Our next stop on the Pagan Wheel of the Year brings us to the Autumnal Equinox.
The Astrology of the Equinox
Every year on September 22nd the Sun enters 0 degrees Libra which marks the first day of Autumn. Like the Spring Equinox, we have equal light and darkness on this day. For the next several months, the Sun will be dipped below the horizon, traversing the Autumn and Winter zodiac signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius. This is the dark part of the year, and the Autumn Equinox signals the start of this journey into the unknown.
The birth of Mabon ap Modron (Great Son of the Great Mother) is celebrated at the Equinox. He is born from his mother Modron (Great Mother), who is seen as the Guardian of the Otherworld, the Earth and the Protector. Mabon was stolen from his mother, Modron, when he was three nights old. In different versions of the story he was three years old. In one version of the myth the Eagle, the Owl, the Blackbird, the Stag and the Salmon rescued him, while in another King Arthur was the one who saved him. During his captivity, Mabon dwelled in a magical Otherworld -Madron’s Womb. Madron’s womb was a place of challenge and nurturing, and while there Mabon grew in strength and wisdom before being reborn as the Son of Light, his mother’s Champion.- Circleofthesacredmuse.com
Mabon is the old Anglo-Celtic festival of Harvest Home, a respite from the work of harvesting and a celebration of thanks. In remembrance of that time, it is often referred to as the “Witches’ Thanksgiving” and finishes off the witches’ year. It is one of the oldest harvest celebrations in Europe.
Mabon marks the end of the second harvest and is a time when the majority of crops have been gathered. Nuts, apples, grapes and berries are featured items at this Sabbat feast. Jams, jellies and wine are made at this time.
Spiritual Lessons of Autumn Equinox
After September 22nd, the days start to get a little cooler, trees begin changing colours, and summer flowers begin to fade away. This is the time in our Pagan Pregnancy story where we experience the “drop” of our frequency inside. We have arrived at the final trimester that began back at the Winter Solstice when a solar frequency was released, seeded at Imbolc, first seen at the Spring Equinox, felt at Beltane with the first heartbeat, celebrating the soul at the Summer Solstice, and preparing for the final trimester at Lammas.
The drop in pregnancy is the time when the fetus starts moving downward. Our creations are preparing to be released. It’s ironic that the bond between a Mother and her Baby first comes through the separation of the Baby leaving the comfort of the womb. So I ask you to reflect on the relationship with your Mother and with nurturing:
Is it a good relationship? Is it stifling?
How could your Mother have given you more comfort?
How could you have nurtured your Mother more?
What do you appreciate about each other?
What have you been neglecting that needs more attention?
What are you giving attention to that perhaps you should be letting go of?
What lessons did you learn from this past Summer?
We are coming close to birthing our creation at the Winter Solstice once again. To prepare for this, I would suggest reflecting on the relationship you have with your Mother. If we look back at the myth of Mabon, he was stolen away from his Mother and placed in an underworld type place. Only while away from his Mother, were both able to use their love and nurturing for one another to escape the darkness. This myth is similar to the Demeter Persephone story as well. The separation of Mother and Child allowed them to form a stronger relationship because they appreciated each other much more by being apart. Don’t we appreciate the seasons so much more once they’ve passed?
Mabon was a solar deity and by slipping below the horizon a.k.a the underworld, he underwent a deep introspection journey, allowing him to reflect upon his glory days on Earth. This helped him to truly embrace his individual power once he returned to Earth (Mother)…hence the balancing energy of the Equinox.
Celebrating Mabon allows you to honour the process of life- that everything has a time and a season and that nurturing our endings is the most important part of the creation journey. Could you imagine if a pregnant woman began smoking and drinking at the end of her pregnancy? It would be catastrophic. So treat the Autumn Equinox as the time to comfort yourself as we approach the last big stretch of our journey.