This discussion of the Fall Equinox is dedicated to my sister in spirit, Robin. Fall was her favorite time of the year and with the cooler nights and colors turning, I think of the joy this time of year gave her and I hope she is sipping a hot mulled cider and enjoying delicious squash soup. Love and miss you.
What is the Fall Equinox and When?
May I be open to magic
in all its wild, mysterious,
and beautiful forms.
May I have no fear of my own power
and may I walk through my other fears
Fall Equinox starts when the Sun moves into Libra, September 22nd.
This marks the start of the fall season and a point in the sky where the day and night are equal in length.
Also known as Mabon, Fall Equinox is a special time in the year where we meet balance once again. Mabon marks the official time where summer ends and fall begins.
Sometimes known as the witches' thanksgiving, it is celebrated with bounty from the harvests planted near Lammas or before.
This time marks a great shift in our seasonal cycle. A shift towards the shutting down of the Earth. Blossoms once colorful and rich in Summer, wilt away and trees prepare to shed their leaves for the coming cold.
We start preparing for winter, animals collect food and warmth in anticipation of darkness. We start to turn inward, and practice gratitude for what the harvest has brought us.
Solstices are the extreme points as Earth’s axis tilts toward or away from the sun—when days and nights are longest or shortest. On equinoxes, days and nights are equal in all parts of the world. Four cross-quarter days roughly mark the midpoints in between Solstices are the equinoxes.
We commemorate these natural turning points in the Earth’s cycle. Seasonal celebrations of most cultures cluster around these same natural turning points.
Fall Equinox Traditions and Myths Around the World
Persephone (Greek): Fall Equinox mythically marks the time when Persephone returns to the underworld. She is the daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter and was kidnapped by Hades to become his wife. Peresphone is allowed back to visit her mother and visit the Earth for only half the year. Similar goddesses have also traveled back and forth between realms to mark the season like Innana.
Mabon (Euro-American): Mabon celebrates the second harvest and end of the summer season. Many wiccans like to celebrate this time with fruit harvests and large meals! A cross quarter day within the natural cycle of the sun in its orbit around Earth.
Ohigan (Japan): Japan celebrates both Equinoxes, taking the time to visit the graves of their loved ones gone from this Earth and care for their sites. It is traditionally a time to spend with family and other relatives.
Rosh Hashanah (Jewish): A Jewish new year holiday. After fasting from Yom Kippur and reflecting on last year's mistakes. Rosh Hashanah is a celebratory time to welcome in the new year. Apples and Honey are a traditional food and one of the first things eaten at dinner.
Fall Equinox Rituals
Create a Fall Equinox Altar:
Similar to Spring Cleaning, Fall Equinox is a great time to prepare your house for winter. Beyond the normal shutting of hoses, and checking all your windows for leaks, refreshing your altar is just as important!
Collect items of importance for you first and foremost! What do you want to gift yourself this season?
Leaves, pinecones, and branches are great additions to a Fall Equinox altar. Remember balance is key, mandalas or symmetrical shapes help accentuate this time. Also, remember to ethically collect any natural items and that no harm is done when gathering your altar supplies.
Colors of fall. Candles, crystals or altar cloths of deep browns, rich reds,
and bright oranges along with the fading pinks and blues of summer now
If you would like to know more about creating an Altar, visit our blog: about
Sit in a special place, at your altar or under your favorite tree. Take a few deep breaths. Cast a circle if you wish to do so, more importantly is to set aside space and time for yourself.
Write a list of physical things in your life you are grateful for. What kind of joy do they add to your life? How have they helped you grow or make you feel happy or secure?
Write another list of people you are grateful for. How have they enhanced your life? Maybe write gratitude notes and send them to loved ones in the mail!
Last list, write the things that cannot be touched or grabbed. Is this a feeling, an activity, a moment you witnessed? Reflect on the abundance in your life, be it small or large and honor its gifts and challenges it brings.
Rebalancing Meditation Ritual
During the day of equal day and light, why not let the season's help shift your life back to balance. Ask yourself what might need more balance in your life and how you might achieve them.
Are you all work and no play?
Need more time with family?
Does your diet need adjusting?
Does your space not serve your needs anymore or is too cluttered.
For me personally, I like to use this time to create action plans on one aspect of my life I would like to have more balanced. In past years, I created a meal plan, or I have reorganized my work space for the type of work I was doing at that time. I've also reorganized my schedule, if need be, I would schedule fun time or time with a loved one. This is highly meditative for me, though it may not work for everyone!
For something a little more witchy or ritualistic, try this practice below.
Light a candle, I like to choose secondary colors, like purple being a balance of reds and blues. Cast a circle within your mind and around your space. Imagine a circle of white light protecting you. Breathe into your circle, breathe out within your boundaries.
Picture in your mind something that feels out of balance, let your mind and emotions focus on the shadow aspects for a time. Where is the darkness, why doesn't this feeling go? What needs to change? It's ok to let yourself get emotional. Cry if you need to, scream! These imbalances can be incredibly frustrating. The shadow emotions we have hold great power. Let your circle be a safe place to express them. Just know that with every shadow there is also light.
Turn around in your circle, and dive into the lighter side of the situation. What would you not change? What do you love about the situation as it stands now? How has it challenged you to grow? In this space, start imagining what your perfect situation would be like, how would it feel and look if it was in perfect balance?
Hold these thoughts of rebalance in your mind, let the words or wishes fall out of your lips and into the air. Open the circle in your mind and imagine the words traveling out of your circle and being received by the world in love.
Let your circle open to receive its blessings and give yourself a big hug. Wrap your arms around yourself and give thanks for the time you spent here.
Host a Feast
Get into the spirit of Fall Equinox and create a feast with local foods! Visiting a farm or farmers market to see what is in season and explore new recipes. Feasting is an old tradition for Fall Equinox, let the season's bounty fill your home with wonderful smells and your home filled with good food and good friends.
Thank you and blessed be,