On the 22nd September the autumn equinox marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. In the last few weeks there has been a sense of change in the air as the light subtly changes. The nights draw in and the air from evening to early morning has a distinct ‘nip’ to it.
The Autumn Equinox is a gateway – the stepping stone between the light half of the year and the dark half.
In many traditions both ancient and modern this time is marked with rituals and celebrations. In the northern hemisphere it is a time of the harvest, feasting and celebration. It is also the start of our transition into the season of shedding and letting go.
For our ancestors, crops of grains would be harvested by groups of labourers working from the outside edges of the field to the centre using hand held sickles or scythes. The crops would be cut into small bundles know as sheaths. It was believed that; as the crop was cut the spirit of the crop moved into the remainder. By the time the middle of the field was reached the spirit of the whole crop was in the last remaining sheaf. It was vitally important that this remaining sheath was cut with care and process to preserve the spirit of the crop.
A ritual would then be performed to ensure the preservation of the crop, a chosen person would be blindfolded and they would throw a sickle at the sheath until it was successfully cut. This last sheath would then be preserved and woven into a corn dolly. The corn dolly held the spirit of the whole crop and would be taken in-doors to protect the house (or barn) over winter. The following spring the corn dolly would then be ploughed back into the soil where the spirit would be able to teach next years crop how to grow.
Looking at this tradition symbolically the Autumn Equinox is a time to acknowledge what we have created in our lives over the last year. Acknowledge what is serving us well, give gratitude and celebrate. It's time for the after the party review! What is great, beautiful, and useful? What is bountiful and beautiful? What do you feel grateful for and what will you preserve, re-create or take to the next level? What are you taking with you into the season of letting go? Acknowledging and celebrating the good will give you a clear indication of what is ready to be shed in the next phase of the cycle. Autumn is the season where we let go, decompose and create space for the new using the wisdom we have gained throughout our lives.
Celebrating the autumn equinox is a chance to complete the cycle of summer and prepare ourselves to shed, decompose and create space for the new. There are many ways to celebrate or acknowledge this transition. It can be a small ritual of lighting a candle and then going on a walk in nature giving gratitude for the colours, smells and sounds that are abundant right now. Or mindfully making a wreath of last of the summer flowers, leaves grasses, vines a dried berries, feasting with family and friends on seasonal fruits and vegetables. Whatever you choose to do, have a clear intention, acknowledge and celebrate this magical time as the wheel turns and energy begins to spiral inwards.
Happy Autumn Equinox 🍂✨
Want to dive even deeper? Make sure you sign up for our free workshop Tapping Into Nature's Rhythms - The Season of Letting Go & Transformation on Tuesday 21st September @ 7:30pm. Learn more on the power of tapping into the archetypes of our natural cycles with practical tools to gain clarity and embody your Handpicked Life!