The Autumn Equinox, known also as Mabon, Alban Elfed, Ingathering, and Harvest Home, for a variety of Pagans, it’s a beautiful celebration of the end of the most abundant point of the harvest season. Continuing a project started at Lughnasadh, here’s list of nine things that you might-do (or not) for the Autumn Equinox and the season of Mabon.
Go apple-picking. The Second Harvest is also known as the Apple Harvest and some of my favorite years spent celebrating the season have been when I’m apple to go picking apples. And cutting an apple lengthwise to reveal the pentagram within is a very fun sort of magick. If apple picking isn’t available in your area, celebrate with other seasonal fruits.
Have a festive meal with friends and family. Getting together for celebratory harvest feast with your friends and family is a wonderful way to celebrate the start of Fall. The Second Harvest of the season is sometimes called Harvest Home and for many Pagans, myself included, it’s the choice time of year to hold a big friends and family feast. It’s also a time to be aware of and address the fact that we live in a world where there is enough food to eat but not everyone gets access to the table. Events like Pagan Pride in September gather food and supplies in order to support community members in need and you can spend time (perhaps after your Autumn cleaning), donating goods to local shelters. Even better, get involved with local efforts to create long-term sustainable support for folks struggling with homelessness and the many issues that intersect with it.
Perform a tree blessing. Honor the trees that surround you with a blessing. Whether through song, incense, water or other earth-friendly biodegradable offerings, honor the trees which shade us, provide food and shelter, oxygenate our air, and contain the wisdom of the ages. Get involved with local and global tree conservation efforts as a way to live your gratitude.
Cast a spell for community resiliency. Work local magick for your local community. Whether performed in your backyard, bedroom altar or local sacred site, in a rising tide of global misinformation and conflict, working spells of peace for our neighborhoods is powerful stuff.
Rebalance your days and nights. As the Equinox is an equal point between day and night, so we can look at our lives and assess where we need more balance. Whether that’s clearing extra activities from our schedule, going to bed or rising earlier, choosing to step into our lives and out of our screens more,
Autumn cleaning. While spring cleaning is a more well-known practice, it’s just as important to clean up and clear out before the cold settles in. It can be a time of pulling out warmer clothes (including donated extra clothing to charities and shelters), making sure the house is winter weather ready, and energetically shifting the space to support you in the dark of the year.
Attend Pagan Pride! September is the month of Pagan Pride celebrations. It’s a great way to connect with community, attend public rituals outside of your tradition, donate goods to local charities, and generally have a good time.
Cut cords. It’s an auspicious time of year from now til Samhain to cut the cords that bind you and entangle you to people, places, and ideas that no longer serve you. While I use the terminology “cutting cords” it’s a similar energetic practice to uncrossing work, a taking off or receiving a limpia and other culturally specific cleansing practices. All of this energetically aligns with the ebbing energy between now and the Third Harvest - where we cut away what is no longer necessary in our life and choose only to carry with us we love and need as we go to meet our ancestors between the worlds.
Study + practice ancestral traditions. Speaking of ancestors, it’s a beautiful time of year to spend in study and practice of ancestral traditions. An ancestral English custom for late September was singing and shouting at the end of harvest, decorating the home with boughs of grain, and transforming the last standing sheaf in the field as the cailleac, a corn dolly that would be kept in a place of honor until the spring season of planting. Learning of our ancestral heritage (and I speak of this in the broad sense of biology, culture, and spiritual ancestors), is one way that we open up lines of communication with our ancestors. We reverberate the web with our curiosity and the web sings back.
Our next might-do list is going to be all about the season of Samhain. Looking for even more magick for Mabon? Check out my Autumn Equinox tarot spread as well as healing and magickal practices for the fall. Friends, may the season of Mabon bring you closer to the ones you love and the abundance of a joyful harvest.