Here at the start of autumn, light and dark are in a state of equilibrium. Fitting, as autumn begins when the sun enters the sign of Libra, the scales. This equinox marks the beginning of shorter days and longer nights, and is an important magical tide from the witch’s point of view, since it a season that hangs “between the worlds” – neither light or dark, neither day nor night. It occurs between a season of bounty and of coming dearth, between lush foliage and stark barrenness.
In spring and summer we saw the world of vegetation sprout and blossom in a magical feat of external, visible, productive movement. Fall signals the natural cycles of inward, silent movement. Trees draw up their sap and store it in their trunks. The tree’s annual growth cycle has peaked and now it turns from outward to inward movement. The movement and vitality of nature that we once experienced as the blossoming and fruiting of the limb now becomes the mysterious inward movement of the sap.
At the time of fall equinox, witches and pagans follow the example of the natural world and refocus outward-directed attention toward the inner processes. In our view, autumn is not a time to initiate new projects or start new ventures. Instead, it is a period of deep reflection when you retract goal-directed efforts in order to explore the depths of your interior. The fall equinox signals our need to explore internalized ideas and worldviews that ultimately shape our experiences. It is an occasion to find out just what makes you tick – what motivates you, what repels you. This kind of self-knowledge allows you to take powerful action based on insight and reflection.
This equinox is a time of balanced light; day and night are equal in duration. While the spring equinox focuses our attention toward the growth of the light, the fall equinox honors the diminishing light, endings, and the cycles of return. A symbol that pervades the rites and energies of autumn is that of reaping. This is a good time to regard the circumstances of your life and to consider the ways you have contributed to your conditions – for better or for worse. This is often difficult for us to do because our lives don’t always seem to measure up to our expectations. We might not want to face our contributions to an undesirable circumstance and you might be tempted to assign blame for this elsewhere. It’s much easier to blame bad luck, negative vibes, chance, or other people for our messes than it is to face our actions squarely. Who wants to face their shadowy aspects – their inadequacies, jealousies, anger, manipulation, greed, or laziness? And yet, facing this is exactly what can produce the perfect wisdom and spiritual clarity called for during this season.
It’s important during this time to consider your life without allowing personal commentary and opinions to take over; an important spiritual stance is one that allows for simple observation without the need for judgment, especially of our own selves. Our lives are simply what they are in this moment, whether we like the circumstances or not. This is the most natural and magically powerful view we can take.
When you observe your life conditions in this way, your participation in how things have evolved becomes transparent. This then gives you the opportunity to make realistic and feasible plans for change in order to cultivate future harvests.
Colors: orange, red, brown, purple, blue
Tools: cornucopia, corn, harvested crops
Energy: appreciation & harvest
Goddesses: Bona Dea, Land Mother, Corn Mother
Gods: Mabon, Sky Father
Rituals: thanksgiving, harvest, introspection
Customs: offerings to land, preparing for colder weather, bringing in harvest
Six ways to celebrate Mabon from HuffPost:
1. Create an altar. This can be on a dining room table, hearth, or dresser with apples, leaves, pinecones, corn, acorns, pomegranate, squash, and root vegetables. Add gardening tools (scythe, baskets, hand trowel) and objects that are the colors of gold, orange, red, bronze, and rust. Light an orange or yellow candle and give thanks for the blessings of abundance you have in your life.
2. Ask for blessings. When lighting your candle, you can call to the Goddess in her Mother aspect and/or ask the Green Man to bless your harvest.
3. Do apple magic. Apples are often harvested in the fall. Cut an apple horizontally to reveal the hidden, five-pointed star (a pentagram) inside. Look for pentagonal forms around you (ex. five fingers and five toes, five petals of certain flowers, starfish, etc.)
5. Meditate on balance. This is especially helpful if you are a family caregiver, but also if you have a high-stress job, pressure-filled commute, or have a lot of personal drama. Reflect on how you handle pressure, how you manage your and other people’s emotions, and how easily your peace of mind can be disrupted. Think about ways you can reduce stress and bring more balance to your days. Consider going to bed earlier and waking up earlier to get a jump on the day, practicing non-violent communication, eating more healthily, and eliminating unhealthy relationships.
6. Pray for peace. In a world out of balance, praying for peace and stability — including a stable climate — can be especially potent during Mabon!
Look for more history, ideas, recipes, and more here!
Mabon blessings to you all, I hope it’s lovely!