The September Equinox 2023

The September equinox occurs around 21 September, this year it falls at 7.49am (UK) on 23 September. The equinox is a day when we all experience equal hours of daylight and darkness. 12hrs of each. For a moment, everything is suspended in the tension of perfect balance of light and dark and then we move through the doorway of greater hours of light or dark as the wheel of the year move on a notch.

This symbol of balance is beautifully depicted by the yin and yang. It is an ancient symbol of harmony and balance and challenges the conventional association of light with good and darkness with bad.

Western cultures have simplified the complexities of human behaviour and experiences by categorising them as “good” or “bad” using various terminologies. Darkness is something that we should strive to defeat or overcome. Lightness is seen a desired end goal. From this, we find ourselves in judgment, rejection, and endless conflict.

Yin is associated. On the yang side, One side is not better than the other, and we all hold both aspects.

The Essence Darkness

The yin is depicted by the black in the symbol. It is associated with darkness, depth, weakness, submission, intuition and femininity. None of these are bad, and needs to be overcome, but rather exist as part of the natural rhythms of and flows of the universe. Darkness is the oldest of energies, it was there before the light. Think of the velvety darkness of a night’s sky, Ageless, soft and rich and awash with gentleness. The Sami cultures welcome the days and nights of darkness. This is the time where they sit around the fire and enjoy res community and rest and reconnection within their community.

The dark also presents the opportunity for deep grounding. We allow ourselves to connect to the belly of the earth, as the Incas say “Pachamama” – mother earth. Descending downwards isn’t a space to be avoided but rather presents opportunities to find the support to not only dig deep into our own psyche but also give us strong stability to fly high, without flying away.

There are also a wealth of emotions that exist that are often ones we try to avoid and are judged harshly. Anger. Sadness. Jealousy. Grief. Bitterness. All of these emerge in the cycle of life, the flow of the universe. The societal judgement of such leads us to repress and reject them.

The Essence of the Light

The light is better and more easily understood. It is depicted by the white, the yang and is associated with lightness, warmth, summer, aggression, rational thought and masculinity.

Whilst these are undoubtedly more attractive, they are not without their challenges. Overabundance of masculinity can lead to aggression and control. Too much rational thought can ignore the feelings held within.

Also seen in the light is the “raising of the vibration”, a common theme in many spiritualities. It is not without merit but holds the risk of disconnection from reality, avoidance of experience and we can drift further and further away from the richness that is stored within. This is very alluring but we all know someone who’s head is in the clouds. This becomes unmanageable and we are brought back to earth with a bump.

There are emotions that are perceived as “good”, such as joy, and laughter. The experience of such are much more enjoyable than those found in the dark and we do what we can to ensure our lives just contain these spaces and seek pleasure from many sources, but this can be a distraction from reality.

Growth is also associated with the yang. The sunshine building up from spring into summer brings to fertility. An abundance of colour, the sweetness of honey and fruits, the crops that will feed us and the magical cycle and interdependence found in nature as each different species found plays a part in the bigger picture.

The Essential Mixture of Light & Dark

We all carry the aspects of yin and yang. To reject any aspect results in us rejecting an aspect of ourselves. And this diverts our energy away from our actual truth.

The masculine needs the softness and gentleness of the feminine, and the feminine needs the strength and the logic of the male. One cannot thrive without the other. The more difficult emotions of the feminine – anger, sadness, grief are tempered by the light and warmth of the male. The aggression of the male is tempered by the submission of the female. Both sides offer protection in different ways, both functioning in a harmony.

The warmth and the light of the yang, found in the daylight and summer can thrive with the darkness and restorative recuperation found in the yin – in winter and night-time.

Water is a feminine energy – the energy of emotions. Whereas the yang energy is that of fire. It is quite easy to see how the interdependences of the both of these. Too much of one is very very destructive, but they complement each other beautifully.

The dis-harmony occurs when there is too much of one emotion or one aspect of ourselves.

The dark is the oldest of energies. It existed before the light and contains the ancient wisdom. The call of the mother earth to ground ourselves in the depths of the dark allow us to fly high with discernment, and with full awareness.

The Shaman’s Journey

The way of the shaman is to remember ourselves home. To bring back all aspects of ourselves that have got lost along the way, and let go of anything that is not of us.

And this calls for an acknowledgement and integration of all aspects of the yin and yang. This includes the aggression, over-control, weakness, jealousy, bitterness and so on.

It is beneath these more tricky aspects of ourselves, which we all carry, that we find our greatest gift, our own truth. Within our full, we can realise our true potential and align more closely with the love of the divine, of source, of the god-head – whatever your terminology for such may be.

This journey is often referred to as the “long dark night of the soul”, whereby the aspects of ourselves that we have tried to repress shout out in order to gain our attention. This journey is no fun whatsoever.

But the calling is to bring softness to our anger and aggression. Or warmth to our sadness, grief and jealousies. And to allow ourselves to be kind to ourselves for the imbalances that have arisen rather than judge them.

In doing so, these tricky aspects bring us our treasure. Our anger can become a powerful catalyst for activism and bringing change for the greater good when aligned with the feminine. Our weakness can emerge as a strong strong vulnerability – quite simply being human – and when balanced with warmth and power will ensure we are not brought low.

Rejection of any aspect of ourselves, however uncomfortable, diverts our journey away from ourselves. The combination and acceptance of both allows our energies to move away from repressing ourselves into acceptance, freeing ourselves up to pour our energies into furthering our journey back home.

Home, back to ourselves, is the ultimate destination. Our lives become smoother and more gentle as we open ourselves up to incorporating the dark into the light and the light into the dark. The roller coasters become less extreme. We find ourselves more in the flow rather than swimming against the current.

And from this space we open ourselves up to the synchronicities and the magic of the mystery.

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