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Image: Jan ShepherdAutumnal Equinox/Mabon

No wonder you invest a lot of effort into the heartfelt thanksgivings you offer to your gods, beseeching Their blessing and nourishment through the cold months ahead.   No wonder you lay out a representation of your harvest as an acknowledgement of Their bounty.  No wonder you watch the skies anxiously, assiduously check over your food stores, determinedly push yourself on to find that last berry on the coldest day.

Our Autumnal follows this theme of celebration and thanksgiving.   But we also see it as a time of challenge, where we turn to meet the darkness, and assess what we have achieved in the year behind us – gathering our personal harvest, if you will.   We see this day as a “call to arms” of sorts.   Evil moves easily in darkness, but therein reside the miracles of the darker Goddesses too.  Not all the denizens of the dark are to be feared – though all are to be respected.

The seerwork from this ceremony is regarded as an “instruction manual” to get us through to Lights, and often contains some profound warnings and observations.  We weigh our own contribution since last we came to the Autumnal, attempting to gauge what we have contributed.   This is important for us, for it prepares us for another festival later in the year where we assess the overall function of the entire group throughout the year and, hopefully, discover that we have given more than we took.

There is a point in the ceremony where each of us is given time to silently call upon the High Powers for a personal symbol which encapsulates the contribution we can each make over the next few months.  None of us speak of this symbol until we reach the Vernal in the following year.  At that point we do our best to make sense of how each of us was able to enact what we saw or felt.   [More...]

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