The Autumn Equinox, March 21st, means that we are now heading into the slumbering time of the year. This natural event has been celebrated by many cultures all around the world for centuries and is known by many different names; Autumn Equinox, Alban Elfed, Mabon, Poutūterangi, Ngahuru, Seed Time and Harvest, and more. It is the time of year when the Sun travels north along the Celestial equator, bringing day and night into complete equilibrium, signifying the true beginning of Autumn.
For our ancestors, this was a time for harvesting the years crop in preparation for the cold months ahead. But for us it's a time of transition from outer to inner, from light to dark.
A time for contemplation.
What are we feeling grateful for?
What lessons have we learnt so far?
What are we looking forward to?
Below are some ways that you can celebrate the end of Summer, and welcome in the energy that the Autumn Equinox brings.
Watch the sunset, and sunrise the next morning
A beautiful way to say goodbye to Summer and welcome in Autumn is to watch the sun set on the evening of the Equinox, and rise again the following morning. Find a peaceful space and sit in silence as you watch the setting and rising of the sun. Be present in the moment and allow all your senses to tune in.
What colours are painted in the sky?
Can you see the stars?
Are the bugs and birds singing?
Can you smell the smoke of a nearby fire?
Do you feel the chill of the coming winter on the breeze, or is the last bit of warmth from Summer still lingering?
Reflect on all that you take in and share some words of gratitude (out loud or in your mind) for the past season, and for the coming one. This is a beautiful ritual that can be shared with your loved ones.
Take some time to turn inwards, get comfortable and grab your journal.
Light a candle to signify the light within the dark.
Write down all that you are grateful for, the blessings that have come your way, and the lessons you've learnt. Take a look at where you are currently. How is your life progressing so far this year? Take note of your personal harvests, what you have nurtured internally.
Moving forward from this point, set your intentions for the rest of the year and as you blow out the candle release all that is not serving you.
Share a meal with your loved ones
As the Autumn Equinox is the time to harvest, sharing a feast with your nearest and dearest is a perfect way to celebrate the transition of seasons.
Prepare a beautiful, nourishing meal with seasonal vegetables, sit down with your family and friends, and really enjoy the meal and spending time with your loved ones. Perhaps take a moment to reflect on your loved ones that are no longer here, and share your gratitude for those that are.
In ancient Celtic times, the Autumn Equinox was celebrated with a festival called Mabon. Mabon primarily focussed on the balance between light and dark, and a common ritual during this festive time was to light a bonfire in representation of Autumn, and it's beautifully, flame-coloured foliage.
A Bonfire would perfectly align with Sharing a meal with your loved ones, and be a great end to a beautiful night.
As mentioned in our Cleansing your Crystals blog, Smudging or Smoke Clearing is a method to cleanse and purify your space, your crystals, your energy, everything, in preparation for something new.
As we enter this transitional period, burn your favourite incense stick/cone, sage bundle, herbs or palo santo to purify yourself and your space, and allow the energy of Autumn to enter. During this time, you can also use this method to revitalise your energy when needed.
Gratitude is always a beautiful practice. It helps to keep us in a state of appreciation for everything around us and everyone in our lives. This practice also allows us to welcome in more of what we are grateful for. Outwardly express your gratitude to your loved ones and everything your grateful for, but especially yourself!
These rituals are all so beautifully in alignment with the Autumn Equinox, but can be utilised all throughout the year whenever you feel the need, or are in a period of transition. Just like the seasons, life is cyclical, so embrace and celebrate change in whatever way feels right to you!
“When we accept the temporary nature of everything in our lives, we can feel gratitude for the good fortune of getting to borrow them for a time.”
― Jay Shetty, Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day