Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Equinox: The Dance Between Light and Dark

Time seems to be moving by so quickly. This Wednesday, September 22, is the Autumnal Equinox 2010, which marks the first official day of Fall. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), implying the ability to straddle the world between day and night, light and dark. According to, equinox is "the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth." For me, it becomes of time of balance and the desire to slow down, take stock, observe the tilled soil and prepare for respite.

Since ancient times, human and animal alike, have wondered (and often worshipped) the change of seasons and what it can mean to body, mind, spirit, livelihood and religion. In her book, "Ceremonies of the Seasons: Exploring and Celebrating Nature's Eternal Cycle," Jennifer Cole shows how Greek, Egyptian, Pagan, Jewish and Christians alike have all shown reverence for this natural and inevitable dance between abundance and harvest have left an indelible mark on humanity. I still know of Ohio farmers who have huge festivals (we now call them "fairs") to celebrate the tradition.

On another level, I definitely feel my Earth Mother (some say witchery) was surface come this time every year. Although I live in one of those shiny new yuppie suburbs, it goes much deeper than the pumpkins and scarecrows at our local Target. It's almost reminds me of the "nesting" I felt when about to deliver both my babies. My broom becomes almost a sacred object. Not only do I do alot of cleaning, purging and organizing. I set the intention of sweeping away old energy, arguments, money issues, confusion and negativity. I smudge and Reiki our home, use my Shamanic drum throughout, burn incense and white candles and perform energy cleansing on our property, cars, bills and family. My love for Jesus and the Holy Trinity knows no bounds, but I can clearly see myself with herbs and books performing healings and blessings using Earth Magik in past lives.

It makes me feel so much compassion for my Wiccan friends and even for Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell. The Associated Press describes the recent witchhunt-like mentality to discount her qualifications based on her remarks that she "dabbled with witchcraft" as a youth. Over coffee with a dear (uber Christian) friend of mine this weekend, as we discussed how we are allowing God to move more powerfully in our lives with the intention of helping others and living more joyfully, I could hear the slight air of judgment and disdain for anything that sounds "New Age" or nontraditional. It hurts my heart that so many people still must remain in the closet spiritually, for fear of reliving being burned, drowned, stoned or ostracized.

So, it brings the "dance of Light and Dark" to an even bigger level...right back to the forefront, instead of in some back room conversation. On a larger scale, we are entering the time of year where there is less daylight and more nightfall. It is a soothing time of coming together, feasting and opportunity to gather, recharge and review. Can it also be a time of enlightenment even in the midst of darkness? Such is the question, to self-examine and to embrace and acknowledge the shadow side of life. Rereading "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams" by Debbie Ford is always fun for me. Always with new insight and new levels of self-acceptance. The beginning of Fall is such a wonderfully colorful reminder of the need to work with ebb and flow and to find balance, regardless of what is going on around us.

~MiChelle Jeneen

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