Blog: The Lessons of the Equinox, the Earth, and the Sun

Blog: The Lessons of the Equinox, the Earth, and the Sun

By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.

The fall equinox this year occurs just before the new moon, marking the end of a cycle of growth as the agricultural growing season comes to an end. This year, the growing season ends just as the new moon begins a new cycle of growth. The equinox, of course, is the moment in the year when the day is as long as the night. Just as the moon’s influence begins to expand toward fullness, the sun’s influence wanes as the days become shorter. The sun continues on its path toward the winter solstice, the shortest day.

The dance between the moon and the sun at this fall equinox is one of growth and completion, increase and decrease, promise and reflection. The complexity of this dance is something we must all learn to hold in our awareness if we are to understand what the Earth might be trying to teach us through the complexity of this moment. We are challenged to understand the duality each celestial sphere expresses in relation to the other as we seek to find the moment of balance between them.

The search for balance might express itself in our personal lives as we try to start new projects with fewer resources than we may have traditionally had. Or it may express itself in caring for a new child even as we help our elders move toward their transition. Or it may express itself on a collective level, as in the Ukranian war at this moment, where the Ukranians are reclaiming their land even as they take in the devastation it holds as a result of the Russian occupation. Or as it does in Britain as the country says goodbye to Queen Elizabeth culturally, and tries to step into a new way of managing itself politically and economically in the wake of Brexit.

As I watch the late summer sun set through the 100-year-old stained glass windows of the sanctuary at the Sacred Stream Center in the season of this fall equinox, I am preparing to welcome students to the center for the first time since the spring equinox season of 2020, when the first lockdown due to COVID-19 started.

This time holds promise of a new way of being together steeped in the effect of our separation over the last set of seasons. I reflect on our online efforts over the last few years to increase our ability to bring our work to other communities as we tried to balance the local community members’ grief at our inability to be together. I reflect on the development of the new way of teaching and learning the pandemic brought us, even as it required us to adapt to the loss of other ways of exploring consciousness together. We are entering into a new way of being together as we seek to integrate the insights garnered by our separation.

Now, at this moment of equinox, where the dualities in each of these circumstances hold equal sway, we can strive to seek balance. To do this, we must expand, holding the different aspects of the opposites that present themselves in our own lives in a non-reactive way. We must be able to follow the moon as it expands, even as we feel and acknowledge the effect of the decrease of the sun’s rays. In this way, we can seek to learn the lessons of the equinoxes, some of the many lessons the earth shows us in its dance with the light of the sun throughout the year.