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Image: Jan ShepherdAutumnal Equinox/Mabon

The colours and symbols we use at Autumnal are in some ways similar to Lammas. Corn is important, so corn yellow is one colour. But to differentiate it from the earlier festival we also use dark russet browns, reds and greens – the really classic Autumnal colours. And, together with corn arrangements, more berries and leaves come into our flowers at this time of year. Another important symbol is the cornucopia. There are many ways this can be represented, from an actual horn of plenty , to a picture or even an edible one. I've seen a recipe using bread dough in strips to make a cornucopia that you fill with fruit as an edible table centre-piece.

One of our favourite dishes to cook on this day is named Free Crumble. We are lucky enough to get apples from friends with trees. (Most people with apple trees have more fruit than they know what to do with at this time of year.) We cook this into a crumble with blackberries and elderberries, both of which are widely available by foraging in the UK.(Elderberries can give you a tummy upset if you eat a lot without cooking them, but in a crumble they’re fine). Another idea, to provide an echo back to the Vernal, is to cook lamb on this day. Spring born animals will be properly grown and matured and won't have to be flown in from New Zealand.

So, this is a festival of balance combined with movement. It marks the time when nights are longer than the days, and ushers in autumn. A time to gather in your resources and give thanks for the bounty of the Goddess.    

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