5 Things Lazy Witches Can Do For The Autumn Equinox/Mabon
I’m English – we don’t even celebrate Thankgiving – but this is a pretty accurate description. Wiccans and other neo-pagans tend to call this time of year “Mabon”, which sounds very arcane and mystical, doesn’t it? Spoiler: it ain’t. Some bloke in the 1970s thought it would be a good idea to name astronomical events after Celtic festivals. The Celts wrote nothing down, and the people that did document their shenanigans, such as the Romans, viewed them through the biased lenses of their own “civilised” culture. I am of the opinion that projecting romanticised ideas about our pagan past is, as best, somewhat questionable. At worst, it makes us look deluded and thus not worthy to be taken seriously. To me, it is the Autumn Equinox – the final day of the year that farmers traditionally marked the time for the final harvest of the fields and fruit. It marks the end of the summer harvest, whereas All Hallows ushers in the beginning of winter.
This year, in 2021, the Autumn Equinox will fall on Wednesday, 22 September. If you are in a coven, no doubt you will be running your arse ragged, making preparations. If you are a solitary witch in a modern, busy world, with little time to switch off from rat race and unwind, then this blog is for you.
To use a mental health term, if you do not have the “spoons” or cognitive bandwidth to cast a Circle and do a full blown ritual, then there are other things you can do instead:
- Plant daffodils – OK, not a super-lazy hack, but a very appropriate one. They will germinate in time for the Spring Equinox, symbolising the rotation of the seasons. Bury a petition detailing a wish for it to also bloom in the Spring.
- Meditate – simply focus on what you have allegorically harvested this year. What are you grateful for?
- Journal – or write entries in your grimoire and/or Book of Shadows. It could be scrapbook-style compilation of hopes, dreams and ideas, or plan your week, or write down everything you are grateful for. Scribble down celebration ideas, rituals, writing prompts, correspondences… the only limit is your imagination.
- Shop locally – visit a local farmers’ market for fresh, local produce. Perhaps visit a bakery for a tasty apple turnover. Pick your own apples. Drink local cider. All environmentally friendly and good fun too.
- Cleanse and clear your altar/workspace – open the windows and let the fresh Autumn air refresh you and your dwelling. It clears stale energies and will perk you up. Harvest the ash from incense sticks and cones to make black salt; clear up the solidified lumps of molten wax; wipe down your altar with a mixture of white vinegar and tea-tree oil; get rid of your clutter by donating it to a charity shop. A clean, organised home feels fantastic, and it will stand you in good stead as you rest for the Winter.
In summation – do not feel bad for not having the energy or strength to do a big, proper ritual. The Covid pandemic has been hard on everyone; life has not yet returned to normality.
Be kind to yourself.
2 thoughts on “The Autumn Equinox – the Witch’s Thanksgiving”
It doesn’t really matter where you live, anyone can celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s literally just a day that you feel thankful for what you have. You could celebrate earlier in November with Canada’s Thanksgiving or later in the month with the US Thanksgiving. Or you could just select a day in November that you get together with your friends and family and enjoy good food and feeling thankful. I’m no expert, but I think that being thankful for the bounty that the world has given us this year seems like something Wiccans might do. Of course, I don’t want to make you feel any pressure about this, but I just wanted you to know that you are more then welcome to join in, if you wanted. Happy Thanksgiving!
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I’m not Wiccan.
This “taking stock” you speak off traditionally happens at the Autumn Equinox. This idea of being thankful is not exclusively an American idea.
Also, if you look at your history, it is a story of how Christian Puritans had tea and biscuits with the native, pagan population, reassured them all that would be well, and then set about systematically wiping them out. And then history whitewashed what is basically pagan genocide centuries later. The whole concept is steeped in colonialism, racism, and genocide. It makes me feel uncomfortable, to put it mildly.