Traditionally, people celebrated the autumn equinox with a harvest festival to give thanks for and share the fruits of the summer season. Most people no longer plant or harvest their own foods and while the convenience of the 24-hour supermarket is a blessing, we can take all that abundance for granted.
Lunar Eclipse in Libra
Apologising does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It often means you value your relationship more than your ego.
All healing requires balance and this is the focus of the Libra full moon eclipse on the 23rd March (3-4° Libra). The give and take required for any successful relationship has been a major theme of all Aries-Libra lunar eclipses over the past two and a half years, with Aries ruling the self and Libra ruling relationships. This month the full moon in compromising Libra opposes the fiery Sun in Aries and rational Mercury, suggesting the battle between emotions and logic could be fierce. Remember that any fight with an adversary (or partner) is merely a reflection of an internal conflict. The challenge is to remain true to yourself, while at the same time honouring and respecting others.
On March 20th, the sun moves into Aries marking the beginning of the solar year. In all parts of the world there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness and we call this the autumn equinox (equi = equal and nox = night). Many ancient civilisations considered the equinox and solstice points the most important days of the calendar, marking the turning points of the seasons. For the next six months, nights will be longer than days, meaning it’s time to start withdrawing energy from the outer world and prepare for the cooler months ahead. Stock up your freezer and pantry and get your house and garden in order. The autumn equinox is a great time to get rid of any unwanted possessions – old clothes, furniture, books, toys, files, kitchen equipment, you know the sort of thing. Remember the golden rule of decluttering. ‘Is it useful? Is it beautiful? Is it sentimental?’ If it’s none of these, sell it on eBay, give it away or take it to the op shop and make space for something new!
Autumn Equinox Ritual
Traditionally, people celebrated the autumn equinox with a harvest festival to give thanks for and share the fruits of the summer season. Most people no longer plant or harvest their own foods and while the convenience of the 24-hour supermarket is a blessing, we can take all that abundance for granted.At a time of year when plants are setting their seeds and getting ready for the new cycle, this ritual will help you bring your life into balance and reap your own personal harvest.
Perform the ritual just before dusk – you can do it alone or with others, indoors or outdoors. Set up a meditation or sacred space with seasonal elements such as baskets of nuts and fruit, flower, seed pods, stalks of grain and anything else you associate with the word ‘harvest’. Then take a bunch of dried herbs (sage and rosemary are good) and perform a smudging ceremony by wafting the smoke from the herbs around the room or space you are working in. This helps cleanse the atmosphere and relax the mind.
Sit quietly and think of all the goals and tasks you’ve accomplished over the past few months and those who have helped you. What have you given and what have you received? What are you now harvesting in family life, relationships, creativity, finances and health? How have you balanced your own needs with the needs of others? Go round the circle and share your findings or if you’re doing this ritual alone, write it all down. Then offer thanks and gratitude to those who have helped you, making sure to honour your own contribution.
Now close your eyes and imagine the sun rising above you, shining brightly for exactly half the day, then retreating below the horizon for the next twelve hours. Feel the delicate balance of night and day and ask yourself what you need to bring more balance into your life. More time with your children or perhaps in nature? Less stress? Or maybe a new relationship or more money? Give yourself time to explore the concept of balance and how you can create more of it in your life. Write down your findings and share your insights with others in the group.
End the ritual by holding hands and giving thanks for all your blessings then enjoy a shared feast to celebrate the abundance of the harvest.
Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the Full Moon or when the Moon is in the same sign as your Sun (or Star) sign.
Autumn Equinox 20th
Full Moon 23rd
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.
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