An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length and the celestial equator has intersected the ecliptic in the axial precession.
This year’s Autumnal Equinox, when the light and dark are equal – but moving towards dark – arrived at 11:50pm Mountain Standard Time (7:50am UTC on 9/23) on Friday, September 22nd.
But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. While many of us may have missed the actual moment when official Equinox occurred (I was sleeping!), we can celebrate Equinox for several days. For example, where I live, the light-dark balance does not occur until September 27th. So …
Let the Fall Celebrations Begin !!
While we can still enjoy the outdoors, we should stop and take time to play. Simply put, sharing nature with our animal friends is important for them and for us …
‘…I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.’
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
(Hover* over images for more seasonal quotes)
Ahhh! Don’t you feel more balanced already?
The autumnal equinox or Mabon is one of the eight pagan festivals or “sabbats” from the Wheel of the Year . It is a “quarter day” along with the Solstices and the Vernal Equinox. Also known as the Feast of the Ingathering, it is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them in order to secure the blessings of the goddess during the winter months.
To my pagan friends and non-pagan friends alike, “Have a blessed and fruitful Mabon!”. Each season has its purpose: use the darkness to quietly reflect and remember that the light will return.
In ancient times, we were forced into the darkness because our light was mainly from the sun. Now we have artificial light but we still have a need for the dark and the quiet … and it is much harder to find. Seek it out and use it to heal and refresh your spirit.
‘Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year.’ ~ Author Unknown
‘Autumn is the hush before winter.’ ~ French Proverb
(Fine Print: Remember, the entire year is actually one big pagan holiday broken into “days”. Enjoy each and every one of them because life is fleeting.)
*Hover quotes for tablet and phone users
Solar system “+L -L … oh, what the L! It looks like this!”
Row 1 left “‘The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.’ ~ E.E. Cummings”
Row 1 right “‘I love that quiet time when nobody’s up and the animals are all happy to see me.’ ~ Olivia Newton-John ”
Row 2 left “‘Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.’ ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach”
Row 2 right “‘But you can’t plead with autumn. No. The midnight wind stalked through the woods, hooted to frighten you, swept everything away for the approaching winter, whirled the leaves.’ ~ Evgeniĭ Ivanovich Zami͡a︡tin/Yevgeny Zamyatin”
Row 3 left “‘Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.’ ~ Hal Borland”
Row 3 right “‘The quieter you become, the more you can hear.’ ~ Baba Ram Das”
Row 4 left “‘Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.’ ~ Samuel Butler”
Row 4 right “‘The world is quiet here.’ ~Lemony Snicket”
Row 5 left “‘Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.’ ~ Susan Lendroth”
Row 5 right “‘[A]utumn… is mature, reasonable and serious, it glows moderately and not frivolously….’ ~ Valentin”
This post is a rerun, with revised dates, because the holidays – and their celebratory posts – are on an infinite loop – or more precisely, the Wheel of The Year.
(Crossposted from Views from the Desert Southwest)