Today is the Autumn Equinox. It holds a special invitation for you.
On this day the sun aligns with the equator and light and darkness fall evenly. We are invited to prepare ourselves for the darkness ahead: physical darkness, spiritual darkness.
The cycle of the earth, in its heavenly orbit, is the foundation of our religious and spiritual stories the globe over, universal in message yet unique in cultural detail and depiction.
It also symbolically steps us through every healing journey: from accidents to cancers, headaches to infertility, and every personal Life journey. We humans are all having the same experience—but like our religions and spiritual traditions–our details, one person to the next, are radically different.
The Fall Equinox message is the revelation of Yin-Yang. This is Chinese Medicine talk expressing the universal physical and spiritual law that states: Opposites reveal one another, create one another, control one another.
We know light because we know dark—dawn breaks from the blackest moment of the night (literally and figuratively). High noon moves to sunset and at that un-definable moment yin totally absorbs yang and we realize its pitch black, but for moon or stars if they’re out (the seed of yang/light within yin/dark). And while mind terrors strike in that darkest morning hour (yin), dawn breaks again (yang) and the cycle repeats.
The amount of joy (yang) we can feel corresponds to how sad (yin) we’ll permit ourselves to be when the inevitable and unavoidable losses and unwanted life events take place. Without grief and grieving, real gratitude and happiness are impossible.
In a culture, such as ours, where we embrace only one side of the equation and fear/shun its opposite, we miss our opportunities and bear the consequences. We expect endless sun and are irritated at the rain, only to feel shorted if there’s drought. We feel cheated when the good times end.
This is the core story of our religions and journey of our spiritual heroes: The light floods in after a descent into darkness and revelation and higher ground is attained through facing difficulty. The world changes as a result of the willingness to walk through the dark.
This is the universal healing journey: Some aspect of our health (or the expectation we have in our minds of our capacity) is lost and robustness and resilience are created, or attained anew, only through facing difficulty. The form that robustness takes is never the same as our experience prior to the challenge. We’ve changed.
The question is: Are we sane enough to notice, learn, accept and embrace this universal law as our own personal experience, and live into it? Are we willing to thrive? We cannot change universal physical and spiritual law, but we can cooperate and thrive.
Indeed the rhythms of Nature imprint themselves in every aspect of human affairs.
In Chinese Medicine we leave the harvest phase of summer, Earth, and enter the dying phase of autumn, Metal. Metaphorically metal speaks of values—as in precious metals and jewels–and the compression, fire and time required for their production. It is the alchemy of common carbon becoming the diamond, of gold refined. It is also represented by the sword—the power to cut, to kill off. It is judgment, death of something to gain something else.
Metal Phase corresponds to the lungs and colon—keepers of your immune system—your sword of judgment or defense. The gut is also your second brain—both in instinct and judgment (as in “gut instinct” and “I had a gut feeling”) and neuro-chemically. Nurture them especially in autumn, as their weaknesses will be most revealed in this season. Think colds and flus, auto-immune flare-ups, skin problems, digestive problems.
7 Tips for Fall Equinox & Maximizing Autumn:
- Spend time in reflection: On this day of perfect balance between Light and Dark, give thanks for the Light you’ve enjoyed so far, and acknowledge the approaching Darkness. See your opportunity to use the dark phase to become wiser, healthier, more vital in your depths.
- Get out into the sun as much as you can in the remaining days of warmer weather and absorb the light.
- Plan how you will care for yourself in the autumn to prevent immune challenges. Book into acupuncture and get an herbal prescription to strengthen your immune system against colds, flus, skin and gut problems.
- Decide to learn meditation or another form of mental/spiritual strengthening that will help you remain centered and psycho-spiritually balanced, to navigate the dark.
- Secure your sources of Light: Within Yin (dark) there is the seed of Yang (light). Connect with the healers in your life, begin planning more time with friends, read books about your heroes and be inspired by the darkness they traveled to emerge victorious.
- Realize this is a time where your ability to improve your judgment skills is most acute! Engage coaching, counseling, spiritual study.
- Watch the leaves die and fall off the trees, and let yourself feel the sad feelings that death brings. Embracing sadness on this small level is practice for the strength required to navigate the big stuff.
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