On the 21st March 2019 we celebrate the Autumn Equinox here in Australia.
The name ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin "aequus" which means equal and "nox", which means night.
It is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day approximately equal length all over the earth.
It is a point of equilibrium in the year. We have two such points each year the other is marked by the Spring Equinox.
From the point of the Autumn Equinox to this next shifting point of the following spring equinox the light will begin to shorten.
We are in the waning phase of the year. After the fullness and frolicking of the Summer Solstice we begin our journey inward preparing to sit quietly once again in the darkness with ourself.
The Autumn Equinox marks the pagan festival of Mabon. In Paganism we celebrate all that has come to fruition this last year... we survey our harvest, our yield. We can acknowledge new relationships, new business ventures, new hobbies, areas of your life you have grown and nurtured from the seed of an idea. It is now time to stand back and acknowledge how far you have come, all that you have created and enjoy the harvest.
It also marks the time when we honour that which is no longer with us. The seeds that never grew, the ventures that failed to thrive and fell by the way side. The parting of friends. The endings of relationships.
There are many myths from around the world telling the story of the Autumn Equinox.
There are stories of the Goddess fleeing until spring when she finally returns with her light.
There are stories where the God leaves sending the Goddess into despair.
The Greenman who is vibrant when all is green upon the earth loses his energy as the trees loose their leaves.
There are also stories of the Goddess who brings the beautiful, plenteous bounty in the growing season and takes her leave at the Autumn Equinox so that she might rest and restore.
My favourite story is that of Demeter and Persephone.
The daughter of Demeter, Goddess of Grain, Persephone is taken to the underworld by Haydes to become his queen. Demeter is overcome with grief so deep that she did not care if the crops died.
Zeus realising that the humans will die unless Demeter stops grieving says he will ask Persephone with whom she would like to live.
Hyades hearing the plan tricks Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds which would bind her to living in the underworld forever.
When Zuess heard of the trick he ordered that Persephone be released for 6 month of the year.
So it is that as spring arrives and Demeter is reunited with her daughter the lightness and warmth and fruitfulness returns to our earth, crops grow and the field are green. When Persephone returns to the underworld in March on the Autumn Equinox, Demeter begins her period of mourning, ignoring the crops and flowers and lets them die.
So what are some of the rituals you can do at this time of year?
Write a gratitude journal. Use your journal to find gratitude for everything that has come to fruition. Find gratitude in the simpler things to... a flushing loo, a coffee machine, a warm shower.
Create an Alter for Autumn Find a place in your home if you don't have an alter already, where you can leave a few items out on display to remind you to stay in gratitude and to help you connect to the peaceful voice within you. Place on the alter anything that helps you connect to Autumn, leaves, branches, autumnal coloured flowers and crystals. Each day tend to your altar and keep it a tidy and sacred space.
Bring about balance to your home. Prepare your home for the coming winter months by clearing out all that no longer fills you heart with joy. Entering the next few months with fewer burdens will allow you to go deeper in your reflections. Start simply with that overflowing drawer you hate...you know the one full of odd keys, chop sticks and other "just in case" items. Freeing yourself of the physical clutter can free your mind of the mental clutter....or the "Garbage" as Yogi Bhajan called it.
Get out in nature. When was that last time you headed out into the bush? Being in nature will help to regulate your bodies natural circadian rhythms. This can support the healing of a number of physical ailments such as, balancing menstrual irregularities, migraines, sleeplessness, anxiety...Nature is literally one of the best ways to re calibrate your nervous system and get your body and mind back into balance.
Start something new. Take up knitting, sewing, cookery, painting, pottery..... Beginning quiet activities at this time can be deeply healing and bring about a deeper connection to your consciousness.
Make a tradition of having an autumnal meal once a year. Let go of all pressure for it to be amazing and just invite friends or family over and enjoy some good local fresh veggies cooked simply so as not to ruin the flavour. Bake some bread...and my favourite make apple pie!
This is also a wonderful time to spend in meditation.
One beautiful meditation for this time is Meditation for Self Reflection
Using the mantra Gobinda Hari. The words are simple and behave like falling leaves, Gobinda Gobinda Hari Hari.
Gobinda is the aspect of God that is the Sustainer that has kept us going all year. But it is also the aspect of God that is beautiful and lovely. Hari is the aspect of God that is the Creator, that is action, but it also the healing force within us. When we chant Gobinda Hari, we connect with the beautiful harvest within ourselves and we connect with the creative aspect that accomplished it.
It’s like saying, “Beautiful! Beautiful! I did that! I did that!”
We connect to the Universal Spirit in a way that allows us to experience this Divinity through ourselves and our lives, and allows us to connect to the beauty of our own experience. Gobinda Hari also allows us to heal ourselves and feel security in a deep place in ourselves through a connection with the knowing that God is a sustaining and healing force at the center of our own hearts.
Sit in easy pose, cross your hands over your chest at the wrist, right over left, palms resting near the shoulders.
Close your eyes and chant “Gobinda Gobinda Hari Hari”.
Feel the grace and the kindness of the One who lies in the centre of your own Being.
Continue for 3-11 mins*
Prayer for Abundance
We have so much before us and for this we are thankful. We have so many blessings, and for this we are thankful. There are others not so fortunate, and by this we are humbled. We shall make an offering in their name to the gods who watch over us, that those in need are someday as blessed as we are this day.
All love and blessings during this very special time of the year. May you recognise you are bountiful, blissful and beautiful right now in this moment and in all the moments yet to come.
If you feel called, we invite you to join us on Friday 29th March for our next moon circle during which we will celebrate the equinox and the moon.