Autumn Equinox: A Time to Recharge Your Spirit
The pagan holiday of “Mabon” is a harvest festival - the second of three. It coincides with the Autumn Equinox, the time when night and day stand equal; it is a time to honor a moment of balance and express gratitude for the fruits of the earth.
It’s a time to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor - whether it’s working at a desk, raising a family or maintaining a garden. It’s a time of of gratitude and of giving - we reflect on the successes of the previous year and recognize the need to share our “harvest” during the coming winter months.
This balance of night and day also represents a balance of light and darkness: Food is plentiful, but the crops are browning. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead. We celebrate the gifts of the earth, but accept the soil is dying. We give thanks for the summer and pay tribute to the winter ahead.
1. Create an altar
Bring balance to your space by creating an altar with beautiful Fall things: apples, pine cones, acorns, leaves, pomegranate, squash and root vegetables. Focus on the Mabon colors: red, orange, maroon, brown and gold. Light a candle and meditate on the abundance you have in your life. This “altar” can be anywhere - your dining table, hearth or dresser.
2. Prepare your home
Bring balance and harmony to your property to prepare for the next season. Give your house a “fall cleaning” so you don’t mind spending more time inside as the weather cools. Throw or give away anything you don’t need. Look at your house to-do list and knock out any needed repairs or projects you’ve been putting off. And if you want to go a step further to purify and cleanse your space, try a ritual smudging with herbs and incense.
3. Do apple magic
Apples hold significance in many faiths - they’re a symbol of the divine, and their trees repsesent wisdom and guidance. Cut them in half and admire the natural star inside. Pick them, enjoy them, preserve them. And if you’re into it, you can hold your own Mabon Apple Harvest Rite.
4. Count your blessings
The light-dark equilibrium of the Autumn Equinox is short and fleeting. Take time to feel the impermanence of life. Sit down and write down the things you’re thankful for, big or small. Keep the list somewhere you can see it, and add to it when you feel compelled to.
5. Accept the darkness
Even though darkness is not always appealing or comforting, light cannot exist without it. No night, no day. On the Autumn Equinox, we embrace the coming darkness and acknowledge that it’s natural and necessary. Instead of dwelling on the loss of summer activity, look forward to cozy nights and cold-weather meals.
6. Embrace community
Getting to know your neighbors is falling out of popularity, but our agricultural ancestors understood the importance of these relationships. Host a party to get to know your neighbors. Start a block party/potluck tradition. Take some time to pass on the good … If you’ve been blessed with abundance at Mabon, why not share that abundance to those who haven’t been? Donate, volunteer, or make it a group affair: Invite friends over for a fall feast, and ask that they bring some non-perishable foods to give to a local food bank or shelter.