5 Ways to Honor the Fall Equinox

Happy Autumnal Equinox! 

I love the Fall. It's probably my favorite time to be in New England. I love apple picking, Fall festivals, leaves changing colors, snuggling fireside and roasting marshmallows.

The Autumn Equinox — also known as the Pagan holiday Mabon — is a time for quiet contemplation and readying yourself for the cold winter months ahead. In earth-centered spiritual traditions, this is a time to literally and figuratively "reap what you sow." Farmers harvest the last of the summer's crops, and we reflect upon the past year. What are we proud of? What could we have done better? Where do we need pruning and where can we grow?

Ever wonder why you get the urge to majorly clean house or get rid of old clothes around this time of year? That's because the Equinoxes (Spring or Fall) are all about balance. The word equinox comes from Old French equinoxe or Latin aequinoctium, from aequi- ‘equal’ + noxnoct-‘night.’ We seek balance by purging dead weight — be it clothing we never wear anymore, clutter around the house, or negative energy. The Equinoxes are when I do some of my best thinking and changing.

No matter what your spiritual path or religious affinity, there are many ways you can celebrate the Autumnal Equinox to bring balance back into your life. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Clean your house. I seriously can't wait to get home and fill up some trash bags. I have so much clutter! I collect so much over the year, and I don't need/use most of it. I'm trying to simplify my life, but it's difficult when I'm crafty and want to hang on to every craft supply I acquire. And let's not even get started on clothes! So I ask two simple questions during serious house-cleaning: 1) Have I worn/used it in the past year? 2) Does it bring me joy? (thank you, Marie Kondo.) If both questions are a "no," into the bag to recycle/donate it goes!

2. Banish negative energy. All of that negativity you've experienced over the past year? Let it go. Here's a simple cleansing ritual for banishing negativity to help you out.

3. Take a walk in the woods. There is nothing more calming to me than a walk in the woods. During our recent trip to California, boyfriend and I took a hike through Muir Woods to see the giant, awe-inspiring redwoods. It was incredible, breathtaking and humbling. We felt so connected to earth and its healing energy.

4. Go apple picking. Picking apples with family and friends is my absolute favorite New England pastime, and I'm lucky to live near so many wonderful orchards. My Connecticut go-to's are Rogers Orchards and Lyman Orchards.

5. Craft with leaves. When we were little, my sister and I would gather fallen leaves and make pressed leaf bookmarks with our Nana. Once they start coming down, I plan on making a few again, and I promise to post a tutorial! 

How will you celebrate the first day of Fall?

Lead photo courtesy of Yuting Wang, via Unsplash.