AUTUMNAL EQUINOX                     SPRING | SUMMER | FALL | WINTER  
 

AUTUMN

 

Date: September 21
Direction: West
Element: Water
Season: Mabon
Sabbat: Samhain

 


Related Motifs:
Harvest
Thanksgiving
Octoberfest
Halloween
All Saints Day
All Souls Day
Day of the Dead
Dia De Los Muertos
Michaelmas
Mehregan
Rosh Hashanah
Yom Kippur
Diwali
Native American Day
New Fire Ceremony
Pow Wow
Aki
Tsukimi
Shubun no Hi

 

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

Description:
Night and day

are of equal length

Zodiac:
Libra the Scales
Scorpio the Scorpion
Sagittarius the Archer

 



Symbols:
Moon, Leaves, Owl,

Pumpkin, Cornucopia,

Acorns, Shafts of Wheat,

Ears of Indian Corn,

Bonfire

Themes:
Change, Transition,

Gratitude, Appreciation

 



Deities/Personas:
Mars, Ares, Ceres, Diana, Pomona, Artemis, Athena, Minerva, Persephone,

Carpo, Thor, Balder, Orion, Zoroaster, Ahura Mazda, Mahatma Gandhi
 

Science of Seasons
Seasons Explained

Four Seasons

What Causes the Seasons
Seasons of Life
Nat Geo: The Seasons
EarthSky: Summer Solstice

 

Cultural/Ethnic Motifs:
Appalachian, New England, Native American, Bavarian, German

Beverages/Drinks:
Bloody Mary, Red Wine,

Stout Ale, Cider, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juices

 

Foods:
Turkey (or Game), Vegetables, Squash, Corn, Apples, Pears, Cheese,

Bread, Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry, Nuts

Spices/Scents:
Cinnamon, Nutmeg,

Tumeric, Cayenne

 



Flowers:
Chrysanthemum,

Flowering Cabbage,

Morning Glory

Stones:
Sapphire, Opal, Topaz

 



Music:
Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz,

Native American Chants

Venue:
Bonfire, Surrounded by

Fallen Leaves

 

 

Seasons Dates & Times
Year on Planet Earth
EarthSky: Vernal Equinox
Transformation & Change
One Year in Nature
Equinox Explained
Seasons of the Year

 

Urge for Going

 

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town. It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down. When the sun turns traitor cold and all the trees are shivering in a naked row, I get the urge for going but I never seem to go. I get the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown.

 

 

Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in. I had me a man in summertime. He had summer-colored skin. And not another girl in town my darling's heart could win. But when the leaves fell on the ground, boy winds came around, pushed them face down in the snow, he got the urge for going and I had to let him go. He got the urge for going when the meadow grass was turning brown.

 

 

Summertime was falling down and winter's closing in. Now the warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout and all that stays is dying and all that lives is camping out. See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow. They got the urge for going and they got the wings so they can go. They get the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown.

 

 

Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in. Apply the fire with kindling now. I'll pull the blankets up to my chin. I'll lock the vagrant winter out and I'll fold my wandering in. I'd like to call back summertime and have her stay for just another month or so, but she's got the urge for going so I guess she'll have to go. She gets the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown.

 

All her empire's falling down and winter's closing in. And I get the urge for going when the meadow grass is turning brown and summertime is falling down.
 

(Joni Mitchell)

 


 

Beautiful Nature: Seasons
EarthSky: Autumnal Equinox
Seasons of Change
Solstice Explained
Celebrating the Seasons
Animation: Four Seasons
EarthSky: Winter Solstice

 

Harvest Season

 

As the final Harvest Season moves closer, a time of gratitude, ritual, and spiritual introspection begins. With Virgo’s new moon, it is a good day to call forth the energy of healing, self-love, and care as we embark on a sacred time of celebration. This Fall season is the time of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. On this holiday, Jews all over the world come together with loved ones to light candles, blow the ceremonial Shofar horn, and share honey and apples to bring in a sweet new year. This is the time of the Autumnal Equinox, when the length of the day and night are equal, and we enter the darker half of the year. To celebrate this time of gratitude for this year's harvest, I encourage you to contemplate your own personal blessings. This is also the season of Samhain and Dia de Los Muertos, a time where we celebrate and honor loved ones passed.


(Kate Becker)

 

 

Mabon

 

Autumn Equinox, or Mabon, marks the completion of the harvest. Day and Night are equal. God prepares to leave His physical body toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. A time for thanksgiving and meditation. River and stream stones gathered over the summer can be empowered for various purposes.


