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Psyche, Spirituality

Fall Equinox 2023 – The Powerful Symbolism of Harvest & Balance

Fall leaves and orange colors to represent Fall 2023 and the Fall Equinox

Fall has arrived, along with the Fall Equinox — a time that is symbolic of balance, actualization (harvest) and the cycle of regeneration embodied through the changing seasons.

Today we have lost much of the numinosity around the changing of seasons. Many of us live in areas that we barely – if at all – see them occur (it seems that Fall lasts for about 7 total days in Austin, Texas). We can, however, choose to see the equinox as a symbolically powerful opportunity for meaning and reflection.

Especially so in our modern world, where we often sacrifice our creative inward ‘magic’ for productivity and acceptability. There is very little room for some of these concepts and terms to be discussed or even considered in most Fortune 500 settings, or the many systems that reflect them; something that I believe needs to shift.

Accessing The Symbolic Meaning of Events for Introspective Growth, Self-Awareness, & Development

(Above image: Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest period and the start of winter, the ‘darker half’ of the year. Samhain is one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals, the other three being Imbolc, Beltaine, and Lughnasa. This painting by Daniel Maclise, Snap-Apple Night (1833) highlights Irish revelers playing divination games.)

When we access the symbolic meaning of ongoing events around us, we allow ourselves a deeper access to ourselves. Whether it’s the ancient practice of throwing rocks to ‘divine’ the future or prosopopoeia as a means of communicating with the unknowable, we do not have to actually believe in the historically-accepted magico-religious nature of the process in order to derive introspective value from it.

Just as we instantly have a greater sense of which option we truly long for by placing it to a coin toss, we are not actually subscribing to the magico-religious nature of the coin toss as some form of dowsing, but accessing a deeper — often obscured — part of ourselves through this action.

The meaning is ours to apply. If we apply a magico-religious effect, then we may choose to do so. If we do not, and choose to embrace the inner extraction of the Self from the experience, are we not mining golden ore from a very simple process?

Our ancestors and ancient traditions globally held the period around the equinox to be a powerful time for celebration, ceremony, and spiritual activity. They built magnificent structures that still stand today (Newgrange, Chankillo, Karnak etc.) that were precisely calibrated to the Sun of the equinox & solstice periods.

(Above image: On December 21, the Sun aligns with the Temple of Amun in Karnak Temple to start the first day of Winter, built 4,000 years ago.)

It is said that the Fall equinox holds equal parts day and night – the Sun shines for 12 hours, and yields to the Moon for the following 12 hours.

As we exit the Summer Sun, we are once again invited to enter the dimly-lit cave of our inner reflection: what do you want to bring in for harvest this Fall season? Our efforts throughout the Summer – whether practical or spiritual – are ready for reaping (actualization). Of course we have the freedom to choose what stays in the ground to die on the vine and what comes with us moving forward.

Sources / Further Reading:

Brown University
Historic Mysteries
National Museum of Ireland
Egypt Today

Photo Credit:

Karnak Photo by Roberto Shumski
Fall Leaf Photo by Irina Iriser

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