The fall autumnal equinox marks the official beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, the vernal equinox occurs on the same day as the autumnal equinox. It marks the official beginning of spring.
Both the autumnal and vernal equinoxes happen at the same moment all over the world but are converted to local time. This year the autumnal equinox will occur on Friday, September 22, 2017, at 4:02 P.M. EDT.
The autumn equinox is a mysterious time. It marks an essential passage in the process of enlightenment that is often overlooked, misunderstood, and mistaken as dark and heretical.
It is the time of balance between day and night, before night takes over and brings the coming winter, a time of darkness and death. This duality between light and dark exists within humanity, and in the work of spiritual transformation. All things must die before they can be born, all spiritual ascent requires descent first, and all those who long for light must firstly face their own inner darkness and overcome it.
The Spiritual Meaning of the Autumn / Fall Equinox
Traditionally, the autumn equinox is a celebration of the harvest, as it is when summer has finished giving its fruits, which are collected in preparation for winter. But there are other indicators given by the most ancient sacred sites that mark the autumn equinox: a descending passage into a subterranean pit lit by a star of the dragon constellation in the Great Pyramid of Egypt, a seven-scaled feathered serpent of light descending a giant pyramid in Mexico, a giant Pyramid of the Sun aligned to the equinoxes built on a cave symbolizing the underworld, and even giant statues facing the sunset that leads to growing darkness on Easter Island.
What was known to the ancients is the part darkness plays in the work of spiritual transformation. Those in the orthodox superstitiously fear it, and many in the new age completely ignore it. But at the autumn equinox it can be found in the cycles of nature, and the alignment of our planet—and traces of it can be found here and there in ancient legends and myths that have become distorted over time.
It is from the autumn equinox onwards that the nights are longer than the days, and therefore darkness is greater than light. In some pagan traditions, this indicated that the god of darkness reigned supreme at this time of year. This god of darkness can personify and symbolize many different things, as darkness itself has many aspects to understand.
Fun Ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
Some of these suggestions are individual ways to celebrate the equinox while others can be done with family and friends. Feel free to do as many as you’d like or none at all. Up to you. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.
11 Ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
1. Make a Gratitude List
The autumnal equinox is a time of harvest. Make a list of everything you are thankful for as a way of reaping your inner harvest. Better yet, start a gratitude journal. Gratitude brings abundance.
If you don’t know where to begin, start with the food you have to eat and the roof over your head. It will flow naturally from there. May your inner harvest be bountiful!
You may also like year round gratitude activities and crafts for kids or these gratitude books that inspire thankfulness.
2. Restore Balance in the Home
Restore balance in the home by doing a fall deep cleaning. Get rid of anything that you no longer need to make space for the new season. For chemical-free cleaning use essential oils for a healthy home.
3. Make Nature Crafts
Creating fall crafts is a great way to welcome in the season.
4. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin anew. As the temperatures begin to cool and people begin to spend more time indoors it is a great time to begin a new project.
Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
Pick your top three choices.
Make a plan to start one and go from there.
5. Visit a local Farm or Orchard
Head to a local farm to harvest items for a meal to celebrate the arrival of fall. Check out Visit an Apple Orchard, Visit a Pumpkin Patch, or Visit a Corn Maze for links to harvest dates and how to find a pick your own farm near you.
6. Eat a Fall Harvest Meal
Create a meal from local seasonal foods. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy the fall harvest. Have your guests join you in creating a gratitude and/or project list.
7. Add Fall Decor to Your Home
Decorate your home with fall decor and the fall crafts you made from suggestion #3
8. Meditate and/or Practice Yoga
On the equinox, day and night, dark and light are balanced. Meditate and/or practice yoga to create inner balance.
9. Have or Attend a Bonfire
A bonfire is a great way to celebrate the equinox. Dance, sing, beat drums, play music, and celebrate the fall. Please be safe and follow city or county laws and regulations.
10. Establish a Daily Rhythm
Want to get things done this season? Establishing a rhythm will help you get organized and provide a framework for your day. It increases your ability to stay focused and get things done. Children also thrive on rhythms in the home.
11. Get Outside & Connect
Get outside and connect with what matters on the equinox.
There are many ways to celebrate the fall autumnal equinox. Create something meaningful for you and your family and you can’t go wrong.