The 2006 autumnal equinox will occur
at precisely 0:03 EST (05:03 Universal Time),
on 23 September 2006,
and at 06:03 Western European time.
when fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere
and spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere
as the Sun crosses directly over the Earth's equator at that moment.
The Fall Equinox
The Fall Equinox is usually held around September 21st.
Equinox means "equal"
which means that it is a time when the days and nights
become equal in length.
It also means balanced light, which also refers
to the balance of light and darkness as being equal
at this time of the year.
This makes the days become steadily shorter
in the Northern Hemisphere which cools down
the northern part of the earth more and more.
It is a time when life goes
into hibernation and the land goes to sleep.
This autumnal equinox
marks the beginning of astronomical fall.
It occurs during the month of September
in the Northern Hemisphere,
and during March in the Southern Hemisphere.
At the same time that the autumnal equinox
occurs in one hemisphere,
it is the period of the vernal equinox
in the other hemisphere.
The term "Autumnal Equinox"
The word 'Autumnal' comes from the Latin word 'autumnus’
meaning the period between summer and winter.
Equinox comes from Medieval Latin, aequinoxium,
or from Latin aequinoctium: aequi-, equi- + nox, noct-, night,
or via french équinoxe, translated literally,
means “equal night”.
Ancient or Pagan Ways
Since this equal period of day and night happen twice a year,
the elders of the ancient ways used these equinoxes
as markers to determine when seeds would be planted
in the spring and when the crops would be harvested in the fall.
Naturally this is very regional,
depending on the location of the farmer.
The Autumnal Equinox was once considered a sort of a feast
and is also known as the Wine Harvest,
Witch’s Thanksgiving, Night of the Hunter,
the Second Harvest Festival,
the Harvest Tide, Time of Mabon
(a modern name for the fall equinox),
Alban Elfed, the Fease of Avilon, Cornucopia,
the Festival of Dionysus,
the first day of autumn as well as the Harvest Tide.
The Pagan Wheel
It is also the season of the Crone.
Kore goes to the Underworld to learn the secrets
of the Crone and the earth is bare as Her mother,
Dementer, mourns her loss.
Although we know that the wheel will turn again
and that life will be reborn again.
The Fall Equinox is celebrated
as the final harvest period of this season.
This is most important as an excellent harvest
ensures the survival of the community
for the long cold months of winter.
During this period we reap what we have sown and
it is also a preparation period for the long dark winter ahead.
The Earth has sacrificed the last of herself
to provide the people with a final harvest before the next season.
It is a time of feasting with family
and friends, and of giving thanks.
Many Cultures Celebrate
The equinox observance comes from many cultures
and has its roots in the pagan tradition
long before Christianity made
its entrance in Europe.
Among those observing the equinox were the
Chinese, Iranians, Japanese,
and many diverse European cultures.
It seems that the Egyptians also built the Great Sphinx
so that it points directly toward
the rising Sun
on the day of the autumnal equinox.
Babylonians and Assyrians placed a greater amount
of importance on the
Equinoxes than on the solstices.
The most important festival
in ancient Babylonia
was the New Year, which occurred
at the Spring equinox.
Relationship to Thanksgiving
Early European Christian officials decided
that they could not do away with these
and rituals, so they decided to place
other holidays in its place
hoping that the new religion would replace the "Olde".
Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox was so old
and ingrained in the culture
that the new Christian religion decided
to also give time to the giving of thanks.
Survival and Food
The Autumnal Equinox was a very important period of passage
as it included rituals and invocations
for prosperity for the new crops which were being harvested.
These peoples celebrated for the basic reason
that they knew that their food supplies were being restored.
These festivities were held during the new moon
which was closest to the Equinox.
This was very important as harvesting crops
was akin to the survival of the family, clan or community.
The Autumnal Equinox is a significant time
for people who live in certain regions on our planet.
It is the time when the Sun disappears at the northern pole
after it has been visable for about six months.
And, of course, this is the opposite for the southern pole.
It is also the time when the Sun crosses
the zenith for people living at the equator.
The Autumnal Equinox - Why it happens.
These equinoxes happen because the axis of rotation
of the Earth is not aligned with
the plane of its orbit around the Sun,
it, in fact, tilts by about 23½°.
At those moments the direction of the poles
are at a right angle to the Sun.
It is also significant because the Sun
crosses directly over the Earth's equator.
The Autumnal Equinox is a time of transition,
a time when light and warmth lessen
and when darkness and coldness lengthen in the northern hemisphere.
(In the southern hemisphere the opposite occurs.)
At this point in time, the amount of dark and light is balanced,
twelve hours of each, day and night.
Autumn Clearing and Ordering
Each fall many people make a ritual of
bringing order to their dwellings.
It is a time when nature begins
to go into slumber,
therefore many people want to be efficient
and orderly in their homes during this cold period.
This clearing ritual removes
any negative energy
that may have accumulated over the summer
by preparing their home and life
for the start of positive prosperity
since this is the harvesting period and
the time to make sure that all of the food and heating material
is in ready for the colder months.
Autumn Prosperity and Reflection
During the Autumnal Equinox we are gathering up
the fruits of the seeds that we have sown and
we are gathering up the fruits from our hard labour.
We are happy to be alive and happy that we have enough
food to bring us through the cold and dark months to come.
It is also a time to gather wood
to be used to keep us warm for the cold months ahead.
This is also prosperity.
During the Autumnal Equinox we are remembering
a distinctive time when there is
a quality of special energy in our planet.
This is energy to harvest, energy to gather,
energy to store food and wood, and energy to reorder our lives.
What is occurring is that life itself is being made
ready for a period of slumber,
because the sleeping energy is taking over from the ground
where it has been dormant in the earth since the summer solstice.
It is a good energy, a positive energy,
Which one we can harness to bring healthful,
prosperous and beneficial experiences into our lives.
It is a time of reflection, a time to ponder
on our mistakes and our successes, and also to count our blessings.
This is what the new spirituality is all about.
We can use this time to improve the quality
of our lives and raise the good loving vibrations
to help heal ourselves, our human family and our planet!
The Autumnal Equinox time is one of renewal
for ourselves in terms
of our thoughts, our aspirations, and our attitudes.
It is a good occasion to review
how we approach specific situations in our lives,
and life in general.
Our attitudes determine the path of our lives.
In order to contribute to creating
a better world.
We must be Aware-full and care-full and expect the best.
Let us be the best that we can by doing our best.
If we want to be the honoured guest,
we have to treat others as the honoured guest.
When we walk into the other’s house
do we compliment our hostess or do we ask for compliments.
May we be honourable by doing honourable.[SV1]
Happy Autumnal Equinox!
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Updated July 27, 2011
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