The darkening phase of the year – as it changes and deepens, both within and around us – holds an abundance of gifts and blessings. In our Autumn 2021 issue, our much-loved regular columnist Amanda Sophia shared some tips on how we can embrace this time.
Welcome the incoming energies
by Amanda Sophia
Autumn Equinox, Mabon (20-23 September)
Beloved, welcome to the Autumn Equinox.
Equinox is derived from the Latin words ‘equi’, meaning equal, and ‘nox’, meaning night. The Autumn Equinox takes place twice a year and happens when the sun rises due east and sets due west. Day and night are equal in length. At the precise moment of the equinox, the sun crosses the earth’s equatorial plane.
Summer has ripened and gone to seed. The earth dies a little each day, and we must embrace this slow descent into the dark before we can truly appreciate the light that will return. This is an invitation to let go, reflect, pause, and hibernate. Autumn Equinox is a divine dance of balancing the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, and the inner and outer. Soon, nature will guide us into a time ahead for dreaming.
This festival is a time for reflecting on what one has gained and lost over the years.
Our ancestors lived in the midst of nature – much more than most of us do today. They observed the universe, marvelling at its rhythms.
Autumn Equinox is an invitation to sovereignty and insight.
You are invited to look to nature for guidance. Leaves are turning beautiful colours of red, purple, brown and yellow. The leaves are dying, as the trees’ infinite wisdom knows the old parts have to die in order to be reborn in the spring. So, she surrenders her leaves.
Autumn is a time of reflection on what one has gained and lost over the years. Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition. The year now begins to wane. From this moment, darkness begins to gain prominence over daylight.
Goddesses of the Autumn Equinox
This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone aspect of the triple goddess. The goddess is bearing this time. She is prepared to reap what has been sown. Mabon rituals focus on the loss of the goddess who goes into the underworld in autumn, but will return in spring.
Banbha (pronounced BAHN-va), meaning ‘unplowed land’, is the Irish Goddess of leadership and protection, and the Goddess of the spirit of Ireland. Banbha was a magician who used her powers to protect her people and her land. With guidance from Banbha, you can learn to lead people as they work together to protect their way of life.
Beloved, call upon Bandha for the next 6 weeks to awaken protection and step into being the queen and king of your own life.
During this transitional time here are some powerful questions for self-inquiry:
- From all that I have planted over this past year, which ‘seeds’ have thrived and which have not thrived?
- What beloveds in my life have contributed to my ‘harvest’ and how can I honour and give gratitude to them?
- What will I do differently next season?
- Do I have a sense of being grounded and rooted in the Earth?
- Where in my life can I see the need for more of a balance, or the need to slow down?
- What ways of being and relationships are feeding me? Which ones need to be let go?
For those that live in Ireland, we are blessed to have sacred sites that align with the Autumn Equinox. I highly recommend taking some time to visit Loughcrew, also known as Sliabh na Caillaigh, which means ‘Mountain of the Hag’, in County Meath. Sit and tune in to the powerful energies and guidance at this incredible site.
Autumn Equinox Ritual
Create a Mabon Altar with the intention of inviting a balance between light and dark. Sit with your altar over the next six weeks for the guidance to your questions. Find a space in your home (inside or outside) where you could fit a small to medium table, that is unobtrusive to walking paths or other furniture.
Suggested Items for Your Altar
- Mid-autumn vegetables, like squashes and gourds
- Statuary of deities symbolising the changing seasons
- Items that represent the elements
- Earth – crystals, stones, sand or dirt from a site sacred to you
- Wood – flowers and greens
- Fire – light a candle
- Water – purified water, holy water or a seashell
- Metal – an item made of metal, a statue, singing bowl, bells or a knife
- Air – incense, sage, sweetgrass or a feather
Amanda Sophia is a Feng Shui Master and Celtic Priestess who is passionate about helping people to improve their relationships, careers, finance and health. She is currently offering a year-long programme called ‘Priestess Awakening’: a journey inviting women into their full wholeness, power and joy. This programme will include empowering training on the Celtic Wheel of the Year.
To learn more, go to priestessawakening.com