The leaves have just started to change colors and there is (finally) a chill in the air. Autumn, my most favorite time of year, has finally arrived today. Today is the Autumnal Equinox and it happens today at 4:02 pm (EDT) when the sun crosses the celestial equator, marking the end of summer and beginning of fall. When this happens, there is an equal amount of night and day.
It is also on the Autumn Equinox that we celebrate Mabon, the pagan mid-harvest festival, which celebrates the second harvest. Today we take time to honor the changing of the seasons and show gratitude for the harvest and all that the Earth has provided. It is a day of thanks for all of the blessings in our life and a time to give back to our family, the community, and to those our who aren’t as fortunate as us. It is sort of like a Neo Pagan Thanksgiving, excluding the exploitation of Native Americans.
The Autumn Equinox is all about reaping what you sow, both literally and figuratively. Not only are you enjoying the rewards of your harvest after working all season to grow them, but you may also be rejoicing in the fruits of labor in your business or personal life. Did the seeds you planted in the beginning of the year yield what you desired? If not, what went wrong and what could be done better for next time? Is it time to change plans and plant different seeds, or just change your strategy? Did you follow your intuition and the signs that were given to you? Now is a good time to answer these questions and decide on plans for the future.
There is a lot of celebration to be done today, but this equinox also signifies something a bit darker of course: darkness itself. Today marks the beginning of the darkness of fall and winter that lie ahead of us. The Earth is growing barren..The nights are growing longer, darker.. Mabon is the time to pay homage to darkness, the darkness on Earth and darkness in general. This is uncomfortable for most, but we must welcome it as it is a natural part of life, as light cannot exist without darkness and vice versa.
According to Greek mythology, autumn begins when Persephone returns to the under world to be with her husband Hades for 6 months of the year which is when her mother Demeter casts a curse out of her despair on the Earth making it lifeless during those 6 months. When Persephone returns home, Demeter lifts her curse so the Earth can become green and bountiful again. Thus the natural cycle of the world continues, changing ever so slowly and subtlety, only to be noticed suddenly by that first autumn breeze one day in late September.
Here are some ways you can celebrate the Autumn Equinox today:
❣️ Go for a long walk through the woods, farm, or orchards. Enjoy watching the leaves change color and fall. Appreciate the beautiful gold, yellow, and red tones that are emerging and soon will fill the air.
❣️ Decorate your altar with pine cones, leaves, pomegranate seeds, pumpkins, wine, apples, corn, and seeds. Use colors like red, orange, gold, brown, and black.
❣️ Have a meditation/prayer/ritual based on expressing gratitude for all that you have. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for. Do yoga.
❣️ Balance your aura and chakras.
❣️ Incorporate traditionally fall/winter spices into your food/rituals today. Use spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger. Burn them as incense or perhaps make a tea infused with these spices to get into the cozy, fall feeling. Drink cider or wine.
❣️ Protect and cleanse your home for the cold months by smudging yourself and your house. Deep cleaning your house is also recommended.
❣️ Make fall inspired crafts and decorate your house for the season.
❣️ Make new plans for the future AND work towards them! ❣️