Michaelmas—At autumn time, as the life forces of nature recede, turning toward a winter sleep, the inner life of the human soul is awakening. It is a time of conscious selfhood, a time when we celebrate the building and strengthening of our inner life. In many cultures, the autumn time marks the beginning of a new year. The forces of nature are transiting with the autumnal equinox, as the relationship of light and darkness changes in the world around us…. the children hear stories about St. George, a brace knight, who with the help of the Archangel Michael, slays or tame the dragon. …These images truly symbolize the challenge we face in the autumn season. They speak to our deep need to carry an inner light of wisdom and courage at this time when the light is diminishing. Through strength of will, inner activity of selfless consciousness. we bring light to the darkening time. These are very challenging time; the anti-social forces are emerging everywhere. May we gain insight, courage and truth at this Michaelmas time, to bring light to our inner life, our community and the world in these times of darkness.
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September. Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. In medieval England, Michaelmas marked the ending and beginning of the husbandman’s year, George C. Homans observes: “at that time harvest was over, and the bailiff or reeve of the manor would be making out the accounts for the year.”
The Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence. Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes as well, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland as one of the quarter days.