Looking for fall equinox rituals in 2019, ways to celebrate when day equals night? Read on to explore 5 recommendations for intelligent and heartfelt activities to welcome fall.
Nature-based celebrations do not have to be cartoonish. As modern people of intelligence and power, we can greet change with awareness and meaningful ceremony. With such practices, we can re-establish our connection to nature’s time, the way our ancestors move through our hearts and minds, and to the path of our destiny.
Each of the seasonal holidays has an energy about them, a seasonal signature that beckons some aspect of our deeper selves toward healing and awareness. This is the foundation of a seasonal life. Let’s explore ways to celebrate the fall equinox as the hours of daylight move to equal that of night.
I’m an Amazon affiliate. These are my recommendations for creating space to experience nature’s time, flavors, and energies during the equinox.
The equinoxes occur at the beginning of spring and fall. They mark a time when the length of the day pretty much equals the length of the night over much of the planet. The word equinox can be taken back to its Latin origins to get a good understanding of its meaning. Equi = equal, and nox=night, literally translating into equal night and referring to this balance of day and nighttime hours.
Astronomically, what is happening, is the earth’s equator is passing through the same plane as the sun’s equator.
Let’s look to National Geographic for a better explanation.
Intelligent Rituals for a Modern Life
I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much had it with made-up, unfounded, earth-based celebrations that make a mockery of ancient ways. Cultures the world over have been moved to celebration during certain times in the seasonal calendar. In these lost or receding cultures are the residues of our ancestors’ way of life. Those ways of knowing and being are coursing through our veins, waiting to be acknowledged and activated through ritual and ceremony.
As I’ve written before, I see myself as part of the Irish Diaspora. My take on seasonal holidays like the fall equinox has a Celtic flavor to them. This aspect of my spirituality and wellness practice is based on the place where research and practice meet in me and express themselves through rite and ritual.
I invite you to connect with your ancestors. Educate yourself about their pre-industrial practices. Then, gradually, incorporate a modern version of those practices into your daily, weekly, and seasonal life. I promise, over time, this practice will heal you emotionally, spiritually, and maybe even physically.
Want to learn more about approaching the seasons with soul? Check out these resources.
5 Ways to Celebrate the Fall Equinox
Let’s begin building a list of 5 ways to celebrate the fall equinox by listing keywords for the event. Here’s my list, feel free to brainstorm your own.
- earth tones
- falling leaves
- apples, apple cider, pumpkins, hayrides
Then, let’s explore ways we can awaken these keywords in our life at the time of the equinox. Here’s my list of 5 ways to celebrate. I’d love for you to leave your list of keywords and celebrations in the comment section below.
1. Take a hike!
That’s right! Go take a hike.
A nice long hike on or near the fall equinox. Fill your knapsack with water, clean and healthy food, a journal, and bug spray. Then, head out to the woods and spend time smelling that loamy scent of fall. Collect acorns. Hunt for mushrooms. Immerse yourself in the season.
I like to use the hashtag #optoutside originally used by the outdoor gear cooperative REI for these posts. It connects my celebration to a wider community of dirt-worshiping tree huggers!
2. Build a garden.
I know! You are surprised to hear that you can actually start a garden on the first day of fall, but it is true. A quick and effective one-day project follows the following steps:
- Purchase a pre-built 4’x4′ garden bed, or make one if you are handy.
- Spend some time walking your property, looking and listening for a space that will welcome a small garden.
- Clear the space and trim any grass down to the soil line. This should be about 5’x5′ to accommodate the new raised garden bed.
- Lay several layers of cardboard over the spot. the thicker the better for weed suppression.
- Build the raised garden bed on top of the cardboard.
- Fill the bed with organic garden soil.
- Use this guide to choose the plants for your garden.
- Water and clean up after yourself.
- Enjoy for months and years to come!
3. Make a seasonal pie.
By early September, my local farmers markets are full of squashes and pumpkins. Like many of you, I am also harvesting plenty from my own garden beds. By the end of September, the house has cooled off enough from the passing summer heat to make baking a welcome chore.
Remember, you can use many ingredients to make this kind of pie including squashes and sweet potatoes. The unifying theme is a fall harvested squash or sweet potato, preferably local, and lots of pumpkin spice blend for flavoring. Your house will smell like a shrine to the fall equinox, and your family will love you for it!
Traditional Pumpkin Pie made with fresh pumpkin.
Traditional apple pie made with fresh and local apples.
A chocolate pecan pie from one of my favorite food writers.
Best Gingery Sweet Potato Pie Recipe - How to Make Sweet Potato Pie for Thanksgiving
Ginger and sweet potato, a perfect fall combination.
4. Enjoy a bonfire.
We are genetically predisposed to relax when enjoying a bonfire. Science has proven that key stress indicators like blood pressure, improve only moments after subjects sat by a fire (either live or on video).
September can be a stressful month for many, with the beginning of the school year, the end of vacation season, and the possibility of a depressed mood as the number of daylight hours diminishes.
Create a bonfire and enjoy it either alone contemplatively, or with friends and neighbors to welcome fall this year.
As an added pleasure, I like to throw dried herbs in the fire pit after clearing that garden bed for the fall. Smells so good!
I believe a fire pit is an essential element for a seasonal life.
In the yogic and ayurvedic traditions, the equinoxes are known as the best time of year to detox.
My practice includes the following elements for an effective detox and seasonal reset:
- Slow down, return and recommit to my contemplative prayer practice.
- Eat clean. With the garden winding down for the year, it is tempting to eat processed foods. When fall returns, I recommit to creating meals with clean, local foods.
- Walk every day for at least 3 miles, regardless of the weather. I recommend creating a habit of movement that is right for you and the season.
- Goal evaluation. It’s the last quarter of the year. The fall equinox is the perfect time to dedicate a day of half-day to reviewing the goals set back in January and adjusting my path to get back in alignment with them.
Do you detox in the fall? What is your practice? Leave me a note in the comments section!
September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fire-place;
So I give her this month and the next
Though the whole of my year should be hers who has
So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
But so many more so happy;
Who has left a scent on my life and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow,
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses.
In celebration of this September person whose vitality leaps, I offer these resources to support your seasonal life. Enjoy!
The 8 Seasonal Holidays
Want to know more about the seasonal holidays? There are a total of 8:
First, there are what is sometimes referred to as the cross days:
- Winter Solstice
- Spring Equinox
- Summer solstice
- Fall Equinox
Between those are holidays sometimes referred to as cross-quarter days, and they are:
- Imbolc (Groundhog Day)
- Beltane (May Day)
- Samhain (Halloween)
Click the links to learn more about how the wheel of the year turns, season by season. (This is a new site, so I will be completing the descriptions as each holiday arrives during my first year.)
Come be in Fellowship!
If you want a loving community to be a part of your seasonal life, please do anyone (or ALL!) of the following:
- Sign up for the newsletter and get my herbal teas and tisanes recipe book for FREE! Tea is always a welcome addition to any time in the kitchen.
- Join our FREE Facebook group where we’re always talking gardens and kitchens.
- Follow me on Instagram and watch the seasons unfold on my 5-acre homestead in Harpers Ferry, WV.