Moving out of the fire of Summer and towards the colder, windier and altogether more changeable Autumn is nature’s metaphorical signal to prepare for cold and cosy months ahead. At the end of September, the Northern hemisphere enters the autumn equinox and officially transitions into an entirely different part of the year. With the sun appearing to head south, plants pause their growth and begin to shed their leaves. The air is laced with a noticeably different scent to that of previous months, and the dark nights creep slowly longer and longer.
Whether you love the beginning of autumn or long for sunnier days, there’s no denying; This is part of the earth’s natural cycle. And as a part of nature itself, we’d all benefit from aligning ourselves with the shifting energy. As the name suggests, an equinox – derived from the Old French equinoxe meaning ‘equal night’ – occurs when day and night are of equal length, perfectly balanced, before tipping over into the next season. Pagan mythology knows this time of year as Mabon or ‘Second Harvest’. A time to give thanks to the Summer and pay tribute to the coming darkness. Apple picking and gathering together to feast on seasonal fare are some of the longest held Pagan traditions, with the apple representing wisdom and guidance, and providing a way to thank the earth for its bounty.
With the external equilibrium of light and darkness obvious to the naked eye, this is also an important time to perhaps recognise and pay tribute to our own light and darkness within. Just as the earth moves through cycles, each day and even each moment is a cycle within itself. We can move through a multitude of emotions at any given time, experience a flood of thoughts cascading through the mind, and feel cyclical patterns within our physical bodies too.