“Here is my crown
Of winding vine,
Of leaves that dropped,
That fingers twined,
to yield and shine
with a year’s
– Annie Finch
Every year the Sun shines on the equator equally giving us a proportionate amount of daylight and dark (generally 12 hours each). The Sun’s time in the sky begins growing shorter, and the land begins cooling. The most prominent sign that Fall is here is the Earth’s kaleidoscopic painting on tree leaves. Many areas, like the Adirondacks, attract visitors based solely on this occurrence. There are even interactive maps that tell you when the foliage has reached peak coloring.
Autumn begins a season of thematic products, mostly Pumpkin Spice. Did you ever wonder what that is? Well, it doesn’t include any pumpkin whatsoever. Rather it is a blend of ginger, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and cinnamon. A pinch of these in hot tea tastes great on a cool Fall night.
For those curious astronomers, every planet in our Solar System experiences the equinox to various degrees. Earth’s tilt is 23.5, while Mercury is just over 2. Meanwhile, the show off Uranious tilts at a full 98 degrees! The seasons here are actually 21 years in length! That’s time enough for a whole lot of Pumpkin Latte.
Other Names for Mabon & Autumn Equinox: Second Harvest Festival, The Ingathering, Feast of Avalon, Lesser Wiccan Sabbat, Winter finding, Michaelmas, Fall Equinox.
When is Ostara and Spring Equinox September 22-23 in the Northern Hemisphere 9/22; March 20-21 in the Southern Hemisphere.
What is Mabon / Autumn Equinox?
At Mabon Witches pause for a moment, giving gratitude for the light as it fades and pondering the darkness. Druids honored the Green Man at Mabon in a festival called Mea’n Fo’mhair. They would gather and offer cider and wine to the trees for on-going life. Meanwhile, Wiccans observe the Mother Goddess slowly transforming into the wise Crone.
The origin of the term Mabon appears to come from Welsh literature in the character Mabon ap Modron. Mabon was born of a goddess. The Romano God Maponos, meaning Great Son may also have some influence here. Mabon was one of the members of King Arthur’s warriors along with similarly named figures like Mabuz, Maboun, and Mabonagrian.
Greek mythology explains that the onset of Winter begins with Persephone, the daughter of Demeter. She was abducted to the underworld by Hades to become his wife. In true Greek storytelling style, there was great sadness, and many struggles before Demeter could get her daughter home, but on one condition. Persephone had to return to Hades in the Fall for three months during which time Demeter fervently refused to make plants grow.
The way in which people celebrate the Equinox depends on the culture or religion. Among Hindus, for example, the Fall Equinox happens at nearly the same time as Navaratri. This celebration extends over 9 days, each of which honors a different aspect of the Goddess Shakti or Durga, both of whom represent the very energy that birthed the Universe.
In Japan, Buddhists hold Ohigan, which is an ancestral event. In Buddhism, the land of the afterlife resides in the West, which is where the Sun sets today. People go to various grave sites leaving flowers and meditating. Afterward, the family might enjoy some sweet rice cakes together.
Moving to Vietnam and China, the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the Moon. This event begins with the full moon nearest to the equinox (or on a traditional Chinese calendar the 15th day in the eighth lunar month). Moon gazing occurs along with enjoying moon pies and cakes. Koreans follow very similar customs. There it’s believed that the Sun and Moon are a couple who birthed the stars.
Among Catholics, Autumn Equinox celebrates the Feast of Michael (or Michaelmas). Sometimes other Archangels are honored as well such as Gabriel. It’s a very happy event that includes munching on blackberries and eating a goose for dinner. Workers were looking forward to their wages accumulated during the harvest, so it’s a day symbolizing prosperity.
Some areas of Greece celebrate the Eleusinian Mysteries on the Equinox. The event is quite grand with processionals, incense, offerings, lights, and drumming. Afterward, those gathered made wishes and offered hymns to various divine beings like Athena.
