Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox!
We are entering into my favorite time of year. The time of year when the leaves look as though they’ve caught fire, when the forest smells like earth and dampness, when there’s a chill in the air. It’s the time when you finally break out those comfy sweaters and can’t go anywhere without a pumpkin spice latte. I love leaping onto crunchy leaves and wandering through the woods to look at the bounty of the earth.
That’s right, it’s finally autumn!
Or at least, it will be tomorrow. Tomorrow marks the Autumnal Equinox, one of only two days each year when day and night are completely balanced and in perfect alignment. It’s a truly magical day that kicks off a truly magical season. Don’t get me wrong, I love spring. I yearn for spring from the first day of winter, but there’s something about autumn that lights a spark inside. I think it must be the faery in me.
By any other name, it’s Mabon.
Many pagans know this holiday as Mabon. This holiday is traditionally a harvest festival. Think Thanksgiving, but with more celebrations of those who have gone before us. Fall is the transition into winter, and while it is a harvest festival, it also marks the “death” of the natural world. Many plants and animals are going into survival mode for winter; leaves are falling so that trees can preserve their water supply, and squirrels are stockpiling their acorns.
Just why is this a holiday for faeries? Now the northern hemisphere is heading into a season of darkness because the days are getting shorter. This means a time for reflection and for delving into your shadow. Faeries are excellent guides of those liminal places that are neither light nor dark. Now is the perfect time to ask your faery guides for assistance. One of the ways you can do this is by leaving an offering.
Honor faeries by leaving an offering.
What is an offering? An offering is a small trinket or edible that tells the fae just how much you mean to them. Don’t just say thank you; the fae know that humans are a very wordy folk. It’s one of the things that makes them roll their eyes at us. We often say things we don’t mean, or say things just because we think they must be said. This is why a lot of faeries consider “thanks” to be an insult.
Be sure you follow up your words with an action. You can leave an offering of honey, apples, milk, wine, or a pretty crystal. Leave it in the woods, in your backyard, or on your altar. Just make sure that if it’s a consumable good you don’t eat it after offering. The fae have consumed its essence, and to eat it after them could be a grave insult. Don’t just chuck it in the rubbish bin either; be sure to dispose of it by returning it to the earth outside.
Offer your time by cleaning up litter.
Humans really take the natural world for granted. I could probably get on a soapbox about ecological concerns and faeries, but that is another blog post for another time. Instead of worrying about the bigger picture, though, you could concentrate your efforts on a small part of your own community by cleaning up litter. This could be on the side of the road, at your local park, or even through your church or a local organization.
Personally, whenever I go out on a walk at a park, I always pick up candy wrappers, cans, or any other litter that I see. Yes, it’s gross to touch someone else’s garbage, and yes I worry a bit about germs. However, I would rather deal with germs and grossness temporarily than worry about my local ecosystems. Plus, faeries appreciate the small steps that we mortals take in helping to preserve their nature.
Honestly, you don’t have to celebrate faeries with a super intricate ritual. Sure, some of them really love that kind of thing, but most of them would appreciate a simple gesture of gratitude for all they’ve helped you grow over the past year.