Fall Equinox Hidden Mysteries
Find Your Inner Inspiration Now
Fall or Autumn Equinox is September 22 in 2012.
Fall is the 4th and final major Sun Cycle of the year and it means a time of changing Focus and direction in your life.
From the Equinox, your consciousness moves slowly inward as the nights lengthen and the days shorten.
Follow your natural inclination to turn inward and you'll find the wisdom, riches and inspiration for your next cycle (year) ahead.
The chaotic times of summer and rapid growth means lots of changes - some loss and some gain. What's next? Fall is the time of harvesting, and also the time to take stock of what you harvest.
The Autumn Earth Mother is celebrated around the world.
First for her bountiful harvest and then, second, as the guide to turn inward, exactly as She does, withdrawing from the surface, during the coming winter season.
If your returns this season are not what you hoped, now is the time to reflect, find your balance and look for what within you must change to assure greater success in the coming year.
This is the ending of the annual Sun cycle and for many, November 1st marks the beginning of a New Year. For others, Winter Solstice marks new year's beginnings, with New Year on January 1st designated as the day of change to the new. Here are the traditions and history that lie within your genetic coding.
Autumn actually begins August 1st and ends October 31st - with the Fall Equinox marking the mid-point. (Western calendars term the "Equinox" the first day of Autumn perhaps because they are no longer aware of the connection between nature, harvesting and Solar cycles.)
The amazing beauty of Autumn lights up the Fall days.
The leaves soon fall and the trees withdraw inward - a reminder that winter is coming
and a time for reflection is near.
For our agrarian ancestors, Fall Equinox (and longer - often through October) were the last harvests of the year. At the end of the time of gathering in, storing, and preparing for the coming Winter, the villagers had time --and good reason-- to celebrate plentiful foods, to feast and to dance.
The Fall Equinox (September 21-23) is the 3 day period
when the sun appears to stand still. Think of it as a time to find your
balance as the seasons change and as your Focus or perception changes.
"Yesterday I was clever
so I wanted to change
the world and today
I am wise so I am
Zahid Iqbal Khan
Now is a time to reflect between your past and your future. You are standing on a threshold between what was, and what will be. Look back at all you've accomplished, and look forward at the new adventures to come. If nothing WITHIN you CHANGES, then your past will be your future.
Fall Equinox is a traditional time of gratitude and thanksgiving around the world. Join in the flow of the times and add your appreciation for all you've experienced and received this past year - and your Joyful expectations for the coming year. You are setting your own future in motion now with a potent surge of energy during the transition point.
From these days forward, the night's lengthen and the days shorten. All of life turns within. You are moving from your more "Yang" masculine, action oriented self, into the realms of the inner-world, the "Yin" and your feminine, intuitive, receptive, creative self. This inward journey culminates on Winter Solstice, and ends at Spring Equinox as the energy again turns, this time from within, to move out again into the world.
Autumn Abundance and the Harvest Moon
"Autumn" is a derivative of the Latin "autumnus" referring to harvesting. Equinox literally means "equal night." Day and night are each 12 hours, and the sun rises in true east and sets in true west. The Sun appears to "stand still" and finds balance before continuing. After the Equinox you view the most rapid change in the Sun's apparent motion.
"Everyone must take
time to sit and watch
the leaves turn."
The warm brilliant colors bely the cold barren days ahead.
All of Nature gives thanks for the year past and looks inward toward the year to come.
As the nights lengthen and cool, the trees change into their Fall colors. Fruits, vegetables and grains for Winter are harvested now.
Hunting season also starts in the Fall and wild game was a staple of life. Fall is also when farmers slaughtered farm animals and preserved meat for the long winters. The abundant harvest is symbolized by the horn of plenty or the cornucopia overflowing with Fall bounty and huge feasts, music and dancing.
In 2010 the Fall Equinox is 11 pm PDT on September 22nd. The full moon closest to the Equinox is know as the Harvest Moon, in 2010 it is on the following day, September 23rd. The full moon lit up the fields so the farmers could work late into the night harvesting. If the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox is in October, then the September moon is typically named the Corn Moon.
