September 20 – 23
Autumn Equinox/ Alban Elfed/Mabon
NamedAlban Elfed by the Druids and Mabon by the Welsh, the Autumn Equinox marks the completion of the harvest. Once again, day and night stand in balance with equal hours of light and darkness. As do most celebrations held around this time of the year, the Autumn Equinox focuses on the harvest, the waning sun, and the onset of Winter. In the rural countryside, those who work the land come together to cut the last stalk of corn and sheaf of wheat. Following the gathering in of the last sheaf is Harvest Home, a huge supper or feast of roast beef, chicken, a stew of harvest vegetables, home-baked bread and cheese, and plenty of ale and cider. In Scotland, and parts of England, the man who cuts down the last sheaf is honored as lord and master of the harvest. The young woman who plaited the sheaf would be seated next to him and regarded as his consort.
In Wicca, the Autumn Equinox marks the waning of the year when the Goddess descends into the Underworld. As she withdraws, we see the decline of Nature and the onset of Winter. Now is the time we count up our blessings, give thanks for our bounty, and look within. As the God’s shadowy presence begins to emerge, we remember what it took to achieve our goals and what is needed to maintain them.