Honoring the Autumnal Equinox
This time of year is all about balance. We’re invited now to notice where we are in balance and where we’re off kilter. Once we become more aware of how we are in this Autumnal threshold, we can then restore our balance accordingly, in order to move into the colder months with stability, steady feet, a happy heart and a nourished body.
In the Northern hemisphere, Mabon corresponds to the Sun’s alignment with the equator, which results in an equal duration of daytime and nighttime. Light and dark are balanced.
Traditionally speaking, this was a time where all the hard work of the summer months became readily available for survey; we could take stock of all our progress (back in the day this looked like a successful crop, well-fed animals, and the security of knowing you and your family have enough food for the winter months to come).
Celebrating Mabon & Inviting Balance
Let’s have a look at modern applications of this ancient tradition, which has been celebrated in many different ways by cultures from all around the world, including Chinese, Northern America, Greek and Bavarian.
The common denominator within all the different iterations of this holiday has to do with a celebration of rest after a bountiful harvest. Oftentimes the summer months translate to a lot of fruiting; we get involved with many projects, new and old relationships build and develop, and our creative fires are stoked by the long summer days.
The seasonal shift that Mabon represents, occurring at the Autumnal Equinox, is presenting an opportunity to tie up any loose ends, clear up any clutter that has accumulated over the last few months, and prepare for the winter months ahead, so that they can be peaceful, restful and energetically clean.
This inflection point in the seasons is a ripe invitation for ritual and celebration; here are common and accessible ways to honor this festival:
→ Apple harvesting (or supporting your local farmer by stopping by a farmer’s market for some apples) and including them on your altar (honoring the balance and harmony that the apple represents as a symbol; the ancient Biblical and modern technological implications of this fruit cannot be ignored!)
→ Creating a culinary treat for a celebratory feast with friends
→ Dedicate an afternoon to cleaning your external world; perhaps this is a portion of your living space, or your car if you drive one. Call on the practice of cleaning the outside to correspond with a cleaning on the inside.
Whatever way you’re called to honor the shift of seasons, be sure to celebrate the balance between light and the dark; honoring this balance will help to restore harmony in your life and, in turn, the lives of those you relate with.