Science Facts: How the Fall Equinox and Seasons change.
The Fall Equinox, in the Northern Hemisphere, is the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. In the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite is seen, and there it is the time of the Spring Equinox. All life is conceived as a duality, and here the two opposites exist visibly - with the Equinoxes as the transition points.
The planets are spinning and orbiting - hardly noticed day to day.
changes evolve slowly and if you pay attention - do not catch you off guard or in turmoil.
The equinoxes are points moving in a westward direction known as the "precession of the equinoxes" (first noted by Hipparchus about 120 B.C and "rediscovered" in Western Science in 1680's by Sir Isaac Newton).
It takes 25,800 years for the equinoxes to pass through all the constellations of the zodiac. That time period is noted historically in the Vedic and Mayan texts as prophesizing great worldwide changes...Like the Age of Aquarius.
Fall Equinox in story and myth.
Stories and myth are the histories of a culture - some from religious texts and some from verbal traditions. The truths, wisdom and teachings of the time are embedded within parables, songs and dances -- and within your genetic code.
Fall is a time of huge changes, and changes are always a time of great joy and great sorrow. For everything new replaces something old.
There is joy in the harvest and the sadness of endings or "death" of the old year.
With the harvesting of fruits, nuts, squash and melons is the reminder that within the harvest (and the death of the plants)
-- within the fruit, are the seeds of new life and a promise for the coming year.
There is also the realization that the Wheel of the Solar Seasons has turned, cycling through another year once again.
The Fall Harvest holds the promise for the coming year.
Deep within the fruits, nuts, berries and vegetables are the seeds of the future. The same is true for you - as you assess your harvest, look for the seeds of new beginnings.
Your time is circular not linear, there is no end without new beginnings, and no new beginnings that will not end. It is the Flow of Good Fortune to an ever-expanding future, and the flow of life eternal.
Finding balance in the changes
Holidays are a time to align yourself with the forces of Nature. The Fall Equinox is a powerful doorway and opportunity to restore your balance and to bring harmony to key life projects and relationships.
"Autumn is a second
season when every
leaf is a flower."
Is your life in balance? Has your own personal harvest been good? What new life experiences brought you opportunities? You only learn from experience, and only gain wisdom from self-reflection and awareness of the whole story of your journey.
It is in the quiet and inward-time of Winter that your Wisdom will surface as your Inspiration. Your wisdom then becomes a part of who you are. Gather together your experiences and prepare to go on an inward spiraling journey.
Stories and Myths of the inward journey
All of these wisdom teachings tell of the same inward journey, and all are around the Fall Equinox. They are from different cultures and times and yet speak of the same cycle.
The high surf of summer crests and soon calm prevails
A time of quiet is fast approaching - and longer nights too.
The Greek Goddess Persephone
In Greek mythology, Persephone (Kore or Cora) was the embodiment of Mother Earth's fertility - and at the same time - she was the Queen of the Underworld.
The story: Persephone, the daughter of Earth Mother Demeter, is abducted and becomes the wife of Hades who governs the underworld. In Demeter's anguished seeking her daughter, she withdrew from the earth (hence winter and the withering of the crops) until Zeus ordered Hades to return Persephone. Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, which compels her to return to the underworld for a season each year.
Her myth explains the natural processes, with the descent and return of the goddess bringing about the change of seasons. But there's more to the story.
Persephone is a Greek life-death-rebirth deity or "resurrection" deity. She is a God who is born, suffers a death-like experience, passes a time in the underworld, and is then reborn. (Male examples are Osiris, Baldr, Dionysus, and Odin.) Persephone is the central figure of the Eleusinian Mysteries, whose cult dates to 1700 BC as the "unnamed goddess" worshiped in Crete. The name of "Persephone" is never spoken for she was also the feared Queen of the Dead. She was simply referred to as "Kore" or "the Maiden."
The Winter months (soon to come) are a time of "going into the inner or underworld" and there reigning as the all powerful ruler. The mystery schools used the seasons as imputes for change and personal growth. The symbolic message is a time to move from the outer to the inner realms - as Diety. Like a god, you set your life in motion from your inner world - and what you imagine, dream and speak - comes to pass.
