Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Equinoxes are the Balance Point, a day of equal light and dark, and it brings us back to the subject of duality once more. On this day, it is good to do some releasing, and to bring in the new. Duality. It's the Harvest Festival, a day of Thanksgiving, and of the Give Away, or giving thanks and giving away or getting rid of what we no longer need. It's time to take a look at what we have harvested: Did we meet our goals? Or is there still more work to be done? What do we need to help us to complete our goals?
Let's use a garden example for all of this. First, let's look at whether or not the seeds that we planted "grew corn", or became fruitful and multiplied. If not, we may not want to plant that same crop again next year, or give it any more energy, so let's release it. Next, what did grow corn? Let's harvest it and give thanks for it all. Some things may not be finished growing yet, and we may need to work on them some more, over the Autumn and Winter months, so let's "carry them over". Lastly, we look at what we want to plant now, our cold-weather crops, let's call them. These are the ideas we've been having that we are ready to start working on. Granted, we may not see them begin to grow until Spring, yet we can still begin doing the work, whether it's researching, gathering materials, or making arts and crafts - or writing that book - that we can have ready to "bring out into the Light", or give birth to, share with others, come Spring.
This is the basis of my Autumn Equinox Ritual. First, I give thanks for all that I have harvested. Then I release everything that I am ready to let go of, be it ideas, people, old issues or fears, or parts of the past that I've healed from already. I do a full evaluation of my life, and even go back to the Vision Board that I create each New Year, to see what is still growing, and what isn't. When we thin out our crops, we make more room for the ones that are growing well, and it's the same way for our energy - it allows us more energy to work on those things that are producing fruit. It's also a good time to clean out your closet, your cabinets, your attic or basement, and get rid of all of the physical or material objects that are no longer being used.
Both of these lists are recited out loud, and burned in the Ceremonial Fire. Smudging after releasing, gets those old energies off of you. Then it's the In-Between Time - where you are inbetween the old and the new, the dark and the light, the past and the future. Notice that duality theme again... It is at this point that I send up prayers for those who need them. I always include prayers of peace, as Autumn Equinox is International Peace Day. This time around, I will also include prayers for the Earth and Water, and for those protecting our Mother and Her Sacred resources. Then prayers for family and friends of all attending my Ceremony. Afterwards, it's always a good idea to re-center yourself, and ground yourself, before beginning the second half of the Ceremony.
Now it's time to look at what we are Carrying Over to work on over the Autumn and Winter months. These are the things that we planted earlier in the year, that have not yet finished growing. I ask for help in bringing these to fruition, and to have the resources that I need to finish them. I save this list of items, keeping it handy, so that I can refer to it over the coming months.
Lastly, we look at the new that we are wishing to bring into our lives, and recite this list of items aloud, as we do with all of our lists. This can be new projects, a new car, home, child, a new skill or teaching that you want to gain, or anything that you are ready to give energy to. I like to look at all areas of my life, and add to them all: Mental, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual growth come from planting seeds in all areas of our lives. This list gets buried in the Earth, in the Direction of West, so that Mother Earth can assist us with these wishes. On Winter Solstice, it can be used for your Vision Board, and then it is moved to the Direction of North. On Spring Equinox, it might be wise to take a peek at the list, and see how you are doing with it all, and use it to make up a similar set of lists for that season. Afterwards, rebury it in the Direction of East. And then on Summer Solstice, rebury it in the South. Next year, on Autumn Equinox, you can bring it up and see how you did, and if there are things on it that may need to be carried over. Another option is to make this list on your computer, so that you can refer to it on all of the Solstices and Equinoxes. Don't cheat and look at it continually! Trust Mother Earth and the Universe to provide.
That's all there is to the Ceremony that I do each Autumn Equinox. It helps me to plan for the year ahead, to look at my goals, to see how I'm doing by evaluating all areas of my life, and letting go of everything that isn't working, so that I can continue to grow.
West and Water
On Autumn Equinox, the Wheel turns towards the Direction of West, and the Element of Water. Since July, we have been talking about the prevalence of Water Energy, and now the Wheel turns in that Direction. Water represents the emotions, and I truly believe that we are all working towards healing our own emotional waters, at this time, and have been, since July! West is also the feminine Direction, opposite of East, the masculine Direction. South is also masculine, and North is also feminine, as our Mother Earth lives there. Which means that when the Wheel turns, we will be entering the Feminine or Dark half of the year. Dark as in the Void, the place we go to create and give birth, as in the womb. All of the plants and trees begin pulling their energies back into the Earth, and we begin pulling our energies back into ourselves.
