Meaningful Ways to Celebrate the Autumn Equinox

The Autumn Equinox, also known as the first day of autumn, occurs every year. This year, the Autumn Equinox takes place today, September 22nd at 9:03 pm in Northern Virginia (it takes place at the same time everywhere but the time zones are different). During an equinox, day and night are of equal length. So today, the sun will rise at just about 7 a.m. and it will set at just about 7 p.m.

Autumn is a beautiful season and the first day of fall is a great reason to celebrate, but why, particularly, would one celebrate the Equinox? And how would one go about it?

Celebrating an annual event reminds us that we have had one more year of life. An anniversary date prompts us to take stock and look back on what worked and did not work for us since the last date. Here are some ideas for enjoying this day…

Pause and just be. Sometimes, you just need to relax. How does this sound? Lighting a candle (maybe a scented one, if you like that), snuggling up with a soft blanket with a a soothing cup of herbal tea, and listening to some tranquil music or nature sounds. My cozy favorite is “rainy cafe.” For a fall treat, try the apple cider cake donuts from Giant…and warm one in the toaster oven!

Rededicate yourself to balance in your life. Having a balanced life is an important part of self-care. You could do this by re-establishing your work/life balance, turning in early, getting exercise, moderating your spending, eating vegetables, etc. Maybe pick one area of your life that needs re-balancing and work on that.

Reflect on your goals. This is a good time to reflect on your goals, maybe ones you set at the beginning of the year and take stock. Did you reach any goals, or make progress? Did any goals become less important to you? You can let those fall away today.

Take a mindful walk outside, no screens, and just enjoy nature as she presents herself to you.

Meditate. Clearing the mind is a wonderful way to balance your yourself and achieve inner peace. Since the Equinox is all about balance, maybe balance in your life will be a theme you think about today. If you have trouble meditating on your own, and many of us do, try a guided meditation, like this one.

Walk in a labyrinth. You can find a labyrinth on Labryinth locator. My favorite labryinth, so far, is a large outdoor one in Great Falls. Walking in a labyrinth is a lovely form of walking meditation. If you have a question in mind, you might want to reflect on that before you enter, then try and clear your mind and just be open to receiving whatever messages may come to you. I like to take a crystal buddy with me and sit in the middle for a moment before I wend my way back out.

Express your gratitude. Some ways you could do this include making a list of things you are grateful for, praying, calling or telling people how you are grateful for them, or making a donation or contribution to a good cause.

Visit “Foamhenge.” Located at Cox Farms in Centreville, VA Foamhenge is a re-creation of the famous England stone structure, Stonehenge. You may know that Druids (a form of paganism) visit Stonehenge on the solstice, but did you know they also go on the Equinox? Now, Foamhenge is not a sacred place, but wouldn’t it be fun to see? Unfortunately, Foamhenge is not open to the public today but it will be in just a few days with admission fee to the Cox Farms Fall Festival.

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