When Demeter and her daughter were united in the Spring the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned as Queen of the Underworld, the earth once again became barren. Those that stay on the surface of life at Wintertime, find their future barren too.
The rainbow is the promise of good things to come.
Victory is assured when your life is designed
and then the plan implemented that produces success.
Vedic or Hindu Goddess: & Fall Durga Puja.
The story: When chaos reigned in the Universe, the Gods called on the Mother of the Universe to save them. In the form of Durga, Mother Kali slew the evil demons - and then peace reigned.
Durga is a beautiful warrior Goddess, riding a raging tiger, brandishing twelve weapons in her twelve hands. She is a symbol of the feminine power of protection and victory. Durga, Elusive Victory, represents victory over the domineering mind.
Mystical wisdom teachings.
The evil demons are the evils of an uncontrolled mind (mind-blindness, fear, greed, lust and ignorance) that create and attract (via Karma) the chaos you experience in life. The weapons in each of her 12 hands represent an attribute to use to control the mind-maya. She is a reminder that this is the time of year to turn inward, use the feminine power of reflection, the 12 "weapons" she offers, and reign in your wayward mind. It is a time to find your own truth and wisdom and prepare for a victorious coming year.
A Durga Puja (purification) is a time for people to show their gratitude to Mother Nature, in the form of the Goddess Durga, for their good fortune. It is a period to restore and find balance after the long monsoon period of rains (often followed by deadly epidemics.) For many, the religious ceremony is observed on the seventh, eighth and ninth day of the New Moon usually in the month of Ashwin (September to October depending on a lunar calendar.)
The Durga Puja is then often followed by the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Grace, Beauty and Prosperity on the evening of the full moon. Lakshmi is the promise of the abundance to come in the new year -- assuming that you have purged your mind of self-delusion!
The Celtic or Wiccan story of Mabon
Mabon is a time of change, when we are between the worlds of life (Summer and Autumn) and death (Winter), of light and dark of the day and night --in perfect balance- for one day.
The story: Mabon is named after the Welsh God, the "Great Son" or "Great hunter." He is the son of Modron the great Mother Earth, and is the Divine Youth, or Son of Light. Mabon vanishes when he is three days old. His whereabouts are a mystery. Mabon is finally set free at Yule (Winter Solstice) through following the wisdom of the ancient animals (Blackbird, Stag, Owl, Eagle, and Salmon). The teaching was seldom revealed until a person, through reflection on the animals, discovered the answer themselves.
The Inner Mystery
Mabon had returned to his Earth Mother's womb or the "Otherworld." In Winter, the earth nurtures the new seeds, or Mabon, and over time the seed gathers the strength to become the new harvest the following year. He has brought light into Mother Earth, and remains until he has enough wisdom and strength and is powerful enough to take over darkness once again.
In the story, the "Otherworld" is a challenging place. Here Mabon learns the secrets of cultivation. Within the quiet of nature in the Winter months, a person is renewed and regenerated in the same way. It is a place of new life emerging from the darkness. In the Spring, he is reborn, the source of Light and Joy to His Earth Mother.
The Wise animals teach that Fall, the time of Mabon, is a time for quiet, tranquil resting periods. Without the fallow periods we could not assimilate our experiences and balance our outer consciousness and inner knowing. From our insights, we then weave all that we discover into our coming year. Just as fields need to lay dormant to support new growth -- so do we.
The Goddesses associated with Mabon are Morgan, Modron, Persephone, and Epona. Some of the Gods are Thoth, Hermes and Thor.
The Corn Maiden (Changing Woman) is a Native American Tradition
Many Southwestern tribes rely on corn as their primary food. There are many celebrations in honor of Mother Nature and the Goddess of the Corn, of planting and harvesting.
One such tradition combines two stories. A young maiden, as her rite of passage, is honored and celebrated, as she changes from a child, into a woman and potential mother.
