The meaning and celebrations of Fall Equinox have roots in indigenous traditions of Europe, but around the world, as well. Just as the Moon waxes and wanes, so does the Sun, and this annual reality is the foundation for many seasonal fetes.
Along with Summer and Winter Solstice, and Spring Equinox, it's a significant turning point in the Solar Seasonal Cycle. It falls somewhere around September 20-23rd in the Northern Hemisphere. In the year 2012, Fall Equinox is September 22nd, a Saturday, at 10:49 am EDT.
It has many names -- Cornucopia, Witch's Thanksgiving, Wine Harvest, Mabon (after the Welsh God of the Harvest), and Harvest Tide -- evoking the scenes of the season. A big feast is prepared, and we call 'round friends and family.
There's a fresh hint of chill in the air, summer is over and the days grow shorter. Winter is coming, and it's time to prepare, by harvesting and putting up food. Autumn means harvest, and the season at times has been called simply harvest."Fall" of the Solar Year
Fall and Autumn are both used for this wonderful season, with "Fall" being more common in America. It's marked by the Sun going into the astrological sign Libra, to be followed by Scorpio and Sagittarius. So it's the start of this trio of relational signs -- we grow in understanding through our social and intimate connections.
The Sun is waning (in the Northern Hemisphere), but this begins the season of reaching out. The Sun into Libra motivates us to build bridges, create a balance of give and take. It's ideal for sharing your bounty with a neighbor, to make that connection, or attend community festivities.
If we see Fall Equinox as a time of refining the creative intentions of Spring Equinox, we take into account "the Other." It's adapting your goals, as they meet the contributions or demands of your extended social circle. Sometimes Fall brings up melancholy moods. Is it the reminder that all things diminish (die) and transform? Are we remembering and connecting to an ancient rhythm?Fall Equinox Leitmotif
- What is the harvest this year? What do you sense needs to change, to sow seeds of a more bountiful, fulfilling harvest?
- Gathering and storing nuts.
- Mulling over musings that are rich enough to go with you into the dark, contemplative months.
- Deep study, certification, reflection.
- Tending to social web -- breaking isolation, hosting and attending parties, sharing in groups.
- Refining Spring Equinox intentions -- dying to aspects that are not a natural fit.
- Attend gatherings with people who support your visions, nourish your soul, keep your spirits lifted.
The months of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius remind us we're not alone. It's ideal for joining or starting a group that's willing to explore heights and depths. Libra is a time for harmonizing with the significant people in our lives -- from business partners to friends we've lost touch with over the crazy-busy summer! It's time for slow food dinner parties with kindred spirits, and new friends.
Scorpio draws us into the eternal mysteries, and this is when we really bare our souls. It's time for intimacy, and releasing what's pent up, so the energy re-enters the stream. A deep ahhhh happens, when the soul decompresses, and it's like coming home. A month for deep insights about emotional realities, soul-level needs and how to transform our lives.
Sagittarius is the time of finding that inner light and sharing it with others. It's a socially lively time, with holiday soirees. And a time for spiritual momentum -- the optimistic visions spontaneously forming carry us through the winter gloom. It's ideal for expansive research, drawing from new sources, and journeys of the body and spirit.