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 9:54 PM on Saturday, September 22, 2018, 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.