Bulgarians have an event too. It focuses on the movement of God into the underworld. Grapes were harvested for winemaking, symbolizing the transitions of the human soul. Praying for good health, fortune and kindness were common. Lore says that God takes on the form of a Wolf now until Spring.
Mabon / Autumn Equinox Symbolism and Lore
Realistically a lot of the symbolism and lore of Mabon comes from fall itself. Autumn has become a time for all manner of fairs and events. In some ways, it becomes a “ramping up” board for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
There are, however, some emblems that we can easily recognize. Acorns, for example, are scattered all over the ground (usually where your foot finds them!). That little nut becomes a mighty Oak, which is a sacred tree, particularly to Celtic people. Only a mature Oak yields acorns, which takes time (and for humans patience). The word for Oak means door, which connects it as a conduit for reaching other realms. It is also sacred to the God, Dagda who oversaw matters of fertility, wisdom, and magic.
Next, we consider the Scarecrow, which remains popular into Halloween. Ancient Greeks placed them in the fields representing the son of Aphrodite who was said to be terribly ugly. As a result, birds appeared to avoid that area.
Ancient Japanese farmers began with a rag-tag gathering of dirty clothing, bells, and sticks that they put in the field and lit aflame. Eventually, this turned into a person-looking object complete with a hat and sometimes even a weapon.
During the Middle Ages, some farmers in Europe had a more active idea. They hired children to scare away the crows by making loud noises. When the plague came, the second idea was clothing stuffed with straw with a turnip for its head.
Mabon & Autumn Equinox Superstitions
Since Mabon is a harvest festival it makes sense that one common symbol would be the items harvested from fruit to grain everything was available in abundance. It’s said that if you have a wonderful fruit harvest the winter will be easier. Also if your onion skin is thin, winter will also be mild.
Catching a fall leaf before it hits the ground is good luck. For further clarity consider the leaf’s color. A red leaf would be luck in love, yellow in friendship and orange in abundance or health. Going one step further, if you can manage to catch twelve, you now have good luck for every month in the year to come (keep them in order and use them in monthly spellcraft).
Should your rose bloom during Autumn it meant various things. The red rose portended a marriage on the horizon. A white one is a bad omen, sometimes death in a literal or figurative sense.
Some claim it is easier to become pregnant in Fall because women’s estrogen and men’s testosterone are at their highest.
According to the Talmud, the New Moon in Libra was the day on which Adam and Eve were created.
Mabon Astrology – Northern Hemisphere
If the Equinox lands on the 22nd, that is the sign of Virgo. This sign affords us the attributes of kindness, practicality, loyalty and a sound work ethic. Virgo strongly stresses the need for organization before going into winter. For example, do you need a new shovel or car brush? Get your proverbial ducks in order.
Another energy that Virgo inspires is better communication. If there is a person or group with whom you’ve struggled in terms of having yourself understood, Mabon is the time to try again (and couple that effort with a little magic). Those who have been considering careers in any business where expression is central, take a peek at what is available at the Equinox.
Virgo is a Zodiac Sign that solves problems and accentuates goodness. Put those together, and your coven or spiritual group may want to consider volunteering time at a food pantry or shelter. Alternatively, the harvest seems apt for a food drive for the elderly or impoverished in your community.
Should Mabon fall on the 23rd, we have moved into Libra. Thankfully there isn’t a lot of conflict between these two signs. Libra is fair, cooperative, gentle and socially outgoing. In particular, Libra energies focus on maintaining or re-establishing peace between people. So put together some rituals and spells for Equinox balance.
Libra is ruled by the Air Element which means keen-mindedness. Discussions today will be long and detailed. Don’t try to take sides (especially about politics). Rather consider this a time for building understanding. Tactfulness and calm are the order of the day along with fairness in terms of your expectations.
Mabon Astrology – Southern Hemisphere
When the Equinox lands on March 20th in the Southern Hemisphere we are under the influence of Pisces the Fish. Pisces sets out a commendable energetic pattern for Mabon filled with intuition, wisdom, compassion, selflessness and a hint of romance.
