Autumn Equinox and the Butterfly

The leaves are beginning to turn on the trees outside. A few scutter to the ground. It is dark when I get up and the nip in the air already has me wearing several layers when I sit and work at the computer. So much for the English summer! I love the colours of autumn, the park an array of gold, burnt umber, deep reds, brilliant orange. A little girl I know brought me leaves ready to press the other day. The mottled gift lies deep within my old dictionary. One day I will look up a word and they will flutter to the floor and I will remember that moment. Her eyes were shining.


I wonder sometimes, is this the beginning of my Autumn? I’m 43 next year. My hip creaks like an old oak and when it rains I feel the ache of rheumatism. There is the odd grey hair peeping though the henna red, laughter lines around my eyes. I live my life with a young outlook in many ways. Most people are surprised when I tell them my age (flattering of course!). I can work a computer, a mobile phone and a dvd player and even if I don’t know the music, I’ve probably heard of most of the bands the ‘youngsters’ listen to. Yet there is the growing awareness of difference; the lost references when I joke about something and realise the person I’m chatting to wasn’t even born when my reference happened.

September is a complex time. I was the odd one out because I loved the new term at school – the smell of new stationary, the luxury of new exercise books, A4 pads, file folders, pens. Yesterday as I made my way through the throng of freshers in my city the buzz reminded me of those times; the oddness of September where everything hangs in the balance.

Harvest Moon and Autumn Equinox occur close together this year. It is a time of culmination, of weighing up how far you have come. Will those things you have tended through the year sustain you through the darkness of Winter? Now is a time of reckoning. All things being equal I am pleased with what I have achieved so far, yet at the same time feel a powerful rush of energy to race to the finish line.

Perhaps this year the reckoning will be a little more powerful, a little more meaningful as the Equinox and the Full Moon in Aries both trigger the points associated with the recent cardinal climax. The Moon joins Jupiter and Uranus, the Sun in a wide conjunction to Saturn and all square Pluto. Whilst the energy of the cardinal climax is waning, the teachings of it are now becoming manifest. I feel it in my own life. My mood has lifted, my writing flows, ideas are coming thick and fast and I am thoroughly absorbed in astrological research. No longer do I feel the ominous block that blew up in August, forcing me to confront certain aspects of myself. Instead I feel that something has shifted. I let Pluto take over, let him change what needed changing and suddenly I feel like I am finding buried treasure underneath.

The Equinox occurs as the Sun moves into Libra.

The sabian symbol for 0 degrees Libra is

In A Collection Of Perfect Specimens Of Many Biological Forms, A Butterfly Displays The Beauty Of Its Wings, Its Body Impaled By A Fine Dart

The butterfly is a creature of transformation yet here in this image it has been pinned; its form preserved. Part of me feels incredibly sad for the butterfly. It is meant to to thrive, dance in the air and finally die and decay: its colours returned to the earth, spirit to the source. Part of the eloquent language of nature is that it is ephemeral, not everyone may witness its beauty. The gift is in the experience of it passing by. Like autumn, we are meant to acknowledge the fruits of our lives, consume them and plant the seeds for future growth that we may never see. It is the way of things that we are born, we live, we die. At Autumn Equinox we pay homage to the summer and its bountiful culmination but at the same time pay heed to winter’s approach. There is something in the Autumn Equinox which reminds me that you cannot hold on to beauty – the beauty was in the moment yet paradoxically there is beauty in every moment.

Marc Edmund Jones has this symbol listed slightly differently :-

A Butterfly Made Perfect by a Dart Through It

To me the butterfly was already perfect – as are we. Yet the reference here is related to capturing or pinning down our uniqueness.

“Each person comes into identifiable being through the nature which has been molded for him and thereupon refines this for his own self-expression.” p.151  The Sabian Symbols in Astrology. Dr. Marc Edmund Jones 1193 Aurora Press

Libra is ruled by Venus so it is apt to reflect upon one’s own beauty at this time. Look in the mirror and take note of all your good points and caress and embrace the ‘bad’. Look inside your heart and mind too. The Aries Moon conjunct Jupiter and Uranus suggests now it is time to awake to the abundance of yourself. You are truly blessed because you were born YOU! Note that the Aries Moon is the only representative of the element of fire in the Full Moon chart. It is my view that this full Moon we are being urged to go within and discover our inner flame.

The challenge of this Equinox is to recognise what you need to let go of in order to move forward. It really is time to sort the wheat from the chaff. This is symbolised by the Sun and Moon’s square to Pluto. There is death in life and life in death and both can be celebrated equally. Compared to the age of the cosmos, we too are fragile and ephemeral like the butterfly yet we are also powerful beyond belief and can leave great beauty for our descendants to witness.


8 thoughts on “Autumn Equinox and the Butterfly”

  1. Again I have been captured and kept enthralled by the beauty of your writing.

    I too have felt a shift recently after the difficult month of August… I feel almost an energy of starting again, a beginning of a new phase and I welcome it.

    So here’s to Autumn! Ours as well as the coming season. 🙂

    ….actually that just reminded me of something I wrote a few years ago – here it is and I dedicate to all those (like us) entering our Autumn —->

    Wonderful post Leah. 🙂

  2. In the chinese culture, the autumnal equinox coincides with what we call the “mid autumn festival”. During this time we get together with close friends and relatives to play a dice game and give mooncakes to each other –Tanya Bayo

  3. Hi Susannah
    Thank you :-)Yes, it feels a very positive time. Here’s to Autumn indeed! I’d love to read your post but the link isn’t finding it? Can you post it again for me?

  4. Sorry for the dodgy link 🙂 – I’ll post it here instead…

    Is a tree any less beautiful in autumn,
    when the springtime blossom has passed.
    The fruits of summer, now gathered
    the harvest, long since passed.
    Or is that when the richness of colour
    that is lit by the afternoon sun
    makes the leaves, all shimmer like firelight
    with a beauty, that’s second to none.

  5. Hi there, Leah!

    I was directed here by Neeti of Astrology Expressed :). And I am so glad I was– your writing is touching and lovely, with such a remarkable flow!

    I’ve been pretty much surrounded by Monarch butterflies non-stop since the 13th of September around here. (I’m in New Jersey. For now.)

    Thank you for sharing this!

  6. @ Susannah Oh that is lovely! Thank you for posting it here . I love your poetry 🙂

    @ Deb Thanks for visiting and your lovely comment. Neeti’s site is excellent isn’t it! Monarch butterflies are so beautiful.

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