Autumn Equinox and The Harvest Full Moon

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” Gilda Radner

As many of those who practice with me know, I love the moon. Many classes I teach are geared toward the moon cycles and their impact on us in our daily lives. The Autumn Equinox last night marked a transition in seasons, but also a very special cycle of the moon–this transition was marked by a full harvest moon to herald in the fall season. A full moon at the equinox happens once every twenty years or so and carries with it potent energy. The equinox itself is a huge signifier of change. It is a time of harvest. It edges the fullness of summer and the darkness of winter. It is the balance point between the yin and the yang.

At this apex of the equinox is the harvest moon holding the energy of transformation–it is the jumping off point from which we can embrace the transformation with open arms or fall back into the security of old patterns and unhealthy ways of being. We have a profound opportunity at this crossroads to reevaluate our lives and our next steps. We can choose to make conscious decisions and move toward our own personal development. Paradoxically, the easiest way to do this is by letting go of the outcome and releasing the idea of doing anything.

In Pantanjali’s yoga sutras, he addresses the idea of non-attachment: 1.15 drista anushravika vishaya vitrishnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam (When the individual becomes free of craving for the sense objects which he has experience as well as those of which he has heard, that state of consciousness is vairagya.) This non-attachment, or vairagya, is the process of letting go—letting go of aversions and desires, and as we progress the attachments become subtler and subtler. The deeper one travels on this journey the trickier it can become.

There are times I have often felt that I am practicing non-attachment but as I start to unpack my experience and why it is feeling so “crunchy,” I realize I have often fooled myself into believing that my repression of a feeling, thought, or situation is the non-attachment I am seeking. In the end, all I have done is to create suffering for myself and consequently more attachment. When we truly practice non-attachment we can feel the easy with which we travel in the river of life. This doesn’t mean that we don’t encounter difficult things or that we don’t continue to strive to be in alignment with our highest selves. Instead, we can choose not to create suffering for ourselves when something doesn’t appear to go our way.

So for those of you who have been feeling some extra tension around the energy of this equinox, recognize that it is a time of opportunity to make new choices in your life and as challenging things arise, embrace the opportunity for growth and see where the river takes you.