This year on September 22nd, night and day are in perfect balance as the Earth makes her annual sojourn around our Sun. Fall Equinox is the time for celebrating with gratitude the abundance of the harvest we have reaped in our lives.
Our ancient forebears celebrated this important marker with ceremony. They believed that thanking the Earth and all her bounty, honoring the Gods, as well as celebrating this special season, was important.
From The Great Pyramid in Egypt, to Stonehenge in England, to Chichen Itza in Mexico and Chaco Canyon in the U.S., our ancient ancestors aligned their sublime architecture with the Fall Equinox.
The Autumnal Equinox is the “hour hand” that tells us what time it is in the Great Year. Just as we can tell the hour of the day by noticing how high or low the sun is in the sky, so do we tell time in the 26,000-year precession cycle by noticing the position of the sun on this equinox relative to the twelve ancient constellations of the zodiac.
Our Thanksgiving holiday reflects the Fall Equinox harvest ceremonies of our ancient ancestors in the Northern Hemisphere. But little else about the last quarter of the year is known today, although it was an important time for ancient cultures.
The advent of cold weather causes many in the animal world to hibernate and the plant world to die off. As we descend into this darkness, we symbolically hibernate also and go deeply into ourselves. Our ancient ancestors saw this as a time of symbolic death, when the Earth Goddess or Vegetation God gave up its vital force — dropping the once-living leaves and stems to the ground, or being cut with a scythe for harvest.
One of the best known mystery schools of the ancient world was at Eleusis in Greece, called the Eleusinian Mystery School. Scholars believe that the mystery schools system for training initiates did not originate in Greece; arguably there were more ancient ones in Egypt, Crete and pre-Columbian indigenous cultures. Not much is known about mystery school ceremonies, because they were protected by an oath of secrecy punishable by death.
Nevertheless, the few scraps of information we do know are fasinating. Their most important ceremonies were held at the Fall Equinox, which was a potent ritual. The initiates would probably consume some kind of hallucinogenic beverage in the temple and experience a symbolic death. They would then be taken metaphorically to the Underworld, which had nine levels, to experience the negative aspect of existence. Initiates would then be guided to heavenly realms, called the Elysian Fields, where there was unconditional love, acceptance by the Gods and great beauty. This was both an instruction on how to live well in this world and also the promise of what to expect in the afterlife IF the initiate behaved in accordance with divine principles (karma).
Most all ancient and indigenous cultures understood that we are composed of two aspects while residing on the Earth plane: of spirit and matter, that is to say, the spark of God which animates the earthen clay vessel that is our physical body. These philosophies or religious understandings saw that the light (or our soul) descends into matter to form a physical incarnation that has the express goal of enlightenment.
This last quarter of the year, starting with Fall Equinox and going ending with Winter Solstice, is the time of year when we can heal, releasing all aspects of our negative earthly existence, such as ego, resentment, hatred, materialism, lust and so forth. Now is the perfect time of year to let go of whatever obstacles are holding you back and blocking your progress to enlightenment and transformation. Take a moment to write those things down on a piece of paper and burn them in a thoughtful ceremony on September 22nd.
Ceremony was a vital aspect of our ancient ancestors’ lives. Most of the megalithic temples were built over electromagnetic anomalies or “lay lines” and natural aquifers. These megalithic structures were built with stone rich with magnetite and crystalline composition, in order to manipulate the natural flow of electro-magnetic current, which created a field that enhanced an altered state of consciousness for initiates.
Stonehenge, for example, is built over an electro-magnetic anomaly, with stones lined up with the magnetic north facing the magnetic south of the next stone. Ultimately, the structure forms a giant magnet with a measurable field. It’s also interesting to note that NASA records reveal that geomagnetic activity on our planet is most likely to happen around the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, events that would directly greatly impact sacred sites.
This combination of cutting-edge science and ancient knowledge has contributed to the popular hypothesis that these structures, in combination with sacred ceremony, created a real energetic portal allowing the initiate to travel to the realm of the Gods.
During my own experience in the Great Pyramid of Giza on the Spring Equinox (it is built over a natural waterway, encased in limestone, its inner chambers is constructed with a granite rich in magnetite and crystals), many of us spent private time in the King’s Chamber taking turns in the rose granite box. And a number of people who did this had powerful visionary experiences or encounters with spirit guides and teachers.
From my study of the near-death experience, I have come to believe that there may have been an aspect of this “journey to the light” that may have been incorporated into the rituals of our ancient ancestors. The theme of birth-death-rebirth is ubiquitous in all religions and symbolizes not physical death per se but the death of our earthly constraints of ego and materialism and mis-directed life-force energy. This is the symbolic understanding of the annual cycle of the Earth, represented by the primary markers that designate the four quarters: Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox.
In our busy work-a-day world we have a little opportunity to honor with gratitude our life’s abundance and the spiritual journey on this Earth plane that is so important. As initiates in the Mystery School of Life, while we are tasked with enlightenment, we lack the advantage of the organized systems known to our ancient ancestors.
For that reason I have chosen to take the time and effort to create a presentation and ceremony for you, gratis. I will go into detail about my research on the importance of the Fall Equinox and the last quarter of the year this Friday.
Please join me at New Renaissance Bookshop, 1338 NW 23th Ave, Portland, on the eve of the Equinox for this free event. I offer this as my sincere service to making the Earth a better place. Please bring nonperishable food items that we will donate to our local food bank.