Equinox marked Michaelmas - the traditional (medieval england) festival that marked the end of the farmer's year. The end of the cycle of husbandry. I feel at times that the rest of the world - away from the arctic circle and with their long seasons and mild winters - is out of joint with season change I recognize. Its nice to know that in Europe in the little ice age, the active seasons of growth ended at the same time mine does. That culture produced traditions and folklore that resonate in other ways too :-) Michaelmas was when the harvests were in, the plows were put away, and the people began to work with linen and wool. The long slow beauty of spinning and weaving. Feeding a fire to keep warm and making manifest.
I've been feeling the inward turning of energy for a while now. So much time working on developing workshop, teaching class. Needing and wanting to balance that with internal nurture. Deep exploration. Art. Meditation. Fires and tea. I pushed myself to harvest the last of the garden, pick berries in the woods (both activities and rituals I love and that feed me!), but found my heart anticipating the winter dark. I love the long dark winters, hard as they sometimes are. I love the time to turn inward, turn to my loom, my mat, a book, the fire. Warm myself. Hold myself. Nourish. It is required by the cold and the cold and the dark. Pratyahara. Inward-turning. Cultivation of energy. A time for inner growth and exploration.
I let Michaelmas mark that shift for me this year. Despite this last week or two of nice weather, of golden leaves. I allow myself to shift my energy. Not for one last hurrah, but for the long deep exhale.