It’s that time of year again where the leaves change colour, there’s a certain crisp in the air, we pull out our cozy sweaters and everything is so yummy! Next to Spring, Fall is my favourite season!
What is The Equinox?
The Fall Equinox- known as Mabon in Pagan traditions- marks the halfway point between the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. It’s a point on the calendar that marks a time of perfect balance where there is equal day to night. It is also known as the second harvest (the first being Lammas on August 1, and the last and final harvest being Halloween- or Samhain).
It’s a time to celebrate all the bounty and abundance that we are reaping from our glorious, life-giving Earth. She has provided us with such nourishment and plenty throughout the growing season, and now we pull in all the goodness to carry us through the winter. Mabon is a special time to gather with friends, family to celebrate and feast on the harvest. We must give gratitude to not only our Great Mother Earth, but also to all the farmers who put in all their efforts to grow and provide our food.
How to Celebrate
You can celebrate Mabon or the Fall Equinox by feasting with friends and family on local and in season foods, go for nature walks, or decorate your home with seasonal goodies (like dried leaves, apples, corn, acorns, pumpkins and other winter squashes). Take time on this day to have gratitude and give thanks for your abundance, your blessings and your life at the this point on Earth.
If you would like to celebrate with a magical Mabon ritual, this one is a fun and creative way to get in touch with nature around you, and celebrate her beauty.
A Foraged Fall Equinox Ritual
YOU WILL NEED
a candle (taper candle is preferred but not necessary)
items for your altar (see below under “Build Your Altar”)
any items to cleanse your space
twine or string to secure your craft together
WALK IN NATURE
Take a walk somewhere in nature- your backyard, your local park, or a forest. Take time to appreciate the beauty this time of year; the goldenrod in bloom, the leaves beginning to change, the acorns falling to the ground.
As you fill yourself with appreciation, gather items in the forest (or backyard or garden), and give thanks for each piece of nature you collect. It could be coloured leaves, vines, flowers, herbs, sticks, acorns, etc. You’re going to use these items to craft an offering you will leave out in nature.
BUILD YOUR ALTAR
To create your Equinox, or Mabon altar, you’ll need 4 items that represent the 4 elements (earth, air, fire and water) which help to bring our harvests to fruition. For example, dirt or sea salt for Earth, incense or a feather for Air, a candle for Fire, and a bowl of water for Water. Bring anything else that feels appropriate on your altar to honour the harvest and the season.
I recommend burning a gratitude candle- ideally one you can burn all the way down. It’s not necessary, but really nice to add. If you’re using a taper candle, you can even carve a few words of gratitude into the candle.
Begin by cleansing your space by burning herbs, resins, diffusing essential oils, lighting a beeswax candle, playing a singing bowl or chimes. Then sit, and get quiet.
Close your eyes and begin to even out your breath. As we sit in this moment at the Equinox, the days and nights are even. We are in a time of perfect balance. Allow your breath to mirror this as you match the length of your inhale to your exhale, coming into perfect balance within yourself.
As you find your balance, start to meditate on all the things you are grateful for at this point. Take a moment specifically to be grateful for the harvest; for the food on your plate, appreciation for our farmers, and of course to the Great Mother Earth for endlessly supporting us.
LIGHT YOUR CANDLE
When you’re ready, light your gratitude candle, and feel that sense of appreciation and genuine gratitude swell through you.
While your candle burns, craft your project! Use your imagination and let your creativity flow! Remember- you’re going to leave this out in nature, so don’t worry if it’s not the picture perfect wallhanging! (As this will be left in nature, please only use materials that can break down naturally- ie stay away from glue, glitter, etc)
When you’ve finishes your craft, take a moment to give thanks, maybe light some more herbs or incense, and continue to let your candle burn.
If you have any remaining wax from your candle, you can work it into your design for added gratitude magic. You can also add apple slices, or stick some nuts and seeds with peanut butter as a magical bird feeder! Find a fitting place to leave your offering in nature.
Please take time today to feast on some local food! Apples, corn, squashes, grains, pears and root veggies make for an excellent feast! Continue to feel that gratitude flow through you with each bite!
Wishing you so much abundance, joy and celebration this Mabon! Here is a photo of my crafted project from a few years ago. As you can see, it doesn’t need to be fancy!