(Wheel of the Year)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

Samhain

 

Halloween, or Samhain, is a farewell to the God. A temporary farewell. He isn't wrapped in eternal darkness but readies to be reborn of the Goddess at Yule. It is said to be the time when the veil between the worlds is very thin, when souls that are leaving this physical plane can pass out and souls that are reincarnating can pass in. A time of reflection, of looking back over the last year. Remembering our ancestors and all those who have gone before. It is said that lighting a new orange-colored candle at midnight on Samhain and allowing it to burn until sunrise will bring one good luck; however, bad luck will befall those who bake bread on this day or journey after sunset. Black candles are used to ward off negativity. Traditions include rune-casting, making Jack-o-lanterns and standing before a mirror and making a secret wish.


(Wheel of the Year)

 

 

Seasons & Sabbats

Auld Lang Syne

Seasonal Traditions

Months and Weeks

Astronomical Perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;

Lengthen night and shorten day;

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree.”
EMILY BRONTE

 

“We thank thee, Oh Father, for all things bright and good: The seedtime and the harvest, our life, our health, our food.”
(Stephen Schwartz, Godspell)

“This is the time of harvest, of thanksgiving and of leavetaking and sorrow. Life appears to decline. The season of barrenness is upon us, yet we give thanks for that which we have reaped and gathered.”
(Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon)

 



“Go into the bright blaze of autumn's equinox... I want to tell you what hills are like in October when colors gush down mountainsides and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves. I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame and joy, how their love burns with flames consuming and terrible until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering plain -- a glowing cauldron full of jeweled fire; the emerald earth a dragon's eye, the poplars drenched with yellow light, and dogwoods blazing bloody red... In October blossoms have long since fallen. A few red apples hang on leafless boughs; wind whips bushes briskly. And where a blue stream sings cautiously a barren land feeds hungrily... The earth burns brown. Grass shrivels and dries to a yellowish mass. Earth wears a dun-colored dress like an old woman wooing the sun to be her lover.”
(Margaret Walker)

“The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing, The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying, And the year on the earth her deathbed, in a shroad of leaves dead, is lying.”
(Percy Bysshe Shelley)

“Autumn burns me with primaeval fire. It makes my skin taut with expectation. And hurls me out of summer fatigue onto a new bridge of sighs. Somewhere I feel the heart of the earth pumping, and down below it bleeds in a million ripples... Great trees in transit fall and are made naked in languor of shame... But I will not mourn the sadness. I will go dead-leaf gathering for the fire in a slice of sunlight to fill my lungs with the odors of decay and my eyes with mellowed rainbow colors. I will go creeping down tasseled latticed tree avenues of light and listen to squirrel tantrums punctuate the orchestration of autumn silence and hold in my hand the coiling stuff of nature. Then I will love extravagantly under the flutter of dying leaves and in the shadow of mist in wonder; for autumn is wonder and wonder is hope.”
(Lenrie Peters)

“Again the wind flakes gold-leaf from the trees and the painting darkens -- as if a thousand penitents kissed an icon till it thinned back to bare wood, without diminishment.”
(Jane Hurshfield)

“The Harvest is in, food stored for the winter, seeds hid for Spring. Celebrate the inward journey and join Persephone as she descends and Mother Earth turns toward the Crone. As we dance the last dance, Half is day, Half is night. Harvest Moon, Orange sight. Bless the dance, Bless the rite. Half is day, Half is night. Half is dark, Half is light. Spiral out, Spiral in. Harvest, Death, rebirth again.”
(Ila Suzanne)

“The theme for Mabon and the Autumnal Equinox is Thanksgiving. This is a time where the Sun's path crosses over the equator, traveling south. We now celebrate the darkness as the whole world honors equal night and day. The summer is gone. We now must reap what we have sown from the Spring Equinox. With the fall comes cooler, crisp air and the dulling of colors. Everything is now turning with the season, there is a restlessness in the air and the harvest moon is round and almost wheat colored, glowing from the sun. The flaming color of the leaves is a reminder that life burns most intensely just before it dies. Mabon is the time where we can reflect and remember those friends and relatives who may have died in the past year, as we watch the falling leaves. We give thanks for the abundance in our lives, as the sun is about to enter Libra, the cardinal air sign of balance.”
(The Hood Witch)

 

Seasons: Meteorological & Astronomical
Wikipedia: Seasons Explained

Autumn Winter Spring Summer

Live Science: What Causes the Seasons
Seasons of Life
National Geographic: The Seasons
Earth & Sky: Summer Solstice

 

 

WELCOME AUTUMN


“Autumn Equinox, or Mabon, marks the completion of the harvest. Day and Night are equal. God prepares to leave His physical body toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. A time for thanksgiving and meditation. River and stream stones gathered over the summer can be empowered for various purposes.”
(Wheel of the Year)

