Autumnal Equinox: Letting Go
September 21, 2016 ~ Demetra Szatkowski
Tomorrow marks the start of autumn.
We all go through seasons. Whether or not we live in a place with a changing climate, we feel the contemplativeness of winter, the awakening of spring, the expansion of summer, the releasing of fall.
It's worth noting that we feel these changes all the time, in different amounts of time, not only seasonally. All of nature does this. The moon is dark and grows and shines and then wanes and goes dark again. Our moods change in this way, cycling through joy and happiness to moodiness and depression. We become motivated and then we are lazy, then motivated once more. Women's bodies go through this process every month. Humans measure these cycles by days, months, years, but regardless, all of nature is constantly moving through these forms, in one way or another. It just happens to be a little more significant seasonally, because typically, everything surrounding us is shifting as a whole.
Trees change color and let go of their leaves. The weather starts becoming colder. Plants that were blooming in the summer begin to reach their final stages, getting ready to shrivel up, dying in preparation for winter. Mythologically, autumn is the time when Persephone leaves her mother, going back to Hades in the underworld, and nature grieves.
We can't change this. There is no room for growth without going into darkness first.
Breathing is an amazing, minute example of this - our lungs expand and collapse, over and over again. The more we inhale, the more we can exhale. The more we exhale, the more we are able to inhale.
Everything about us works this way. Our creative energy, our sexual energy, our vitality, our ability to help others, our ability to give our gifts to the world. The more we give, the more we are able to receive. The more we are able to receive, the more we have the ability to give.
But what happens if we don't keep that in motion? What happens when we let our breath stop flowing?
We get stuck. We get depressed. We get stagnant. We choke.
I believe that bringing awareness into these cycles makes these cycles conscious for us, makes them much more significant. When a woman pays attention to her menstrual cycle, honoring it as opposed to suppressing it, her intuition grows, and it increases both her depth of emotion and experience of joy throughout each month.
A similar thing happens when we bring awareness into these seasonal cycles. Life becomes smoother, more meaningful. More painful, more joyful. Without being conscious of what we need to release, do we ever really release anything? Or are all the things that need to be worked through, need to be expressed, need to come out... are they all just getting stuck?
Sometimes I get into this mode where I get whiny about it. Why is there always more to let go of? Why isn't it ever over? I'm so tired of having to always go back into this space.
Today I realized that in at least the last few years that I have been paying attention, the end of September has brought a major, major release for me, in some way. Three years ago it was when I stopped wearing makeup and let go of a lot of negative thoughts about self-image. Two years ago it was the very intense end of a relationship. Last year I left the yoga world, dismantled my entire belief system, and sold a business. This year holds things I cannot put into words just yet. All of these things have happened in the end of September.
We can release things at any time, of course, but I think it becomes much more potent when we do it in alignment with our natural environment. Because our body knows things we do not. Our bodies hold on to things we do not realize, they remember things we do not know exist. So many emotions are expressed in strange physical ways. Our body is of this world; it knows how to work in alignment with it.
There is no getting around it. Nothing in nature gets to cheat this cycle. If we want all of the magic, all of the joy, all of the most wondrous things the world has to offer, we need to equally put ourselves into a space where we can clean out the stuff we no longer want to keep. Or we can choose to stay stuck, in one place, in a mediocre life. But if you're reading this, I don't think that's for you.
Honor this transition. Notice it, appreciate it, ritualize it.
Astrologically, the Sun is moving into Libra at this time. Libra signifies connection, balance, relationships, beauty, love. Jupiter is currently in Libra as well, signifying expansion in these areas. And! We are moving out of Mercury retrograde this week, and as the next couple weeks pass by, the energy from the eclipse will wane as well. So even though fall is a time for letting go, it shouldn't feel nearly as intense as the month of September has been.
Some questions to ask yourself, as the seasons shift and change:
Who are you, when you go quiet?
Who are you without your career, without your family, without that image you portray outwardly? What is still there, when everything else is stripped away?
What is it that you want?
What is it that is still holding you back? What is stopping that ongoing flow of energy between your creative ideas and the way you put them out into the world?
What beliefs have you had in past relationships that are no longer true? What no longer serves you in this way? What or who are you still holding on to?
How can you bring balance into your life?
What do you have left to release?
And maybe most importantly...
Can you let go without knowing what comes next?