A balance of darkness and light occurs on September 22nd which is the Fall Equinox; one of two times during the year where night and day are equal. I love this time of year, there is a sense of balance and peace that I experience; but not everyone may feel that way. For some there is a sense of sadness as summer ends.
Rudolph Steiner, a great philosopher/teacher from the late 1800s through the early 1900s had some very useful insights into the impact of the seasons on our psyches and souls. In his book of seasonal meditations called The Calendar of the Soul he tells us that during the summer, the energies of the sun and the cosmos cause our souls to expand beyond the limitations of our bodies and to subtly find union with a higher level of consciousness. In this expansion we feel joyful and free and open to life in ways that are harder to do during the darker seasons of the year. During this expansion our soul is washed in a higher wisdom and union with life. Through this union a seed of truth is uniquely gifted to each being and planted within us to nurture in our own lives.
As we pass the Summer Solstice, which is the longest day of the year the light gradually diminishes until at Fall Equinox the day and night are equal in length and darkness and light are balanced in power. Gradually, along with the decreasing light, our soul begins to contract and descend back into our earthly identity. After the Equinox the soul may experience a kind of loss, rather like what you feel when a lover departs. Suddenly you are alone once again.
This period of feeling more alone is an extremely important passage in our year. In retreating from the union with cosmic higher consciousness back into personal focus, we bring with us the seed of truth which we received from that union. During the darker months of the year our job is to nurture that seed within us and to allow it to be born as part of our own consciousness, bringing new light to ourselves and to the world we live in.
I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter (now 20 years old!), how that Fall I felt so heavy and stuck within my body that I was depressed. I who am used to having a very strong union with spirit and life didn’t like being that grounded into my physical self (hormones will do that to you!). A lot of people feel that way when the darker months come and they call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Like a kind of spiritual pregnancy, each of us is birthing within us a seed of truth received during the months of brightest sunlight. The direction that life wants us to go as the sunlight diminishes is within, to nurture the light of God within our own self. If a person can embrace that change of direction and flow with it, they may find an increasing power and light within their own soul to help overcome the sad effects of the darker season. Letting go of the outward impulse toward happiness and light, we need to encourage it to grow within us, to let it be generated from within on our own behalf rather than being stimulated to it from without.
Each of us is a presence of eternal, divine light in the world. Owning this truth is an essential passage in our soul’s evolution. The coming season is an opportunity to make progress along that path. Below is a simple meditation to help you do that.
1) Choose a white taper candle if you have one; or any candle will do.
2) Sit in a darkened room in front of the unlit candle and center within yourself. Start by giving yourself an inner hug (like the one you would give a favorite child or pet). Relax backward into yourself until you feel centered around your spine, as though it were the core rather than the back of you (it is the center of your aura).
3) Light the candle while acknowledging that the flame is a focus of the true light at the core of all creation.
4) Let the light of the flame reflect and support the light within your own heart chakra in the middle of your chest. Feel the light within expand until it fills your whole body and aura. (Did you know you can see the light of a single candle for a mile under the right conditions? Light is that powerful!) Sit with the light within mirroring the light of the flame and the light of the flame mirroring the light within you. Relax into the feeling of truth and unity it generates.
5) Blow out the flame and let the light within you continue to bring you comfort, clarity and a feeling of union with all that is true. Carry the awareness of this light within you into your life.
6) As the days shorten, this exercise can help you to nurture the light within. It will water the seed of truth you received this summer, helping it gain strength and power within you over the winter season.
*A longer version of The Candle Meditation is available with other exercises on CD # 1 from www.spiritualhealers.com