Special foods, bathing, corn pollen and songs and ceremonies accompany the 2-3 day ritual. At the end, the young woman runs from one end of a long line of well wishers, to the other and then returns.
The Wisdom teaching
As she runs they shower her with corn pollen - and she transforms, within the Mystery of Earth Mother's grace, from the girl-child, to the young woman, to the mother, to the elder woman and finally into a wise woman -- at the end of the line of family and friends. The tunnel of tribal members represent the going within time. Now she turns, having experienced her life's journey in a brief moment, and runs back again, changing through the life cycles, and returning to the young maiden.
It is turning within to Earth Mother that changes are understood and woven into the patterns of life. From experience and introspection, we gather great strength and then have the personal power to "dance our dream awake."
Fall Equinox still reveals vibrant colors and warm days.
The grass soon turns brown and withdraws
and the sun's power to warm lessons and life cools down.
Worldwide Fall Equinox Traditions
The Fall Equinox is also known as the first day of autumn: Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, and Witch's Thanksgiving.
The first cusp of Libra was the Fall Equinox term used by navigators and astrologers. It is the turning point, astrologically, from Virgo to Libra, symbolized by the scales, for balance.
This Fall Equinox day of transition shows up on pagan, Mayan, American Indian, ancient Irish and Druid calendars.
"It was Indian summer,
a bluebird sort of day as
we call it in the north,
warm and sunny, without
a breath of wind;
the water was sky-blue,
the shores a bank
of solid gold."
Sigurd F. Olson
Native American Traditions
Earth Mother and the ancestors are honored this time of harvest with feasting, bonfires, as well as drumming, dancing, story-telling and a variety of traditions from different tribes. It was the Native American assistance to the Pilgrims that helped them survive through the winter. Native peoples shared their customs that became the traditional Thanksgiving Holiday in 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving the new American holiday.
Native American (or ancient unknown migrant Europeans) built North America's oldest stone monument - estimated from 4,000 years ago. The old megalithic site is located on Mystery Hill in Salem, New Hampshire. The site consists of five standing stones and one fallen stone in a linear alignment which point to both the sunrise and sunset at the Spring and Fall Equinoxes.
Chumash month of Hutash
The Chumash Fall Equinox sun ceremony is celebrated during September after the harvest. The Chumash tribe celebrates the Sun Seasons, and the changes that they represent. People are known as children of the Sun. Community and family are the foundation of their culture, as they turn inward and honor their past years experiences, their ancestors, and the cycles of life, of death and rebirth.
As the fields are harvested, Winter is visible.
A good time of the year to store up and assess your harvest.
European harvest rites revolved around the end of the grain harvest. In rural England, the Harvest Home was celebrated on the last day of bringing in the harvest.
The "Harvest Queen" was a doll made of the last sheaf of the harvest, tied with ribbons, and carried home to save for the following Spring planting. She was believed to hold the "life force" for abundance in the next crops.
A harvest supper was a dinner of thanksgiving and celebration. The home was decorated with wheat sheaths bundled together or corn stalks, wicker cornucopias filled with fruits and nuts, gourds, pumpkins, acorns and grapes.
Pratyushan Parva is a Jain festival.
It is celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August- September) and is a recognition of the followers achievement of spiritual progress.
The ten virtues featured during this
festival are: forgiveness, charity, simplicity, contentment,
truthfulness, self-restraint, fasting, detachment, humility and
continence. During the days of the celebration, the devout Jains
keep fast, eat only once in a day, and concentrate on the qualities and
virtues of great Jain saints and preachers.
"I see, when I bend close,
how each leaflet of a
climbing rose is
bordered with frost,
the autumn counterpart
of the dewdrops of
The feathery leaves of
yarrow are thick with
silver rime and dry thistle
heads rise like goblets
plated with silver
catching the sun."
Edwin Way Teale
The ancient Mayans
observed the Fall Equinox at the pyramid at Cihickén Itzá. Seven triangles of light fall on the pyramid’s staircase - only - on the day of the Fall Equinox. The sacred pyramids and stone monuments chart with amazing accuracy the movement of the stars and planets. Their sciences and wisdom are lost until the Mayan ancestors, still on the land, reclaim them from their ancestors. Great beauty, secrets and wisdom are the heritage they offer the future generations.
