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Autumnal Equinox/Mabon

Our altar shares many similarities to a Christian Harvest Festival display.  It literally groans with food, grains, nuts, fruit and berries.   There is always a fresh baked loaf, along with sprays of golden Autumn leaves, and we tend to tuck in enthusiastically literally as soon as the circle is closed.   Reports from this ceremony tend to be somewhat muffled, due to the many full mouths.  The altar is also scattered with ornaments which reflect the light of the many candles carefully placed amid the bounty. 

For me, the Autumnal is a contradictory ceremony in many ways.  It is, on the one hand, a joyous and noisy triumphal celebration of bounty and growth;  but it is also a sad goodbye to warmth and light.   I am sharply aware that there may well be trials ahead…..but my skin is still warmed by a sun at its zenith.

We move now into a period of reflectiveness and mystery.   The ceremonies ahead until, again, we reach the brightness of Lights, have a certain echoing and distant quality.  They are “serious”…though the Winter Solstice does have a particular glitter that comes as a welcome nod to light in the darkest days.

Also bittersweet here is the fact that both the God and the Goddess are close by our sides.   We walk with them, one on either side, into the most demanding time of the year.   And with Their blessing we shall emerge, joyous, with the snowdrops.    [More...]

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