The autumn equinox is quickly upon us, and I can’t help but be excited and ready for it. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year–the cooler weather, the beautiful transformation the leaves display, everything pumpkin, Marzen lagers (also known as Oktoberfest beers), and the crisp evenings that beg for a cup of hot tea to calm you after a long day. Yes, fall is amazing.
There is another reason why I love this beautiful time of year–the Autumn Equinox. Some people refer to it as Mabon, but as Ellen Dugan, author of Seasons of Witchery, explains “there is no ancient pagan festival of Mabon.” She explains that centuries ago in Europe, harvest festivals were celebrated but it wasn’t on a set day, it was after the large harvests were complete and this varied depending on where one lived in Europe. The celebrations were of thanks for the bountiful harvests provided by the goddesses and gods. Some people today refer to the autumn equinox as “The Witch’s Thanksgiving.”
So, why make a big deal over the equinox? The equinox “marks the time of equal daylight and nighttime hours and the true beginning of the fall season,” which is a perfect time to meditate on balance, stability within your life, and “[bringing] prosperity and abundance to your home…” (Dugan 68). This is a time on which we can all reflect what we have and be truly grateful–all of the food with which we are blessed thanks to Mother Earth and the wonderful farmers, our homes, our families, the cooler days, etc. Autumn is a fun time–think about it, we have Halloween (or Samhain), Thanksgiving, and pumpkin lattes! Okay, so maybe the lattes are a bit of a stretch but this is such a beautiful time of year, and it’s a great time to reflect on that beauty and even bring it into your life. A wonderful way to bring autumn’s beauty into your life is to decorate for it. Personally, I have garlands of fall colored leaves I’ve draped on my decorative shelves, I have a silver pumpkin on my altar (some use white pumpkins because they represent the moon, but in my mind silver is more “moon-like”, but taylor it to you), and I have a happy autumn wreath on my door complete with mini pumpkins, gourds, acorns, and leaves. Ellen Dugan has a good five pages in her book that explains how to decorate for the equinox, and I’ve definitely taken it to heart. I want Fall inside and out!
The day for the autumn equinox varies from year to year. Usually it falls between September 20th and the 24th. Autumn officially begins when the calendar falls into the sign of Libra. This year it’s on September 22nd, and the harvest moon is on the 24th (so it’s a double celebration; the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the equinox so sometimes it can land in October). “The traditional magicks associated with the Harvest Moon include abundance, prosperity, and completion” (Dugan 77), so the night of the Harvest moon is a perfect time to reflect on that which makes you thankful. I will be doing a Harvest Moon ritual in which I will set my altar up with my silver pumpkin along with acorns, pine cones, apples (all to show thanks for the abundance in my life), a white candle (to symbolize the full moon), an orange candle (to symbolize the fall season), and my citrine crystal (another symbol of the fall season). I will then work my magick (similar to Ms. Dugan’s in her book) and give thanks for all I have and focus on the abundance I will continue to have throughout this fall season and onward. Every person celebrates this a little differently, but this is my take. You can make it your own. I hope you have a wonderful autumn equinox; I’m elated it’s so close. Love and light to you!
Dugan, Ellen. Seasons of Witchery. Woodbury, Llewellyn Publications, 2015.