On Monday, September 23, day and night will be equal length, and autumn will officially begin. It’s the fall equinox, and along with being the official start of Libra season, it’s a spiritually significant day for many.
“It’s a very potent time for magic and manifesting, because the gateway between both the spiritual and physical world will be unlocked,” astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29. “During the height of the harvest season (which is when the equinox occurs), we have a witches' ‘Thanksgiving’ of sorts by eating seasonal fruits and honoring the Earth.”
This “Thanksgiving,” called Mabon in pagan communities, is a time to give thanks for the harvest and prepare for the end of the year. Wiccans celebrate the goddess as she turns from Mother to Crone, and Druids offer libations to Mea'n Fo'mhair, the Green Man.
“Mabon signifies the start of fall, a time where the veil to the other realm begins to become more thin, and we’re meant to reap all the benefits of our hard work we’ve put in through the spring and summer months,” Blue June, host of the Mystic Witch podcast, tells Refinery29. “In olden times, that meant a feast of livestock and crops that have been harvested. These days, we are more prone to think of pumpkin spice lattes and the only thing we’re harvesting is bags of candy, but there are many modern ways in which to celebrate Mabon, while still connecting to traditions.”
June suggest throwing a bonfire party with friends, “celebrating each others’ accomplishments throughout the year and passing a cup of water around in a circle, sharing our achievements. You should try to do this as the fire is dying to signify that this is a time for slowing down, and when the last person has been congratulated we use the cup of water to put out the fire.”
Bri Luna, owner and creative director of the Hoodwitch, suggests taking some time for reflection, even if you can't have a big celebration. "On the day of the Sabbat [holiday], it's important to take just a moment out of your busy schedule to honor Mother Earth,” she says. “Spend time meditating on what you have accomplished in the past months, and write out a list of all you have to be thankful for. Keep your list posted where you can see, just in case you start feeling ‘Grinch-y’ as the coming winter months begin.”
As you unpack your sweaters from storage, take a moment to reflect on the end of the season and the good things in your life. As Luna says, "Gratitude is powerful medicine!"