Autumn Equinox: Light and Shadow (by CJ Blackwood)

Autumn Equinox: Light and Shadow (by CJ Blackwood) September 20, 2014

This is part one of a three-part series.
I love autumn. It starts off with pleasantly cool, but not usually chilly, weather and a disappearance of little flying nuissances. The sun is warm, but the air is fresh. It’s a changing time, where you can literally watch life transition from the full green of summer to the rich colors of autumn, and then everything goes that rusty golden-brown as it goes to sleep.
After the warmth come the festivities. The season from Mabon to Imbolc is my favorite. One thing I love year-round is that mostly everyone likes a good time. Barbecues in summer turn into autumn picnics, and let’s not forget Pagan Pride season, and then it’s time to start planning cozy family get-togethers indoors. The light of life turns inward, literally and metaphorically, as cold weather takes hold. It’s time for reflection and it’s time to remember. It’s time to bring loved ones close and think about letting go of the old year. It’s time to create warmth for yourself, as the warmth of sun withdraws. I love the image of warmth and good food, the sharing of gifts and good times, in the firelight while the dark presses against windows, when I think of Yule. When I think of Samhain, there is a certain amount of joy, in facing your dark side, honoring the dead, and laying down the year.

Mabon isn’t so much about the experience for me in an emotional or practical sense, but on a spiritual level it’s far more subtle, and its impact reaches much farther. The sun is warm, winds are fresh. It is beginning to be the time of year when jackets, long skirts, and boots are a little more comfortable because of a lack of blazing heat. Shadow begins to take hold.
I think of myself as one of the good dark. I am a shadow girl. I like dark, flowing outfits, the night, heavy music. For me this outer reflection of darkness is a reflection of an inner depth. I feel, as the days grow darker, a sense of rising power. I work mostly at night, as a writer and as a witch. I like to sit with a good thriller novel playing on Audible and have hot chocolate, or a beer, and watch the sun go down. Creatively speaking, I get the most done at night, and for some reason cold weather really brings out my whimsical, poetic side. I just feel more alive as the darkness deepens. I guess because I feel like as the darkness closes in, each of us shines a little brighter. It’s about the fire within during the fall and winter months, not the sun without. Shadow suits me. Autumn suits me.
Shadow is what lies at the roots of trees, in the deep valleys between mountains, and what paints the world into many shades of light and dark. It’s an intriguing picture, watching the hues change as the year turns, if you have the patience to see it. Shadow is more than just the parts of ourselves we have to face. It is the deep places of the earth where secrets lie. The goddess draws on it to change how we perceive things, always balancing it with the light. I think I can be a good friend, a fighter for social change, and those positions in life have their fierce, shadowy aspects, and that’s what appeals to me. Shadow is physical, emotional, spiritual, and metaphorical. It is in everything, just as light is. I wonder who knows which speaks to them more, and if they have ever paused to ask if their conclusion is genuine and how they got there.

Jordan Reyne, “Shadow Line”

I post this song because it comes from a woman who writes dark folk and industrial, a Pagan Goth who’s lyrics I can relate to on a very deep level. What she writes is dark, symbolic, poetic, thought-provoking. Somehow the lyrics relate with this.


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