I’m writing this from the balcony of our home in Plettenberg Bay. The sunrise shows part of the bay and the Tsitsikama mountains. I’m hoping to see whales. We arrived here in Plett on Sunday afternoon after flying into George International Airport from Johannesburg. A week’s break –

So far a mixture of busy-ness and not so busy. Right now I’ve got the covers of sitting room and balcony furniture in the washing machine, some already out on the line. I’m wondering whether my need to have clean sofa covers and cushions has something to do with the new moon. Maybe. Maybe in preparation for what the new moon foretells, and along with it the Equinox; Spring Equinox for us in the southern hemisphere, Autumnal/ Fall Equinox for those in northern climes –

and Rosh Hashanah also …

Does each have any meaning to me? And especially all of them altogether?

I’m wondering whether seeing our son’s new home yesterday in his absence to air it but also to look at it anew, has something to do with wanting things to be fresh and clean in our own home. His home is so lovely, pristine, minimalistic (though not overly), contained yet spacious and the garden is a delight. No wonder he loves his home – I’m sure he’s missing it already and can’t wait to be home from Canada where he is at the moment attending an international animation meeting.

I took a couple of photos yesterday of his garden. I wish I could tell you the name of the plants. The golden and orange ones are extraordinary – I think indigenous. All I know is that the red one is a bottle brush.


These personal events that coincide with outer events give me cause for pause. The Equinox holds a fascination for me. A moment when the opposites of day and night come into play and are of equal length. A moment of balance.  A moment before the earth tilts on its axis. It’s representative of so much to me – the never-ending rhythmic cycles of our planet, the shortening or lengthening of the days and nights, my awareness of the passage of time, my self within ‘time’ as I know it and an awareness of its limit in terms of my life left to live –

And this morning a new moon which may be visible tonight.  The moon will be in its waxing phase for the next two weeks. A good time to plant – seeds of whatever kind – love, patience, kindness, joy are a few that come to mind – anything that blossoms in receptive and fertile soil.

This evening, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins at sunset and ends at sunset on Friday (although I think there is a prescription that Rosh Hashanah should never begin on a Wednesday?) Apples eaten with honey is symbolic of wishing everyone a sweet and prosperous year. The Shofar announcing Rosh Hashanah is trumpeted at sunset this evening …

For me, these coinciding events have an imaginative meaning – a moment of stillness as the opposites come into play, a forward tilting, a renewal as the soil is continually tilled.

Thank you for reading, a very happy New Year if you are welcoming it in, a blessed new moon, and likewise with the Equinox.





55 Comments on New Moon, Rosh Hashanah and the Equinox

  1. This is so lovely. Thank you for sharing. I love the Equinox (both Autumnal and Vernal) and that it falls at a time that coincides with the Jewish New Year and a New Moon is just…magical. And natural. A beautiful combination. <3

  2. Yes the new moon has brought new events to our home and as we bid adieu to summer, I look forward to fall. As I walked with the dogs yesterday I took notice of the smells. I’m not sure whose nostrils were working overtime, mine or the dogs.

    Those are beautiful specimens of flora! It’s interesting what each region of the planet has to offer.

    Enjoy the peaceful retreat. Even doing laundry has its moments of reflection. Don’t you think?

    • The smells are lovely here right now Beth – and the colours! I love autumn too. Re doing household chores? – I think my innate laziness genes are ever present especially when faced with eg laundry. But when I get stuck in I find a ‘certain’ measure of enjoyment and even accomplishment 😀 Thank you for coming by.

  3. This post has such a feeling of peace about it, Susan. I really enjoyed reading it and I wish you peace and joy as you move forward into the new seasons. Your post resonates with me, especially this phrase: “A good time to plant – seeds of whatever kind – love, patience, kindness, joy are a few that come to mind – anything that blossoms in receptive and fertile soil.” which is similar to what I will be writing in my post this week. I may even link back to your lovely post. Thank you and best wishes.

    • Thanks for your lovely comment Norah! We’ve just arrived back home and it’s lovely to see the jacarandas over the wall in the near distance starting to bloom – and what was planted in my own garden while we were away is looking lovely – if a little dry. I’ll be watering a bit later on 🙂

      You do so much planting yourself in many ways, not least your readilearn 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Susan. I appreciate your kind words. I love the Jacarandas and, for many years, didn’t realise they had been imported from over your way. They are beginning to bloom here too, a little early with our unseasonal heat.

