On Planet Earth, West is the direction of the setting sun. It signifies evening, twilight, autumn and the coming of night. In the Northern hemisphere, Sept. 23 is the Autumn Equinox, when the energies of day and night are balanced.
In Feng Shui, the west is the direction of the element of metal, and its color is white. Metal, the element that has been tempered by time and the forces of the other elements, must be formed for use. It represents wealth and mental agility, and is the predominant element in the glittering cities of the 21st century.
In the Indigenous traditions of the Northern Hemisphere, It is a time of harvest and preparation for the winter. The fall equinox also represents maturity and the coming of wisdom.
In the time of autumn, the time of sunset, we have been tempered by the seasons of life. Summer, the season of growth, is over. The fruit is ready for harvest, the seeds begin to fall to the group, our winter approaches and we come to the realization that our time on Earth is short and that all things pass away. The question arises, what do we leave behind, what is our legacy? What will take root and grow when the spring equinox comes to awaken the Earth?
In the tradition of the Native Americans, all decisions are made with the idea of how they will impact the generations to come. Wisdom comes from turning away from our personal needs and desires, to caring for the future and all our relations.
Soon enough, winter comes and we will return to the Earth who gave us our life and all our substance. Before we do that, we can ask, how can we use our resources, talents and energy to leave our world a better place for the generations to come?
Standing in the direction of the west, we are asked to harvest, not just for ourselves, but for the many. At the time we can choose to gather our wisdom, talents and resources to leave this world better than when we arrived. If we leave for our children and the generations to come a depleted Earth with polluted water and air, what sort of legacy have we bequeathed?
The directions remind us that we are part of a greater whole on the wheel of life. At the autumnal equinox, the direction of the west, we can pause to thank our ancestors and the Earth and take some time to pay it forward to the generations to come.
Happening right before the Equinox, on Sept. 21, is the International Day of Peace. Please take a moment at noon to join with millions around the planet and, in your tradition, spend a few moments in praying or meditating for peace for this magical world, all the generations to come and all our relations. May peace prevail on Earth.
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