Start of Autumn is the first of the six phases that make up the the autumn season. In this edition of the newsletter, we will explore the significance of autumn in the context of the annual seasonal cycle and then focus on the particular meaning the first phase of this season.
If we compare the four seasons to the four basic stages of life, then springtime corresponds to youth, summer to adulthood, autumn to midlife, and winter to elderhood. On August 7th the year will enter "midlife" as it crosses the midway point around the Chinese seasonal cycle.
Over the next three months, the lush greenery of summer will gradually begin to fade. The temperature will drop. Moisture will be squeezed out of the atmosphere. The air will become drier. The land will become more arid. Leaves will start falling. The warm colors of the summer landscape will be replaced by cooler shades of autumn.
During midlife, we undergo a similar transformation. Our vital force gradually decreases, moisture is squeezed out from our faces as wrinkles appear, hair turns gray and starts to fall. The changes of midlife mimic the changes of autumn. During this stage, our vital energies turn inwards as we naturally become more introverted and reflective. We become more practical and less idealistic, more sophisticated and less gullible. In other words, we mature. The theme of autumn is maturity and levelheaded discernment, and over the next three months, you will have the opportunity to develop the qualities of autumn and channel this energy into the world. And now, let’s consider the function served by the first phase of autumn.
Start of Autumn represents the midway point of the yearly cycle which began exactly six months ago with the Start of Spring and the beginning of the Chinese new year. To grasp the essence of what that means, let us consider the midway point of another familiar cycle, the lunar cycle. Imagine yourself outdoors on a moonless night. You're stumbling through the dark trying to find your way forward. You walk cautiously but are still unable to see what lies ahead. Now imagine the same scenario, only in this instance, the full moon is out. Under the light of the moon, you can see more lucidly the way that lies before you, and as a result, you walk forward with more clarity. The quality associated with the midway point of the lunar cycle is the self-assurance born out of clear vision. That quality characterizes the halfway point of all cycles, including Start of Autumn, the “full moon” point of the year.
During this phase you are encouraged to meditate on this question: Am I in alignment with my noblest life goals? To the degree that you are not in alignment, Start of Autumn is the appropriate time of the year to reflect on the changes you will need to make over the next few months to realign with more purposeful and achievable goals. As you clarify those goals, you will also tap into a stronger resolve to manifest them.
I invite you to join me and many others to practice the Start of Autumn Empowerment on Monday, August 7th between 3:40 AM EDT and 5:40 AM EDT. This empowerment will support you in your quest for clarity. (Remember to adjust for the time difference if you live in another time zone). Start of Autumn continues until Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:20 PM EDT when Limit of Heat, the second stage of autumn begins. Until then, meditate on areas of confusion until you awaken inner clarity.