Happy Autumn Equinox everyone. Also known as Mabon or Alban Elfed (light of the water) to Druids, this is the second of three great harvest festivals. It is also a time of balance. The Autumn Equinox is the midpoint between the summer and winter solstices, when the day and night is of equal length and light and dark are balanced. It marks the beginning of the dark half of the year for the northern hemisphere, when nights are longer than days.
By the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the earth around us is showing the signs of the journey into winter – with later dawns and earlier sunsets, the weather is cooler and the leaves on the trees are turning wonderful colours. The animals are busy preparing for winter – squirrels collecting nuts and acorns while birds prepare to migrate to warmer climates.
This is a time to celebrate the bounty of Mother Nature and give thanks. The arable crops like grains have all been collected and now it is time to harvest the fruits of the vine – apples, blackberries, grapes and hops. Eating a meal of autumn fruits and vegetables, making jams, cider and wine or visiting an orchard to pick apples are wonderful ways to celebrate this time as Naturalistic Pantheists. I will be celebrating with an ADF inspired ritual, spending time in nature, making apple and leaf garlands and having a party with friends where we will drink home made cider. I will also be making a special celebratory meal which will be an apple squash casserole.
It is a time of change and transition, a time of honouring the changing seasons and a time of reflection and thanksgiving. You could make a list of all the things in your life that you are grateful for and then spend some time meditating on them. You could also go out for a walk and look for the changes in nature, perhaps even collecting a few things to put on a Pantheist altar to the Earth at home. The Equinox occurs at 9.44pm on Sunday in the UK (8.44GMT).
Whatever you do today, may you have a wonderful time and enjoy the gifts the Earth has given us this Autumn season.