I’m not sure what excites me about this time of year. On one hand, I feel a hesitative approach to fall, as the days grow colder and I know that soon I will need to order oil to heat the house, and (sigh) get the snow shovel out, and I almost wish I could slow the progress to the colder months of the year. But, on the other hand, my soul is stirred by the crispness of the air, the clearness of the sky, the urgency of the birds – I see more woodpeckers these days and hear more blue jays and crows in the trees. There is a wildness all about, as leaves begin to change their colors with sudden abandon, and are carried in circles by the wind, to the ground.
With the autumnal equinox (or Mabon, as many pagans call it), light begins to die, as the days become shorter and darkness grows. But with these shortening, cooling days, we are provided with sustenance and security. Pumpkins and apples, corn stalks and hay bales – these symbols of fall offer comfort, as do the rich fall hues of orange, gold, red, and brown, the delicious aromas of slowly baked and roasted foods, and the warmth of ovens and wood-fires. We are nourished with deep goodness, to face the dimming days, to accept and understand darker aspects of the natural cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.
The autumnal equinox is a harvest holiday in pagan traditions, and as such, is a wonderful time to put on a feast featuring locally grown foods, expressive of thanks for the abundance we have been given. It is also a great time to allow balance in one’s life – as day and night are equal on this day, so might we find equilibrium within.
If you are interested in reading more about the autumnal equinox as a holiday, you may enjoy these books:
Autumn Equinox: The Enchantment of Mabon by Ellen Dugan
Mabon: Celebrating the Autumn Equinox by Kristin Madden
~ Nellie Levine
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