A few folks have asked me how I will be celebrating the Autumnal Equinox, so here is the ritual that Blue Moon Circle and I will be using. If you normally cast a circle and call the quarters, do so at the beginning. This can be used by a group or an individual. You will need a sage smudge stick (you can substitute any incense you like) and an apple.
Tonight marks the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon. This is the second harvest festival in the Pagan year—the Witch’s Thanksgiving. And so we gather to give thanks for all that which we have harvested in the past year.
When we talk about our harvest, we speak not only of the physical harvest of vegetables and grains to grace our tables, but also of spiritual, intellectual and symbolic harvest—that which graces our lives. Whatever you have been working toward this year, whichever goals are finally bearing fruit in tangible ways…these are the things we celebrate tonight.
At the equinox, day and night are equal, in perfect balance. We look to find this balance in ourselves as well. So let us look clearly at the harvest, and what it means for us as individuals.
It is a time of rejoicing, and of gratitude for all that has been given to us. But we have worked hard for that which we harvest, and sometimes, when the harvesting is done, we are tired and dirty and filled with regrets for those things that failed to grow and prosper. Shall we let this hold us back from celebrating with joy and enthusiasm? By the Goddess, we shall not!
Instead, we will work toward balance by allowing the elements of fire and air to cleanse us of the accumulated debris of the last year. Sage is traditionally used to cleanse and purify. Light a sage smudge stick and let the smoke waft over you. Visualize yourself letting go of all that holds you back from joy and celebration, and emerging clear and energized, ready for another year.
Now that we have lightened our spirits of their burdens, we can give thanks for the many blessings in our lives without sadness or reservations. Cut an apple in two, through the middle. Be sure to look inside to see the star that hides within! Think of those things you are grateful for and say them aloud one by one. After each one, take a bite of apple, to symbolize the sweetness of the blessings you have reaped.
We have washed away the dust of the long year behind us, and given thanks for our present blessings. Now, to complete the cycle we will look to the future, balancing what has gone before with what lies ahead.
It is time to refresh and reenergize ourselves, taking in the last light and warmth of the summer to sustain us through the darker, colder days ahead. We need this energy not only to finish this year’s harvest before season’s end, but also to plant the seeds for next year’s goals. So together, we will recite a spell to replenish our bodies, minds and spirits and use the abundant positive energy we have created here in this sacred space to bring our intent into being. (Hold the remaining half of apple as you recite the spell.)
Spell for Energy:
I call upon the Power of Air, with energy creative
I call upon the Power of Fire, with energy passionate
I call upon the Power of Water, with energy healing
I call upon the Power of Earth, with energy strong and unending
I call upon my inner wisdom
That I may tap into this energy only when it is needed
And rest when rest is called for
Let the energy be there for me when I need it
Let the energy be there for me when I call it
Let the energy be there for me when I will it
So mote it be
(Eat the apple!)