Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Equinox

Today is the Autumn equinox, where the day and night are of equal length.  For me, it marks the starts of the literal dark time of the year and signifies the start of the hated cold period.

The weather has been a bit funny recently.  We had a long, hot summer, then two weeks ago it turned overnight and got very very cold, so cold that one day I thought it felt like snow.  Yesterday, however, was very warm, like a late Autumn day should be.  I have yet to go out, but today seems warm too.

The equinox is the second harvest festival in the pagan wheel of the year - the first is Lughnasa, the second is Halloween.  I suggest celebrating with lots of food.  Last night the boyfriend and I went out to a cheese and beer party.  This morning we slept in and we will be having minestrone soup for dinner.

Although food is abundant, and has been for the last few months, soon it will be come scarce again (or would be, of we didn't have a global food market).  Greek stories tell us that Demeter will very soon travel to the underworld to live with Hades until the March equinox, Ostara, which is why we don't get much stuff growing over the Winter months.

I've written before about how this year I felt Lughnasa more as a period of time, rather than a one day festival.  I've been eating fruit by the bucket load and collecting nuts and acorns from the woods.  We recently cut our blackberry bushes down as they weren't producing good fruit, but we're keeping the raspberry bushes.  I can see berries on the hawthorn tree at the back of our garden and I think I'll collect some berries later and add them to my decorations. It is most definitely spider season - I've seen so many interesting coloured ones in the garden, and a few massive ones in the house.  I've taken the Imbolc colours off our corn dolly and now she looks more Harvest appropriate.

With the equal hours of day and night I find it good to reflect on balance in my life.  I've got a Harvest prayer which I will copy here:

Equal hours of light and darkness
We celebrate the balance of Mabon
And ask the Gods to bless us
For all that is bad, there is good
For that which is despair, there is hope
For the moments of pain
There are moments of love
For all that falls, there is the chance to rise again
May we find balance in our lives
As we find it in our hearts

Whether you are religious or not, whether you think the Gods have any place in seasonal festivals or not, I wish you a good day.

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