Everyone seems to have some opinion when the short New England Summer ends and our glorious Autumn begins. Many are saddened by the shorter amount of daylight, others revel in the cool crisp temperatures that come with this season. Whatever your view, this magical day has been celebrated for centuries by our ancestral peoples — knowing a harsh winter would soon be upon them, they gathered their crops, picked berries, stored firewood, stored root vegetables in their cellars, made preserves, salted their meats, and prepared to survive another long and cold “dark” season.
Today, it’s a much easier existence, and we look forward to hay-rides, apple picking, local fairs, the multitude of autumn flowers bursting forth with their bright russet, gold, orange and maroon hues. Pumpkins appear on doorsteps, and in the fields ready for choosing, the children with ruddy cheeks enjoy the carnival rides at the fair, we bring down our heavy coats and clothing for the bitter winds that will come, and there is a sense of timelessness, of antiquity, of a shared ritual from ancient folks. This is our eternal cycle of reaping, storing, renewal, and rebirth — each time-span reminding us of times past, of those who have crossed over, of our own mortality — the fragile world upon which we live, and our duty to one another in order to survive — and our duty to keep this world strong and safe for those who will come.
Through the mists of time, many have celebrated this day as sacred — the Druids honored the Green Man — the earth keeper, the followers of Wicca celebrate Moban, a feast of sharing the bounty of the harvest. With incantations to the Gods and Goddesses, they welcomed the changes and prepared for the next cycle to come. Knowing that this was the way of the Earth from time immemorial. It was their karma to continue the progression of the yearly rotations, in order to thrive and become whole, become one with the Earth, to Be!
We all have some treasured memories of this changing time of the year, sometimes bringing warm thoughts of hearty foods, stews, hot-pots, roasts and turkeys with all the fixings, enduring favorite desserts — apple pie, ginger cookies, pumpkin muffins, berry cobblers, all washed down with tart apple cider. How wonderful to look back and rejoice in our bounty!
One of my treasured Autumn Equinox memories was brought to me by my friend Jone — who wrote the blog (Reclaim Your Light) — she would unexpectedly burst into my kitchen with her Autumnal robes flowing behind her like a tornado of mystical energy — autumn leaves strewn throughout her clothing and hair, smiling and glowing like a conjurer just appearing in a puff of smoke! She would proclaim a “Joyous Equinox” to all, and lavish my table with vegetables from her garden or some delicious delicacy that was home-baked with fresh fruits from the local farms. Before I could actually acknowledge that she was there — she would disappear with her robes flaring and flapping out behind her, not waiting for a thank-you — her jubilant and triumphant laughter wafting back to me on the air as she drove away! (And – no – she wasn’t on a broom!)
We all should hearken back to some of our treasured memories of these wondrous times of change — it brings back those good feelings of family, friends and fun times.
As the Sun moves into Libra — we prepare ourselves for whatever is to come, with Jupiter now in residence in Libra we will have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the innate beauty in ourselves. Resolve to live every moment to the full, connect with family and friends, and revel in your unique existence. This time is now, this time is yours, this time will never be again. Immerse yourselves in the power of LIFE.
Peace – and a Joyous Autumnal Equinox to all!