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To celebrate the Fall Equinox is to celebrate transitions and thanksgiving. In this post, I’ll tell you a little more about the spiritual significance of the Fall Equinox. I’ll also give you nine simple and fun ways to take a moment to honor the Fall Equinox this year.
What exactly is the Fall Equinox?
The Fall, or Autumnal, Equinox in September is one of two days in the year where the sun is directly above the equator. This means that day and night are the same length. (The other day on which this occurs is the Spring Equinox in March.)
The Fall Equinox marks the end of summer, when the days are longer than the nights, and the beginning of fall, as each day after the Equinox gets shorter and shorter as we head toward winter.
As such, it’s a time of not only seasonal but also spiritual transition.
Why might one want to celebrate the Fall Equinox?
To many pagans and witches, the Fall Equinox is known as Mabon, one of the major festivals in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year that marks the natural cycles of death and rebirth mirrored in our own lives. So, the Fall Equinox represents the transition from lively spring and summer to the more introspective fall and winter months. It symbolizes the transition from sowing the seeds of intentions and goals to reaping the rewards of our efforts. It also reminds us to embrace the natural cycles of aging, death, and rebirth.
In witchy and non-witchy circles alike, the Autumnal Equinox is an important time of harvest. In olden days, it was often the final harvest of the year, so it is a time of giving thanks and sharing abundance (much like our modern Thanksgiving holiday).
9 simple and fun ways to celebrate the Fall Equinox this year
1. Go apple-picking
The Fall Equinox is a time of harvest. In olden days, it marked the final harvest of the year before villagers hunkered down with what they could pickle and can. So, apple-picking or any other orchard endeavor near you would be a great way to partake in a “harvest” and give thanks to Mother Earth’s bounty.
2. Enjoy some pumpkin spice.
Since the Fall Equinox is also officially the first day of fall, I think some pumpkin spice SOMETHING is in order! You can be a basic bitch like me and get your first pumpkin spice latte of the season from Starbucks. (In fact, click here for my powerful morning coffee ritual that would make this PSL experience even more magical on this day.)
Or, treat yourself to some pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, or any other spicy seasonal indulgence.
3. Wear autumn colors.
Red, gold, orange, and brown symbolize the magical time of fall. You could welcome the new season by wearing fall colors, giving yourself a manicure in a deep orange hue, or perhaps donning some citrine jewelry. Citrine is also the crystal of abundance and success, which fits wonderfully with the Fall Equinox and Mabon.
4. Take down summer decor.
The Fall Equinox marks the official end of the “light” half of the year and the beginning of the dark half (the year as measured by the four seasons from Spring to Winter, not the 12 calendar months). Each day after the Fall Equinox gets a little darker and darker until the Spring Equinox.
To usher in this magical, introspective time of the year, the Fall Equinox is the perfect time to put away any summer decor. The watermelon glasses, the seashell centerpiece, the nautical towels, the pink flamingos on the lawn.
5. Perform this three-part Mabon ritual
The Fall Equinox is known as Mabon in the Wiccan Wheel of the Year and in other witchy and pagan circles. In my research of Mabon, I came across a lovely ritual that I can’t wait to perform on or around the Fall Equinox.
For this Fall Equinox or Mabon ritual, you’ll need three small pieces of paper, a pen or pencil, a flame and flame-proof bowl, and a plot of dirt outside.
Here is what you will write on the three pieces of paper:
- all the things (people, events, situations, whatever) you are most grateful for at this moment;
- something no longer serving you that you would like to release; and
- an intention for the second half of the year.
First, fold up the first piece of paper and place it in a spot that will remain close to you the rest of the year. You can fold it up inside a locket you like to wear around your neck, keep it in a jewelry box or trinket dish on your nightstand, or tuck it into your wallet. The goal is to keep your deep sense of gratitude close to you for the rest of the year.
Next, hold the second piece of paper, the one on which you wrote something you want to release, to the flame of a candle or a match and throw it into a flame-proof bowl to burn up into ashes. This is an intentional act of release.
And finally, fold the third piece of paper up and bury it in the dirt outside as a way of planting the seeds of your intention so that they take root and grow over the coming months.
So mote it be!
6. Make a gratitude list.
The Fall Equinox is sometimes called Witches’ Thanksgiving. If you don’t want to go through the entire Mabon ritual I outlined above, a simple and powerful way to celebrate this day is to make a list of everything you are grateful for. You could do this in your journal or on a separate sheet of paper that you may decide to display somewhere you will see regularly.
Challenge yourself to go beyond just listing people and things, although that would be powerful too! You may also want to consider, though, your own intangible qualities and characteristics that have served you well. Or, perhaps, you can look back and express some gratitude for a few challenges, obstacles, or difficulties you’ve had to face this year because they taught you something important.
Feel free to make your list as long as you possibly can! Light a scented candle, brew some tea, and take your time with it.
7. Diffuse seasonal essential oils.
Over the summer months, I diffuse a lot of airy and bright scents like eucalyptus and citrus. Herald the new season by switching up your diffuser blends.
Some of my favorite autumn essential oils include warm and spicy scents like cinnamon, vanilla, frankincense, and myrrh.
8. Build a bonfire.
Bonfires are also a traditional way to celebrate Mabon, or the Fall Equinox. Depending on who you live with as well as social-distancing regulations in your area, a bonfire might be a lovely way to gather with friends and loved ones. You could reflect on the year so far and share your hopes for the future.
And you know what? A bonfire would be a great way to adapt part of the Mabon ritual listed above to make it a collective, group ritual of letting go. If you’re all comfortable enough with each other, you could share what you are ready to let go of before tossing your folded up piece of paper into the bonfire. A support network (and smores to follow, of course) sounds lovely right about now.
Just be smart and wear a mask and all that.
9. Host a potluck.
And last, because it is the least pandemic-friendly way to celebrate the Fall Equinox, you can host a potluck. A potluck is a classic way to give thanks to Mother Earth’s bounty and share our abundance with friends and family. Yes, a potluck is probably the most customary and festive way to celebrate the Fall Equinox. Unfortunately, it’s probably the least socially responsible way too. That’s why it’s listed last.
So feel free to put a pin in this last idea until 2021. At that time, I hope we can once again surround ourselves with loved ones, hugs, and hand holding. To laughing loudly until it hurts and hovering over cheese plates without a smidge of paranoia.
How do you plan to honor the Fall Equinox this year? Let me know in the comments below!