Written by Lauren Howard Coleman
September 22nd ~ 29th
You shall ask What good are dead leaves And I will tell you They nourish the sore earth. You shall ask What reason is there for winter And I will tell you To bring about new leaves. You shall ask Why are the leaves so green And I will tell you Because they are rich with life. You shall ask Why must summer end And I will tell you So that the leaves can die. ~ Nancy Wood
The Libra (Autumnal) Equinox falls on September 23rd here in New York, or on the 22nd if you are further West. One of the 4 sacred Cardinal corners of the Solar year, the Equinox is when the Sun’s path crosses the celestial equator on its journey back towards the southern hemisphere. And so when the Sun enters Libra we have the 1st day of Autumn here in the North, while the southern regions are celebrating the return of the Sun with the advent of Spring. However, no matter where you are on the earth, this is one of the two times of the year when the daylight hours equal the night hours.
Of the three Solar harvest festivals, Mabon, the Equinox, is the 2nd, coinciding with the Sun’s entrance into Libra, the sign of the scales. One week after the Equinox on September 29th is Michaelmas, celebrated for St. Michael who judged the souls of the dead by weighing their good deeds against their bad ones. And so it also was that in ancient Egypt it was taught that the hearts of the dead were weighed against a feather of Ma'at, the goddess of truth, balance, and justice. And so we also stand in the balance during Libra season.
It is at the Equinox that we pause in this liminal space between the Light and the Dark, recognizing the return of the darkness with the shorter days and longer nights. It is also a time of peak harvest. And with that harvest we are also asked to sow gratitude for all that we have reaped from the previous year.
As the days will soon shorten here in the North, the Sun diminishes in strength, and thus the Solar God gradually appears to succumb to the darkness on its journey back into the underworld. Like Persephone leaving a trail of flowers behind her, both will soon return to Hades, even as we mortals here on Earth celebrate the annual dance of the Sun through its own ritual of birth, death and rebirth each year
And so in celebration of the Equinox:
Balance: We stand here at the balance between light and darkness, in which we are given the opportunity to reflect on and be thankful for all that we have accomplished. While also embracing the approaching darkness as a necessary part of the annual Solar cycle.
Gratitude: The Equinox is a time to sow peace and gratitude. Make a gratitude list. Write it out and save it. Any and all positive energy sent out at this time will help to ameliorate any discordant energy, bot in your personal life and in the world at large.
Embrace the darkness: In an alternate telling of the myth of Persephone, rather than being abducted, she willingly returns to the underworld for 6 months each year, leaving her mother, Ceres/Demeter, in charge. And so in embracing the darkness we also celebrate the emerging Crone, the goddess of the winter months of the year. The Crones were the elders in the society considered to be the wise teachers, the healers, the ones who had the most influence in the community. It is a time to turn inward and assimilate all that we have learned and harvested from the year that was. A time to reconnect with spirit, and then plan for the year ahead and what is yet to come.
Astrologically the Libra Equinox is also one of the 4 corners of the Earth’s axis. Because of this the Ingress chart for the Libra Equinox can be used to forecast the next quarter of the year. With two of the major planets, Neptune and Pluto at the end of their respective signs, Pisces and Capricorn, we get the feeling of some sort of imminent change. As Neptune casts a veil over the proceedings we cannot yet see what those changes will fully be. And yet we are being asked to have faith that all will be disclosed in the end.
In the mean time we could be inclined to fill in the holes and the uncertainty with our own stories, theories, hopes and fears. Rather than getting lost in the uncertainty, the only way to deal with Neptune is by focusing on the present. We cannot change the past. And we don’t know what the future will bring. But what we do have is the present. And the decisions we make now, will inform the future.
Conjunct the asteroid Pallas, the Ingress chart for this quarter is supported by the Goddess of Wisdom, Fairness and Justice in her own sign of Libra. Pallas arising from the head of Zeus does not suffer fools, and sees things precisely the way they are and will not be led astray or distracted by false narratives and lies. She knows that when you speak your truth, that justice wins in the end. And so we dedicate the Ingress chart, to our Warrior Goddess, Pallas, the one who speaks the truth.
For this week’s horoscopes, click below:
Image: “Apple Gatherers” by Frederick Morgan
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