First things first: What’s the September Equinox?
No matter where you are in the world, the Equinox on September 22nd is one of two days per year when the hours of night equal the hours of day (hence the term “equi-nox,” or equal night).
Why do we celebrate it? Hellenistic astrology roots in the knowledge traditions of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece. Because these regions are located in the Northern Hemisphere, the ancients associated the September Equinox with the beginning of fall — a time of harvest and transition. From now until the December Solstice, the days will grow darker. The leaves will turn crimson and molt. The air will feel crisper on our skin, and whatever crops we have gathered will have to tide us over until the next growing season.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, the opposite is true. At this point in the year, life has returned to the earth, marking the beginning of spring. During this symbolic rebirth, the soil thaws, seedlings surge forth, and the blossoms release their fragrance.
The point is: Wherever you are in the world, the Equinox turns the wheel of the year and ushers in a new season.
Rituals to honor the September Equinox
Since ancient times, humans the world over have marked both the March and September Equinoxes as special, potent, and even holy. Some cultures erected monuments, some peoples made pilgrimages, and others gathered to feast, celebrate, and perform rituals that helped them align with the energies of the new season.
Because of this, we want to offer you some ideas on how to engage with this moment yourself. Here are six rituals to help you honor the seasonal shift.
- Be in nature. Visit your favorite body of water, park, farm, or hiking trail. If you have a garden, dedicate time to gathering the fruit or vegetables that are ready to be picked.
- Take a moment to enjoy your personal harvest. Relish whatever you’ve been toiling over, gathering, or bringing to fruition this year. Thank it. Share it with friends. Celebrate your works-in-progress and how far you’ve come.
- Restore balance to your home. Clear your closets and junk drawers. Give away or sell anything that feels like extra weight. With equal hours of light and dark, this Equinox brings an opportunity to recalibrate inside and out.
- Conduct an energy clearing in your house. Do a ritual sweeping of every room, brushing away all the staleness. Sweep in the direction of your door — then out the door. Sending away the stagnant energy will help you enter the new season fresh.
- Adorn your home and/or altar with seasonal foliage, such as roses, apples, pinecones, gourds, leaves, or anything seasonal to the region you live in. Make your space into a sanctuary that sensually celebrates the season.
- Meditate, or do a practice that helps restore mental equilibrium. (If you need some ideas, we have an abundance of guided meditations in the CHANI app.)
For more rituals and insights, check the CHANI app this week.