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The Autumn Equinox and the Harvest Moon

Submitted by on Wednesday, 22 September 2010No Comment

By Reverend Betsy Stang, on behalf of all our relations and all sentient beings.

The days are getting colder in the Northeast, where I live most of the year. Darkness comes noticeably faster as the luxurious late summer days come to a close. Suddenly I am no longer complaining about the unrelenting heat and am stacking wood. The autumn equinox is near and the Harvest Moon is coming.

On Planet Earth, West is the direction of the setting sun. It signifies evening, twilight, autumn and the coming of night. In the Indigenous traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, it is a time of harvest and preparation for the winter. The fall equinox also represents maturity and the coming of wisdom. This year, the Harvest Moon comes on September 23. What are we harvesting? Look back over the summer season. What have we learned. How have we grown? What can we give to feed all who are hungry in the coming months?

In the time of autumn, the time of sunset, we have been tempered by the seasons of life. Summer, the season of growth, is over. The fruit is ready for harvest, the seeds begin to fall to the group, our winter approaches and we come to the realization that our time on Earth is short and that all things pass away. The question arises, what do we leave behind, what is our legacy? What will take root and grow when the spring equinox comes to awaken the Earth?

In the tradition of the Native Americans, all decisions are made with the idea of how they will impact the generations to come. Wisdom comes from turning away from our personal needs and desires, to caring for the future and all our relations.

Soon enough, winter comes and we will return to the Earth who gave us our life and all our substance. Before we do that we can ask how can we use our resources, talents and energy to leave our world a better place for the generations to come?

Standing in the direction of the West, we are asked to harvest, not just for ourselves, but for the many. At this time we can choose to gather our wisdom, talents and resources to leave this world better than when we arrived. If we leave for our children and the generations to come a depleted Earth with polluted water and air, what sort of legacy have we bequeathed?

The directions remind us that we are part of a greater whole on the wheel of life. At the autumnal equinox, the direction of the West, we can pause to thank our ancestors and the Earth and take some time to pay it forward to the generations to come.

Happening on the Equinox, on Sept. 21, is the International Day of Peace. Please take a moment at noon to join with millions around the planet and, in your tradition, spend a few moments in praying or meditating for peace for this magical world, all the generations to come and all our relations. May peace prevail on Earth.

For more information on the International Day of Peace go to http://www.idpvigil.com/.

By Reverend Betsy Stang, on behalf of all our relations and all sentient beings.

Betsy Stang is an Interfaith Minister, spiritual counselor and Earth Activist. She is is the Founder and Executive Director of The Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources in Bearsville, NY.
For more information please go to www.wittenbergcenter.org or www.betsystang.com

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