Fall has always been my favorite time of year; with the brilliant colors of the trees, falling leaves, crisp cool air, and beautiful dappled sunlight. Even though I am no longer in school, every autumn still feels like the beginning of a new year for me. It is a time to go inward, to regain focus, and to ready myself for the next phase of the year, winter.

Fall is ushered in by the Autumn Equinox, a day in late September when the length of the day and night are approximately equal. The exact date and time of the Autumn Equinox, when the sun moves into the astrological sign of Libra, varies from year to year. This year it falls on September 22nd. The equinoxes are dramatic days in the course of nature, when there is a specific alignment of space, matter, energy and time. And because everything in our universe is made of matter and energy, we are also part of this event. Consciously or not, we experience the seasons internally. Ancient people were aware of these cycles of the cosmos, and were aware of being a part of this phenomenon themselves, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They honored the seasons of change taking place internally as well as externally, knowing them to be the same.

Although the autumn equinox is a time of balance, it is also a time of intense change; the solar rising and setting points are moving quickly southward from day to day. The energy on our planet changes dramatically. In autumn, the energy is drawn down to the earth, causing the leaves to fall, but also causing us to feel drained at times. This is a natural occurrence. The energy of nature moves through us in a powerful way, ridding us of any energy that does not serve us. Because fall is generally a time when people begin to slow down, it can be a great time to get rid of all the excess baggage before the new year, so that we can start anew with a clean slate.

There have always been festivals and celebrations to honor at the coming of fall and the harvest, which served to communally and outwardly energize the blessings of our lives. Fall is a time for apple picking, going to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin, hay rides, and harvest festivals. It is a time of giving thanks and for feasting on the gifts of the harvest. It is also the time to put your garden to rest, adding compost to ensure a good growing season for next year. In the same way, we need to gather our resources and nurture ourselves for the long winter season ahead. During this time of transition, we need to take care of our bodies by getting extra rest, eating nourishing foods, and not over extending ourselves. It is also a good time to sit quietly, reflecting or meditating on your blessings.

The energetic process of grounding and clearing that occurs in the fall is meant to bring our attention back to ourselves, and to prompt us to think about what we have harvested in our lives. I find it helpful to view ourselves as farmers with soil-less gardens. What kind of thought have you planted this year? If you planted negative thoughts, that's what you will harvest. But if you planted positive thoughts, provided a nurturing environment in which they could grow, and dutifully tended them, you will reap their benefits. It is important to put our attention on what we truly want to experience, and then create a nurturing atmosphere in which that can manifest itself. It isn't enough to want to experience something. We must create the receptive environment for it to show up so that we can manifest in our lives. So open your self to the energy of autumn and enjoy your own personal harvest!

Author's Bio: 

Mary Riposo received her PhD in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University. She is a NY State Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified School Psychologist. Mary has also completed training in a variety of healing modalities; she is an Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, Polarity Therapist, Soul Realignment Practitioner, and Divinely Guided Life Coach. She owns and runs the Center for Integrated Energy Healing, which offers energy healing sessions, transpersonal counseling, intuitive readings, intuitive development training, and Reiki certification classes. She has written a book, "Using Reiki with Children: A Guide for Parents and Professionals," which is available through her website. For more information, go to www.IntegratedEnergyHealing.com.