Autumn Equinox Celebration
We're slowly moving into Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, and with the change of season comes the Autumn Equinox.
What is the Autumn Equinox?
Also known as Mabon, it is when the Sun is exactly over the equator, meaning the day and night are equal lengths of time.
In the Southern Hemisphere this occurs on March 21 and it is when the Sun moves north across the celestial equator. In Astronomy this marks the start of Autumn which will last through to the Winter Solstice.
Historically how has the Autumn Equinox been celebrated?
The Autumn Equinox not only marks the start of Autumn, but also the start of the Autumn Harvest.
In Ancient Greece the Autumn Equinox marked the time of year when the Goddess Persephone returned to her husband Hades to the underworld, and her mother the Goddess Demeter would grieve the absence of her daughter to the darkness.
In Ancient China the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox was known as the Harvest Moon, people would celebrate the successful harvest of rice and wheat, and would make offerings to the moon.
In Japan this is the time of year when people return to their hometowns and pay respect to their ancestors.
In the British Isles they would have many autumn harvest festivals around and close to the harvest moon.
So how do we celebrate the Autumn Equinox today?
For many Pagan's, Witches and Wiccan's this is the time of year to give thanks, for the things we have, whether it be in regards to an actual harvest, or to what we have accomplished over the last year.
This is a time of gratitude and sharing our abundance with those less fortunate.
There are a couple of different ways to celebrate this festival, the first way is to celebrate the harvest, the second is to focus on the balance between the dark and light.
While we celebrate the harvest, we also accept that the crops are growing brown and dying, the land is going dormant. The warmth of Summer is behind us, and the cold of winter is in front of us.
Here are some ideas on what you can do to celebrate the Autumn Equinox:
Create a Mabon Alter include any of the following:
Red, brown, gold and orange candles.
Pine Cones, Leaves, Twigs and Branches
Any types of nuts and apples.
Pumpkins, grapes, pomegranate, bread, honey, corn.
A symbol of the Deity that most draws you.
Cinnamon, Apple myrrh or sage incense.
Honour the Dark Mother.
The Dark Goddesses are Hecate, Lilith, Persephone, Hel, The Morrigan, Cerridwen, they are not the Mother Goddesses. They're typically the ones that scare you a little.
The Dark Goddesses are hidden, aged, magical and untamed. The Autumn Equinox is the perfect time to work with her, this is her time of year. This is the time of year that is best to work with your shadow self.
A ritual you could do is the following:
Just before sundown, prepare and cleanse yourself physically and mentally.
Then at sunset call in the directions and light some incense (Cinnamon, Apple myrrh or sage) and a Red, brown, gold or orange candle.
Do some deep intentional breathing.
Think of and then call in the Dark Goddess.
You could say something along the lines of
"Wise Hecate please come into my space I ask you humbly for any insights you will gift to me."
Still your thoughts and follow your intuition, you may be called upon to meditate, dance or write, just follow your inner guidance here.
The Dark Goddess will demand you to look at all aspects of yourself. The parts you show to others, the parts you keep for yourself, and the parts you hide even from yourself.
Once you are with your shadow self say something like the following.
"Thank you, wise and beloved Hecate, for your guidance and insight you have given me."
Follow your guidance thank and release the Goddess and close the circle.
Hold a Gratitude Ceremony -
Cast a circle and call in the directions.
Call in the Deity of your choice.
Have everyone in the circle write down and read out what they are grateful for.
Then fold the piece of paper three times and place into a box or jar and fill with herbs as offerings.
Break bread and have a feast together.
When finished release the Deity and directions.
Autumn Full Moon Celebration.
Have everyone bring a plate of food and some wine.
Gather in a circle and mediate on the full moon, write down or journal what you are grateful for.
Enjoy the food and wine.
For those who are local I'll be holding a Mabon Gratitude Ceremony at the Reg Harris Reserve in Oakleigh East. Please look for details on our Facebook Page.