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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in autumn equinox

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

The secular media finally seems to be cottoning to something that pagans have always known: that the sunsteads and evendays (that's “solstices” and “equinoxes” in Witch) are intrinsically noteworthy events, something to celebrate.

(A cute little graphic popped up today when I turned on the computer: a large blue Earth—pale blue on one side, dark blue on the other, right down the middle—flanked by a smaller yellow Sun and full Moon. A nice visual shorthand, although of course the Moon isn't full, and has nothing to do with Evenday anyway. I suppose the image makes sense if we read Sun and Moon, respectively, as “Day” and “Night.”)

For cowans, who measure days from midnight, today is Equinox Day, and the Eve of the Equinox would have been last night.

Some of us see it differently.

Astronomical Equinox comes tonight at 8:03 local time, after local sunset: hence, for those of us who—like the Hwicce, the historic tribe of Witches—reckon the religious day from Sundown, the Evenday itself begins tonight.

That's why we've scheduled our 42th Annual Harvest Supper for tonight. (Welcome to Paganistan, the Land of Long-Lived Covens.) Think Witches' Thanksgiving: a ritual held around a table, with lots of singing, toasts, autumn flowers, and enough steaming, good food to feed at least a couple brigades of the Wiccan army. It's our last outdoor feast of the year, with wild geese skeining overhead, leaves beginning their change, and a wee nip in the air.

Since the official leap into Autumn falls during the feast itself this year, we'll be able to have a countdown, too: a modern tradition, but a good one.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Holiday Season

The Modern Minoan Paganism sacred calendar doesn't look like the eightfold Wheel of the Year that many modern Pagans are familiar with. Instead, we based our calendar specifically on Mediterranean seasonal cycles (the Minoans came from the island of Crete in the Mediterranean) as well as archaeological and ethnological evidence about the Minoans' religious practices.

So instead of a neatly balanced eight-spoke wheel, our calendar has some festivals that are spread out across the months and others that cluster together. One of those clusters - the biggest one - is my focus today.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Falling Into Fall

Change can be tough, to be sure. As I get a little older and wiser I see how much better it is to learn to roll with those changes that come your way. Accepting and embracing these shifts, no matter how unfamiliar or strange, is definitely the way to go. Intuitively, it also ties in with living fully in the moment and letting go of that which no longer serves us. It's the natural flow of nature and of life. So don't be that last stubborn last leaf on the tree this fall—live and let go.

Changes in the Weather

As many folks' favorite time of year comes into full swing, take the time to get out on some invigorating fall hikes to re-energize your soul. Walk in familiar spots to notice what is shifting and see how that makes you feel. Does it make you consider areas in your own life that could use a shakeup? Meditate on this one for a while and see what presents itself to you, whether in immediate visualizations or later that night in your dreams.

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Autumnal Equinox Ritual: Macon, September 21

Establish one room in your house as the temple. Ideally, it is the room in which you normally keep an altar or sacred shrine. In any case, you should create an altar in the center of the space. Place four small tables in the four corners of the directions and place four evenly spaced candlesticks between the tables. Place a loaf of freshly baked bread (bread you have made with your own hands is best) in the east, a bowl of apples in the south, a bottle of wine in the west, and a sheaf of wheat or a bundle of dried corn in the north. Upon the main altar, place a candle, a plate of sweet cakes and a goblet. Light incense and place it in front of the cakes. Before your ritual, take some time for contemplation. Think about what you have achieved during this busy year:

What have you done?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

At this moment, many of us are being called upon to face our darkest fears. Pandemic nightmares and a lingering threat of impending doom surrounding our very democracy have become the new norm. The furious wildfires of climate change rip through our forests and leave lingering dark smudges carried on clouds which reach far across the nation. People are being attacked for wearing masks to protect others and/or exercise their right to peacefully protest. Instead of being able to come together and find common ground for a common good, we are being driven farther apart by the people elected to publicly serve and protect us.

The Fall Equinox has always been about finding a true balance. Never has this been a more pertinent allegory than right now. We need to work harder together to tame the pandemic. We need to take care of our planet and nurse our Mother Earth back to better health. We can no longer ignore that this is shared space– and if we want to coexist in any harmony, we cannot go through life with blinders on. These are not debates, matters of opinion, or imagined hoaxes. These are undeniable facts that we all need to face, whether some of want to or not. It has little or nothing to do with politics or sensationalized media. It has everything to do with the fate of our country, our world, and our civilization (emphasis on civility). The time for selfishness, greed, and giving in to our darkest impulses is over. The balance needs to be restored with compassion, generosity, and reaching toward a shared higher purpose. This also means taking a deep breath, no matter how weary we are of fighting the good fight. We must roll up our sleeves and meditate on making this balance a reality, in all the millions of seemingly small ways that we still can. We can channel our magical power and energy to bring about this good, but we cannot give up hope. Here is a place to start, this Mabon:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fall Equinox

Perfect balance returns, light and dark in harmony again for the final harvest. As we wheel in the last-lit days of seasonal symmetry, face the coming darkness together with gratitude for what we've learned about light. Autumn's grain is spring's seed; paradox surrounds us with ripening wisdom. If we lose hope, remember that Hope has two daughters to support our balancing acts: Anger and Courage. Instead of passive hope, embrace radical willingness. The good news is that an organism under attach creates blooming antibodies, devoted to restoring original health to the world's immune system. Activists are that devotion. 

The season of barrenness mists her breath on our window panes—a foreshadowing—yet we're full of our gathering visions. What holds you back? Every minus is a plus that just needs a stroke of vertical awareness. Awake, ask what you do want to harvest into your life? Find the courage to move forward into action. Science and love, the two most powerful poles of humanity have been fiercely separated. The truth is, we're all connected; the greatest disability is, we don't believe this. Believe it. Practice powerful participation in the great circus of life. Find balance on the wild trapeze. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Our last group ritual here at Temple of the Moon was the Eve of the Equinox this Spring. After people went home with their eggs and pussy willows, I extinguished the candles in the wrought-iron chandelier that (inter alia) illuminates the temple.

In retrospect, I'm not sure why I did that. Generally after a ritual I let the candles burn down, an offering for the holy tide. But this year, for some reason, I didn't. That the Equinox also marked the beginning of the Great Covid Lockdown here in Minnesota may have had something to do with it.

Since then, the half-burnt candles have stood unlit in the chandelier. The offerings that take place twice daily in the temple don't require so much light, and through the Season of Light our group rites have unfolded outdoors.

But now comes the Other Evenday, the Waning Equinox, with no immediate prospect of indoor gathering through the Winter to come.

I ask myself: should I leave the half-burned candles until they can once again light our next indoor rite together?

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I like the circular symbolism, but I prefer a light in the darkness. Yes, I know that's a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture s

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