5 Ways to Celebrate the Fall Equinox With Poetry
The autumnal equinox arrived on Saturday, September 23. This marks the day that the sun crosses the celestial equator—otherwise known as the official first day of fall. An ancient tradition, people have long celebrated the equinox with rituals, gathering, and feasts.
There’s a lot to take note of and appreciate: In addition to recognizing the shift in the season, this yearly occasion also invites you to shift toward reflection and slowing down. While many spiritual teachers and writers see summer as the season of extroversion and going out, chilly autumn is the season of staying in, getting cozy, and taking stock. It’s also thought of as “harvest season”—a time to think about personal growth and efforts over the past season and reap their rewards. Here’s how poetry can play into your autumnal equinox and help you honor the start of a new season.
Read fall-inspired poetry
There’s perhaps no one who appreciates the changing of the seasons more than a poet. Poetry can help you with everything from appreciating your surroundings—the multicolored foliage, falling leaves, and crisp feeling in the air—to navigating the emotions the season brings up, whether that’s nostalgia, new beginnings, or anything in between. Consider adding a themed anthology like A Poem for Every Autumn Day to your reading deck, or bookmark the Poetry Foundation’s list of fall poems.
Delve into your writing practice with fall writing prompts
In addition to making you want to read poetry, fall has a way of making you want to dive deeper into writing—you might feel a boost of back-to-school energy or have the urge to hunker down at your favorite coffee shop. Spend some time on the autumnal equinox with our fall writing prompts, which evoke seasonal food, time with family, and more.
Honor the witchy and spiritual side of poetry
The autumnal equinox harkens back to Pagan traditions, a deep history and culture that poetry is still very much in touch with. Honor this during the start of the autumnal season by reading some of our favorite witchy women in poetry or flipping through Major Arcana: Portraits of Witches in America. You might also consider giving yourself or your friend a tarot reading—a simple three-card reading can help you reflect on your past, contextualize the present, and look toward the future.
Reflect with poetry meditations
Carving out time to draw into yourself and sit with any thoughts and feelings that come up is always important, but especially so around the autumnal equinox. What better way than with meditations? Melody Godfred’s new Self Love for Thinkers and Feelers audiobook includes five poetic meditations set to music that will help you set out on an emotional, contemplative internal journey.
Keep your community close with an equinox book swap
While the autumnal equinox emphasizes prioritizing time with yourself, it’s just as much about devoting time to close friends—especially in a way that’s highly intentional. Reflect on not only what you’ve accomplished this season, but also the growth you’ve seen in your relationships, your best summer memories, and traditions you’d like to cultivate with friends this fall and winter. A poetry book swap is the perfect setting for these conversations. Lean into the theme with cider, pumpkin painting, or poetry and coffee pairings.