key to a more peaceful world”
“All the members of human society stand in need of each other's assistance.”- Adam Smith
A way to tap into the spirituality of this Autumn equinox is to set aside a dedicated time of reflection and gratitude. Reflect on where you were this time last year in each area of your life that you find relevant; self-love, partnerships, work, etc. Honour your journey and symbolize your gratitude with the simple lighting of a candle or new addition to your altar, such as a crystal that inspires and speaks your reflective energy. You can even do something a little less woo-woo like place a pumpkin on your doorstep to honour the abundance you have manifested.
Light a Candle for a Simple Life
"Simplicity is the sign of mastery. You’ve not avoided the difficulties, you’ve solved them. And then everything falls neatly (and with apparent ease) into place. True work, we might say, is making the simple feel easy."
Light a Candle for Storytelling
‘As it has been said, Storytelling has the capacity to touch our deepest emotions and it can allow us to peer at beauty. We glance at our own creativity and breathe our own thoughts. But more than that: Storytelling is also a wonderful path to set ourselves free, by opening our hearts to others and letting them in; becoming one with one another…’
Further to, the Autumn equinox is a time when both the days and nights are equal in length, inviting us to recognize what areas in our lives are craving balance. For example, if you have been scurrying away during the harvest season and running yourself a bit ragged, you are invited to surrender to your body’s important need for rest and recovery. These next couple days are a magical time to call balance into your life through self-care and meditation. We happen to love that we are in a resting period of the moon’s cycle (Gibbous) during this equinox, which allows us to pass our trust over to the universe that everything is happening exactly as it should.
Enjoy this Autumn equinox. Rest and prepare for the next phase of your journey.’-Excerpt from Age of Lapin, 21 September 2018
Autumn Equinox: A Time To Reflect, A Time To Learn
“In compassion and grace, be like the sun...
In concealing other's faults, be like the night...
In generosity and helping others, be like a river...
In anger and fury, be like dead...
In modesty and humility, be like the earth...
In tolerance, be like the sea...
Either appear as you are, or be as you appear..”- Rumi
“The Peace of Wild Things”
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”-Wendell Berry
“Humans are part of the natural world, and nature has a human character: There’s this false divide that we have set up, and it doesn’t exist. Nature goes through exactly the same emotions and narrative that we do. It has tragedy, it has love, happiness and sadness.”
“I think something we really struggle with in modern society is that we tend to see nature as something ‘other’ – as if we are over here, and nature is over there.”
“We are so interconnected with our ecosystem and the further we distance ourselves from it, the more depressed and stressed we become and the more disconnected we feel with our natural rhythm.”
“A forest doesn’t just look beautiful; you can smell the cycle of life, too: leaves decaying, flowers growing. You can stand in a forest and feel life going on around you.”- Tiffany Francis-Baker, a Forestry Commission writer in residence
Today, at this spiritual moment, it remains important to mark the balancing of the year and to give thanks for the changing expressions of Mother Earth- our source of life.
Below, I invite you to join me in our celebration of thanksgiving for our sacred Earth and Mother Nature and see a sample of our offerings which I hope you will find inspiring: