Staying in Balance with Solstices and Equinoxes – By Kate Braun

One of the things I look for in my Tarot readings is the state of balance or imbalance in my clients’ lives.

When we are balanced, life tends to be easier to manage; when we are out of balance, it can be harder to make decisions or to see what the better option might be.

While I cannot and will not tell my clients what to do or how to live their lives, I do strive to help them find a better balance from which to make better choices. Balance is not only a matter of conscious thinking, it is also connected to the seasonal rhythms of Planet Earth.

Since these seasonal rhythms are felt by everyone, Spirit prompts me to share these thoughts with you.

Winter Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge - Wiki Commons

Winter Solstice Sunrise at Stonehenge 1980’s

Dear Reader…

Balance is an important part of our lives. We strive to maintain balance between work and play, waking and sleeping, friends and family. There is also the balance we notice, consciously or not, as seasons progress during the year, especially in the Solstices and Equinoxes.

Solstices have to do with the most noticeable differences between daylight and dark hours. The word “solstice” derives from the Latin solstitium, a combination of sol, the sun, and stitium, to make stand still. The Winter Solstice, on or about December 21, is the shortest day and longest night of the year; the Summer Solstice, six months later, on or about June 21, is the longest day and shortest night of the year. Both solstices are times when the sun appears to stand still in the sky. Between the solstices are the equinoxes. The word “equinox” derives from the Latin aequus, meaning “equal”, and nox, meaning “night”; both equinoxes are times when hours of daylight and darkness appear to be the same.

In the Long Ago, solstices and equinoxes were of great importance. They were used to mark the proper times to plow, to sow, to harvest, and the time to let the land lie fallow. There was a recognized time, as Pete Seeger has sung, “for every purpose under heaven”. Each culture devised its own rituals to honor the seasons, but all did. Today, especially with the effect of Daylight Savings Time, it can be easier to ignore these times of balance and changing balance. Yet on some level we are aware that the days grow longer from the Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox, that at the Spring Equinox day and night hours are the same, and that days continue to lengthen until the Summer Solstice. Similarly, our bodies respond to the shorter daylight hours that follow from the Summer Solstice to the Fall Equinox, when once again hours of light and dark are equal, and on into the Dark Time of winter until we reach the Winter Solstice and the cycle begins anew.


Stonehenge Summer Solstice 2014

What does this cycle mean to us today? What can we do to make these changing seasons more a part of our lives when we no longer rise and work and sleep as the rising and setting of the sun dictates? One easy thing to do to help strengthen our awareness of this eternal cycle is to eat seasonally. Celebrate the first lettuce of the year with a big salad; rejoice in the abundance of peaches when they become available; enjoy broccoli when cooler weather prompts its growth. You may also share the seasonality by inviting friends to join you for a special meal.

Each season brings its own challenges and rewards, each cycle of seasons brings opportunities for recognizing and strengthening balance in our lives. Whatever the methods we choose, by incorporating greater awareness of Solstices and Equinoxes into our lives we not only live with more awareness of the seasonal balancing and re-balancing, we also live in greater harmony with the Earth.

Article by Kate Braun
Tarot by Kate
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