As a Zodiac Sign ruled by the Element of Water, there is more than enough empathy for whatever activities you have planned. Add a little music to your Mabon celebration and watch the Fish leap from the waves with joy. The characteristics of Pisces really bring our relationships into focus, stressing forgiveness and faithfulness, a powerful duo.
Friendship is another thing that Pisces stresses. Take the time to gather with friends, even if you can only connect through an Internet camera. That face-to-face connection only improves your bonds. This is also a good opportunity to check in on folk if you sense something is a little off.
Come March 21st Aries the Ram takes over. Other than being far bolder that Pisces, Aries energies create a smooth transition. The Ram is energetic, upbeat, passionate, truthful, steadfast and strong. Any sports activities you weave into your Mabon observance take on an intense physical nature and may end with a dramatic flair. So be aware.
Unlike the Fish, Aries comes under the rulership of the planet of war, Mars and the Fire Element. Thankfully at this moment fire and water seem to be playing nicely together. The lingering Pisces energy wraps around the Ram’s fire like a moat for safety.
If you happen to have an Aries involved in your Autumn Equinox planning, you have nothing to worry about. They will go about their tasks efficiently, often multitasking. Generally, it’s best just to step back and watch in wonder.
Aries has a splash of Pisces in the area of compassion. When working with the Ram’s vibes, there’s the desire to fix people, particularly those in danger or who feel powerless. The hard part here is doing good for good’s sake, not for glory or accolades. Aries are also sincere with friends taking us back to the idea of honoring our connections during Mabon.
Mabon and Autumn Equinox Element: Water
Water’s influence on Mabon festivities mostly has to do with our sensitivities and trusting our intuition. For those of us engaged in divination today, remember to tap into your psychic understanding of the Universe’s symbols and signs. Overall there are a lot of “feels” going on right now.
The Water Element has many different forms. In Autumn we may experience in rain, fog, and chilly damp air. The water from Mabon rains nourishes and heals. The droplets in fog are useful for shapeshifting spells or any magic for concealment. The chill in the air can assist in situations where attentions have become too intense or even untoward.
Mabon & Autumn Crystals, Minerals and Sacred Stones
The symbolic colors for Mabon are all the colors of the harvest including deep orange, russet reds, brown and gold. Let’s look at some crystals in those hues along with others that compliment Mabon energies.
- Moss Agate: You know that feeling on an Autumn day when there is just a hint of chill in the air, that is Moss Agate. It’s refreshing and speaks of new beginnings, healing, growth, and abundance. You can use Moss Agate as a gift for Nature Spirits. Note that Moss Agate is very gentle, which is great for situations that simply cannot be rushed.
- Blue Apatite: If you want to clear up your Auras and Chakras, Blue Apatite makes a great charm. It balances the Yin-Yang energies mirroring the balance during Equinox. This magical stone also facilitates manifestation when you want solid results. This is an excellent crystal for children struggling with communication and social awkwardness.
- Amber: Amber stabilizes our minds and spirits, particularly when making crucial decisions. If something is holding you back, Amber clears the way for you to look at things from a different perspective. That darkness of night before Equinox might just be ready for the dawn with a little patience.
- Aventurine: A very supportive stone for Priests and Priestesses in that it boosts positive leadership qualities. Working with a group on any ritual can prove daunting. Aventurine shifts your perspectives and helps you find how to mix and mingle people and purpose into a magical whole.
- Cassiterite: A sacred stone you may not have heard much about, but Cassiterite houses a deep understanding of the Wheel of Life and natural cycles. As time marches forward, you gain perspective while also learning the power in saying “no” sometimes. Individuals with scars from bullying or abandonment should carry Cassiterite for healing.
- Coprolite: This is actually a fossil. It provides us with energy when we feel like we simply cannot go any further. Additionally, Coprolite energizes flexible thinking and growth when transitioning in jobs, relationships, etc.
- Dendrite: Dendrite couples with Cassiterite in terms of leading the way toward positive and relatively stress-free changes. A Dendrite talisman supports self-examination for finding those unreasonable limits and negative thought forms we impose, really curtailing spiritual progress. Dendrite additionally refreshes family bonds, so the upcoming holidays go far more smoothly.