          • Doh! We’re both wrong. I just googled it: “Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas. It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal.”
            Now we can both be right! Isn’t it good to ask the questions and keep on learning. 🙂

  4. What a stunning garden, Susan. So glad your son has such a beautiful home – my absolute dream, which sometimes feels just that – a dream…. I love your reflections on the season and festival too. Much love ❤️

    • Thank you Gulara for coming by – I much appreciate it! May your dream become a manifested reality – which usually starts with a dream – 🙂 If not a garden at one’s home, there are usually lovely parks and such to walk/meander? and get aways into Nature …

  5. A beautiful post, Susan. Your words and images spoke to my heart. Spring/Fall — all new beginnings full of hope, maybe. I love the idea of minimalist beauty in a home. Thank you for sharing the photos and stories. Here is to lovely new beginnings for all.

    • Here’s to lovely beginnings for all – lovely words Silvia 🙂 – thank you for coming by. Hope all very well where you are – happy Autumn – a time for gestating, at least that’s what I love about Autumn … 🙂

  6. Thank you Sis for your insightful post yet again. Michael’s garden is indeed very lovely. I bought a number of the first flower you posted – they are commonly known as pincushions – they come in a variety of colours. The new moon is still growing, and all my new waterwise and indigenous plants will be going in by Sunday or Monday, and I’m sure they too will wax with the moon.
    Right now part of my dry garden is being dug up and loosened, and I can’t wait for the garden to burst into Spring.

    • Thank you for coming by sweet sis. Good luck with your planning and planting – I’ll see it all with own eyes when I’m in Cape Town in early November! Am planning some planting when home again- we leave on Sunday. Maybe pincushions!

  7. Beautiful, Susan. I love being at the Equinox and thinking of you moving in the opposite way. We’re having strangely hot and dry weather, just as it was wet and cool most of the summer. The butterflies are ecstatic about it.

    Fall equinox is around 4 pm here today. I’m raising 16 monarch caterpillar and one Swallowtail which already became pupae. The first adult butterfly emerged today and is drying it’s wings. It will feed on nectar plants before heading south for migration. When my son’s partner comes here from work to pick up her dog, we’ll release this beauty. I’m writing about this, as you can imagine. So much joy and a little fretting (who me?) to make sure I do it right and keep them healthy. They go through storms, cold weather, and wild conditions, so they aren’t as fragile as they seem.

    Have a blessed New Year, a blessed rest, and joy in cleaning for a new beginning. Butterflies make their transformation with a few purges. I didn’t know about that before raising them and learning more about them, but Nature shows the way.

    • Thanks so much Elaine for coming by! I’ve been following your care and attention to the Monarchs – and it’s a pretty exciting journey and as a bystander on the other side of the world I’ve much enjoyed it. Amazing that what seems so fragile is actually so strong. Like people – in our fragility and vulnerability lies our strength – ‘Nature shows the way’ ..

      Today, Friday, at long last we saw whales – a mother (I presume) and her baby breaching – so I’m a happy gal …

  8. I am awe with the sunrise posted, so beautiful and thank you for an enlightening post, never tried apple with honey, mouth watering:) suggestion. wishing you peace and prosperity susan 🙂

  9. Hi Susan – Spring brings a desire to renew and clean doesn’t it … we all need to be strong in the coming months and years … life is ‘twitching’ us – but peace, light and happiness we need in our own abodes and around us … cheers Hilary

    • Hi Hilary and thanks for coming by. Do you know I hadn’t really thought of ‘spring cleaning’ but it may have been an unconscious tug somewhere that caused me to up and clean of which I am no paragon. Your putting is this way is clarifying!

      ‘In our own abodes …’ – our own sphere of influence is where we need peace light happiness and hopefully that stretches out into the wider world. Susan x

  10. Dear Susan, Thank you so much for another of your truly delightful and interesting articles. I love how you effortlessly weave even deeper connections between the New Moon, Rosh Hashanah and your Spring Equinox. I really enjoyed your “albedo” (whitening) stories with your son’s house and spring as backdrop, it’s just the perfect time to cleanse! I can’t help but think of the alchemical process itself with you “washing yourself clean” until reaching the next coming-to-life “rubedo” stage.

    Today is a rather special day as I’m getting married for the third time! Ten years ago we held our civil partnership ceremony, which was amazing! Then late spring we had an ancient hand-fasting ritual and because same-sex marriage is legal in the UK we’re off to our town hall today to convert our civil partnership into marriage. It’s more a paperwork thing and yet … it’s an important, historical moment for us in which our third and final marriage, under the beautiful New Moon, takes place.

