“The Archangel Mikhael presides over the Autumn Equinox which occurs on September 22nd. On this day, 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 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 separates from the tree and the seed or stone separates from the fruit, so the soul is separated from the body, spiritually if not physically. The body is an envelope, the wrapping, and the soul is the seed that is planted above, in the soil of heaven. Human beings are fruit and when they are ripe they must not fall to the ground like the fruits and seeds of 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. Just as the Archangel Mikhael comes to separate the soul from the body, leaving the body to die, so initiates allow some matter within them 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. 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 the Archangel Mikhael: 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 Archangel Mikhael separates the soul from the body because the soul has to travel and visit faraway places, not remain forever 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 and then the Archangel Mikhael will come and release it from its sheath of matter.’ The feast of St Mikhael is fabulously rich in meaning for those who understand that it can bring them total liberation.”
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov The Fruits of the Tree of Life- The Cabbalistic Tradition
On the spiritual significance of the Michaelmas fire in Autumn: Sacred Fire