After the openness and expansion of the summer months, nature’s energies shift and begin to turn inward towards the colder, darker months. This heralds a time of quiet introspection, of gathering our energies and making more time to be still. But as we are often still high with the energy of summer, and sometimes toxic and overloaded from all that celebrating, the push on our bodies to release and cleanse can trigger symptoms such as colds, emotional upsets, and headaches and nausea as our livers do their work. As the full moon falls on 19th September, we might be feeling these responses more profoundly.
It makes sense to support our bodies during this transition as best we can. The two weeks leading up to Autumn Equinox and the two weeks prior offer an opportunity to heal and cleanse. These are the times we might begin to feel these internal shifts anyway. In Chinese Five Element Theory, autumn is linked to the metal element, which resonates with the lungs. The emotion is grief or sadness, so this is often a time of release and reflection. Foods that help at this time of year are spicy and pungent, so curries, and warming stews and soups with plenty of onions, garlic and ginger will help your body through this season. It’s interesting how we tend to be drawn to these kinds of foods anyway as the season changes. Avoiding toxins like sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine give our bodies a chance to cleanse. So you might fancy doing a gentle cleanse, with warming soups and stews, plenty of herbal teas, and warm water with a squeeze of lemon to support the liver. Dry skin brushing helps our lymphatic system shift the toxic load. This is an ideal time to try enemas too, consult a nutritionist or naturopath for advice.
Autumn Equinox offers us a chance to reflect at the turning of the year, to give thanks for the bounty and joy of summer, and to let go of habits and thoughts that no longer serve us. Around the time of the equinox, you might like to schedule in more time for quiet practices such as meditation or solitary walks in nature. Keep a journal that records your feelings as you go, so that you build up a tool kit to support you and your family through future transitions. It helps, I think, to see equinoxes as a chance to shed a skin, like a snake, so that we emerge into the coming season lighter and without baggage – emotional, physical or spiritual. That might mean a detox of the physical body, but it might also mean a life detox. Think clutter clearing, relationship healing and clear communication so that we’re not carrying unresolved emotions. Take a look around your house and see where the clutter of the past months has accumulated. Make some trips to the charity shops and free up space – autumn sees the beginning of more time spent at home so it benefits all the family to make your house a really clean, homely, comforting environment.
This time of year can often be confusing, throwing up lots for us to deal with all at once. We can sometimes feel as if we’re on a merry go round that we can’t get off. Relationships can seem trying and communication unclear, so make sure you listen well and repeat back to people what they say or ask to avoid confusion. Try to manage others’ needs and expectations by being clear about what you can offer, saying no when you need to, and making time to de-stress. Now is the perfect opportunity to book a treatment or course, such as a massage or a dance class, to help you release and let go of any pent up anxiety.
Autumn Equinox is a time of change, and the best thing we can do is harness that energy by making positive changes in our lives so that we can flow with the changes in nature.
Happy Autumn Equinox!