The autumn equinox is here — and this is how to prepare for what it means
There are SO many great things to look forward to when Fall comes*. The leaves change color and make everything about one thousand times more beautiful. Plus, the oppressive summer heat makes way for brisk mornings and crisp evenings so that you can wear your biggest, best sweaters and feel so cozy and cute all the time. It’s also finally climate-appropriate to drink hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, so it’s the perfect time of year to indulge in a PSL or (better, ya’ll) mulled wine.
*unless you live in Los Angeles, somebody PLEASE get me out of here and take me somewhere with leaves that change color and temperatures below Hell°F.
But today, September 22nd, isn’t just one of the first days of the Fall season, but the Fall Equinox.
The Fall Equinox is a celebration that goes all the way back to Ancient Greece, and it’s one of only two days of the year when night and day are equal in length.
You maybe heard in elementary school that on the Fall Equinox you can balance an egg on its head due to the balance and polarity of the earth, which is what a lot of people associate with the day… and while this isn’t not true, it’s not unique to September 22nd, as technically you can do it any day of the year.
Most of what you should do during the Fall Equinox is symbolic rather than practical, however. As a day that quite literally signifies the balance between light and dark, it’s fitting that you get in touch with your witchy side and get in tune with nature.
1. Build a fall altar and spend some time in nature.
If you’re not usually wicca-inclined, don’t panic. According to de Grandis, “It can be very simple — maybe just an altar that has some fall leaves and some acorns, just as a way to help you tune into the seasons.”
So no need to head out to your local magic shop (although, y’know, if you have one that sounds amazing and you totally should). Just put something together that makes you happy and gets you in the Autumn spirit. She also recommends spending some time in nature, whether that means going for a hike, or just sitting outside while you read a book.
2. Figure out how to best do YOU going forward.
After you’ve built your altar and have gotten in touch with nature and its upcoming changes, you need to turn your focus inward, according to de Grandis. “Paganism is a religion of trusting yourself, rather than having somebody tell you what to do,” she told Refinery29, and that’s something we can totally get behind. Take a sec to think about how your year has gone, and how you’re going to prepare for the upcoming winter.
It’s also a good time to check in with yourself, because, in the natural world, the harvest season won’t end until Samhain (Halloween) in October, so use the cycle of the natural world to check not on the progress of your crops (although those, too, if you have them), but also your personal progress. Formulate a plan for the next season.
3. Relax and enjoy a season that transitions into the relaxing winter months!
De Grandis pointed out,
“In some traditional farming cultures and ancient hunting-gathering societies, there was often no free time in the warmer months. They were working constantly, harvesting, planting, gathering. But,when winter came, the harsh weather would have them stuck indoors. So most of their time might be spent socializing, relaxing, doing ceremonies, and making things. We can learn from that. We can have a more balanced life by taking time to rest and play.”
Now, we are sooooo on board with devoting the winter to [insert activity here] and chill.