Entering the Quiet Time as We Leaf the Light Behind

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 – arrives at 6:03pm Mountain Standard Time (12:03am UTC on 9/23) on Thursday, September 22nd.

But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. In fact, it is a good idea to pre-celebrate Equinox so that you do not miss that last fleeting moment when light and dark have equal time. 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.)

(Fall (autumn!) and leaf, quiet hover quotes courtesy of GoodReads.com and Quotegarden.com)

*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 North Central Blogistan)

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5 Comments

  1. Where I live, the actual equal light and darkness does not occur for another 5 days: on September 27th sunrise and sunset are both at 6:15. Also, where I live, there are fewer deciduous trees so the Autumn colors will be different – I am looking forward to learning a new Autumn!

    Please enjoy this song from Lisa Thiel, celebrating Mabon:

    Lyrics:

    O now is the time of the Harvest,
    As we draw near to the years end
    Now is the time of Mabon
    Autumn is the time to descend
    Old Woman waits patiently for us
    At the threshold of the labyrinth within
    She offers her hand that we may understand
    The treasures that await at journey’s end
    O Great Mother has given of Her body,
    We give thanks for Her fruit and Her grain
    We then clear the fields so that next harvest’s yields
    Will be full and abundant again.
    Old Woman leads us through the darkness
    Our most ancient and trusted of friends
    She carries the light of spiritual insight
    And leads us to our wisdom once again
    And as we journey through the darkness
    And as we continue to descend
    We learn to let go of what obscures our soul
    And re-discover our true being in the end

    The light will return.

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  2. Happy Mabon! Like Jan, I’m not really at the equinox yet – I’ll still have 10 more minutes of day than night today. So I can celebrate Mabon over the week until it actually gets here. LOL. Happy Harvest – the hard work that insures a comfortable winter, a winter where one can reflect on the past and plan for the future undistracted by worrying about where the next meal (or fire) is coming from. Blessed Be.

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  3. Thank you, Jan! I love your sabbat essays. Actually, so far from regretting the loss of light, I really like autumn—it’s apple time, gingerbread time, time to think about roasts and stews in the slow cooker.

    Here in Ashburn a fierce rain has just begun (it’s 11:15 a.m. EDT), and the wind is blowing leaves off the trees. I appreciate fierce rain because, prosaically speaking, it also washes smears of doggy business meetings from the grass.

    Today will be a good day to catch up with writing. Shared this post to Twitter and Facebark.

    P.S. Now, if only perfectly bloody Congress would change the time back to natural, we’d be much better off.

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    • That is an excellent construct! I shall call Standard Time "Natural Time"! It certainly suits my nature.

      There is a place nearby that has a corn maze and some Fall things happening, a lot of Oktoberfest events, an apple place (but it is not close). My latest Tucson things-to-do-this-weekend email encouraged me to go to a place named "Flowers and Bullets" – yikes! I think I will pass.

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