Today is the March, or for us Australians, Autumn Equinox. What this means is that the celestial seasons turn again.
(The ideas in this piece apply to each day too, the daily ‘autumn equinox’ being around 6pm).
We are at the balance point between the shortest and longest, between night and day, darkest and lightest, Yin and Yang.
Metal, the descending Qi, is at its fullest. Fire, the expansive Qi, which has been waning since midsummer, is done for the year. Water, the inwards Qi, is birthed.
These concepts are a tool to understand the cyclical flow of the seasons.
They help us to work with the flow of nature - if you're confused about these terms they come from the Doaist/Chinese 5 Phases or 5 Elements (I'll be doing an explainer post on those soon).
Work with the Autumn Equinox
So how do QiGong practitioners work with the Autumn Equinox?
In essence, seek not to expand or do that which is new.
This doesn’t mean do not do it if necessary, just don’t seek it. Focus here instead:
- Consolidate what you have.
- Learn from you’ve done.
- Complete what you’ve started.
- Strengthen your domain.
- Build your defensive Qi*
- Begin looking at what will, once it’s complete, allow you to rest.
- And what rest do you need to finish what you’ve begun.
- Structure, systems, discipline to your cause.
(* QiGong practitioners who know to work with the Celestial Seasons will have already started doing this)
Traditionally if you didn’t get into the fields and bush, working your arse off to finish the harvest, you’d like face a very lean - possibly perilous - winter.
Your inner Qi is no different
Carrying too much unfinished into your winter, the very time when resting is the most potent? You’ll not be able to make the most of the Wood Qi, the new flush of life, that occurs on the other end. Your roots will not be nourished.
Your ability to envision the next cycle, to set your course clearly for your greatest fulfilment will be compromised.
So Autumn Equinox, for the next few months, focus on finishing what you’ve started.
When you're able to rest deeply in the darkness of Winter, you'll be grateful you did.
(A note here on the term 'QiGong practitioners' - I use this term to include anyone who's passionate about studying and working with the natural cycles - within and without. You don't have to be doing QiGong form, although it does help).