AUTUMN EQUINOX Sept. 23, 2007, 5:51 A.M. EDT

Feel me now as Mother Earth

I am your rock of strength.

Rest at this space of balance,

Where day and night are equal

And prepare to journey with me into the dark.

I am the setting sun.

I am the waning moon.

I am the Autumn leaves as they fall into me,

I am Earth.

Feel My presence, firm beneath your feet.

Treat Me with respect.

I will hold you safe in the darkness of your journeying.

I am your rock of strength.

From the Goddess Wheel of the Year by Wendy Andrew

The Equinox occurs twice a year when the nighttime is equal to the daytime – each being 12 hours in duration, for one day only. At the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23, 2007, 5:51 A.M. EDT), the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Fall Exuinox mirrors the dwindling of life (and eventual progression to rebirth) as well as the struggle for balance – day and night are equal for a single day.

Ancient people celebrated the coming of Autumn on September 25th. The Celts marked their days from sundown to sundown, so the Mabon celebration actually started on the sundown of our September 24th.

Today, with the help of our technology, we can calculate the exact day of the Equinox; the date when the sun enters the sign of Libra, the Balanced Scales, which is appropriate for the Equinox. September 25th is “Michaelmas,” a feast in honor of the Archangel Michael. The Vernal Equinox was marked as “Gabrielmas” in honor of the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary on Lady Day.

Traditionally, Mabon marks the Second Harvest, the end of the grain harvest (begun at Lughnasadh) and rests on the Autumn Equinox.

Mabon can also be known as: the Second Harvest Festival, Feast of Avalon, Cornucopia, Wine Harvest, the Fall Equinox, Harvest Home, the Autumnal (or Autumn) Equinox, Festival of Dionysus, Alban Elfed (Caledonii, Druidic), Winter Finding (Teutonic), or Equinozio di Autunno (Strega).

Greeting To The Autumn Equinox

Hail! Journeyer of the Heavens,
Queen of Brightness, King of Beauty!
Gifts of gladness richly bringing,
Autumn sheaves and red leaves’ fall.
Generous be the heart within us,
Open be our hands to all,
Justice to be in equal measure,
Harvest thankfulness our call.

– Caitlin Matthews, Celtic Devotional

Autumn Equinox is known by many names

The Fall Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avalon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch’s Thanksgiving, and the first day of autumn.

The Goddess Fortuna is one of many feminine Deities who hold a cornucopia, a symbol of a bountiful harvest season. Celts celebrated bringing in the fruits of the vine as well as others like apples, a symbol of renewed life. Modern Goddess devotees and other scriptural scholars call the succulent apple offered by Eve’s hand the “Apple of Wisdom,” and Avalon, one of the many Celtic names for the Land of the Dead, literally means the “land of apples”. Greek Goddess Hera, known by the Romans as Juno, is sometimes known as the “Apple Goddess” and in some depictions she holds an apple or a flowering apple branch.

A few other Goddesses associated with Autumn

Cerridwen -Her cauldron was the Celtic symbol for prosperity and rebirth.

Kali – the Mother who purges us of fear, anger, jealousy and grief, then nurses us back to balance in the ultimate act of soul-healing.

Hera – the apple Goddess holds a flowering apple branch from her western orchard, symbolizing immortal

Black Spiral Goddess – the Goddess who keeps light and dark in balance.

Demeter – The Eleusinian mystery religion centered on her worship and on reverence for her lost daughter with special ceremonies in the autumn.

Traditional Activities

Honored traditions and rituals include drinking new-made wine, harvesting apples and grapes, and visiting the graves and burial cairns of loved ones to place an apple there. These were all ways the Celts honored this Sabbat. With an attitude of gratitude for the life-giving harvest, they uttered wishes of reunification with their beloved dead to the Goddesses of Harvest, Renewal and Transformation.

‘Tis the time of gold sheaves
Of oats, rye and wheat
The time of corn husking
And apples so sweet

We enter crisp Autumn
As the sun’s warmth fades
We finish our harvest
With scythes’ sharpened blades

Thanks to Mabon and Modron
We thank the Green Man
With cider, wine and herbs
Wild barley, pecans

We celebrate our bounty
As we embrace the deep Fall
And to our great Mother
We give thanks above all

– Dobhran, 1999

The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon, and farmers harvested their crops by this moonlight as part of the Second Harvest celebration.

What will this year’s harvest bring from the seeds that we’ve sown?

Wishing a Cornucopia of Blessings to you all!

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