Michaelmas and the Autumn Equinox

“We live in a time when the greatest form of courage is to act as if our lives made a difference.” William Sullivan

The purple and white Michaelmas daisies are blooming now in New England. These tiny daisies which grow throughout meadows and fields and beside ponds, herald the arrival of the Autumn Equinox .

The Equinox, September 22,  marks the time when all the inhabitants of our small planet experience an equal amount of day and night. The Equinox also marks the time of the Sun’s ingress into Libra – the sign of equilibrium and diplomacy.

The time around the Equinox bodes well for looking back at events of the last season and charting your course for the upcoming one.

With the Equinox comes the Feast of Michaelmas – an ancient Celtic festival – which celebrates one of the quarter days of the year. These festivals in general are meant to bring us more closely in touch with the magic of the seasons, the rhythms of the earth and the earth’s connection to the cosmos.

Michaelmas celebrates the passage of the earth through the late summer meteor showers and the time when the northern hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun.

In many Michaelmas celebrations a play is performed about how the lowly peasant George slays a fearsome dragon. During the course of the battle George is gravely injured. He collapses under the spreading  branches of an apple tree beside a small stream. When morning dawns his wounds are healed.

George was able to face great odds and persevere with great courage due to the help and guidance of the Archangel, Michael.

The celebration of Michaelmas is a reminder to cultivate courage for the sometimes daunting tasks we all face. And to rekindle the inner fire as we move towards the darkness of the season.

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