Invite in the magic of the air element & initiate your transformation with this potent equinox ritual.
On Sept 23 at 3:28 am EST, the Sun moves into Libra, bringing with it the Autumn Equinox. Libra is the cardinal air sign that initiates this transformative season, also associated with the air element and our closest relationships.
This time of year mirrors the 3rd quarter phase of the lunar cycle, where we begin to shift from yang to yin. As the equinox symbolizes equal hours of sunlight and moonlight, it’s a time to find balance of yin (moon) and yang (sun) within and without.
Libra represents the scales, indicative of the balance between light and dark at this time. However, it not only symbolizes the balance of our ability to give (yang) and receive (yin) in relationships, but also the balance of this duality within. After all, relationships are the most powerful mirrors we have when it comes to healing ourselves, and Libra season teaches us how to regain balance to move forward in our spiritual evolution.
The Autumn equinox is also intimately connected with Demeter & Persephone’s myth in Ancient Greek mythology, which actually represents the triple goddess (mother, maiden and crone). It is at this time of year that thousands of people in Ancient Greece participated in the Eleusinian Mysteries - rituals dedicated to this myth. These rituals are believed to have brought the participants closer to death, and freed them of fears to assist in their path to enlightenment.
Based on the myth, Demeter (earth mother & fertility goddess; symbolized by asteroid Ceres in astrology) and Persephone (her daughter and maiden) lived in blissful union, frolicking in the forest, picking flowers. One day, Demeter is betrayed by her brother, Zeus (Jupiter), as he conspires with Hades (Pluto) to ‘abduct’ Persephone to be his bride in the underworld. Long story short, Demeter is furious about this loss, and being the goddess of agriculture, stops all food production until her daughter is returned. Persephone coincidentally ends up eating some pomegranate seeds while she is in the Underworld with Hades, and because of that she is no longer able to return to the world of the living full time.
This is where the origin of the seasons comes from; for every seed consumed in the Underworld, Persephone spends a month/year with the dead & her husband, while the remainder of the time is spent on Earth with her mother. When Persephone is with her mother, the earth is bountiful, and when she returns to the underworld, it is barren.
By entering the underworld, Persephone becomes the crone, completing the Triple Goddess. She becomes intimate with death (Hades), and undergoes a powerful transformation, only to emerge as a new, evolved version of Self to be reunited with her mother on Earth in the spring.
As a result, the Autumn Equinox symbolizes a powerful shift in the wheel of the year. It is a day to harvest the bounty of the Earth, give gratitude, and collectively begin our descent into the darkness and shadow realm of the Underworld. It is a collective call to go within, sink into the more yin side of life, and be met with our shadows, as mirrored to us within our closest relationships.
Below, I've created a brief but potent Autumn Equinox ritual for you to ease your descent into the darkness and slowness of the next few months as we move into this season. Harness the energy of the air element to unburden yourself of old identities & give thanks to the Earth for her abundance.
Materials needed (energetic associations below)*:
Cinnamon sticks (~5)
Star Anise (~5)
Mint (bushel with stems) & any other herbs or evergreens that call to you
Willow bark (~thumb size)
Large pot filled with water (preferably from natural source)
Journal & pen
Cleanse your space by burning some incense, sage, or playing a sound bowl to connect with the air element. Optional: Set up your altar with seasonal offerings, such as apple, acorns, leaves, etc. You can grab a FREE Altar Guide here for inspiration based on your natal moon sign.
Take a moment to call in all of the elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth & Spirit) to create a portal to the astral realm and guide your intuition with the purest of white light.
Slice the apple and tear the pomegranate peel into large chunks.
Place all of the ingredients (omitting the journal & pen of course) into the large pot with water.
Bring to a simmer with the lid off, inviting in the air element & aroma into your home.
Take slow, deep breaths in & out of the belly, inhaling & exhaling for the same count; inviting in balance.
Create a gratitude list with whatever comes to mind. What are you grateful for? What are you harvesting at this time?
Optional - pull a card for guidance at this time, and freeform journal.
Once you’re done, thanks the elements & the Universe, and burn your list in a fireproof container.
Pour the ashes into your simmer pots, removing it from the stove and bringing it outside to offer to the earth in gratitude.
Happy Equinox & enjoy this ritual and season!
* Apple - Associated with the Moon & Venus, and used for fertility and new life
Orange - Associated with the Sun, and used to bring luck & abundance
Pomegranate - Associated with Persephone & Pluto, and used in rituals of fertility. Allowing for periods of rest within cycles of fertility
Cinnamon - Ruled by Mars and associated with the fire element; used in rituals associated with success, prosperity & action
Willow - deeply connected to the crone archetype, Pluto & Persephone, used in rituals for growth, transformation & renewal
Mint - Associated with Pluto, Persephone & Venus, and used in rituals for success, purification & love