On September 23rd, the Sun enters Libra and Autumn begins. In the same way that the Solstice marks the days of longest and shortest “light,” the Equinoxes mark the day of equal light. Nox is the Roman goddess of night so equinox literally means “equal night.” The glyph for Libra represents the setting sun expressing the balance between night and day. In traditional Astrology, the Sun is “exalted” in Aries while halfway through its circuit along the ecliptic, it is in “fall” in Libra, Aries’ opposite sign.
The rising of the constellation Libra marked the beginning of the New Year in ancient Egypt. Equinoxes are the two points in the year (March 19-21 and September 21-23) when the Sun crosses the celestial equator. At these times, day and night in Northern and Southern hemispheres are of equal length. The Spring (vernal) Equinox occurs midway between the Winter and Summer solstices; the Autumnal Equinox occurs midway between the Summer and Winter solstices. The Autumn equinoctial festival of Mabon mirrors the spring equinoctial festival of Oestara with the Light and Dark forces of the Universe switching ascendancy.
In myth, the goddess Persephone departs the earth to join her husband in the underworld. It is time to give thanks for the summer and to welcome the increasing dark. Traditionally, this was when some of the heaviest work of the agricultural year began, the final harvest was still to be stored away and the fields readied for the coming Winter.
Symbols of Autumn:
Blackberries, cranberries, wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, nuts, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy.
Foods of Autumn:
Quickbreads, nuts, apples, squash, pomegranates, and pumpkin pie.
Colors of Autumn:
The colors of the sunset: violet, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Autumn:
Libra is represented by pink tourmaline, opal, and rhodochrosite. Scorpio by topaz, bloodstone, and yellow agate. Sagittarius by turquoise and jasper.
Activities of Autumn:
Making cider, glogg and wine, gathering seeds and seedpods, walking in the woods, Halloween, and Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas shopping.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac: About the Autumnal Equinox
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