Fall or Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon, is a significant period within the Wheel of the Year that offers rich metaphors for the deeper transformations we go through spiritually. It symbolizes balance, gratitude, and preparation for the retreat of the inward journey. This time of year gifts us with the invitation to explore what our personal growth has been so far this year as well as amplifying the gifts of those changes with meaningful rituals. And perhaps, most importantly, it’s a time to begin slowing down, letting go, and resting. Holy holy rest.
This holy day is the second of three harvest festivals in the general pagan tradition. And it is also the one that symbolizes that greatest yield because in the metaphor of the holiday, this is the time of the largest harvest. In other words, now is the time for full inventory of the year, of our work, what has changed, what has gone, what newness has come to our lives, and who we have now become.
What we ‘harvest’ now informs us of what is important to take with us into our deeper soul rest and what needs to be allowed to be culled, let go, allowed to die. This is a deeply intimate and sacred point in our seasonal journey for this reason.
The Work Of This Time Of Year
The following are the predominant energy movements and themes that our focus is called to:
- Reflection and Gratitude: Mabon embodies the essence of gratitude, encouraging us to reflect on our personal ‘harvests’ – achievements, lessons, and blessings in our life over the past year. This attitude of thankfulness supports our emotional and psychological well-being, allowing us to acknowledge our growth and fortitude in navigating life’s challenges. The gratitude also serves as spells. Yes. What we focus on grows, and when we lend our attention to really feeling the expansiveness that gratitude provides, we are imbuing that expansion with our full hearted “YES”. That is a spell, my loves. Gratitude grows all things.
- Balance: The equinox metaphorically signifies the balance we strive to achieve in our lives – balance between work and rest, giving and receiving, action and reflection. And what I love about this most is the fact that we only get as close to mathematical balance for a few minutes. We have this tendency of thinking that balance is static, once it’s achieved it’s a rigid state we strive to maintain. It isn’t. And nature shows us this, the wheel of the year shows us this. Balance is a dance, it’s a call and response to cycles and rhythms of growth and stability and dying back, withering and release. The balance that this holiday comes to teach us is that it exists in a flow state that we need to be present dance partners for. Each moment and month and season of our lives brings its own focus, while other things fall back from our immediate attention. There is much to learn here.
- Preparation and Release: As the Autumn Equinox heralds the waning of the year and the onset of winter’s introspective phase, it symbolizes a time of release and preparation. Metaphorically, this invites us to let go of any emotional or mental ‘debris’ that may hinder our personal growth and to prepare ourselves for a period of inner reflection and transformation. Let go, let go, let go. What needs to be set aside and allowed to go? Think of it as pruning. We prune to centralize and focus the growth in a specific direction and in a more potent way. This is just as much about maturely managing our energy as it is providing rest from tending to things that no longer need our attending.
- Transition: This is a transitional period, marking the change from the vitality of summer to the quiet introspection of Winter. There is a spaciousness to the lessons of this season. How do we move from one phase in our lives to the other? How do we tend to the natural deaths in our lives? Rest. Rest, rest, rest. But the Fall season is about the preparation for that deep slumber. And the preparation is so critical. It brings with it presence, deeply intentional assessment of where we are, what we need and what we no longer need. The Fall is a call back to deep consciousness regarding the truth of where we are. It’s a portal to renewal and healing in the most profound ways.
Some Rituals To Deepen Your Season
- Gratitude Ritual: Create a gratitude altar adorned with symbols of the harvest such as apples, grains, or fall leaves. Each day, write something you are thankful for on a small piece of paper and place it on the altar. This ritual helps anchor the attitude of gratitude in your daily life.
- Balance Meditation: Spend time meditating on the theme of balance. Visualize yourself at the center of a scale, evenly balancing various aspects of your life. Is there something that weighs more than others? Is is suppose to weigh more than others at this time? No? What needs to grow more instead? Sit with the idea of balance always being in movement and not in static reality.
- Release Ceremony: Write down anything you wish to release or let go of on a piece of paper. Safely burn the paper while visualizing these things being transformed into smoke and released into the universe. This ritual symbolizes your readiness to let go of unnecessary burdens.
- In The Wild Ritual: Go outside. BE outside as much as you can. Feel the change in weather, feel the change in the fauna and flora around you. Spend time with trees, touching them, hugging them, sitting with your back against them to commune with the pulse of the season and the nature of the transition all life is going through in your geographical areas. It’s an incredible way to connect to the deeper energy movement and to recalibrate your nervous system to the wisdom of the season.
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