The autumn equinox occurs at the moment when the sun passes over the celestial equator, which signifies when day and night are equal. This moment will occur at 4:21am this Wednesday morning September 23, and we step decidedly into the fall season. Autumn is harvest time in many cultures and several festivals celebrate it. Chinese culture has the moon festival. Moon cakes use seeds from the lotus plant, which are quite moistening and lovely this time of year.
Chinese philosophy reminds us that we humans are part of nature. The seasons reflect within us, and all around us. There are five elements and five corresponding seasons. In spring, things sprout and begin to grow (wood). In summer, ignited by heat (fire), they blossom and reach a harvest in late summer (earth). They decay and dry up in autumn (metal). In winter, they sink deep and rest (water).
Autumn and the metal element is associated with the color white, with the organs lung and large intestine, both the emotions of sadness and courage. Naturally we confront the aspect of death in autumn, as the flora withers, and the light wanes. Sadness is a natural part of a healthy life cycle; this too shall pass. Exercising the lungs with a brisk walk or using diaphragmatic breathing is very helpful when you are processing sadness. Autumn is also associated with the direction of West and is connected to dreams and visions- a great time to set intentions and plant seeds for your future.