redmapleForecast 9/22 Today there may be some conflict between the desire to enjoy a lovely and restful experience and the need to step up to obligations. It is not always appropriate to roll over in bed when duty requires that you show up.

Balance is helpful; at least find a moment for a nature walk or a restorative tea if work or commitment demands your presence.

The Autumn Equinox occurs at 4:44 p.m. ET when the Sun enters Libra. The cardinal signs open the seasons; Libra is the cardinal “air” sign. The 4 elements in astrology stem from ancient physics: earth, air, fire and water.

“Air” is the element that signifies “thinking”, verbal communication, intellectual pursuits and mental stimulation. The sign of Libra indicates among other things, to engage and relate to the other. It is the opposite sign to Aries, which opens the Spring Equinox. An Equinox occurs when day and night are equal. It is not an accident that Libra is the sign continually stretching to understand the other, while Aries’ focus is solely on his/her agenda. The balance occurs in the realization that each individual must compromise to create something lasting. Balance does not occur by totaling suppressing one’s needs.

A couple of days ago I posted about Relationships in anticipation of the Autumn Equinox. In the horoscope for Washington DC, Juno the goddess of marriage and partnerships is rising. She is in a stressful position, a Grand Cross- with Pallas Athena and the nodal axis. What does that mean, Pam? It means that this is destiny time for relationships, for each of us as individuals and for the U.S. in its global affairs. Time to be thoughtful and strategic within relationships; what is the goal, what is the reality, do you have a contract?

As an example, my father has severe dementia, diagnosed Dementia with Lewy Bodies. That means paranoid hallucinations on top of memory loss. It is, like all memory illnesses, a cruel disease. My mother and he had a great run; they absolutely love one another, they traveled, enjoyed life and retired in the “silent generation” ideal. But dad lived far longer than he’d thought possible and he no longer remembers the travel, their wedding or their life together. My mother tried to care for him 24/7 single-handed. Needless to say, this wasn’t working out.

Obviously, I’m going through my own transits, as we say in the astrology biz, but getting our parents safe was my siblings and my primary concern. Dad is now in a memory wing that Mom visits every day from her apartment in the senior living complex.

I tell you a complicated story about creating strategies for goals within relationships. But let’s face it, many relationships can be complicated. Yet meeting the problem head on and figuring out the most graceful way to come to terms with it, is living life with your eyes open.

When an Equinox occurs, we have the opportunity to gaze consciously into our unconscious and allow a knowingness to enter the busyness of our day. The Autumn Equinox heralds the shortening of days and the Sun’s descent into darkness- a reminder of our mortality and to shore up resources with gratitude. Because the darkness is coming, many of us feel a quickening to create, to forge and connect.

Here in the northeast, the winds gain volume as autumn comes. The winds stir the leaves on the trees to a sound that has the rhythm and power of the ocean waves. Because the leaves are drying and less supple, they chafe at the wind’s insistence, making music like rainstick and seed rattles.

I always here the voices of my ancestors in the wind of these leaves; I love autumn. I continue to develop this strange relationship with my father as I support my mother through her grief and acceptance… yet I am grateful to have them near and in safe surroundings. Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Equinox… what are your relationship challenges and what do you look forward in this season of reflection?