- Fluorite (Purple): Purple Fluorite settles any drama and chaos before the crazy Winter holidays begin. If you are having trouble designing your Mabon ritual, keep Purple Flourite on hand. Once those creative juices start flowing this crystal keeps you focused on the task until you reach a satisfying completion.
- Hematite: Hematite is a harmonizer and a stone of balance, grounding and willpower. All magic starts in your will. Without that little can happen. It also makes a good charm for problem-solving and general attention.
- Jasper (Red): Moving into the Winter Red Jasper offers us endurance, stamina and strength. For those that have trouble keeping personal energy in check, Red Jasper is the stone for you. It beneficially enhances with any matter of justice.
- Lapis Lazuli: Lapis is another Equinox equalizer for our body, mind and spirit. Those who struggle with their soul’s purpose will find Lapis a good teacher. Lapis also reminds you to pay attention to your emotions and handle them with understanding.
- Topaz: This healing stone really soothes the soul. Mabon is a time for directing your energy in the best possible way. This means setting reasonable goals and tackling them in likewise reasonable bundles. If you put your magical efforts in too many places at once, the end result is watered down.
With the changing of the seasons you may find your energy well getting low. This stone acts as a battery booster. Additionally, the Egyptians trusted Carnelian for protection particularly from people who hold unwarranted anger toward you. By extension, you can use this as an amulet that safeguards you from psychic attacks.
Mabon and Autumn Equinox Herbs and Plants
Just like crystals, various herbs and plants work cooperatively with the themes of Mabon.
- Cedar: Cedar speaks strongly of protection and purification. Some Witches use this for consecrating magic wands. Hung in the home Cedar creates a calm atmosphere. The Norse called this tree Grandmother Cedar. In Greek mythology, Cedar has an association with Persephone’s trip to the Underworld.
- Ferns: Grown in the home Ferns offer on-going protection from evil. Ferns also deter robbers and unwanted guests. A tea of fern leaves washed on your floor or entryway acts as a potion against tricksters.
- Goldenrod: Should you see Goldenrod sprouting near your home at this time of year, you are in for good fortune. Carrying Goldenrod encourages the romantic in all of us. Goldenrod was sometimes used for dowsing for treasure, which also makes it a flower of wealth.
- Gourd: The gourd plant has more practical uses as a dipper or bowl Wise people carried magical elixirs in them as well as herbal medicines. In a family home, a gourd decoration aid with fertility should you want a large family. It is interesting that the word gourd looks a lot like “guard,” implying protection.
- Honeysuckle: In Chaucer Honeysuckle represents fidelity in relationships. Perhaps this is why the entwined vines sometimes adorned a marriage ceremony for on-going passion. When you bring Honeysuckle into the home its a gift that ensures happiness to the couple or person.
- Marigold: Marigolds have important magical value in many different settings. Hindu temples use this as a decoration for religious ceremonies. Mexicans adorn their Ancestral altars with them, especially in the Fall. The visual impact of the Marigold seems sun-like so perhaps drying some for your altar would be apt since the Sun’s power is decreasing.
- Mint: Mint is a very energetic protective herb that also augments your magic. Use it to break a streak of bad luck, turn away hexes and keep malicious spirits and people away. An easy way of using Mind for protection is simply putting a leaf in your shoe (which also freshens it).
- Pine Cones: When you want a clean break from the past and a fresh start, look to Pine Cones as a component in your magic. They repel negativity while also encouraging success. Pine Cones on your altar cleanse and protect. A Pine Cone hanging in your home (perhaps near the hearth) promotes joy.
- Rosehips: Rosehips vibrate with Mabon’s Element – Water. You can use them in a magical potion for companionship sweetened with honey. Or add them to a stress-eliminating bath. Placed around the home Rosehips encourage overall harmony within your space.
