The fall equinox occurs on Friday, September 22—and even though it signifies colder days and darker nights, you may be breathing a sigh of relief. Here's why: The autumn equinox, which falls in the balanced sign of Libra, signifies a time to take stock and realize that you don't need to burn the candle at both ends. Did you find the summer a chaotic blend of plans and parties? That's because the summer solstice was all about celebrating the here and now, knowing that the long days and warm weeks wouldn't last forever. Autumn is a time to breathe, recalibrate, and pay attention to the slower rhythm of the new season.
It's also a time to pay attention to the rhythm of your soul. Known as Mabon in Pagan cultures, the autumn equinox is an in-beween point: Not quite winter, not quite summer, a time where shades of gray reign supreme (just think of those dusky late October skies); it's okay to feel conflicted, sad, weepy, or sentimental about the past that has gone, or the future you're not quite certain about. Mabon itself is about the inherent instability of the world: For a day, there's equal day and equal night. But that can't last forever, and soon, the endless days of sun give way to darkness. It's inevitable, it's a part of life, but that doesn't mean you can't feel sad or wistful. In fact, being able to give yourself a chance to turn inward and feel that nostalgia can be good for you, helping you wipe the slate clean for a fresh start and a fruitfall fall. Here, five present-day rituals to capture the power of the fall equinox.
Call an Old Friend
Have a friend from ages ago who you've lost touch with? Send a "thinking of you" email or message, or even better, a handwritten card. Write out a cherished memory and share it with them. Doing so will remind you that the past is never gone, it always lives within you, and can help buoy your spirit as you remember that the connections you've made in the past have helped make you who you are now.
Craving an Oversize flannel throw? Pumpkin scented candles? A Tarot coloring book to help you while away the longer nights? Go for it. Prepping your house for fall, including switching out your summer wardrobe, is key for coming to terms with the fact the seasons are changing and can get you excited for what lies ahead.
Create a Candle Ritual
While our Sex Goddess, Alexandra Roxo, created this rose ritual for the most recent waning moon, it's a good one to do whenever there's a natural, cyclical change in nature. Here, a variation:
1. Light a candle, and place a flower you found outside, in nature, next to you. This flower, likely one of the last of the season, is a reminder that everything is beautiful, and everything is fleeting.
2. Grab a pen and paper, and write down one thing you want to let go of from the past summer. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's an unrealistic goal you set for yourself. Maybe it's an unhealthy habit or routine. Whatever it is, write it down—in your handwriting.
3. Read it aloud, and say, thank you for the wisdom you've brought me. I now let you go.
4. Burn the paper in a safe way—preferably in a large bowl in the sink, saying, "I let you go."
5. Douse the candle with water, letting the water splash off the candle and into the bowl.
6. Place the water from the bowl in a vase, placing the bloom in the water and somewhere you can see it.
7. As the flower wilts, remember that it's nature's way to let go, and letting go can be beautiful.
Trust the Tarot
Our Spirit Goddess, Gala Darling, created a unique Libra season reading for each sign. You can also DIY! Here, a how-to for beginners. For the autumn equinox, a simple three-card spread is a great check-in. Shuffle your deck and pull three cards—the first is your past, the second your present, and the third is your future. Doing this now can help you reflect upon what happened this summer, and imagine what will happen this fall, giving you the intel you need to adjust course if necessary.
Feature illustration by Naranjalidad.
Bring in Earth Energy with Crystals
The fall equinox is affiliated with the root chakra, the grounding chakra at the base of the spine affiliated with anchoring, grounding, and stabilizing. Some great crystals for the root chakra include red jasper, carnelian, sunstone, and moonstone (sunstone and moonstone work great as a combo during the equinox, since it's equal parts day and night). Hold these while closing your eyes and thinking of the past summer, allowing the images to play in your mind as if they were a video. Then, clear your mind, imagine nothing but darkness, and hold the crystals tightly as you say, "I let go of the past and am excited to firmly step into the future." Hold the crystals for the next few days; they can help you manifest even more energy as you step confidently into your new fall life.
Whatever ritual you choose, taking the time to say "thank you" to summer and "hello" to fall will empower you to shine brightly through the days, weeks, and months ahead!