Happy Autumn Equinox! This is a time of the year that reflects balance - a balance of light and dark, of sun and moon, of masculine and feminine, of inner and outer. This is similar to the Spring Equinox when the days and nights are equal in length. But at the Autumn Equinox, we begin the transition into darkness. Into death. Into Winter. We feel these changes instinctively and are in sync with nature - most obviously in that during the warm summer months we spend more time being social, more time outside, more time focused externally. And during the quiet and solitude of winter, we cozy up with ourselves and focus more internally.
Without even knowing it, we are following the natural rhythms of the Wheel of the Year - a calendar used in Pagan and Wiccan traditions. Aligning with this calendar helps bring me closer to nature. I started studying it years ago while still living in Brooklyn - it was a bit harder to connect with nature there and now I am more in touch with and more entrenched with sweet mama nature and her natural rhythms.
The 8 celebrations are outlined in the calendar picture above. You are probably familiar with the two Equinoxes and the two Solstices, as they are in sync with our traditional Gregorian calendar. And then halfway between each of those holidays, there are 4 additional festivals and reasons for celebration.
Let's talk more about Mabon - the Autumn Equinox.
Common symbols for this holiday are the cornucopia and apples. I was lucky enough to harvest a bounty of apples from the apple tree, as well as mountains of flowering mugwort (yes, more mugwort!) and an overflowing bowl of wild grapes. I created an alter of abundance at the foot of my favorite pine tree to thank mother nature for all that she provides.
This is the harvest. A time of celebration. A time to reap the abundance of all that we have sown - all those seeds that were planted last winter, that started to sprout in the spring, they are now ready to be enjoyed. We can see this literally and tangibly with gardens and the wild plants around us, but can also use this natural flow for a personal growth cycle. Now is a time of gratitude and of reflection. And a good time to finish projects before snuggling up for the colder Winter months. We can spend the quiet of the winter dreaming and scheming what we want to grow next year and sow the seeds that will be coming to life and ready to harvest next year at Mabon.