- Sage: This is a sacred herb in Native American traditions as well as for those on Shamanic Paths. In magic, Sage represents wisdom, protection, wishcraft, good luck and long life. Add a leaf to your power pouch when you grieve over a situation. Burn sage at Ancestor rituals.
- Thistle: Thistle’s appearance LOOKS protective. It’s also used in magic for health and renewal. Wear a Thistle in your clothing if you suspect someone of casting spells against you. Boiling Thistle in water and then watching the steam is said to call spirits who can answer the questions on your heart. For assistance from Guides and Angels in your home keep a bundle of Thistle mixed with Angelica and Basil near the fireplace or oven.
- Vines (Ivy): Vines from Ivy are typically harvested at this time of year for the greatest power. From a spiritual perspective, Ivy teaches us about perseverance and adaptation. The dry vine of the Ivy represents the Sun God’s sacrifice for a season. Women can carry a bit of Ivy for luck or love.
- Witch Hazel: Magically speaking a Hazel stick is used in Water Witching (dowsing). Using Witch Hazel in ritual attracts energy from the Water Element. This plant actually blooms in winter giving us renewed hope.
Mabon and Autumn Equinox Foods, Beverages, & Recipes
- Apple: Apple is nearly a staple to many Fall Festivals. Scandinavians feel they ensure health and youth. It is among the preferred foods to appear on Ancestral Altars at this time of year. This fruit has numerous other magical associations including wisdom, fidelity, fertility, and commitment.
- Beans: When most people think of magical beans the story of Jack and the Beanstalk comes to mind. There are many other bits of lore that claim the same thing. Beans, somehow, connect us to the heavens and upper realms. Perhaps this is why they partner with apples on Ancestral Altars. Each type of bean has different meanings. For examples, Lentils ensure security, Canary Beans – joy, Pink Beans – romance or friendship; Small red beans – passion and Split Peas bring stardom or earned recognition.
- Grains (wheat, barley oats): Grains and the Last Harvest go hand in hand. We have Barley that nurtures the Heart Chakra and wards against negativity. Buckwheat is protective particularly of personal items. Oats represent prosperityand providence and Wheat symbolizes rebirth and plenty.
- Nuts: At Mabon nuts are starting to come into season. Hazel, in particular, has strong associations with magic among the Celts as a symbol of our life force. Other magical uses include wisdom and protection. Lore says that many Hazelnut trees stand near Sacred Wells.
- Grapes: Wherever there are grape vineyards the Grapes are overflowing. Wiccans may use them at Mabon to honor Dionysus or Bacchus – both gods of wine and whimsy. Grape wine is also a suitable offering to the Green Man.
- Pomegranate: A fruit of the Underworld, Pomegranates sometimes represent the womb and fertility due to all the seeds within. Make a wish before you eat it, drink Pomegranate juice for wisdom or decorate the Handfasting bedroom to bless a couple.
- Pumpkin: Whether you love it or leave it Pumpkin has become a huge part of Fall observances. It represents protection from spirits. Their shape also implies fertility and fullness. Use the meat or the seeds in various baked items.
- Preserved foods (like Pickles): With all the fruits and other harvest items at Mabon, it is the time for canning and preserving. The beauty of this is that you can “preserve” your magical energy in anything you create (just label it with your intention).
- Squash: Squash offers Earth Element energy to our festivities. Because they grow so prolifically they symbolize abundance.
- Tomato: At one time people associated the Tomato as a powerful aphrodisiac that may have caused temptation in the Garden of Eden. That passionate association remains. Eat some before bundling down on Mabon and get creative!
- Vegetables (root): Root Vegetables correlate with Mabon because they grow underground and thereby represent the Underworld. Think carrots, parsnips, potatoes and turnips.
- Wine (Fruit): Brewing is just another way of preserving but with a kick. Fruits made into wine at Mabon won’t be ready right away, but they still bear the energy of abundance, caution, gratitude and balance.
For more delicious holiday feast ideas visit our Pagan & Wiccan recipes section!
