The Autumnal Equinox is much more than the first day of Fall. It marks an astronomical transition point between Summer and Winter - for now we have equal day and equal night.
Today is referred to as the festival of Mabon. This is the second harvest festival of the year, the first being Lammas (August 1st) and the third being Halloween (October 31st). The seeds we have planted in the Spring are now coming to fruition.
What have you been working on this year? What is coming to fruition in your life right now? This is a really beautiful time of year - one of my favorites. It's harvest season, where we see the result of our labors. We reap what we have sown. It's the time to take stock of where you are in your life right now - what you've brought forth and what you still want to manifest.
Today we feel the turn of the wheel of the year. Standing in the middle of equal daylight to equal nighttime, we also look at BALANCE. Are we out of balance in our lives? Are we taking care of ourselves? Are we working hard but making time for our dreams and having fun too?
Mabon also relates to mid life; to our 40's and 50's when we have accomplished some things, but also might harbor regrets. The Equinox is a time to give yourself credit for all the wonderful things you've created and the positive difference you've made in the world. Honor your courage! And how much smarter you are now than when you were young.
The Fall Equinox is the time when the Goddess manifests in Her Bountiful Mother aspects. The God emerges as the Corn King and Harvest Lord. Colors are Orange, Dark Red, Yellow, Indigo, and Brown.
Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving. Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season. Cast a circle, offering thanks as you face each direction -- for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center).
This holiday was pivotal in ancient times, since a good final harvest was crucial to surviving the winter months ahead. Relationships are reassessed so we can decide who is best to take into the harsh winter with us. If someone is draining your energy, now might be the time to let go.
This is also the time to welcome the season of the Crone. Persephone goes to the Underworld to learn the secrets of the Crone (or in some stories she is kidnapped by Hades), and the earth is bare as Her mother, Demeter, mourns Her loss.
(Photo of The Glastonbury Tor in the Valley of Avalon in Glastonbury England from the Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar year 2000)