When the Qi node Autumn Equinox arrives, Qiū Fēn, there is Yin and Yang equality, day and night are equal, but Yin is about to take charge. Autumn Equinox is one of four pivots that rectify the annual Qi. During this period the environment grows ever-more Yin and is characterized by cool, dry wind. Metal element flourishes, and there is satisfaction.
Storehouses are filling up and the work of harvest is nearly complete. There is a pleasant stillness. During this Qi node, Qi is best at 6pm-Neigong to be done indoors morning and evening in short sessions. It is best to eat food that has a higher Jing concentration. Breakfast can be eaten a little later than in spring and summer, and should be hearty. Do not eat at all after 7pm. All meals should be experienced in a quiet, undistracted setting. One needn’t be a hermit, but avoid being social at every meal.
It is auspicious to prune fruit trees. The only flaw would be to become aggressive. Things seem easy so it will be easy to take things for granted. Conversely, self-cultivation makes the days go beautifully, and boundaries create good fortune. Repair property, do not fast, do not start a long journey, do not gossip-even in jest. Consulting the oracle is auspicious, as are feng shui adjustments to the bedroom. Medical treatments that support lower jiao circulation, and also that tonify Yin are enhancing. Gem of this period is diamond; flower is chrysanthemum.
In the ninth lunar month wild geese migrate. Sparrows(yang) morph into crabs(yin cold). The yellow chrysanthemum, symbol of integrity among scholar-magistrates, blooms. Wolves, a kind of wild dog, easily catch small animals(lazy rabbits). This Qi image is the dog, or next moon–coming of winter, easily catching the rabbit that hasn’t closed up his burrow(the unprepared). The frost has come to stay, and craftsmen(ingenuity) retire. Leaves change color and fall with no rain to absorb and fading sun. Branches die back and are trimmed, and charcoal, slow-burning and long lasting heat [yang]) is made. Readiness for hibernation is complete. The Emperor holds court in the Northwestern chamber-a hidden place where altars of the spiritual protectors are placed. He rides a chariot drawn by white horses with black manes, with white banners, and he wears white jade pendants.
Tribute is housed, gifts are stored. Spirit grain is stored in temple storehouses(the guarantee of continued ritual and renewal). Imperial storehouses must be neatly filled-great care is taken and everything is meticulously itemized. The almanac, the ceremonial and agricultural calendar for the coming year, is printed and distributed to governors. Everyone reads and edits–suggestions are made. There is an parading of chariots and guards. A show of strength as winter closes in discourages invaders and bandits who may have an eye on the small and great storehouses of the kingdom. The Emperor performs a hunting ritual with great pomp and ceremony. The bagged game is used in the rites of seasonal transition. This hunting ritual is ancient and considered a form of divination (see Zhou Yi hexagram #17).
If the ordinances of the ninth moon are carried out, abundance is gathered in. If unseasonable ordinances are performed, floods will ruin the grain in store and respiratory disease of lung dryness will be epidemic. The kingdom will be at war and divide into several territories-fight over resources, steal. Weakness of character(lack of self-reflection) will lead to rebellion and breakdown.
At one time, this moon was year’s end. From a Northern Chinese, strictly agricultural standpoint, the year is over. The ninth day of the ninth moon (double nine) is still celebrated, not as year-end, but as a festival of renewal. In Northern China, it is associated with potted chrysanthemums. It is a time of self-reflection, resolution–the consideration of integrity, commitment, and authenticity of feeling. New and renewed alliances are celebrated with vow-taking (see Zhou Yi hexagrams #8+#32). On an individual level, the conduct model is self-reflection, gratitude, recommitment. The work is done; but in another sense, the work is never done. Upon self-reflection, that is acceptable, even glorious. As the winter comes to wrap its restraint around us, we do not complain, we comply though do not submit, with great and honorable dignity. Compliance with winter’s economy of Yang is welcome as it is a time for the refinement of spirit and rest.
With All Best Wishes