The Autumn Equinox, also known on the witch’s calendar as Mabon, is the celebration of the second harvest, the astronomical start of the fall season, and a time where the hours of light and dark are equal. The weather is the perfect balance between warm and cool, highlighting the theme of balance. Farmers are gathering their crops and storing them for the winter. The leaves are beginning to shift in color and fall from the tress. Warm-weather animals prepare for hibernation and migration. And meanwhile, the witches get ready to start amping up the magick.
When is the Autumn Equinox?
There are two equinoxes each year. One of takes place in March, and the other happens around September. Autumnal Equinox is typically celebrated between September 20 - September 27 in the northern hemisphere.
This year, the Fall equinox will happen on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 3:21 PM EDT, 19:21 UTC, and 12:21 PM PDT in the Northern Hemisphere.
What is the Autumn Equinox?
The word equinox, means "equal night" in Latin. On these dates, night and day are equal in length, and represent the balance between light and dark.
The themes of the season are harvest, prosperity, gathering, gratitude, service and these are often the focuses of festivals and holidays held on this astronomical event. Supplies and resources are shared then stored for the winter season. More attention is given to ancestor altars and veneration practices. Offerings are given to deities, and paranormal creatures begin to poke their heads out from behind the veil. Though things are beginning to slow down, the world is teaming with life and abundance.
The Autumn Equinox is a celebration for all people, and it is not reserved for pagan and magickal groups only. There are both secular and sacred events that take place around this time, and everyone is welcome to join in celebration.
The Autumnal Equinox Around the World and Throughout Time
Harvest festivals have taken place around the world for thousands of years. The full moon of September was known to some indigenous groups as the “Harvest Moon” and was time for gathering the harvest and communing with other tribes.
The Autumnal Equinox is still celebrated widely throughout eastern Asia. In China, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the night of the same full moon. Chuseok is a Korean three-day holiday which falls around the time of the equinox. The Japanese observe the autumn equinox nationally, and Nihonjin typically celebrate by visiting temples and tending to ancestor altars.
This season was also a popular time to celebrate wine, hunting, fertility, and vegetation. Gods of the Vine and the Hunt, like Dionysus and Artemis, were highlighted as well. Renaissance festivals and fairs are a modern version of the kinds of celebrations that typically took place around the time of the Equinox.
Funny enough, the United States’ harvest celebration takes place in November, on what is now Indigenous People’s Day --because fuck Columbus. One interesting theory is that the adoption and popularity of Thanksgiving may have been a purposeful misdirection from other harvest festivals which were considered pagan. Don’t believe me? Read The May-Pole of Merry Mount by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which focuses on a pagan Spring Equinox festival. The puritans may have came to the states searching for their own freedom, but they were very adamant about stamping out the freedoms of groups or practices they deemed “unholy.”
No matter where you are in the world, the Autumn Equinox is deeply significant, and we should give it more of our attention. Hopefully, with the shift in times, we will see a rise of larger gatherings and celebrations everywhere.
How to Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox At Home
Below are 11 Ways to Celebrate the September Autumnal Equinox. If you’ve been wondering how you can honor the Mabon, or need inspiration for creating your own ceremony, here are some traditions and practices associated with this transition of the seasons.
Creating New Rituals and Traditions
A lot of the classical Autumn Equinox festivals and celebrations have been lost with time. The spirit has been kept alive through the Renaissance fairs and other cultures around the world, but it doesn’t have the impact that it once had. However, with the resurgence of magick and spirituality in the world, it’s only right that new traditions be created.
Autumn Equinox Live Gathering
I’ll be hosting an Live Autumn Equinox gathering over on The Occulture Academy, for our very first Academy Assembly. We’ll be diving deeper into the energy of the autumn season, and how to harness it to achieve awesome things. We’ll also be doing some group meditation and Q&A.
This will take place on September 27, 2021 at 9:00AM and is open to everyone in or outside of the Academy. Follow this link to join us this month and get a sneak peak into exactly what The OA will be offering.
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Inside The OA you’ll have access to our mobile community and app, entry into upcoming masterclasses, monthly themes and prompts, the Occult Library which is full of digital books and PDFs, and so much more.
Author - Mani Matterz
This is where I gather tips and tricks, current events, astrology overviews, and other fun stuff.