Autumnal Equinox

By , September 23, 2010

Yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox, which my ancestors called Mabon, when the amount of daylight and darkness balances for a moment before tipping toward night. Most people go along with the reckoning that this is the first day of autumn, although we see it differently. At least now we’re all on the same page for a couple of months.

This year the full moon follows the equinox on the next night (tonight). September’s full moon is often called the Harvest Moon (famous in song, story and legend). There’s an appropriateness to this that I find highly satisfying.

Autumn is, according to the poet Archibald McLeish, “the human season,” in which “the once secret dawn comes late by daylight and the dark unguarded goes.” I like that.

Autumn is, more than any other, the season of mortality. It’s everywhere around us, a necessary part of life, to be accepted and honored, not shunned or ignored. Darkness will overtake the light for a time before the circle turns, and light overtakes darkness. All is as it should be, no need to try to change it. The Circle turns, best to turn with it rather than turn away.

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