The fall, or autumnal, equinox is an important sacred day. In areas that experience four distinct seasons, it is a harvest festival. It is the second time of year when the day and night are of equal length -- from this point forward, the daylight hours will be shorter than the dark hours.
The fall equinox is a reminder of the importance of gratitude. It is when we receive the blessings that we have prepared for all year, or, if we have already received them, give thanks. It is also a time when we prepare to face darkness, both within ourselves and in the world around us. This is the time to be grateful for what we have been given, and get ready for the winter ahead.
You can use the energy of the fall equinox to make the rest of your year a success. This is a great time for shadow work, gratitude spells and releasing the things you no longer wish to carry with you.
Face Your Dark Side
Everyone has a shadow self. A shadow self is not always negative -- the bad stuff only happens when we continue to deny and reject it. The fall equinox is a time of balance, and its energy can help us recognize and integrate these aspects of ourselves.
Make yourself a safe space. You might want to draw a circle with cascarilla powder or salt, light black or white candles, or use a special Spiritual Protection Candle.
When you are in a safe place, take a moment to relax your body. Notice any tension you are feeling. What color is it? What emotion do you feel when you explore it? Examine your emotions, and see where you may feel stuck or tense. Ask this feeling what it wants from you. Listen for the answer. It may be energy residue from an old argument, feelings of shame, or guilt. Let it speak.
Once you can recognize this trapped, tense energy - accept it. If you can give it what it wants, do so. If not, allow yourself to feel self-compassion. Release it and ground yourself.
Honor the Abundance in Your Life
Take some time to create a cozy abundance ritual for yourself. Dress candles with warm, seasonal scents -- orange and gold are both autumnal and represent optimism, positivity, friendship, and success. Anoint them with cinnamon oil.
Light the candles, and sit in front of them. If you created a list of blessings you wished to manifest last spring, now is an excellent time to take another look at it. See what you succeeded in manifesting, and what you did not. Give thanks for all that you have received, and acknowledgment of the things that you did not. (The universe often protects us by not giving us everything we ask for, and it is important to be thankful for that, too!)
If you do not have a list, take a moment to jot down all of the things you have to be grateful for right now. What are you currently harvesting, either literally or metaphorically?
Give thanks to your ancestors, deities, and guardian spirits. Make offerings to them according to your tradition. If you are not sure what to give, items like seasonal flowers, foods, alcoholic beverages, and incense are almost always appreciated.
Offer thanks to the spirits of nature, too. Without them, we would not have food or water. Pay back some of the blessings that you have been given by setting out seeds for birds and other animals that may struggle during the autumn and winter months.
Perform a Fall Cleansing
The idea of a "spring cleaning" is pretty well known, but fall is a wonderful time to give your home a thorough physical and spiritual clearing as well. In the spirit of the harvest season, go through the items in your home. Choose any books, clothing, or other objects that you no longer need, and give them away. Acknowledge the abundance that you have been given, and share it with others to help them through the dark, cold season ahead.
Once your home is decluttered, physically clean it. Dust, scrub, sweep, and wash everything thoroughly. Mop your floors from back to front with Spiritual Cleansing Big Al Bath & Floor Wash. When you are through, dispose of the water outside (some traditions say to do this facing east, while others say to face west. Choose whichever resonates most with you). Then, place a House Cleansing Custom Scented Candle in the kitchen or living room of your home. Light it, and say,
As the days grow longer and darker,
I bring this cleansing light in.
All stagnant and unwanted energies are gone,
And only warmth and good may reign.
Plant New Seeds
The fall equinox is the dark side of the spring equinox. That means that the energy of renewal and new beginnings is still there but in a different form. Some plants are best sown in the autumn, and you can use this energy to put into your ambitions and aspirations for the year ahead.
Take a handful of seeds that are native to your area. (Seeds that require stratification are best for this since the colder winter temperatures will help them sprout.) Plant the seeds, visualizing one of your goals for the next year with each one. As the seeds grow, so will your success.
Do not let the fall equinox pass you by. This day is all about the balance between light and dark, warmth and cold, and work and rest. Take the opportunity to experience the healing, gratitude, cleansing, and new beginnings that it offers.