Autumnal equinox

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Today is the Autumnal equinox. Astronomically, the equinoxes are when Earth’s equatorial axis is perpendicular to the Sun. From our perspective, it is when the hours of day of night are (theoretically, at least) equal.

The first, waxing half of the wheel (from Aries in March through Virgo in September) is when the energy pushes outward to reach its fullness. The second, waning half of the wheel (from Libra in September through Pisces in March) is one of involution and introspection, when the energy is turned inward. Indeed, ‘fall’ is related to the period when the ebbing of the Sun (which began back in June at the summer solstice) becomes noticeable.

For people connected to nature, this time of year, when the Sun rises from the same place on the horizon for three days, is the time to begin the harvest – of food and of animals. Not only would the food, grains and wood get cut, dried and put up for winter. Too, those animals which could not be fed over the winter (based on the success of the harvest and the age and health of the animal) would be culled. It’s a hard truth but the outcome was that the family would be fed over the winter and the remaining animals would also have what they needed to survive the cold months.

With the Autumnal equinox, we are entering the third-quarter of the wheel. The first quarter (from the left edge to the bottom) shows the time from conception to birth. The second quarter is indicative of the time we learn of ourself as a unique person in a certain family. The third quarter of the wheel shows the time we begin to interact with others on a one-to-one basis.

The third quarter of the wheel is trans-personal, it’s when we move beyond the self and begin learning how to interact with others in an equal way (giving/receiving, listening/speaking, etc.). In the third quarter we experience the power of love, how it taps into energy that can lead to a reality that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. There is an intense, do-or-die quality to the third quarter which is sometimes referred to as the Quadrant of Manifestation.

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Architects of many ancient cultures built special features into their buildings that only showed themselves twice a year. The location, shape and details of many important buildings synchronized with the Spring and Autumnal equinoxes.

The Great Pyramid in Egypt was built so that, at midnight on the Autumn equinox, certain alpha stars of specific constellations shone straight down a specific narrow descending passageway. (In 3350BC and 2170BC, it was Thuban, alpha star of the constellation Draco, and in 2004AD, it was Polaris, alpha star of Ursa Minor.)

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The stepped pyramids of Chich’en Itza, Mexico are another astronomical wonder. The pyramids, which are dedicated to Kukulcan, the feathered serpent, have snakes running down the steps that appear to undulate with the sun of the Autumnal equinox. (They appear to undulate back up the pyramid with the sun of the Spring equinox.)

At the equinox, when the Sun moves into Libra, we have an opportunity to synchronize ourselves with Nature, ourselves, and our life. If this is important to you, reserve some time this afternoon (at 3:30pm or anytime of the day and night of September 22 or 23) to meditate. Balance and harmony are the themes.