Autumn Equinox, Mabon (20-23 September)
Beloved, welcome to the Autumn Equinox.
Equinox is derived from the Latin words “equi” meaning equal and “nox” meaning night. The Autumn Equinox takes place twice a year and happens when the sun rises due east and sets due west. Day and night are equal in length. At the precise moment of the equinox, the sun crosses the earth’s equatorial plane.
Summer has ripened and gone to seed. The earth dies a little each day, and we must embrace this slow descent into the dark before we can truly appreciate the light that will return.
This is an invitation to let go, reflect, pause, and hibernate. Autumn Equinox is a divine dance of balancing the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, and the inner and outer. Soon, nature will guide us into a time ahead for dreaming.
This festival is a time for reflecting on what one has gained and lost over the years.
Our ancestors lived amidst nature much more than most of us do today. They observed the universe, marvelling at its rhythms. Autumn Equinox is an invitation to sovereignty and insight.
You are invited to look to nature for guidance. The trees’ leaves are turning beautiful colours of red, purple, brown, yellow. The leaves are dying as the trees’ infinite wisdom knows the old parts have to die in order to be reborn in the spring. So, she surrenders her leaves.
It’s a time of reflection on what one has gained and lost over the years. Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition. The year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light.
Goddesses of the Autumn Equinox
This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone aspect of the triple goddess. The goddess is bearing this time she is prepared to reap what has been sown. Mabon rituals focus on the loss of the goddess who goes into the underworld in autumn but will return in spring.
Banbha (pronounced BAHN-va), meaning “unplowed land”, is the Irish Goddess of leadership and protection and the Goddess of the spirit of Ireland. Banbha was a magician who used her powers to protect her people and her land. With guidance from Banbha, you can learn to lead people as they work together to protect their way of life.
Beloved, call upon Bandha for the next 6 weeks to awaken protection and step into being the queen and king of your own life.
During this transitional time here are some powerful questions for self-inquiry:
- From all that I have planted over this past year which ‘seeds’ have thrived and which have not thrived?
- What beloveds in my life have contributed to my ‘harvest’ and how can I honour and give gratitude to them?
- What will you do differently next season?
- Do you have a sense of being grounded, rooted in the Earth?
- Where in your life can you see the need for more of a balance, or the need to slow down?
- What ways of being and relationships are feeding you? Which ones need letting go of?
For those that live in Ireland, we are blessed to have sacred sites that align with the Autumn Equinox. I highly recommend taking some time to visit Loughcrew, also known as Sliabh na Caillaigh, which means “Mountain of the Hag in County Meath” and sit and tune into the powerful energies and guidance at this incredible site.
Autumn Equinox Ritual
Create a Mabon Altar with the intention of inviting a balance between light and dark. Sit with your altar over the next 6 weeks for the guidance of your questions. Find a space in your home (inside or outside) where you could fit a small to medium table, that is unobtrusive to walking paths or other furniture.
Suggested Items for Your Altar
- Mid-autumn vegetables, like squashes and gourds
- Statuary of deities symbolizing the changing seasons
- Items that represent the elements
- Earth crystals, stones, sand, dirt from a site sacred to you
- Wood, flowers, and greens
- Light a candle
- Water purified water, holy water, a seashell
- Metal, an item made of metal: a statue, singing bowl, bells, or a knife
- Air incense, sage or sweetgrass, a feather