September 21st is when we formally celebrate a mighty phenomenon that occurs twice a year when day and night are of equal time. As in March, although this date is set as a reminder, the actual exact time of ‘true’ point of Equinox varies year to year. In 2019 it will peak on Monday 23rd September at 8.50am and will coincide gloriously with the Last Quarter Half Moon. How will you mark Autumn Equinox time? Did you march with the Students striking for Climate Change? Will you spend time in your garden or allotment? Perhaps you are sitting nightly and gazing up at Seanmháthair Gealach’s harmonious and balanced splendour?
As we gently slide into mid-Autumn, the earthy smells and colourful falling leaves may lift our spirits but for many the darkening skies bring another experience altogether. With each passing day the light lessens and the evenings draw in earlier bringing a lowering in mood and sometimes even despair. Ideally, we should be preparing to slow down as the Winter beckons but so often the Autumnal months are the busiest. Having had ‘return-to-school’ habits ingrained in us for at least 9 if not 13 years (and longer if we add in third level studies), no wonder we are psyched up for busyness. Thankfully we are now becoming aware of our mental, emotional and energetic health as much as our physical and more importantly how to look after it.
During the months of Autumn, as in Springtime, when day and night are of equal length, we too feel this shift in the seasons. If we lived in the last century, particularly in the country, we would adjust our sleeping and waking times to accommodate this bringing a natural sense of harmony to our natural 24 hour circadian rhythm. This, in effect, is our internal compass by which our body clock regulates and is affected by our environment. When disrupted, we can feel off balance, ‘down’ or little sad. This can spiral out of control bringing up old issues which may contribute to feelings of helplessness. If this has been your experience previously, there is no need to anticipate the same reaction this year especially if you have dealt with those issues.
Our mental health is key to a well-rounded and healthy life. The best way to ensure this is to regularly ‘check in’ with ourselves to see if there is anything bothering or unduly worrying us. Life will always have ups and downs. It is normal. If we take time to figure out what is wrong, talk it over with a trusted friend or family member who is a good listener or sit still under Grandmother Moon breathing quietly then all will gently rebalance naturally.