"Winter Finding" is a Teutonic tribal tradition.
It is celebrated from the Fall Equinox until Winter Night (October 15th) and was also known by the name Winter Night -- the Norse new year.
The Druids celebrate Mea'n Fo'mhair
The Fall Equinox is a time to give thanks to The Green Man or the God of the Forest. Offerings from the harvest of herbs, ciders, and wines were given to the trees, his consorts, and in his honor. The tree is a symbol of the divine feminine and as the tree sheds it's leaves - turning inward, leading into the realm of the Goddess.
The Celtic Solar God of Changing
A classic story of the Changing seasons and of Unity in Diversity. The alternating Oak King and the Holly King are two aspects of the Solar God. In ancient cultures they meet in combat at the two Solstice changeover points.
The Oak King rules from Midwinter to Midsummer and the time of fertility, abundance, and growth. The Holly King reigns from Midsummer to Midwinter and the time of harvest, of rest and restoring - and inner wisdom in silence.
They are two aspects of the same God, one inward looking, the
other focused out into life. Each depicts a phase in the natural rhythm
of the solar cycle of life.
-was inhabited by the mysterious Megalithic peoples, pre-dating the Celt, Roman and Saxon along the Atlantic ocean coast by thousands of years. The Solstices and Equinoxes were intricately marked in Stonehenge. Other stone structures were aligned so that the solstices and equinoxes could be determined with accuracy - even today.
Stonehenge marked the seasons, and some lunar and celestial cycles as well.
The stone monuments were situated to chart the solar seasons and planting cycles.
The Celtic Festival of Samhain
The ancient Celtic peoples occupied much of Northern Europe
including parts of France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England, as well
as many outposts in adjoining regions. The fire festival of Samhain was
the origin of many modern day Halloween customs and marked the end of
autumn and the beginning of winter.
The wind is rising,
and the air is wild
we have had our
now for October eves!"
On the Eve of Samhain, October 31st, the separation between this world and the "other realms" was penetrable.
Witches flew on broomsticks, and fairies, ghosts, ghouls, and hobgoblins roamed the earth.
It was a time to contact deceased ancestors and make family offerings. Divination was especially potent to foretell the future. Robust competition between communities for who could build the biggest bonfires lit up the hilltops around the villages. Blazes could be seen for miles.
Fall Harvest festive decorations.
The pumpkin is traditional both at harvest and now more recently, at Halloween.
The hidden inner Wisdom
Samhain is also known as the season of gateways. The bonfires marked the years end. For the initiate, the festivities also marks the 3 day portal to both the future and the past. In addition, it is the "thinning of the veil" or a gateway between the realm of the living to that of the dead. The shaman and medicine people of many native traditions share this wisdom and practice.
Samhain is a mystical path to the inner mysteries of the god and goddess within each person.
As told in ancient times -- the gateway is within you.
Samhain ritual and magik was used to connect the ancient wisdom with the season to the benefit of the followers.
Modern Halloween is a current Samhain adaptation.
Today Celtic celebrations are observed worldwide.
The Healers and Wise Women were branded "witches" by the Church -
...fear of the dead, of death, dying - and now those who healed -- made for very perilous times for the villager.
The custom of trick-or-treating and the symbols, parties, fires and celebrations retain the outer trappings of old festivities - sans the meaning. The first jack-o-lanterns were hollowed out turnips with candles inside. Ancient symbols seep back into life as our genetic history recalls favored events and practices.
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Fall Equinox Season - Blending the old with the new
Roman Catholics in Europe still remember their dead ancestors on All Saints Day, the first of November.
Michaelmas was the Feast at the end of September honoring the Archangel Michael. The Christian church replaced Pagan celebrations with their own Christian event and name change - based on the Pagan practices that people were already celebrating.
