The Autumnal Equinox Sept. 23rd, 2013

Autumnal EquinoxWe will soon be celebrating the autumnal equinox on September 23rd. What is an equinox and what specifically is the autumn equinox? Does the autumnal equinox hold any special meaning or message for us in the astrological year of 2013? Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions.

What is the Autumnal Equinox?

It can be defined in many ways, but most simply it is the dates when the length of day and length of night are the same. The equinox comes around two times per year – the fall or autumnal equinox and the spring equinox. At those times the earth’s equator plane passes directly through the center of the sun. On these dates the sun is directly over the equator.

Celebrations of the Fall Equinox

The autumnal equinox or fall equinox occurs on September 23rd, 2013. While not carrying the same significance as the summer and winter solstices, the autumnal and vernal (spring) equinoxes are marked with ceremonies and celebrations throughout the world. In East Asia this equinox is marked by the Mid-Autumn Festival on day 15 of lunar month number 8. In China, Taiwan and Hong Kong it is a national holiday.

In Western Europe the fall equinox is celebrated with a traditional Harvest Festival and there are other celebrations in France as well. Pagans and neoPagans around the world celebrate the Wheel of the Year and the equinox is an important point on the wheel. In these traditions as well as the astrological tradition, the passing of the sun over the equator is significant and begins the journey toward winter.

The fall equinox marks the mid-point of the harvest time and nature is in perfect balance at this time. The reaping has begun and we move towards all the fall celebrations and in the United States the holiday of Thanksgiving. This is a time of celebration as well as harvesting.

Moving Toward Winter

Astrologically, this is an excellent time for completing projects, making plans and planting seeds for winter crops and new projects. This would be a great time to make changes in your lifestyle if called for. It is the time for making preparations both physical and spiritual for the darkness and cold of winter. Living in the Northern Hemisphere makes it easy to see the signs all around you that the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer. It is a time of transition into the quiet and pensiveness of winter.

The spiritual meaning of the autumn equinox is evident anywhere you wish to look for it. It is the duality of night and day. It is the duality of having to die in order to be reborn. It is the duality of having to make a descent before you can make your ascent. We watch the harvested fields grow fallow and the flowers and grass die. We watch the leaves fall from the trees which will be barren until spring.

All of this is a metaphor for our spiritual life if we allow it to be. We go into the descent. We are the seeds that must die in order to bring forth new life. The autumnal equinox is the time for moving from the celebration and the harvest to the hunkering down and hibernation of the coming winter.

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