Approaching the equinox

I’ve never been very good at equinoxes in terms of celebrating the wheel of the year. Even when I was doing ritual regularly, they were the ones I found hardest to honour. It’s curious, because these are distinct events marking key shifts between the light and dark halves of the year.

There’s a disconnection for me in the way we talk about equinoxes  as times of balance, and the way I experience them. At the equinoxes, we have the fastest day by day change in the balance between light and dark. At this time of year, heading towards the equinox it becomes most obvious that the nights are drawing in and the dawn is later. I feel the shift, not the balance.

This may be one of those cases where modern Paganism has come at something intellectually not experientially. Somewhere in the midst of all this change there is indeed a balance point, but in terms of how we live through these days, that moment is almost invisible. It’s only really there to experience because we’ve agreed that it is, and that agreement may be taking us away from the experience of equinox.

I’m feeling the change and the shift into autumn. I’m feeling the changing length of days, and how different from summer the light is now when I get up in the morning. I’m feeling sleepy earlier in the evening. The smell of the air has changed, the nights and early mornings are colder. It’s a period of intense change, soon to be amplified as the leaves start changing colour and the woods around me shift dramatically from green to golden and brown.

I don’t feel balanced in myself, either, I feel the rush of change, the scope for everything to be different. If I am still now, it is because I’m being tugged in a number of directions and am waiting to see which pulls are the strongest.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

7 responses to “Approaching the equinox

  • John Davis

    I get what you’re saying here, Nimue; there is only a split second of balance, like a tipping point. It’s not so much the balance that I acknowledge at the equinox, rather that a tipping point has been reached. From now on my attention becomes focused on the outer and inner implications of the darker side of the wheel of the year…. until the alternate equinox when the situation is reversed.
    As an aside…I have a greater issue celebrating Beltane. It has a calendar date but the seasons have a later start point up here in the north than down in balmy Stroud 🙂

  • neptunesdolphins

    I follow the Babylonian-Sumer sense of the equinoxes. (I have an altar to these Gods.) They saw the equinoxes as a start of a new year (6 months each.) When the sun (Utu) and the moon (Nanna-Suen) were out of balance. They didn’t see it as balance as much as Utu passing power to Nanna-Suen and back again. The seasons in the area are different in that the Autumn was planting and Spring was harvesting. But the idea of the Sun ruling half a year, and Moon half a year is something that makes sense to me. So I restart my year at the equinoxes.

  • greenwisewoman

    the way I see it (a little differently) is not ‘balance’ like a spinning top but ‘balance’ like the pivot point of a scales, with the dark/winter rising in the one case and the light/spring in the other.
    At the same time I’m celebrating the middle of the three harvests (fruits and berries) so it’s more than just that.

  • Tiffany Belle Harper

    I hope the journey was progressive sister 🙂 x

  • Äquinoktium in Sápmi | tinderness

    […] Tiefe herzustellen. Im Grunde teile ich die Auffassung von Nimue Brown, die in ihrem Blogbeitrag Approaching the Equinox festhält: There’s a disconnection for me in the way we talk about equinoxes as times of balance, […]

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