7 Symbolic Meanings Of Autumn — From Letting Go To Self Preservation

Give yourself room to reflect.

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Symbolic meanings of autumn to know ahead of the autumnal equinox

Thinking about autumn can bring about some pleasant thoughts. While it is common to think about cozy scarves and delicious pies, the symbolic meanings of autumn are more profound than you think. Ancient cultures, science, and astrology have associated many aspects of this beautiful season with human life. These symbolic associations are powerful reminders that Mother Nature has an incredible influence.

This year, the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere takes place on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. In New York, it will specifically occur at 9:03 p.m. ET, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It is closely followed by the weekend, giving you the perfect chance to take part in autumnal equinox celebrations.

There are so many ways to welcome the new season. You can finally get started on that long list of seasonal recipe ideas and fall craft projects. You can end your days with classic fall booksand a cup of hot tea — or a tea cocktail. Talk about a dream come true.

After learning the symbolic meanings of fall, you might feel compelled to make journaling a habit during the new season. Fall is a good time for reflection, awareness, and mindfulness. To see what habits you might want to introduce into your life this season, take some time to get to know the seven symbolic meanings of the autumnal equinox.

1. Change

As Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "The only constant is change." Autumn is a reminder that one’s body, mind, and surroundings are always developing. The season focuses on the impermanence of life, emphasizing how vital it is to embrace the present. By doing so, individuals can savor what they have before it’s gone.

2. Mystery

Thanks to the changing nature of life, every day presents new mysteries. The crisp air and colorful leaves emphasize these unknowns. Once you accept those unknowns, you may find you have more capacity to live life to the fullest. After all, it's quite comforting to realize most people are facing the same sense of mystery for what’s to come.

3. Preservation

Autumn represents the preservation of life and its necessities. During this time, animals prepare for the winter by storing food and creating cozy hibernation spaces. Farmers work on their fall harvest by collecting a reserve of crops. Many people tend to retreat indoors and focus on cultivating a safe and comforting home ahead of the winter. In a way, the autumn season offers a chance to reconnect with onesel and preserve their safe havens.

4. Protection

As summer morphs into autumn, many people exercise protection by wearing layers and thicker fabrics as the weather cools. Many tend to focus on their health by boosting their immunity through habits and nutrition. Ultimately, autumn doubles as practice for heightened awareness of yourself and your surroundings.

5. Comfort

In the same vein as protection, fall strongly symbolizes comfort as well. This season is prime time for seeking comfort amid dropping temperatures. Creating a serene and snug space is one of the best perks of autumn, after all.

6. Balance

Day and night are the same lengths during the autumnal equinox. As a result, ancient cultures have always associated the day of the equinox with the concept of balance. The sun also enters Libra, which is the zodiac sign symbolized by a pair of balanced scales. Autumn grants the chance to harmonize with the Earth and tap into one’s inner balance.

7. Letting Go

As temperatures drop to the tune of leaves falling, autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go. It doesn't have to be considered morbid or morose. Instead, apply this concept to your inner ego and patterns of greed and pride. The idea of letting go stresses the temporary nature of everything around us that you may become hyperaware of during the changing of the seasons.

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