My birthday notwithstanding, today is my favorite day of the year. There is harmony and balance between light and dark, and I feel the promise of change on the cooler breezes. All over the world, the Autumnal Equinox is celebrated in a variety of ways. My inclination is to honor Mabon, the pagan celebration of the second harvest and beginning of winter preparations. I went apple-picking yesterday, and even though I don’t can or jar (yet), we’ll be making apple crisps and sauce and decorating the pumpkins and gourds we also picked up.
You could also choose to join the Greeks in remembering that Persephone is returning to the underworld to be with her husband Hades. Or the Chinese in their mid-Autumn festival, gorging on moon cakes – yum! During Higan, the Japanese believe that their relatives reach nirvana. As a light worker, I like that idea, of thinned veils that allow movement from our world to the spirits’ (and back).
I said to a client the other day that the light and dark in each of us need to integrate, not spoon like the yin yang. What I had in mind was more of a merging that also retains the essence of each. Like yin and yang, the day and the night of this special time of year dance together, clearly in sync as in a mirror. We need to consciously choose to do the same inside of ourselves, creating patterns of allowing out to play the lightest and darkest parts, each in turn and simultaneously. It’s essential.
I hope to help ease this transition into darkness, which most of us tend to avoid or blind with forced light. My current yoga practice and teachings are now including Uddiyana Bandha as a way to strengthen our most fearless parts of ourselves, to be able to walk into the darkness without fear. Shadow work. Soul retrieval. These are the tools of modern man who no longer lives a rural life but aches for it in his bones. We can honor our shadow sides by sitting down for tea with our demons, and loving all we find in the murky depths. This honors the land that is cultivated and harvested so you can have cornbread and squash, or apple cider. When we dig deeply into ourselves, we honor the womb of mother earth that holds the divine spark of creation. It’s as simple as that.
Sit in meditation. Listen to the monkeys chatter in your mind. Don’t judge them, or the thoughts, or yourself. Just observe from the most neutral and curious place you can find, and with practice, you will be able to focus clearer than before. Like night vision.
Honor your ancestors, and your grief at their passing. The veils between the worlds of the living and spirits are thinnest on All Hallow’s Eve. More about that later.
The Fall is a time to let go of what you need no longer, to sweep it all away with the chilly winds. This creates space for what your heart deeply desires. And can be expressed during the light holidays at year’s end.
For now, let go and let goddess. Make plans that will hibernate with you during the winter (which I hear is going to be “harsh” this year in the DMV). Practice restorative yoga and meditate for clarity around your spring projects.
Time is cyclical, and quantum physics tells us that past, present and future happen at the same time. Ritualizing transition in homage to mother nature is nurturing to all of us.