The plants begin dying, the trees lose their leaves, and nothing grows. This time helps the Earth to regenerate, with all of these energies pulled back into Her, into the Root Layer of the Earth, a place of healing and regeneration. We can also look at it in another way: The same Mother who is fertile in Spring, growing in Summer, is destroying in the Autumn, slashing it all down, taking Her energy back into Herself. I recently reshared an earlier blog post on Creator vs Destroyer Energies, and if you want to read more about this, I'd suggest checking out that blog post. To look at it another way, we take away the energy from what is no longer needed, so that we, ourselves, can have the energy needed to regenerate. For everything there is a season...
Mother Bear is the Totem Animal of the Direction of West, and She is the teacher of Going Within. She prepares now to hibernate, and we follow Her lead, to do the same over the coming cold months. We go within - into our cozy dwellings, to work on our own projects, and to go within ourselves, and weed out everything there that is no longer working. Sleep is healing, and this Mother Bear knows. While we sleep, we dream, and in our dreams, we are seeing new ideas, new ways of being, of knowing, and of growing. While we are within, we visit our own wombs, the darkness within, the Void, where nothing and everything exists at once, the place of possibilities. It is here that we plant the seeds that will grow up from the Root Layer come Spring, and come out into the Light, this World of Light. For now, we leave these ideas, seeds, planted in the Root Layer, where they can be nourished by the energies of the Earth, of the womb, of the Mother, just as a pregnant woman's body nourishes her embryo. We feed these ideas, these seeds, what they need over the coming cold months, so that when it is time to "dar a luz", or give them to the light come Spring, they will be healthy and strong.
It is the season of the feminine, the Divine Feminine, and of the feminine energy rising in our world, re-establishing its equality, in fullness. The feminine energies of nurturing, ourselves and our ideas, or children, come out in this season. Our homes become the center of our lives once more, that hearth fire burning there, keeping us all filled with energy, and Woman tends that fire, feeds and nurtures her family, takes care of her home, and millions of other tiny things that are taken for granted in our world. She guides the family with her wisdom, the same wisdom she uses to right the wrongs of the world, to heal the sick, to nurture the unloved, unwanted aspects of ourselves, providing the love that is needed, showing the emotions, feeling empathy for all living beings. The feminine energies rise to be restored to balance. It is time. It is her season.
Meanwhile, we work with the Destroyer energies...
The Dao teaches that we must work with the energies available to us, to do otherwise is to use too much energy, or wastes energy. When we take a look around our world, we can clearly see what needs to be released, let go of. The time between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice is akin to the 3rd Quarter Moon, a time when the greatest energy is working towards releasing, or waning, towards the New, which actually arrives on Winter Solstice, when Grandfather Sun begins growing once more. So to work with the current energies, we work towards releasing what is no longer needed, so that we can all become new once more, or embrace the new in our lives, both individually and collectively.
It is time to release the old paradigms, Patriarchy and the Capitalism and greed which have created inequality, discrimination, and apathy. We no longer care, because we don't feel like we can make a difference, yet this is completely wrong. We are the only ones who can make a difference! It is time to weed out those corrupt individuals from the governments of the world, the oppressors, the ones who are withholding the Truth from the People, the ones who are working against Mother Earth, and are, in fact, working to destroy the Earth for their own greed. It is time to work towards releasing the systems that are keeping the Truth from us all, which very well may be the conglomerate media outlets, which distort the Truth, and keep it from us, in an Orwellian manner. Perhaps work is needed in releasing our own material needs, so that we can let go of the corporations destroying the Earth. Maybe it's time to take back our own health and healing, by releasing the need for Big Pharma.
Every energy can be turned around, and it's time to think about how to do this, so that what is no longer needed in our world, can be released by all of us. We release inequality, we release materialism, we release the two party system, we release the need to feel better than others so that we can learn to accept ourselves for exactly who we are right this minute. And then, come Winter, we begin the Purification and Healing season, the time of clearing the fields for the coming growing season, the time of eating those Root Vegetables that help to nourish us from within, the time of planning for Spring planting.
Everything has a season. We tear down walls so that we can build anew in the coming season. It is time to go within. Mother Bear calls us into the darkness of Her cave, to heal, to release, to pray, to dream, and to dance. Before we know it, we'll be standing with White Buffalo in the North, with Unity as our goal, and the Rainbow Rays spread out all around us. But that's a story for another day.... today is for releasing!
Happy Autumn Equinox!
May your Harvest be bountiful!