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
(J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows)

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
(Stephen King, Salem's Lot )

“Autumn... The very word conjures up images of a blazing hearth and the harvest home, as we begin to look forward to cooler weather, shorter days and longer nights. As the wheel of the year turns, we come to the Autumnal Equinox feast, when the hours of daylight and night are in perfect balance. Autumn brings with it thoughts of nesting, home cooking, fields ripe with grain and corn, roadside fruit stands, baskets brimming with ruby-skinned apples, some Indian corn and a pumpkin or two. With the Autumn comes a time of in-gathering and quiet after the activities of Summer. Evening shadows call out to us to rest, observe, and meditate on the wonders that come before us every day. The earth asks us to become reflective as she herself slows down, as flowers evolve into seed and pod, as corn stalks dry in the fields. We give thanks for the harvest, and say goodbye to the strength of the sun. At this point in the year, the sun loses his power, and the dark goddess of the night begins to gain dominion over the days. Autumn is connected to the west and the setting sun. It is the twilight of the year, and is a time to honor our emotions, our hearts, our loves. This is a season of inner guidance where we are invited to open, release and surrender to our intuition, as it begins to flow into our lives.”
(Lucia Bettler)

“I'm going back down maybe one more time, Deep down home. October road. And I might like to see that little friend of mine, That I left behind, Once upon a time, Oh promised land and me still standing, It's a test of time, It's a real good sign. Let the sun run down behind the hill, I know how to stand there still, Till the moon rise up behind the pine. October road... Sweet call of the countryside, Go down slow, Open wide, I did my time and it changed my mind, And I'm satisfied.”
(James Taylor)

 

Farmer's Almanac: Seasons Dates & Times
A Year on Planet Earth: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Vernal Equinox
Seasons: Transformation & Change
One Year in Nature
Wikipedia: Equinox Explained
Celebrating the Seasons of the Year

 

 

SPIRIT OF THE WEST


“Lammas, or Lughnasadh, is the time of the first harvest. The God loses His strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer. The God is dying, and yet lives on inside the Goddess as Her child. We are reminded that nothing in the universe is constant.”
(Wheel of the Year)


“O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained With the blood of the grape, pass not but sit Beneath my shady roof, there thou may rest, And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe; And all the daughters of the year shall dance! Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.”
(William Blake)

“O Great Spirit of the West, Spirit of the Great Waters, Of rain, rivers, lakes and springs, O Grandmother Ocean, Deep matrix, womb of all life. Power to dissolve boundaries, To release holdings, Power to taste and to feel, To cleanse and to heal, Great blissful darkness of peace. We pray that we may be aligned with you, so that your powers may flow through us, And be expressed by us, for the good of the Earth, and all living beings on it.”
(Ralph Metzner)

“We have traveled from rebirth (Spring) through growth and healing (Summer) into the very center of our self-realization (Autumn). It is time to be at home, tending the fires of September. Being at home is a sacred task; being at home in our souls and in our bodies - at home with one another - content and satisfied. Autumn is the time to complete unfinished projects and to prepare for the depths of winter by opening to the inner wisdom that comes from nature, from reading, contemplation and journaling. Prepare yourself and those you love. Cook nourishing meals using whole grains, fresh vegetables and fragrant herbs. Let your intuition and dreams lead you to a rich inner harvest.”
(Lucia Bettler)

“Fall (or Autumnal) Equinox happens near or on September 21. Today, the length of night time is equal to the length of daytime. At the Equinox, I become aware that this time is not the balance, or rather the order, one usually sees in nature. Nature is not really balanced. But ordered. A cypress by the ocean grows windblown by ocean storm and wind, bowing towards the earth. That cypress is the usual balance or order of nature - stable, poised, in harmony. All of nature leans like the ocean-blown cypress towards the dark earth. But Fall Equinox is a balance of light and dark, night and day and therefore is truly an outlandish moment in time: equality, a equal balancing, an actual moment of balance. I draw on my roots in the darkness, yet revel in the kiss of summer breeze and sun. I face the darkness of the fall and winter ahead and so face mysteries. Nature has surprises for me in the wintry months ahead that will surpass my best hopes.”
(Francesca De Grandis)


“Oh sacred season of Autumn, be our teacher, for we wish to learn the virtue of contentment. As we gaze upon your full colored beauty, we sense all about you an at-homeness with your amber riches. You are the season of retirement, of full barns and harvested fields. The cycle of growth has ceased, and the busy work of giving life is now completed. We sense in you no regrets; you've lived a full life. Teach us to take stock of what we have given and received. May we know that it is enough. May we know the contentment that allows the totality of our energies to come to full flower. May we know that, like you, we are rich beyond measure. As you, oh Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty, let us also take delight in the abundance of the simple things in life which are the true source of joy. With the golden glow of peaceful contentment may we truly appreciate this Autumn day.”
(Edward Hays)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