    Have a lovely break, stay close to your dreams. Look to the stars, seas, and fingers crossed you’ll see a few of those magical whales. Susan, as always your photos are a joy to behold! Blessings always, Deborah.

    • Today is a very special day Deborah! How wonderful that your union with your beloved is now in its third stage! Somehow the 3 events in my post and now your event which makes the four makes me smile! Go forth and love and be joyous!

      Thank you for coming by … it’s cool and blustery here in Plett. No sighting as yet of whales … nor of the moon. It’s been overcast.

      Have a wonderful day and blessings to you both on this day, and always.

  11. Not something that was on my mind much until you reminded me. I’ve been hearing something about some kind of alignment on the 23rd, but I haven’t paid much attention to that either.

    I threw a potato in my backyard some time back in hopes that it might sprout or something. So far it’s still just sitting there. Maybe it’s waiting for the new moon.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Thank you for coming by Sylvia and for your new year wishes! They are meant for all of us, Jew and non-Jew alike. And Happy New Moon and Equinox 🙂

  12. I’m baking more challahs as I read this, Susan, and we will have challah with apples and honey tonight. Though I’m not religious, I love the symbolism of Rosh Hashanah. Enjoy the moon and the start of spring!
    The flowers are beautiful!

    • Ooooo I can imagine the feast that’s in process Merril! The symbolism is lovely isn’t it.
      Thank you for the compliment re the flowers!

    • Thanks Robbie. Yes, I think it’s nice to acknowledge other traditions, mythologies, the seasons in nature and such … we can learn something from it all I guess –

    • Washing covers and such is so not what I do – but I just did and I’m glad I did. On the hunt for new carpets tomorrow, to replace two rather tatty large rugs. Happy New Moon to you Jacqui and thank you for coming by!

  13. Susan, you are so very much in tune with cycles and seasons. I always sense that you enjoy a deep communion with nature. Your photos, again, are lovely.

    Barbara Brown Taylor has written a book I think would resonate with you: Learning to Walk in the Dark, which I reviewed on today’s blog post.

    I like your idea of “forward tilting” as the seasons change. Happy spring to you.
    P. S. I’d love to hear the sound of the shofar again.

    • Thanks for coming by Marian! I don’t know how much I am in tune with Mother Nature, I am to a degree this I know. All I know is that I like to acknowledge the equinoxes and solstices and the seasons and to look at them symbolically and therefore psychologically and soulfully ..

      I look forward to popping by your blog post either this evening or tomorrow. I saw earlier that you have a post up! I much look forward to it.

      Happy Autumn to you Marian – I hope you and family, friends and everywhere are safe post your tricky weather.

      I too would love to hear the shofar. Maybe I’ll google it and I’ll be able to hear it on the Internet?

  14. Happy Rosh Hashanah and Welcome Equinox. What a lovely time of year for you. Yes, I think Spring does bring the desire to sweep away the dust of the winter. I tend toward being more energetic during the Spring. I love your pictures. Your son’s yard is lovely.

    It is interesting what the change of seasons brings to us. Here in the Northern Hemisphere devastating hurricanes march across the waters destroying everything in their paths. I wonder what this means for our autumn and winter to follow? Beginnings and Endings definitely make me more aware of the world.

    Thank you for your lovely post. Also, what happened to your “Like” button so I can “Like” it? 😉 Hugs!

    • Hello dear Gwynn and thank you for coming by 🙂 It’s been cool and blustery where I am right now in Plett. I spoke to my husband’s secretary midday today in Johannesburg about something we’ve been waiting on … and I also asked about the Jo’burg weather. Alarming news – our rains which usually come in October will be delayed and very sporadic and we cannot expect rains until Jan/Feb next year she tells me. Which means dryness across the land – which means potential fires.

      I believe rains came to Montana and this has helped in ending the terrible fires. Like you I’m very much aware of what’s going on in all parts of the world; the fires the hurricanes, the floodings and an earthquake in Mexico. The same day as in 1985 –

      Happy New Moon to you Gwynn and for Rosh Hashana! I don’t know anything about a ‘like’ button on my site? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one there? Hugs to you 🙂

  15. Your photos are lovely. You’ve got spring and summer to look forward to– and starting it with Rosh Hashanah seems appropriate to me. I didn’t know about apples with honey, but now that I do I’m going to adopt that practice on the first day of autumn. I may be a lapsed Presbyterian, but I think that I’m allowed to do that, right? Sweetness and prosperity for all!

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