Autumn Equinox occurs on Tuesday, September 22nd
at 6:30 am Pacific Time this year.
While Solstices give us an experience of full-on light or dark, Equinoxes invite us into a threshold of changing light. Because of this, there is an uncertainty, a not knowing as we move into the turning.
This is especially true now in the USA, in such a time of unknowns, changes, and uncertainty:
- Our white supremacist culture is being rightfully challenged causing upset and confusion, amidst even more loss of Black life, but hopefully turning us toward justice;
- Climate change is causing unprecedented wildfires in the West with huge loss of life, home, and wilderness, while more hurricanes threaten the south, winters are colder and snowier in the East, more frequent tornadoes and high winds erupt in the Midwest, and everywhere, temperatures continue to rise;
- Covid-19 continues to not be contained thanks to an inept president, causing death and pain of disconnection from family and friends; and
- We head into a very contentious election with threats of violence if the current president does not get his way…
As we move through the threshold into Autumn Equinox and live with all of these uncertainties, we move toward more darkness. But this is not all bad…
Darkness has its own logic, its own holding, its own invitation.
To rest. To slow down. To pay attention inwardly. To listen. To stop doing.
Wendell Berry says it this way:
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
We need to enter in to find the gifts of the dark, the blooms and songs…
We can’t find the gifts of the dark in the light.
We can’t find the gifts of uncertainty and unknownness when we think we know.
We have to be open to something new.
As we cross the threshold from light into deepening dark,
Autumn Equinox calls us to reassess our lives.
What’s working? What’s not? What changes are needed so that we can enter, so that we can allow something unknown and new to unfold?
A few things sing to me:
We can choose to make changes that allow us to walk in beauty more in our lives. No matter how uncertain, how much dark, how much confusion, each step we take can be done in beauty. (Read new blogpost.)
We can choose to create ceremony / living ritual to reconnect with Eairth’s autumnal rhythms.
In these complicated and uncertain times, with the darkness all around and growing, may you find support in the threshold, in the knowing that this turning toward dark is a natural expression of life here on Eairth.
With the seasons, we turn in, deep into dark, then back out again and deep into light. Perhaps this particular Autumn Equinox turning is exactly what is needed.
If you would like to join voices during these times, please join me for 1st and 3rd Thursday Chanting for Community, Healing & Hope or consider an in-person, outdoor contemplative Evensong service on 1st Sundays.
In the meantime, allow the dark.
Go dark. And trust the dark song, the dark feet, the dark wings…