‘On 22 September (Michaelmas, the Autumn Equinox) the sun inaugurates a new cycle as it enters Libra. Fruit and nuts fall from the trees and decompose, leaving their empty husks on the ground; grains are sorted and consumed or stored in granaries before being sown to ensure a new cycle of growth.
But this process of decomposition and sorting is not something that concerns only the world of plants; it also concerns human beings. Just as the fruit is separated from the tree and the seed from the fruit, so is the soul separated from the body, spiritually if not physically. The body is the envelope, the wrapping, and the soul is the seed that is planted above, in the soil of heaven.
Autumn is a time for separation, in preparation for the coming of new life
Man is a fruit, and when he is ripe, he must not fall to the ground like the fruits and seeds of the earth, but soar away to heaven. Autumn is the season for that separation of which Hermes Trismegistus speaks: ‘You shall separate the subtle from the gross, gently and with great skill.’
To separate the subtle from the gross is to separate the spiritual from the material, and the whole of nature undergoes this process of separation in autumn, in preparation for the coming of new life.
We must learn to sort and separate on the spiritual level
Just as Archangel Michael comes to separate the soul from the body, leaving the body to die, so an initiate allows some matter within him or her to die in order to liberate life.
Separation is a law of life. You can see this with respect to food, for instance: we have to sort and separate the good from the bad, discard the peel and the blemishes, and so on. This is so easy to do on the material level but we must also know how to do it – and be capable of doing it – on the spiritual level. Unfortunately, on that level, it is very difficult.
From Archangel Michael we need to learn discrimination
Most people have no idea what to cut out or throw away: they swallow everything whole, like cats swallowing mice with the skin and entrails and everything!
This, then, is what we have to learn from Archangel Michael: discrimination, how to choose and what to choose, how to separate the pure from the impure, the useful from the useless, the harmful from the beneficial, the dead from the living. The absence of discernment in this respect is the cause of all misfortunes.
The soul has to be free to travel and visit faraway places
Archangel Michael separates the soul from the body because the soul has to travel and visit faraway places, not remain for ever on earth. An initiate, who sees how nature does things, says, ‘My soul is tied down; how can I set it free? How can I separate it from this heavy coating of matter?
I must wait until it is ripe, then Archangel Michael will come and release it from its sheath of matter. Michaelmas is fabulously rich in meaning for those who understand that it can bring them total liberation.’
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
Complete Works Vol. 32, The Fruits of the Tree of Life