Creating a Wiccan / Pagan Winter Solstice & Yule Ritual
The distinct chill of autumn touches the morning air. The leaves have started to turn red, orange, and gold, mimicking the Sun’s splendor before they fall to the ground. This is Nature’s last dance before resting.
Abundance coupled with prudence is the theme of the fall Equinox. While Nature’s abundance is reaped, the days begin growing shorter. The increasing scarcity of crops and growing darkness are perhaps why many cultural festivals focus on providence and honoring the dead during the latter part of the year.
Another name for this Wiccan holiday is Mabon. Mabon is the Celtic god of light and son of the Great Mother. Like Christ, Mabon mediated between humans and the Powers, and eventually sacrificed himself on our behalf. Mabon then descended into the Underworld, metaphorically voyaging into the same darkness that increasingly overwhelms the fall and winter days. The themes for Mabon are reaping thankfulness and conservation.
Gather one colorful leaf each from Rowan, birch, hazel, sassafras, hawthorn, willow, ash, and oak trees (or as many of those trees as you can find) and wax them prior to the ritual. Store the collection in a white cloth until you’re ready to use them.
You will also need a yellow-colored candle to represent the Sun and a cup of grape juice or wine. If holding this ritual inside, have a bowl into which you can pour the juice or wine during the rite.
Cover the altar with a red or orange (or any color you associate with the harvest) cloth. Decorate the altar with fall fruits and grains, gourds, and bunches of grapes. Add a horn of plenty with coins inside, to the collection.
Place the sun candle at the center of your altar and light it. Keep the goblet of wine just in front of the candle, and put the waxed leaves wrapped to the right or left of center.
Magical Invocation for Autumn Equinox
Since Autumn Equinox marks a change in power from the Sun to the Moon, begin this invocation in the West. This is the seat of water, traditionally associated with the lunar sphere. It is also the region of the setting Sun.
The quarter markers for this invocation could be gourds hand-painted in traditional colors or those decorated with elemental emblems. For example, use the image of a purple water droplet for the west, a red tongue of flame for the south, a yellow feather for the east, and a brown seed for the north.
In the Greek and Roman traditions, this festival honors Bacchus or Dionysus because of the grape harvest. Consequently, thus, this calls on him for the center point of the circle. Feel free to substitute any other god of the harvest with whom you’re more familiar.
Water Maiden, come and celebrate!
Taste the wine and the fruit filled with your drops.
Wash gently on the shores of my soul
with the sustaining waters of creation, for I am your servant.
Earth Mother, come and celebrate!
Taste the wine and the fruit of your womb.
Grow gently in the soils
of my soul the seeds of Nature’s lessons,
for I am your servant.
Wind Brother, come and celebrate!
Taste the wine and fruit of your breath.
Blow gently into my soul
with the wind of insight and motivation,
for I am your servant.
Fire Father, come and celebrate!
Taste the wine and the fruit you warmed to maturity.
Burn gently in my heart and soul
with the empowering embers of magic,
for I am your servant.
Bacchus, Dionysus, come and celebrate!
Taste the wine and the fruit of Earth’s bounty.
Fill gently my heart and soul
with the wines of wisdom and wonderment,
for I am your servant.
Meditation and Magical Visualization for Mabon
At your altar, take the leaf divination kit in hand. Raise it toward the sky, saying, “Powers of Light, grant me sight beyond sight. As day gives way to dark, grant me foresight’s inner spark.” Sit down and hold the tool in hand. Close your eyes and center your attention on the energy each leaf brings to the bundle. Feel its inherent symbolism in color and form. If any of the leaves seem to have a different meaning to you than those given below, make note of it. Your instincts are important to the divination process; heed their council above anything found in a book.
Now, think about the next three months. Ask Nature’s tool what the future holds for you. Keeping your eyes closed, randomly draw out two leaves for each month, placing the first one to your left and the second to your right. The left-hand leaves symbolism is determined by the one on the right. For example, if you drew maple followed by birch for the month of October, this indicates that your path to inner peace during that time frame lies in activating your feminine attributes. A willow leaf followed by a Hawthorn for November indicates that you can achieve your goals then if you learn to be flexible.
