- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The name equinox means equal night in Latin and occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator, which results in day and night that are of equal length all over the planet. This "equal night" always occurs in late September. It lasts for about two days, after which, the northern hemisphere begins its tilt and rotation away from the sun while the southern hemisphere begins its tilt and rotation towards the sun. This, in effect, is the onset of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere.
A couple interesting thoughts, if the earth didn't rotate on a slight tilt, an equinox would occur every day because the sun would always be closest to the equator. As a result, we wouldn't have winters or summers. Also, equinoxes can and do occur on other planets; in fact, they occur on any planet that is tilted on its axis. Saturn is a dramatic example of this, especially with its rings. During an equinox on Saturn, the rings appear only as a thin line circling the planet.
The autumn season has long been associated with harvest and hunkering down in preparation for winter. Days are shorter, the weather gets chilly, and leaves change color and fall from their trees. Autumn is a magical season. Perhaps I'm biased as a Scorpio and true Fall baby, but the changing leaves and vibrant, firey color they produce makes my heart leap.
This visual change signals a deeper change in our minds and bodies. Just like animals that know to prepare for winter or begin a migration pattern, the changing of the seasons has an effect on the human psyche. It is a time of transition emotionally and spiritually and a time to pause, reflect, and cleanse. For some, this is in the literal sense, as in spring cleaning or a quarterly deep cleanse of your literal space. For others, this is more of a spiritual cleanse.
One of our favorite Portland based brands Roots and Crowns hand forages and makes these insanely gorgeous Forest Clearing Smudge Wands. And as Max puts it, "This smudge wand is meant to bring cleansing renewal to your spaces, through delightful scents and senses similar to the experience of a walk in the woods".
The equinox is a time of literal change; change that we can see in surrounding nature and feel in the changing weather. So get outside and take note of these literal changes in our environment. Identify trees with leaves starting to change, feel the autumn sun on your skin, noticed the slightly filtered quality of autumn light. Make a connection with something that you love about the new season. Is it the annual ripening of persimmons, and the perfect fall color of the fruit? Or perhaps you enjoy the crisp weather or some of the holidays associated with the season? Whatever it is, make a connection and savor it. Do a spiritual assessment; take inventory of what makes you happy and what doesn't. Eliminate those things which don't bring joy into your life and find a healthy balance amongst the things you chose to make space for. Set intentions for new or different things that you'd like to make space for. Find talismans that remind you of and help keep you on track with your intension, like a pair of Cervidae Studs to balance you and help you feel rooted, or a pendant of the fastidious Rhino Beetle to keep you forging ahead. Whatever talisman you choose, place emphasis on striking a healthy equilibrium, just like the equilibrium between day and night during the time of the equinox.