This Equinox found us feeling blue, not ready to let go of summer since we had our end of season stolen by endless rain and gloom this September. We weren’t feeling in a festive mood so we decided to really focus on the beautiful meaning of the Fall Equinox and get in the mood to properly celebrate.
Fall Equinox is also known as Second Harvest or Mabon, in paganism. As we kiss summer goodbye and welcome in the cold and darkness of fall we honour the time of the year that the light and darkness are in equal balance. How fitting that this also kicks us off into Libra Season.
This pagan holiday is named after the Welsh God Mabon, son of Earth Mother goddess Modron. It’s a time of reflection where we can look back at what served us this past year and what we can let go of. It also gives us time to think about anyone we’ve lost through the year. Traditionally the reflection was of the year’s crops – to see what thrived or didn’t survive and what needed to be changed in the coming year.
Painting of a Mabon celebration.
This Equinox is celebrated in different parts of the world, in different ways.
In China and Vietnam this time of year is called the Moon Festival, which is on the full moon nearest to the equinox. It is a time filled with with celebrations that include gazing at the moon and eating moon cakes. Japan marks the occasion with Ohigan, a time of meditation and visiting the graves of your ancestors. Neo-Druids in the UK gather at Stonehenge to watch the equinox sunrise both in the fall and the spring. As with Mabon, it is a time to offer thanks for a plentiful harvest and prepare for the oncoming darkness of winter.
This time is a bit melancholy and much less celebratory than Spring Equinox. We’d like to offer some ways you can celebrate to help ground you during this time:
BUILD AN ALTAR
This is always a grounding ritual that can help give you purpose and connection. You can dress your altar with whatever calls to you and invokes fall: leaves, apples, squash, feathers and gourds are some ideas. For candles use autumnal colours: Brown for grounding and stability, Orange for energy and vitality or Yellow for friendship, warmth and creativity. Think about adding stones are crystals that are yellow, brown, gold or red to your altar. Light your candles and give thanks for the blessings and abundance you’ve received throughout the year.
This can be combined with your altar or done on it’s own. The change of weather asks us to slow down and and prepare for the cold and darkness. It’s a perfect time of reflection on the last year and what it’s brought into, or out of, your life. You can meditate on what’s served you throughout the last season and what you should continue to cultivate or what should be cut from your life, that no longer serves you. This is also a time to think about those we’ve lost, as the veil between the worlds starts to thin. Since this is a time of balance between light and dark, you may want to focus your mediation on balancing your life. Reflect inwards, breathe, let go of what’s unnecessary, embrace what’s working for you and welcome in the new season with sweater-clad open arms.
HAVE A FEAST OR PARTY WITH FRIENDS
Since Fall Equinox, Mabon or “Witch’s Thanksgiving” was traditionally about celebrating the harvest bounty, you could host a feast for your friends and family where fall fruits and vegetables are made into beautiful dishes and shared together. Celebrate food and friendship while ushering in Autumn. Bonfires are very powerful at this time of year and you can take the time to give thanks around the fire or have a releasing ceremony where everyone takes a turn around the fire to say what they’re letting go of this year, or even write it these thoughts and let them burn up in the fire. Every excuse to have a party is a good one for us!
HOLD A GRATITUDE RITUAL
This is a way of expressing your own thankfulness at this time of year. We love the learnreligions.com site for ceremony ideas and guidance. Read about their Gratitude Ritual and try it it on your own or with friends.
Above all, listen to your intuition and what calls to you a this time. It can be simple or extravagant and who knows, you may be starting your own tradition that grows into something amazing with a simple lighting of a candle this year.
Now, I’m off to finish building my altar so I can light candles and enjoy some wine accompanied by drops of our CHAGA TINCTURE, which is spicy, honey-flavoured and warming. I plan on pulling a Tarot Card to put at the centre of my altar which will help direct me in meditating on the outgoing season and incoming one, then to end my ceremony I will lie down with my beautiful, sleeping child, the thing I’m most grateful for in the entire world, and snuggle him while cradling my belly which holds a 6 month blessing that is the new reason I’m feeling extra grateful this year.
Happy Equinox! From all of us at LUNA VIDA BOTANICA.