This is an article which first appeared in the Raven Newsletter Harvest 2011 edition:
So many times we are told that at the Equinoxes of Spring and Autumn the powers of Light and Dark are in balance. At Spring the light is poised to grow and strengthen and at the Autumn Equinox it is the darkness which is advancing.
Because of the equality of light and darkness at the Equinoxes we often picture this as an old fashioned balance scale (as in the astrological symbol of Libra) with the two pans standing level.
These times are therefore looked on not only as times of balance, but also of harmony. However as there are two pans on a balance scale, the Equinox energies have two sides or faces to them.
As well as the harmonious, balanced energies, there are also the chaotic, unbalanced energies. The chaotic energies are often ignored or simply disregarded as a temporary or anomalistic blip in the overall harmonious metaphysical energies of this season.
Chaos is a normal part of these seasons
Chaotic elements can be seen even in the weather around the Equinoxes. March and September are known for their wild and windy weather - this year we have had the tail of a hurricane crossing the country causing great disruption in places. Remember the old weather lore saying that March can come in like a Lion and go out like a Lamb, or equally come in like a Lamb and go out like a Lion. In other words great contrasts in the weather have been recognised as a feature of the Equinoxes for centuries.
And as it is with the world of nature, so it can be with the tides of magic and emotion.
Many times people find that great chaotic changes in their lives occur around the Equinoxes. There may be job losses (or gains), house moving, relationships breaking up or being remade. You may find old friends appearing out of the woodwork - or falling out with you for no apparent reason. The Equinox energies are Mercurial, changeable, chaotic and can hit you with all the force of a sledge hammer.
The Equinoxes can be thought of as times of cleansing and purification in preparation for the two greatest times of magical energy in the year. In Spring the next festival to come is Beltane, and after the Autumn Equinox will come Samhain.
In the physical world the Equinox winds whip the old dead leaves from the treas. Both Equinoxes clear away dead wood, blow away clouds and foggy uncertainty as, when they have passed, you are in no doubt that the seasons have turned. At this time of year we have moved from the settled, bright and balmy blue skies of Summer into the colder and darker days of the coming Winter.
The Equinoxes can be thought of as times when one door closes and another opens. They are times of change, which in the physical world is the change from Summer to Winter, or Winter to Summer - the Celts recognised only two seasons, Autumn and Spring are our later interpretations of these times of transition.
When anything is changing from one state of being to another we are lucky if that transition happens smoothly, gently and harmoniously. In practise most change involves some disruption and even conflict, very often having to be shoved through against a protest of one kind or another.
We like our lives to be predictable. We are content (in the main) knowing that today will be much like yesterday and tomorrow, this is how we are able to plan for the future - and hence the old Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times.'
However this can lead to stagnation and taking the easy way, the path of least resistance, or least disruption, just to keep a steady level (no matter how low) of stability or contentment.
Sometimes we need a shake up. We need to find out that a loved one isn't content with you going out with your mates three nights a week, or equally would like to go out with their own mates rather than sit at home every night. The state of your lives 'harmony' can be a dangerous illusion which can crumble without warning.
This is not to say that changes only occur around the Equinoxes. Change can happen at any time, but the Equinoxes can regularly be found to be times when these changes all seem to decide to happen all at once. Some people do seem to be more susceptible to these disruptions than others, this is particularly true of those who live a more magical life.
Incidentally these same chaotic energies can often manifest prior to an initiatory experience, another time when old attitudes, habits and even relationships need to be broken and remade in a new form. An initiation can be a rebirth, and often this means former relationships have to be made anew as you move into a new mental, magical and spiritual sphere.
So if your Equinox is being chaotic rather than harmonious, this is natural and normal.
Just be ready and remember;
Some changes really are for the better.