Monday, 19 September 2011

celebrating autumn equinox

The Equinox is drawing closer and it's time to start working out what kind of gestures would be appropriate to mark it. Some Pagans feel it's always important to do something physical to celebrate the eight points in the wheel of the year whereas others feel that the opportunity for contemplation is enough. I'm six of one and half a dozen of the other -I just go with how I feel- although my first Equinox post explained my natural attachment to this particular celebration so I'm almost always doing something.

Here are some ideas to get you in the mood:

- Food
The traditional harvest festival vibe is a good way to go (and it's great if you live with non-Pagans as a way to include them without alienating them). You can go for the 'bring a dish' evening or you can show off your cooking prowess by holding a dinner party.

- Seed planting
This is not only symbolic of the meaning of the festival itself but also practical if you're a keen gardener or you grow your own veg.

- Handicrafts
Making clothes and jewellery, working on a scrapbook, even decorating a tree can be good ways of charging yourself full of Equinox energy. I find it's a good time to start work on any home-made gifts for Yule.

- Explore
Organise a long walk in a new place. Contemplation lends itself to discovery.

- Thanksgiving
Getting together with friends, family and/or fellow Pagans and discussing what you're grateful for and what your hopes and plans are for the rest of the year is a lovely use of time and gives the festival a more practical, down-to-earth appeal for some.

- Clean out
It's never too late for that all-too-avoided Spring Clean! Dispose of what's no longer relevant, make space, organise your possessions, rearrange things or start that painting you've been talking about doing for months.

- Meditation/Visualisation
Getting your dose of inner clarity is always a positive thing but making time to do it on the Equinox can ignite it with a feeling of purpose and a sense of positivity.

- Ritual
If you're like me you've already been writing one for the occasion! But rituals don't have to be lengthy and meticulously thought out. Just a little candle lighting and thanksgiving or a house blessing will suffice if you feel like it.

It's strange to think it's nearly Samhain. Where did the year go?

(Just an aside: some Pagans have already recognised Autumn Equinox through following the lunar cycle. I am one for following set dates since I don't generally believe one part of the cycle to be any more worthy of recognition than another, but for many the full moon is considered to be the most beneficial time for ritual.)