The coming of Autumn brings a sense of peace and security with its energies. The days are already getting shorter and the nights are longer. The crops have come in, mostly, and our larders and freezers are full of preserves, tomatoes, pickles, sauces. There is a sense of fullness and accomplishment; a welcome end to the business of the summer season. The sun moves from Leo and Virgo, where we have been busy creating and completing, into Libra, where we can begin to reflect, rest and collect ourselves before the winter. We reap what we have sown throughout the growing time of the year and move into a time of introspection, understanding and gratitude. Above all, this is a time of year to remind ourselves that every beginning has an end and every end is a new beginning. This is a magical time of balance.
Now, I am certain that not everyone is as crazy as I am about growing and preserving my own food. Perhaps you didn’t plant a garden, but you had a massive product launch at work, got the kids back to school after all the summer’s activities, wrote a book, built a house, bought a house, moved or something else equally as creative and busy. You are feeling accomplished, relieved and like you can finally sit down and take a breath. At its heart, Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) is a celebration of the end of the harvest and the beginning of the time of reflection and retreat. We draw into ourselves, our homes, and our families a little bit more; not only from the changing weather, but also for recharging and renewal.
Rise of the Phoenix
As Autumn leaves blush in russet gold, and dusk comes early, bringing Winter’s cold
Into the self we spiral deep. A quiet time to pull within; reflect, release. We sleep.
Oh sweet darkness, cover me in thy veil! Cloak my soul in velvet, life’s a bitter pale.
Nature’s cycle, turn wheel turn. Water cleanse and fire burn.
But surely, as the sun does rise, a sleeping heart and soul grows wise.
To awake unfettered of its gloom and unfold its petals to bloom
into the grace of a new day. Unto each, Lady Spring will find a way
to touch with tender warmth and light a budding spirit in Winter night.
For each psyche has its time to die and grow and sing in rhyme.
Each soul to flame with passions bright from ashes to Phoenix in fire’s light.
To understand the deeper nature of the Equinox and the balance of Light and Shadow, we have to first understand that the Solar Circle Quarter Festivals (the Solstices and the Equinoxes) are linked with the four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), the four major directions of the Compass (North, South, East and West) and the 4 major Times of the Day, the Sunrise, the Noon, the Sunset and the Night. The Autumn Equinox is linked with West and the Sunset, the time that the Darkness is rising, the time when the Sun sets, ending (temporarily) his dominion over the world. It is the element of Water, connecting us all with the energies of global love and divine regeneration. Because it is the season of Water, the Autumn is also the one that is most affected by the cycles of the moon. So for magical considerations and workings, this is a most auspicious and important time to sync up with what the moon is doing.
What should I do with this information? How do I observe this sabbath or at the very least, bring mindful attention to its passage into my hearth, home and heart?
- Take Inventory– Take a look at where you are in your life, right now. What is happening? What are you hopeful for? What are you happy about? Start with your positive assets. What have you accomplished this year? What are you proud of? Then, only after you have brought awareness to your assets, start your inventory of what you are missing, wanting to grow, what failed to grow, and what needs to happen next. Which segues into:
- Reflection – Look back on your New Year’s Resolution. How did you do on that? What did you plant in the spring that you hoped would bloom in your life? How was your progress? How did you nourish and water those things? What, if anything, did you miss or could have been done better? What direction are you moving in and what goals do you want to think about for next year?
- Celebrate! – Have a moment, or feast, of joy! Feel your sense of accomplishment. Feel the trust, love and gratitude that surrounds you. This is your harvest. This is your bounty. Take a mindful moment, evening or week to just honor it, whatever it looks like. See it and honor it for exactly what it is.
Blessed Mabon to you!