 

FALL FESTIVAL


“The sun's not so hot in the sky today, I can see summertime slipping away, A few more geese gone, A few more leaves turning red, But the grass is a soft as a feather bed, So I'll be king and you be queen, Our kingdom's going to be this little patch of green... September grass is the sweetest kind, Goes down easy like apple wine, I hope you don't mind if I pour you some, It's made much sweeter by the winter to come. “
(James Taylor)

 

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."
(John Donne)


“Fall colors everywhere. The senses reeling round. Green turns to red and gold. Winter will soon be found. Fall colors everywhere begin their magical turn. Air begins to crisp. More I start to yearn. Fall colors everywhere. Every day is new to see. All the reds and golds abound. The breeze will set them free. Leaves now are piling high. Eyes focus over there. Run, jump, arms open wide. Fall colors everywhere.”
(Herb Dunn)

 

“The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer, Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned, And silver beech, and maple yellow-leafed, Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down By the wayside weary.”
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


“I know that beauty must ail and die, And will be born again -- but ah to see Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky! Oh, Autumn! Autumn! What is the Spring to me?”
(Edna St. Vincent Millay)

 

Beautiful Nature: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Autumnal Equinox
Seasons of Change: Transition Map
Wikipedia: Solstice Explained
Circle Sanctuary: Celebrating the Seasons
Animation: Four Seasons
Earth & Sky: Winter Solstice

 



“O Great Spirit of the West, Spirit of the Great Waters, Of rain, rivers, lakes and springs, O Grandmother Ocean, Deep matrix, womb of all life. Power to dissolve boundaries, To release holdings, Power to taste and to feel, To cleanse and to heal, Great blissful darkness of peace. We pray that we may be aligned with you, so that your powers may flow through us, And be expressed by us, for the good of the Earth, and all living beings on it.”
(Ralph Metzner)

“My Autumn eyes behold the blue of the sky with it's sunburned glaze of orange and red. The lust of the leaves as they fall helplessly to the ground. The brilliance of the sun showering us in beautiful rays of light in the crisp Autumn days. The moon showing brightly in the brisk Autumn nights.”
(Rian Rettino)

“The year is getting to feel rich, for his golden fruits are ripening fast, and he has a large balance in the barns, which are his banks. The members of his family have found out that he is well to do in the world. September is dressing herself in the show of dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.”
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)


“In the heart of thunder plays the melody. To its rhythm I awake. I get drunk with that life hidden in the core of death. To the sound of the tempest's roar my heart dances with joy. Tear me away from the lap of ease. Plunge me in the depths where majestic peace reigns in the midst of restlessness.”
(Rabindranath Tagore)

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”
(Rainbow Rowell)
 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 

 

HARVEST SEASON


“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of Autumn leaves.”
(Joe L. Wheeler)

 

“Behold the lengthening darkness. Change is everywhere, change comes to everyone, and truly, all life is change. So may I honor the seasons of life. Let me savor the fleeting beauty, and yet let go when time has come and gone. So may change bring new vitality. So may change bring added wisdom.”
(Janina Renee)

“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, Tears from the depth of some divine despair Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, In looking on the happy Autumn fields, And thinking of the days that are no more.”
(Alfred Lord Tennyson)

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”
(Emily Brontë)


“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
(Humbert Wolfe)

“Oh Great Spirit of the West, when the sun goes down each day to come up the next, we turn to you in praise of sunsets and in thanksgiving for changes. You are the great colored sunset of the red west which illuminates us. You are the powerful cycle which pulls us to transformation. We ask for the blessings of the sunset. Keep us open to life's changes. Oh Spirit of the West, when it is time for us to go, do not desert us.”
(Diann Neu)

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”
(John Burrows)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 



“At no other time than autumn does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne)


“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
(George Eliot)

“Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer's loss
Seems little, dear! on days like these.
Let misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet:
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little time's deceit.
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream.
Beyond the pearled horizons lie
Winter and night: awaiting these
We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
Beneath the drear November trees.”
(Ernest Dowson)

 

Spring: Vernal Equinox

Summer: Estival Solstice

Fall: Autumnal Equinox

Winter: Hibernal Solstice

 



“There is harmony in Autumn and a luster in its sky.”
(Percy Bysshe Shelley)

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn, stand shadowless like silence listening to silence.”
(Thomas Hood)

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
(Oscar Wilde)

“It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow - flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.”
(Bill Bryson)

“It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.”
(Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost)

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
(Jim Bishop)

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love - that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
(George Eliot)