This weekend marked the first day of autumn & the Autumnal Equinox, the time along the cosmic wheel when hours of Earth’s light & dark are exactly equal. Some mystics perceive this as the time when we begin our descent into the darkness of the underworld, the unconscious.
As a child growing up in Southern California nearly 70 years ago, I rarely experienced weather moving much above or below 76 degrees F; the manifestations of separate seasons were minimal. Still, I can remember sensing subtle relief when the nonstop activity of summer shifted into Fall. The sycamore leaves changing color & gradually creating a golden carpet beneath my feet always felt magical & somehow comforting.
Productivity ruled supreme in my childhood home; “wasting time” wasn’t allowed. Autumn & winter seemed to grant permission for that mandate to slacken a bit, & I was always grateful for the chance to pause more often in order to explore my inner world. Very early on, I recognized that cocoon as an essential inner refuge.
During this time of year, Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. teaches, “the gates of the underworld are open and the great cosmic cellar cleaning can begin.” Autumn invites that time when we can choose to create more inner space for unfinished emotional & spiritual business: examining our choices (especially those that haven’t been the wisest!)… making amends & striving for compassion & forgiveness of ourselves & others… As these kinds of activities remove psychic debris & cleanse spirit, we can approach the new year with fewer internal burdens.
This previous year for me has been especially jammed with work projects, & that’s translated into whirlwind distractions & heightened anxiety. When I picture my storage loft where I keep my photography, art & reference library, that space instantly conjures an exploded bomb–I sincerely hope I don’t encounter such chaos as I advance my inner deep dive in the coming weeks!
There are consequences to avoiding the mystery, darkness & wisdom that lie within; so many lessons from that sacred terrain can be lost. Mindfulness meditation is a reliable ally here– I heartily recommend it if you’re sensing a need to slow down & begin or accelerate deeper exploration. Even 10 min. daily can make a positive difference in many areas of life: self-awareness, anxiety, gratitude, anger management… If you’re looking for a partner in learning or sustaining mindfulness practices like meditation & even informal mindfulness, I can help.
Mother Nature is such a powerful teacher. Her progression into autumn offers both endings & beginnings. May the lessons that unfold for you during this time bring greater clarity, spaciousness & satisfaction…