By Nikki Harper
Staff Writer for Wake Up World
September 22nd is an equinox day, wherever you are in the world. In the northern hemisphere, it marks the autumnal or fall equinox, while in the southern hemisphere, it marks the spring or vernal equinox. Equinoxes have always been considered an important symbolic turning point in our seasonal calendars; from the creeping serpent shadow at Chichen Itza to the pagan equinox rituals at ancient stone circles around the world, most ancient cultures understood the significance of these moments in time.
But what exactly is the equinox, and why does it matter?
What is the Equinox?
Our earth spins on a titled axis, which is what gives us our changing hours of daylight and our changing seasons, as our path around the sun causes differing amounts of sunlight to hit different parts of the earth.
An equinox occurs twice a year, once in March and once in September, and this is the moment in time when the sun’s path is directly in line with the celestial equator. This causes the hours of daylight and darkness to be (almost) equal, across the world.
In the northern hemisphere, the autumnal equinox marks the point at which the nights will begin to draw in; from now until the winter solstice in December, daylight hours will get shorter as autumn and then winter take hold, with hours of daylight dwindling and hours of darkness increasing. In the southern hemisphere, the situation is reversed. There, the same equinox is referred to as the spring equinox, and it marks the point from which the days will start to get longer and warmer, as spring and then summer progress.
The key spiritual principle of the equinox is balance. This brief moment in time when all things are in balance – day and night, male and female, yin and yang. For both the autumnal and the spring equinoxes, this balance principle is at the heart of equinox spirituality.
Honoring The Autumnal Equinox
If you’re in the northern hemisphere, there are several spiritual growth points available during the autumnal equinox period.
Reap What You Have Sown
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the equinox asks us to balance the efforts we’ve made so far this year against the rewards we have reaped. This is the harvest season, both literally and figuratively. As we look back on successes and failures so far this year, it’s a good moment to understand why and how our own actions have led to the relevant consequences, for better and for worse.
Be Grateful for Your Blessings
The autumnal equinox is also a time of gratitude for the crops and fruits we have grown, which we can now harvest to see us through leaner times over the winter. Starting a gratitude journal now is a very good way to honor the balance principle. Being grateful for the smallest of blessings opens up your heart and allows more abundance to flow in due course.
Shed What You Do Not Need
As we look ahead to autumn and then winter, this is an important moment to prepare for the challenges ahead. In autumn, deciduous trees shed their leaves. In a process called senescing, they gradually cut off the sugars the leaves need to survive, shedding them in a form of self-sacrifice so that they can sustain themselves through the winter. We can do this too. The autumn equinox is a good time to cut ties with people or projects which no longer serve you. Do so kindly but do so. Focus on the essentials, the things and people which warm your heart, and which will be your light during the darker days ahead.
Embrace and Challenge Your Own Inner Darkness
The autumn equinox is also an important time for facing up to that coming darkness, by acknowledging the darkness within us. It’s the perfect time of year for self-reflection and for shadow work. Only by working through our own darker instincts can we emerge in March into the spring sunshine, refreshed and renewed.
Honoring the Spring Equinox
If you’re in the southern hemisphere, there are spiritual growth points available to you too, during the spring equinox period.
Birth or Rebirth
As the lightness of days begins to return, this is traditionally a time of birth and rebirth. It’s time to balance the rest and recuperation you have had over the winter with the excitement of new projects and new life. Launch a new creative project or take up a creative challenge which will enable you to nurture new talents which lie latent within you. It’s a time to be bold and brave, just as the flowers and plants are bravely emerging from the soil. You can’t know what the future holds, but you can start to unfurl your own gifts now, so that your own abilities and ideas can flower too. It’s a good time to rebirth your home too, through traditional spring cleaning, so that fresh ideas and new opportunities have somewhere to live.
Visualize and Manifest
As the world around you springs back to life, there’s a sense of optimism and possibilities. Tap into this through the power of visualization and manifestation. Rituals of intent are especially powerful during the equinox itself, as the balance between what has been and what is yet to come is perfectly set. Look into creative visualization and learn some manifestation techniques to change your own reality as the days start to lengthen.
Be the Light
With daylight hours now increasing, light is returning to the world. Take that principle and run with it in a practical sense. Be the light for someone else. Reach out to others offering help and support. Even if you think you can’t help anyone, your company and your compassion could be all that is needed. The spring equinox is also the perfect time for volunteering or for getting involved with charity or social justice projects which speak to your heart. At this point of balance, you can gather your own strength and confidence, to speak up for those who have no voice. Re-set the balance of power in your own way, as the earth’s own balance is temporarily restored.
Honor the Earth
Spring is the time when the earth bursts back to life, and the spring equinox is the ideal moment to get out into nature and to honor it in whatever way you see fit. Maybe plant something in your garden, clean up a local park or beach, or hike a nature trail. What matters is that you get out of the house and into the big wide world. It’s waking up, and by taking part in that wake-up call, you too can awaken more than you realize.
Recommended articles by Nikki Harper:
- Harnessing the Power of Synchronicity
- Beyond 11:11 – The Significance of Repeating Number Patterns
- A Time to be Born and a Time to Die: Can Astrology Predict Death?
- Premature and Caesarean Birth: An Astrological Misinheritance?
- The Benefits of a Daily Divination Practice – and How to Start One
- 7 Ways to Find Awe in Your Everyday Life
- Need Answers? Looking for Insight? 7 Ways Astrology Can Help
- Alone But Not Lonely: 6 Amazing Benefits of Solitude
- Dancing in the Rain: 6 Reasons We Should All Be Pluviophiles
- Finding Time for a Daily Spiritual Practice – How and Why to Devote Your Time
- 7 Simple Steps to Start Communicating With Nature
- Getting Started with Remote Viewing: Step by Step to Strengthen Your Psi Abilities
About the author:
Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.
Say hi at Questionology.co.uk or on Facebook.