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Autumn Equinox, Vata Season & Mabon

by Sheyna Haisman-Holmes

Today, September 22nd is the autumn/fall equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. We are transitioning from summertime pitta season to the vata season of fall. Vata season is characterized by colder weather, dry and windy conditions. The sun has been setting a little bit earlier each day since the summer solstice in June, on the longest day of the year. At this equinox we are experiencing equal hours of day and night. Daylight hours will continue to slowly decrease until the winter solstice in December, which is the shortest day of the year. The weather will start cooling off more in the next month until we find ourselves in fall. This season is an invitation to go inwards, integrate and rest after the fire & productivity of the summer.

We are transitioning from hot, extroverted, traveling bodies into cold, dry and light autumn time. The trees and plants are doing the same by transitioning from so much growth and food production into a time of rest and reset. Trees will lose their leaves and their energy will go inwards. This inward energy will last throughout all of fall and winter, until spring energy wakes us all up into extroversion. During this time, we need to take more care in keeping our bodies warm and well nourished.

This time of year is also marked by the Pagan holiday of Mabon. This holiday is a celebration of harvest and the cornucopia is a classic Mabon symbol, representing the abundance of crops at the end of summer. It is a common ritual to pick apples on this day and a great time to make baked apple recipes for nourishing the tissues of the body. This time of equal light and equal night is a time to reflect on balance. Am I creating an environment for balance and harmony in my life, or is something out of balance?

“Letting go” is somewhat of a buzzword or trend of a practice within astrology, birthdays, moon cycles, the seasons, etc. When we really lean into this, there are actually many important questions to ask on the theme of letting go as the season draws us inwards. What are we willing to bring with us into the times of fall and winter? What may be stored in our bodies and minds that don’t need our attention and energy anymore? There may be some energies that are too heavy or misaligned that need to be reduced and eradicated for the sake of our peace and inner growth. While we ride the tails of summer energy, we may consider letting things go through making some offerings to the waters. This can be done with flower petals, ash, milk, flower essences, etc. (something that is safe and not harmful to the water or water life). Having this intention to offer and let go may bring up subconscious parts that we weren’t aware of. It may be more common to think of spring cleaning and detoxing after the winter, but it is equally as important during this seasonal transition where we are bringing everything with us into our burrows for the fall and coming winter.

Some ways to celebrate the equinox:

~Celebrating the summer bounty with a feast! This is a great time to have a potluck and celebration with family and friends.

~Give thanks for all the blessings in your life. The ones that you just experienced this summer and the ones yet to come. Take these blessings and positivity into fall and winter with you as a prayer for deep nourishment and necessary transformation.

~Light a candle to sit with these blessings and prayers. Write them out and intend for clarity.

~Make an earth mandala with fallen leaves, flowers, apples, or whatever you find in abundance on the ground!

Tips for transitioning into Vata season:

~Start eating warming foods again. Favor sweet potato, acorn squash, broth, delicata squash, rice and root veggies. Increase warming spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, turmeric, hing.

~Avoid cold foods and drinks, raw veggies and dry foods (popcorn, crackers, chips).

~This is the season where immune systems are extra vulnerable, so protect yourself by keeping the neck and feet warm.

~Rid the body of stored toxins by sipping on hot water (with lemon if you desire) in the mornings and throughout the day.

~Help the body continue to sweat! It’s easier to sweat in the summer when it’s hot. As it cools down, we want to keep releasing toxins through this pathway and keep the body warm while we are doing it 🙂

Happy Autumn Equinox & Mabon!


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