Here are the basic correspondences for the leaves:
Rowan: Safety; the need for protection
Hazel: Wisdom; the use of discernment
Birch: Highlights or augments feminine attributes (nurturing, intuition, gentility, and so on)
Maple: Peace; truce; reconciliations
Sassafras: Physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being
Hawthorn: Wishes; goals; desires; achievements
Willow: The capacity to bend and change with circumstances
Ash: Vitality; energy; power
Oak: Highlights or augments masculine attributes (leadership, strength, courage, and so on)
The Body of the Mabon Ritual
Stand before the center of the altar. Hold your ritual goblet toward the sky with both hands, saying, “Lord of the Harvest, Lady of Crops, I thank you for your gifts freely given, and now return wine from this bounty to the soil with a grateful heart.” Pour out the wine to the soil or the secondary container. If you’re using the latter, you must take this outside after the ritual and pour it into the earth. Say, “Accept my offering as a gift to you and Earth. Use this libation healing the Earth and sustaining the land as the Wheel moves on.”
Put down the cup and take up the cornucopia with both hands while reciting: “Providence, while my table is rich with the harvest, soon the crops fall to the snows. Let each silver piece be used kindly to help others, then return thrice-fold in times of need. Bless these coins that I, and all within my home, might not want for food, nor comfort, while the land lies fallow. By your power, let it be so.”
Return the coins to the altar. After the ritual, keep them in an accessible place and use them for random acts of kindness, such as putting a quarter into an expired parking meter. Your gifts to others, as the prayer says, will return to you three times over to meet your needs.
“The Wheel has turned. The Sun no longer reigns.” Blow out the sun candle. “It is a time of increasing darkness… a time to look within at shadows of my soul and face them bravely. May the Powers be with me in this Underworld journey, that like the Sun
,I will return from my meditations with the brightness of enlightenment as a guide.” Linger before the altar and consider any negatives in your life. Be honest with yourself here. Choose one on which to work for the remainder of the winter so that by Candlemas, it will be banished with growing light.
Other Magical Activities for Fall Equinox
European tradition says that being hospitable to a stranger on this day brings good luck. Besides this, it is a perfect day for brewing grape wine in honor of Dionysus/Bacchus. To make a gallon, begin with three quarts of water, three pounds of sugar, one 12-ounce can each of white and purple frozen grape juice concentrate (thawed), a sliver of orange peel, a tea bag, and a tablespoon of wine yeast. Put everything except the yeast into a non-aluminum pan and warm it over a medium flame.
When the sugar is totally dissolved, let the mix cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, mix the yeast with a quarter cup of warm water, which you will stir into the juice after it reaches lukewarm. Cover the pot with a heavy dish towel and leave it for three days to begin the fermenting process. Strain into a glass jug on the third day but leave the cork very loose for another four weeks. After this time tighten down the cork and store the wine in a cool, dark area. It will be ready to consume within three months—six months if you prefer a drier wine.
Closing the Circle
may your cooling embers heal heated emotions.
I bid you farewell, with thanks.
may your winter winds grant me freshness of mind.
I bid you farewell, with thanks.
may your providence continue through barrenness.
I bid you farewell, with thanks.
may your rains fall freely on parched spirits.
I bid you farewell, with thanks.
Spirit of the Vine, of corn and grain,
from you I am born and shall return again.
I bid you farewell, with thanks.
Postritual Foods & Personal Celebrations
In keeping with the theme of prudence and conservation, serve long-lasting foods such as apples, potatoes, squash, nuts, oats, and onions, or leftovers. Cider and goose are also traditional Autumn Equinox foods. Personalize your festivities with your own recipes and traditions.
Take a walk and enjoy the beauty of the woods before everything goes barren. Sprinkle seeds as you walk as gifts to nature while saying thank you for all these blessings. Consider making charms or working spells for safety, abundance, confidence and harmony. Whatever you plan, remember the equinox and its themes of harmony, balance, preparation, and reflection.