Once again, nature is briefly in balance. Night and day are the same
length. Although we celebrate to equinoxes when things are in balance,
today is the day for rebalancing and putting things back in order.
From today, the journey
into the darkness gathers pace. The nights get longer and colder. We
all begin to wish for the summer.
This is the second Sabbat to celebrate the harvest. However, this Sabbat
celebrates the collection of the harvest. All the hard work of the summer
has finished. We can rest and feast knowing that we will last the winter.
It must have truly been like this to our ancestors. Day to day living
was about living every moment. Planting, nurturing, hunting, gathering,
eating, drinking and community.
Our ancestors must have truly
known the meaning of hardship as well as enjoyment and beauty. Although
it may be hard in this technological world to know where our food comes
from, we must give thanks for the food that we have. After all, it came
from the body of the Earth.
To give thanks means to contemplate
and meditate and even give back some of the food that we have received.
It is the time for making jams and chutneys and generally stocking up
The Autumn Equinox is a brilliant time to begin the journey inwards.
So now is the time to really begin to try to find out more about yourself.
This part of the year is considered to be the half of the year that
is devoted to the mind. Perhaps this is why the myths of this time are
about the God/dess disappearing from us into dark places.
The God leaves us to enter
the spiritual realm. The Goddess leaves us to enter the Underworld.
It is believed that any magic made at Lughnasadh will not take effect
until now. This is because of the switch from the physical to the mental
at this time.
Maybe this Sabbat is also
about preparing us for the main Sabbat of Samhain which is of course
the night for divination and contacting the spirits.
When I was at school, it was customary to collect cans and packets of
food which were then donated to charities for distribution among the
poor and elderly. I still think that this is a good idea. However, we
used to do this later in the year but I think that as this is a festival
of harvest, it is more appropriate to do it on this day.
The most obvious Goddess to celebrate at this time would be Persephone.
She is lured into the Underworld by her mother Demeter. It is a time
of mourning and of joy. We mourn for the summer as we now that we have
lost it, it has died.
We feel joyous for the year that we have just lived. We laugh at the
silly things we did in the summer and think of all the ice-cream we
ate! We begin to feel the power and wisdom that this part of the year
brings us. It is like a Crone is teaching us and indeed, she is in her
own way. Showing us all the ways we can improve and grow strong, if
only we open our eyes in the darkness.
Now is the time to break
the bonds from things which have hurt us. We must let go of the clinging
desperation of old lovers that will never return.