In Astrology, Virgo rules most of September, Virgo is associated with purity, innocence and intellect. The Virgo festival is a carry over from the Feast of Artemis celebrated in Roman times. Virgo analyzes, separating and defining the world. An inner spiritual realm is seen as a destination of perfection. The physical world in the Fall is left behind, through turning inward.
The Sun enters the Cardinal Air Sign Libra, at the Autumn Equinox. Venus, the planet of love and all things beautiful, is the ruler. Symbolized by the Scales, Libra represents the perfected idea of justice with the intention of finding balance. Libra seeks to bring a union of spirit and matter. Find inspiration in the arts, meditation, and music as the energy turns inward.
In Korea moon cakes are a traditional food of harvest of thanksgiving festivals.
Some Buddist traditions celebrate equality and balance on the Fall Equinox, the time of the year when day and night are of equal length.In Japan,
Autumn Equinox Day is a national holiday, marking the change of seasons and paying respects to the dead.
The rice harvest is celebrated annually.
...rice cultures honor the Rice Goddess by several names.
This holiday honors Higan-e, and is celebrated "for three days before and after the Equinox.
Six days represents the six perfections, giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom. Each quality is needed before departing from this shore of sams'ra to the further or "other shore" or nirvana.
The tradition includes repenting past sins and prayers for enlightenment in the next life. The ancestors are remembered within home shrines, but also with visits to the family graves. The Equinoxes are the times of perfect balance, and thus a time to find one's own inner balance.
Autumn Equinox bonfires continue to celebrate the end of the Fall Season. The Celtic custom of lighting fires on the Isle of Man on Halloween continues today. Some have new names, as in England the custom is now called Bonfire Night to celebrate the foiling of the plot by Guy Fawkes to destroy the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
Is Burning Man - an ancient custom reborn?
The Druids, or the ancient Celts conducted a mock sacrifice of a large wicker-wood figure of a man that represented the vegetation spirit.
In England, the last sheaf of corn harvested represented the "spirit of the field" and was made into a doll. Corn dolls were burned to represent the death of the grain spirit. In some traditions, they were kept until the following spring and planted with the crops. Huge bonfires were traditional in the Fall celebrations.
Burning Man is is an eight-day-long annual festival held annually in the Black Rock Desert, in Northern Nevada. The event is an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance and takes its name from the ritual of burning a large wooden sculpture of a man at night on the sixth day.
The ritual burning of a wooden male figure began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 in San Francisco. Over the next several years the bonfire event migrated from the Summer to Fall and then to the Nevada desert.
Burning Man attracts people from around the world who come and celebrate creativity and self-expression. Could this be a reenactment of the traditional Fall bonfire rituals? The image - a genetic trigger, calling to those who hold this cell memory? Or is it just another huge coincidence?
"The winds will blow
their own freshness
into you, and the
storms their energy,
while cares will drop
away from you like the
leaves of Autumn."
Join the Fall Equinox festivities.
Visit Mother Nature in her leafy robes of gold, red and orange.
Feel the changes in the season and in life.
Harvest Festivals are a universal expression of the basic desire to celebrate and give thanks for Mother Nature's abundance.
From ancient times, rituals included bonfires, feasting, round dances, and community activities...
join in the fun and celebrate as this
annual cycle turns toward Winter.
The Wine harvest is festive and fun.
Making wine was a community event - and so were the parties that followed.
“You can have
whatever you want
in life….if you’re willing
Taneo Sands Kumuli
Now is the time to discover your own mystery - and wisdom.
Life happens and choices are made. Decisions set your destiny unless you review them, and make changes. You may have acted in ways you do not want to carry into your future. Although you cannot go back and change the past, you can change now. Make new decisions and reap the harvest of wisdom your experiences brought you.
Take a moment and give your Attention to your Life's path and purpose.
If you want a better year ahead, now is the time to reflect on your past and commit to discover new approaches to your future.
You have many months ahead to ponder and imagine.
Then during the early Spring, allow your Inspiration to seed your future with Joy and abundance.
Store the work boots - time to rest.
Time spent reflecting and nurturing your Vision is time well-spent now.
Quick Good Fortune For You: "Go with the flow in Nature and find your path to success and happiness now."
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