Ready for the autumn equinox, AKA Mabon?
Don’t panic if your first reaction is something along the lines of ‘the autumn what?’.
We’re here to help with your need-to-know guide to all things equinox, from what and when it actually is to how to best celebrate it.
You don’t need to get fully into paganism to mark the occasion, by the way.
Think of this as a time to reflect, refresh, and make the most of that ‘new school year’ feeling.
What is the autumn equinox?
The autumn equinox, also called Mabon, is a pagan celebration, originating from the Celts (think: Asterix), who once populated Britain and much of North West Europe before the march of the Romans.
This tree-loving druid-led tribe celebrated nature and the progression of the seasons by dividing the year into eight segments, at key turning points, creating eight festivals.
The eight included the two solstices (midwinter and midsummer, when the days are either the shortest or the longest), the two equinoxes (spring and autumn, or Mabon, when days and nights are equal in length), and the four ‘cross-quarters’ falling at seasonal peaks (Imbolc, Beltain, Lammas and Samhain).
Celts and pagans used the autumn equinox to give thanksgiving to nature/Mother Earth for giving a good harvest, and to pray to their gods and goddesses that the crop would last throughout the winter. There’d be feasting, fires, offerings and sacrifices.
Nowadays, it’s a time to get cosy (say hello to pumpkin spice lattes, s’mores, giant cardigans and not going out out), focus on the home and give thanks for your security in life, and to share the riches with those who are less fortunate.
When is the autumn equinox?
This year autumn equinox occurs Wednesday September 22.
How to celebrate autumn equinox
At its core, the energy of this festival is all about gratitude and thanks for what has been reaped thus far in the year, with an eye to the hardships of winter, and a recognition of a mental and physical adjustment needed for the darker, longer nights and harder conditions ahead.
So, how might you like to celebrate?
All things apples
Apples are a very common symbol of this festival, so bring them into your home as fresh fruit, juice, delicious warm pies and bakes, room fragrances, candles and toiletries. Apple up!
Create a Mabon altar
Any baby pagan or witch knows that making yourself an altar is 101 magick. You can make your altar on your kitchen table, windowsill, dresser, fireplace – wherever.
Adding harvest fruits and vegetables to your altar is a good idea (apples, leaves, pinecones, corn, pomegranate, squash, and root vegetables – go on then, a pumpkin if you must).
Colour-wise, you’re looking for gold, orange, red, bronze and rust. Scent-wise, you’re seeking sage, cinnamon, orange and apple. Dark-colored, green or brown colored crystals will add a good vibration. Make it look welcoming, pretty and festive. Halloween pre-décor.
Light an orange or yellow candle on your altar and give thanks for the security, happiness, advantages and blessing you have in your life right now.
You might want to do this from the full moon on September 20, again on Mabon itself (September 22) and then finally on the new moon on October 6.
Mabon is a great time (just like spring is) to have a good old clear-out and clean up at home. After all, you’re probably going to be spending more time here over fall and winter. Finish lingering projects, and clear out emotional and physical clutter, so that your home feels calm, relaxing and peaceful.
You know how you always get given beautiful journals by your friends, but never use them? I bet you’ve got a journal drawer where they’re piling up. Get one out and start a gratitude journal, and aim to fill it by the end of winter (March 20, 2022).
Write down everything that happens that you feel pleased, surprised or grateful for. I guarantee this will help brighten your mood, and signal to the Universe that you’d like more of the same, please.
Celebrate with friends
Any excuse, right? Host a Mabon harvest dinner. Get everyone to bring their favorite dish and drink, and lay out an attractive buffet table for everyone to feast upon. Show off your altar. Instigate some happy discussions about what you’re each grateful for in the past year. Aim to create a warm, cozy, pre-Thanksgiving type (but more relaxed, less formal dining) vibe.
Invest in a charity
Pick a cause or campaign that you feel strongly about, and give them some of your attention, time, energy or money. Better yet, think of a way you can give ongoing support to a range of places, people or organisations that you believe provide something positive to those who most need it.
Kerry King, the tarot queen, uses tarot and star sign wisdom to create inspiring forecasts and insights, with over 25 years fortune telling experience, and many happy clients all over the world. You can book a personal, written reading, which comes as a beautifully illustrated brochure, through Etsy or join her new Tarot Club and get weekly forecasts and more for £5 a month.
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