Equinox

dawntarot

Evening all!

Tomorrow is the equinox, when the daylight and dark hours are equally balanced. After this day the balance tips, towards summer in the south and to winter in north.

Is anybody else celebrating? I'm at my parents' home so not much scope for ritual as such - but for part of the day I'll have the place to myself, so I intend to do a couple of readings, burn some herbs and offer up prayers and blessings. (Do let me know here or via PM if you want me to pray for you. :))

Looking forward to hearing from you all,
Blessings
Dawn :)
 

tarotbear

On the Solstices I used to get up to watch the dawn and also then watch the sun set; I've never done it on an Equinox. I'll have to look up when the sun rises and sets over here tomorrow ....
 

Milfoil

When I was young, there was no sense of any kind of spiritual worship or activity outside the Christian churches, at least not where I lived which was predominantly Methodist. This time of year was the Harvest Festival. I had never heard of 'equinox' or Mabon.

The idea of worshipping a male deity at harvest time and the time of equal day and night doesn't fit with how my personal beliefs work but it is widely accepted by many Wiccans:

http://sorita.co.uk/what-or-rather-who-is-mabon

On the equator there is no such distinction between seasons - every day is equal in length to the night and sunrise and sunset are always at 6am and 6pm. Like our ancestors, we who live away from the equator in the northern hemisphere, notice our environment changing with the shortening days and, like them, regardless of whether this is southern Italy or Finland, it is what is happening where we are that informs how we see the equinox. Our nomadic cousins across Europe would be packing up and heading down to the winter grazing grounds at this time whereas here in the UK, our farming community are harvesting, storing and selling. Everyone is busy, busy, busy including most of the animals . . .

Many animals, are naturally hungry at this time of year, it is a survival mechanism which ensures that they eat, Eat, EAT to store up enough fat reserves to last them through the winter. Bears are at their most dangerous because of this natural hunger, from now until they hibernate. So now, even though there is plenty of natural food around, I still put out lots and lots of different bird foods to help the new fledglings feed up before winter. An offering if you will.

Here, where I am, it is noticeably cooler, all growth has slowed, harvests are mostly in, the apples are still ripening but just about ready for picking and it is a time of grateful thanks for the bounty of Mother Earth. As a woman in her late 40s, this time resonates with me. The chicks have flown the nest, the harvest is in, I'm not quite a crone yet but it is only a matter of time so the autumn equinox is about the transition between abundance and the storing up of wisdom and support to tide over the winter months.

For me, this is a time of deep gratitude for abundance all around and storing and preserving what will feed and support the next generation (not just literal food but wisdom that has been hard earned this year). It is a time to think about the next phase. Our Celtic (to use a general term) ancestors saw the dusk or end of each day as the transition to the new day which started in the darkness of the womb (of night) and was born at dawn. This extends to the phases of the year and so the Autumn equinox is that kind of pivotal point where the old year is not yet ended and the new year not yet begun.

So what is happening where you are?
What does this time of balance mean to you?
 

Winterchild

Spring....

I have started changing my Altar and will do my reading table with different colours... but I am not a spring or summer person.... I am drawn to the North right now..... where I envy you putting the clocks back...

Tomorrow I will do some readings for my circles and I am just looking for spreads for a reading for myself, to see if there are any equinox ones.

I went for a long walk over the hill early this morning, it was great to watch the frosts and the mists shifting in the rising sun. Blossom is out and the verges were filled with perriwinkle, forget-me-nots and I saw some white hyacinths peaking out through some tree's in a garden. The willow is almost neon in its spring green.

So very early spring is ok.... but after the first flush, I want out... anyone else here a Winter person? I have added a photo I took this morning of the mist over my (rather untended) garden pond.
 

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dawntarot

I'm sitting here in bed (the fire hasn't been lit yet) looking out on the day. Everything looks just a shade paler in this cooler light than it did a few weeks ago. For once the sky is clear blue, the wind rustles the leaves and catches those which are already ready to fall. The birds sing, swooping down on insects and the ripe berries. The sunlight is catching the cobwebs outside my window, turning them into spun gold, silken threads. Everything feels a little restless, there's this sense of anticipation in the air, especially here where the only mechanical sound comes from the keys as I type. This house is in true isolation; the closest neighbour is half a mile away; the closest village, four miles.

I can't even imagine how people could have survived living here before cars became commonplace. This house is about 120 years old. My dad has turned most of the garden to agricultural use and the first of his crops are ready to come in. My mum has started making chutneys and jams to preserve what we can't eat fresh. This has long been my favourite time of year, not only for harvest but also for beginnings. Next week I begin my final year of study before I get my degree and this time of year always smells to me of fresh notebooks, pencils and crayons. I crack twigs and leaves beneath my feet and crack the spines of books. Everything seems new and old at the same time.

I am, to my knowledge, the only pagan in my family, but I'm still happy to be sharing this time with them, sharing the love and warmth of the fire. What equinox means to me is hellos and farewells, a pause to think before we launch ourselves into the next stage, before we're absorbed with getting through the winter. Winters here can be harsh and feel as though they will never come to an end - we've been snowed in for more than two weeks at a time in the past so the need to stockpile is essential.

I won't be here after this week but back in my own home halfway down the country. But all being well, I'll be back for the winter solstice, back to be reminded of what winter can truly mean.

The seasons have always been a big part of my life, now more than ever as I come to a bigger understanding of what it means, what all the wildlife is doing outside. It never ceases to amaze me that year after year, they survive. Nature cares for her own and we survive until spring.

These are my thoughts this morning. I hope you all have a blessed day.
Dawn :heart:
 

Winterchild

Dawn

Oh Dawn you make me wish I was there... are you in the Highlands? I love it up there, my Mum is from Inverness.
 

dawntarot

I'm out in the sticks in the North East. Aberdeen is about an hour from here, Inverness I think between two and three? I've been up that way a few times, it's a beautiful area. Of course I made the obligatory pilgrimage to Loch Ness... Did I see the monster? Perhaps... ;)

I can't believe what a beautiful day it is here... As a little ritual tea I toasted some marshmallows over the fire and came outside with them, a cup of lemon and ginger tea, and a slice of the rhubarb and vanilla cake made by my mum. And my cards, of course. :)
 

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Hemera

The idea of worshipping a male deity at harvest time and the time of equal day and night doesn't fit with how my personal beliefs work but it is widely accepted by many Wiccans:
I do not worship any male deities. I did my share during several decades as a Christian. But as a part-time wheat farmer in a country where we have 4 very different seasons it is somehow very natural to note the change of seasons and the beginning or end of harvest.


... anyone else here a Winter person? .
Me! I´m very much a winter person. I love all seasons but heat of summer always makes me uncomfortable. Winter with lots of ice and snow and dangerously low temperatures is just gorgeous :love: The beauty is breathtaking. Probably I´m genetically well adjusted to cold or something :)
 

Richard

What absolutely beautiful poetic posts by Milfoil and dawntarot!

I have been up all night here in the upper southeastern US, so I may crash and miss the solstice event, which will be at 10:49 AM EDT. I always look forward to fall. The colorful dance of death of the leaves in deciduous trees is a glorious reminder of their resurrection come spring. Even the seasonal tropical storms and hurricanes are proof that the earth is still very much alive, and (knock on wood) so am I.