As I worked on my talk for the upcoming Power of Inner Connection Summit, I was sure I wanted to have a discussion about the planetary energies in our work. The organizer was very interested in that aspect and thought her listeners would be, too, and it’s an important part of our work that we don’t always get to present in talks.
Writing up my thoughts on the seven classical planetary energies, I noticed they were naturally sorting into pairs, instead of my usual days-of-the-week order. I took that as a sign that a new approach was needed, and so I used that framework to present them.
It was enjoyable and enlightening to look at them that way, as it creates more of a sense of personality for each one, looking at how they interact and affect each other as dynamic beings instead of stagnant, isolated monoliths. It also started to tie in to the theme of this season’s sale, Autumn Equinox. You can read more about the Spagyrics on sale, or go right to our sale page here, or keep reading for more of my musings on the season.
The Equinoxes are a time of balance between the day and night- this is what “equi-nox” means: “equal-night”. At these two points of the year, day and night are about 12 hours each, dark and light in a point of balance before they tip and one takes the lead for the next few months.
The Autumn Equinox is the point before the night lengthens and we move into fall and eventually winter, the days getting shorter and shorter until they turn around again at the Winter Solstice. This is also the day that the Sun moves into Libra, whose image of the scales speaks to this point of balance.
Historically, this is the time of harvest, when the garden starts to collapse under its own bounty and foods need to be brought in and preserved to last the winter. In the agricultural calendars of village societies, this is the time of settling of accounts, as the harvest is sold and debts from the year are paid off.
Even this exercise of settling has a paradoxical quality to it, however, as this is also the time new crops of winter grain are sown, making a sort of second Spring in some climates. In our area, this time of year looks very much like Spring, when the rains come and the fields green again after summer’s heat and dryness, and the garden supports new rounds of “spring” vegetables like lettuce, peas, and potatoes.
This commonality between spring and fall here sometimes leaves me feeling a bit suspended between them both, and it creates a liminal quality of timelessness in which everything seems circular and present all at once.
There are differences in energy between these two hinges of the year, and working with their energies is different, too. In Spring, the Equinox is an excellent time for making active changes, sowing seeds that will grow in energy and light as the days do.
At the Autumn Equinox, we reap what we have sown, but we can also use this passage to make changes- not through the initiation of new energies, but by releasing old ones. As the plants green up for their brief second spring, eating as much of the late golden light as they can, they also know that once that light is stored away in the sweetness of roots, their lush greenery will be released to sink into the soil and disappear.
It’s fitting, perhaps, that Venus rules both sides of the wheel at the Equinoxes- governing Taurus in the Spring, and Libra now in the fall. Venus rules the verdant life of Nature, plant life in general, and all the nourishment it gives us, from the earthy physicality of a parsnip to the sweet lusciousness of fruits.
In fact, in the Celtic traditions, this time is again fractally divided into two harvests- that of the God and grain in August at Lugnasadh, and now, at the Equinox, the Goddess’ harvest of fruits. Apples, pears, late plums, and especially rosehips are prime right now, all fruits sacred to Venus and under her sign of the Rose- both in their botanical relationships and in the sigil her planet draws in orbit through the heavens.
All these ideas are swirling around in my head right now as we pass from one season into another, and I reflect on what we’ve done this year and how it will come together inwardly as we settle in for winter.
I’ve played with these themes a little for our sale this season, putting togther some pairs of Spagyrics that speak to the balanced moment of the Equinox and the energies that flow into that point from the past and out of it again into the future. You can read more about that here, or go right to our sale page here.