September 17, 2019
Sacred Balance of the Autumn Equinox
By Tonja Reichley
Through the spiraling mist you see the round tower emerge, a phallic symbol standing erect, intertwined with the body of the Earth. Pearly fog swirls around this tower, intensifying the sense of ancient mysticism of this place, a sense that you remember, wordlessly, deep within your soul. Through the milky silence you hear the caw of the ravens as they settle on the high eaves. It is the Autumn Equinox at Kilmacdaugh, an ancient monastic site surrounded by the rolling limestone hills of the Burren in Ireland, held by the primordial divine feminine, the Earth herself. A place where Druids would have gathered before priests, where animism is still practiced and old chants are still heard on the breezes and from the stones.
It is the Autumn Equinox, a time of balance within and without. You feel these old, old rhythms alive within you, aching to reflect the outer sense of harmony. At this place in the Burren, the sacred masculine, symbolically held by the round tower, is conjoined with the sacred feminine, who holds them within, whose penetration activates Earth ley lines and energies. It is not about the binary, you realize, and instead about the essential energies of equality, weaving together in harmony.
How does that feel in your own body, allowing the dance of sacred balance? How can you embrace both within so that these balanced energies will then flow without, in a world aching for balance?
Autumn Equinox falls on the day that the sun moves into the sign of Libra, an air sign of balance and harmony. This year Autumn Equinox falls on September 23. Equinox means “equal” and is when day and night, light and dark, are of relatively equal balance. Moving forward from the Autumn Equinox the days shorten and the nights lengthen through to Winter Solstice, as the Wheel continues to turn. We connect to these ancient rhythms, which restore in us a memory, a remembering, of our essence of being here to tend to the Earth, to reclaim the magic, to listen and to protect.
Undoubtedly, the world is out of balance. Toxic masculinity prevails in the form of patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism, consumerism and heteronormative standards. And now, bit by bit, in a way that may seem brutally slow to some of us, yet is essential for sustainability, the sacred feminine is re-emerging, a serpent growing from the ashes of the flames which are burning through and burning away the ill effects of dominant culture. The empire is crumbling and we, as tenders of the Earth, as witches, druids/ druidesses, priests/ priestesses and all the other beautiful names of our native tradition-keepers, are weaving together indigenous wisdom to bring it down and restore balance. Together we will bring it down and restore balance.
For the Autumn Equinox, perform this ritual/ spell to actively engage and encourage the energies of sacred balance.
For the element of Air: rose and garden sage (please do not use white sage unless this is an herb of your indigenous tradition), to burn on an incense charcoal, representing the wisdom of the divine feminine and the divine masculine. Light then incense and breathe deeply to engage presence.
Write down these words and recite three times “The earth remembers the sacred balance, the exquisite harmony found in light and shadow, discovered in the dance between the masculine and the feminine. And so too do I”.
For the element of Fire, light a candle, watching the primal flame, and then write down three things you will personally do to restore harmony to the Earth, to bring balance and equality.
For the element of Water, read your pledge of harmony out loud, with your guides, ancestors and the Earth herself as witness (plus any other community who may have joined with you). Sit quietly, receiving their support, feeling their energies swirling within your own living waters, your DNA which connects you to them.
For the element of Earth, fold the piece of paper three times and bless it in the sacred smoke of the incense, in the flame (although do not ignite the paper, only bless it with the fire) and with your kiss of promise. Place this piece of paper under a stone or crystal of your choice, that has significance for you personally. Keep this on your altar through this turning, reading it often, living into your pledge.
Blessings to you, magic one. Thank you for imagining and participating and creating the world in which we dream of.
Written by Tonja Reichley
Tonja is an herbalist, ritualist and teacher who offers classes through Ritualcravt School both in person and online, including the Way of the Wild Witch, Botanica Magica, Druid Herbals, Moon rituals, Herbcraft and more. She lives part time on the west coast of Ireland where she leads herbal pilgrimages plus a two week Herb School and, new this year, a two week Priestess School. She is the author of The Way of Brighid Oracle Deck and Wild Irish Roots, A Guidebook of Herbs, Ritual and Connection.