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The Spiritual Significance of Autumn Equinox in Our Modern Lives

Ceremony, Nature, Rituals, Spiritual SignificanceChloë Rain2 Comments
Fall Equinox Spiritual Significance
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As the midday sun begins to sink lower in the sky and the night becomes chilly and darker, before we even notice the changing of colors with our eyes, our senses tell us that the reign of summer has come to an end in the northern half of the world. 

The autumn equinox arrives at 3:50am Eastern Standard time or 9:50am Central Europe time on Monday, September 23, 2019, officially marking the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

The word “equinox” comes from Latin and means “equal night,” referring to the roughly 12-hour day and 12-hour night that occurs only on the two equinox days of the year.

The Autumn Equinox is a meaningful time of year to honor the harvest. Whether that be a "real" harvest of the things planted in your garden or the harvest of efforts and intentions for your life path that you set earlier in the year.

The changing seasons are key points in the cycle of life in nature, and within this cycle many ancient cultures perceived a powerful deeper message for humanity.

Indigenous cultures recognized earth-based wisdom and understood that the four focal points of the year: the Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumn Equinox; illuminated stages of an inner spiritual journey – a spiritual cycle that the individual takes within themselves.

As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own cycles begin to deepen.

A favorite ritual of mine is to take the 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the equinox to sit quietly on the ground in thoughtfulness and meditation and open my mind and my senses to the intelligence of nature all around. In this time spent in thoughtfulness around the moment of equal light and equal dark, I acknowledge my personal growth cycle and ask for harmony and balance to be the fertilizer in the soil of my life's garden.

Spiritually speaking, fall represents the Harvest time of year, a time to acknowledge abundance as our natural state of being. Our lives go through cycles of growth, harvest, death, and rebirth just as we see in nature.

Fall Equinox Meaning : Spiritual Significance of Autumn Equinox

On the Fall Equinox you may want to honor abundance and shift your consciousness from one of lack to one of abundance in some way through a small ritual or ceremony. Such as lighting a candle, giving thanks, and speaking your gratitude for all that you are and all that you have.

Fall is the time of year that we set up our internal space and make room for what’s to come in the next year. We create fertile soil for our greater visions to grow but not by doing. 

By becoming quiet and listening to what is trying to emerge from within us.

When we take the time this time of year to go within and empty out space we are creating fertile soil for our creativity and greater visions. When we clear our internal ground in the fall, we go into dormancy and then rest in the cold and darkness of Winter.

Winter is the time of year of healing, when the cold and freezing becomes the healing that sets the soil for Spring and our rebirth.

The significance of the Autumnal Equinox for the person walking the spiritual path is the time of year where we activate our new growth cycle. As we become silent and rest we are allowing space for our greater vision to emerge.

As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, we descend into the darkness of the night and face our own inner darkness—the darkness within, i.e. the ego and the subconscious—to prepare for the birth of the Light within, celebrated at the winter solstice.

The heart of spiritual practice is internal, and is usually invisible and unnoticed by everyone else. By enacting the spiritual with a physical ritual, we can both recognize and make concrete our spiritual process that is part of our reality as a person on the spiritual path.

I encourage you to take some time September 23 this year to acknowledge your life cycle and spiritual path. In doing so, you are honoring, not only your own growth and light within, but the ancient wisdom that has served our health and wellness for thousands of years.

I honor the light in you that is the love of all things, without your existence the light of the Universe would dim and all of existence would miss you.
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Five Beautiful Rituals to Celebrate Summer Solstice

Ceremony, Rituals, Spiritual SignificanceGuest Writer

Summer solstice 2019 in the Northern Hemisphere will be 11:54 AM EST on Friday, June 21.

Summer Solstice Rituals

The Summer Solstice is a time to reflect on your personal growth and the meaning of the season. Seeds are planted in the Earth as well as the seeds of our souls. It’s a time of cleansing and renewal, a time of Love and growth. This is the moment of our year when there is the most LIGHT available to us. In terms of consciousness, it is when we are the most present to ourselves and who we know ourselves to be — the Sun represents the light of all life and consciousness.

Creating a ceremony or celebration is a way for humans to give back to Creation some of the energy and blessings that we are always receiving. Mother Earth constantly provides for all of us with her incredible bounty, and the Sun’s warmth provides the light necessary for all living beings to thrive and prosper.

The Solstice signifies the time when the Earth is at the fullness of her strength, fertility, and abundance, so we too can celebrate our strength in joining together, pollinating our spiritual consciousness through sharing, and offering gratitude for the abundance that which we experience daily.

The word “Solstice” is derived from the Latin words Sol+systere, meaning “Sun”+ “standing still.”  The Summer Solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. Following this Solstice, the days get shorter, the nights longer.

Fire is used symbolically throughout summer solstice celebrations in praise of the sun, to bring luck and to ward off the darkness.  And the spiral is also a symbol associated with the Solstices. Ancient dances would follow the Sun’s movement like a spiral, people joined hands weaving through the streets, winding into a decreasing spiral into the middle then unwinding back out again. The Sun moving from contraction at the center of the spiral at winter solstice to expansion at Summer Solstice and back again. Festivals in North still continue to dance and play, holding hands in formation of a spiral.

Many traditions throughout time have celebrated the Solstices — Ancient Egypt, and Aztecs of Mexico, Chinese, Chumash Indians of California, Indigenous Europeans. And western civilizations have for centuries celebrated this first day of summer often called Midsummer (see Shakespeare), or St. John’s Day. The Chinese mark the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. Throughout history, with so much light being showered upon the Earth on this day, it’s been known as one of the most powerful days of the year for spiritual growth and healing.

Summer Solstice Stone Hedge

To this day, revellers still gather at Stonehenge to see the sun rise. The Heel Stone and Slaughter Stone, set outside the main circle, align with the rising sun.  And many of the ancient traditions continue - Bonfires are still lit to celebrate the Sun at its height of power and to ask the Sun not to withdraw into winter darkness.

In North America, many Native American tribes held ritual dances to honor the sun. The Sioux were known to hold one of the most spectacular rituals- The Sun Dance. Usually performed during the June solstice, preparations for the Sun Dance included cutting and raising a tree that would be considered a visible connection between the heavens and Earth, and setting up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos. Participants abstained from food and drink during the dance itself. Their bodies were decorated in the symbolic colors of red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), white (light), and black (night).

 

Some rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice:

1)  As our ancestors did, celebrate by gathering of plants and healing herbs, its long been believed that they are at their most potent on the Summer Solstice. Five common Celtic sacred plants associated with Midsummer are St. John’s Wort, Vervain, Yarrow, Fern, and Mugwort.

2)  Gather with others to create a circle or spiral.  Exchange songs, stories, and poems with others.  Dance, drum, and celebrate.

3) Create a Sun Wheel or mandala (a symbol of the circle of life and connectedness) made from flowers or things found in nature.

4) Keep a sacred fire burning. You can create a big fire like a bonfire to celebrate with friends, but even a small fire, in the form of a candle or Altar of Light can be just as potent.

5) Make a Prayer Stick or Prayer Tree and place specific prayers for those who need healing on it. Make a prayer for the return to peace where there is no peace, for abundance in areas of the world where there is now poverty and scarcity.

Do all or any of the above with an intention for something that you will do to improve life –  bring light and love into this world in your own creative way and begin to carry it out.

Wishing you abundance and light this Summer Solstice!

As the Sun spirals its longest Dance
Cleanse Us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless Us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny
summer solstice 2016


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Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

She has had the pleasure of mentoring women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to their own guidance, and experience greater love and fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose.