Equinox, When Sun Gives Way to Moon

The Moon is waxing large toward its September 24th Harvest mood all week, and while on her way, Luna has cascaded up a stair of naked-eye planets, as though bearing messages from the evening star to her beloved warrior Mars. But before Moon achieves its Full Phase and becomes the dominant light in the northern celestial hemisphere for the next two seasons, the equinoctial balance must first be struck ~ and so it is, on Saturday, September 22nd at 9:54 pm edt.

Waxing Moon cascading up the stairway of naked-eye planets, from Sky and Telescope

Even though the date of Equinox is determined by the relationship between Earth and Sun, the mood of the season is very much determined by the Moon.

When the Moon comes to New Phase before Equinox, as it did this year on September 9th, 2018, then both Sun and Moon are above the Celestial Equator, which means the Sun is still dominant and the lunar forces are held in check.

But then, after the Equinox moment, the Sun appears to slip below the Celestial Equator in the region of Virgo stars, and the Moon, growing brighter and brighter through the sky, arrives at Full Phase above the Celestial Equator, in the region of Pisces, as though challenging the Sun for the rest of the season.

In former cultures, Autumn Equinox was the time for purification; for shedding all the ills and wrongs and negativity in one’s behavior so that, as the forces of growth seemed to die away in the waning sunlight and the creatures began their hibernations, they wouldn’t “take with them” the undigested wrongs of humanity. Fasting and prayer were not uncommon during the three days around Equinox, because it was believed the diminishing sunlight wasn’t strong enough to burn up the negativity streaming from human beings. After Equinox, the Moon becomes more active, but unlike the Sun, it can only reflect and magnify what streams from humanity.

Autumn Equinox occurs at 9:54 pm on Saturday, September 22nd, followed by Full Harvest Moon on Monday, September 24 at 10:54 pm.

The red glow of an autumn sunset over Lake Michigan

Until then, here’s a fitting verse to contemplate from Austrian philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner:

What we bury deep in the earth to sleep, wrap of earth must be. What we love abides above, all through eternity.

Last year I addressed the same equinox theme. You can hear the audio at this link!