Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Autumnal Equinox Is Wednesday

 The following is a guest post from a friend of mine that runs the local Jazz station in Eureka at 96.9 FM which is a low power station that can be heard in and around the Bayshore Mall and south of there for a couple of blocks. You can also access it online here. 
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Written by Robert Stretton

The waning days of summer serve as reminder of the constant motion of the seasons, punctuated by the celebration of the Fall Equinox. For many people September marks the return to work and school. In most locales Equinoxes are marked by a more dramatic change in the weather than the Solstices. This heralds a relatively greater variation in human activity as the seasons change in autumn (or spring). In many traditions the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox plays an important part in the scheduling of human celebrations.

In many East Asian cultures this special full moon is observed with the consumption of moon cakes and an association with fertility. The roundness of the Autumnal Equinox full moon mirrors the form of a near term pregnant woman. As contemporary cultures have moved away from civilization's agrarian roots our Autumn celebrations continue to evolve. Few people in the developed world have a life or death dependence on the bounty of the harvest, and consequently most have become less observant of the natural world and our place within it. Perhaps this has contributed to the complacency that has led to the rapid deterioration of our environment.

The Autumnal Equinox is Wednesday, September 23. In North America the Harvest Moon will be on the night of Sunday, September 27. The full moon will be also be extra large in the sky that night because, coincidentally, it is happening very near to the Moon's closest approach to the Earth all year.

A renewed appreciation and spiritual connection to nature would help curb the destructive appetite of humanity. This Equinox and the Harvest Moon are the perfect times to personally contemplate and encourage others to reflect on our individual and cumulative impact on the planet. The use of fossil fuels has enabled us to greatly accelerate the process of building civilizations and learning about the world around us. But now we must greatly curtail, and if possible, stop using these sources of energy. In our homes, cars, and factories overseas we must make use of alternative, less destructive energy sources.

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