The Autumn Equinox season
I don’t follow the dates on a calendar, I watch and feel what Mother Nature is doing and the energies around me. In my corner of South East England autumn is beginning to show her face, so for me the season of autumn equinox has begun. Although scientifically speaking the autumn equinox happens on just one day I don’t restrict my celebrations to just 24 hours, I like to spread over several weeks. Beginning when I feel the chill of autumn in the air (this year it started at the end of the first week of September) until after the actual equinox when I begin to get Samhain vibes.
The modern name is Mabon, which I understand began to be used during the 1970s. Druids call it Alben Elfed.
This is the second harvest, where our ancestors would have been storing away food to last the cold winter months. The Autumn Equinox brings about the balance of equal day and night.
This is the time of year when we give thanks to the sun and all that is has helped provide for us and we welcome in the dark half of the year. A kind of bitter sweet time of the year really but also one of my favourite times, although we still get warm, sunny days there is the feel of autumn in the air, the mornings and evenings have that crisp, fresh feel to them.
Take some time to think about what you want to achieve in the next few months, make plans and start a new project that you can work on over the winter months.
Squashes, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grain, apples, pomegranates, vines, seeds, cornucopias and sun wheels.
In the garden
In my garden the rosemary will still be going strong as will the thyme and bay but the others such as majoram/oregano will be starting to fade now. Dahlias, asters and chrysanthemums will be flowering but most of the other bedding plants will be past their best. Time to start tidying up and cutting back.
In the hedgerow
In the hedgerows during September you may find chickweed, fat hen, marsh samphire, nettles, sorrel, chives, horseradish, wild fennel, crab apples, elderberries, juniper berries, sloes, mushrooms, hazelnuts and walnuts.
Veggies in season during September
Globe artichokes, aubergine, beetroot, borlotti beans, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, courgettes, cucumber, endive, fennel, French beans, garlic, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, chillies, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, radish, runner beans, spinach, swede, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips and watercress.
Fruit that is in season during September
Apples, blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, damsons, greengages, loganberries, pears, plums, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, strawberries, melons, peaches and nectarines.
Yarrow, rosemary, marigold, sage, frankincense, rose hips, sunflower, oak and apple.
Bread, cake, fruits, nuts, apples, pomegranates, root vegetables, grapes, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, oak leaves and grapes.
Red, orange, brown, gold, royal blue, burgundy and dark green.
Wine making. Harvesting and drying the last of the herbs, seeds and flower petals. Make offerings to trees and plants. Take walks in the woods to begin to see the coming of autumn. Make soup stocks and jams.
Spell workings and magical energies
The Autumn Equinox is a good time to work spells for protection, prosperity, security, harmony, balance and self confidence.
Rest after labour; balance of light and dark. Organise. De-clutter. Reap what you have sown. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clutter – have an autumn clean. Take stock of your life in general and any projects you have been working with. Check your daily routine and make sure you have a decent work/home/you time balance. This is a perfect time to make adjustments. Let go of things that no longer serve you. Give gratitude for what you have and then ask for re-balance or re-fuelling or increasing. Pay it forward to.
Prosperity candle spell
For details of the spell I show in the video see my blog post https://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2017/09/kitchen-witchs-autumn-equinox-mabon/
Here are some craft suggestions based on the energy of the autumn equinox.
These are really easy to make and you can create them in any colour or colours. For Mabon it is good to use autumnal colours though.
What you need:
Two sticks of equal length, you could use dowel rod, lolly sticks, twigs, cinnamon sticks or even wooden skewers.
Wool, yarn, string or ribbon in whatever colours you choose
Feathers, shells, beads etc if you want to add them in
As you make the eye work some magic into it, visualise your intent as you wrap the yarn. You could work in protection for your home, love, peace or prosperity.
First you make the two sticks into a cross, lay them one across the other equally then wrap your wool around the top arm of the cross once or twice where the two sticks meet, working widdershins as you come round on the left side of the upper arm, cross down and over to the bottom side of the right arm. Bring the wool out behind the top of the right arm and cross over to the left side of the bottom arm. Lastly bring the wool from the right side of the bottom arm across to the top side of the left arm. (Don’t forget to hold the loose end of the wool in place and wrap the wool over it to keep it from unravelling).
Sounds complicated but once you get going with it, it will all make sense.
Continue wrapping the sticks following the same order until you have the amount of colour you want, then you can switch to a different colour and continue, repeat this until you have used all the colours you wish to and it is the size you want.
Finish by making a loop with wool so that you can hang it up.
You can also decorate the ends of the sticks with beads, crystals, feathers, ribbons, anything you fancy really. You could also sew some charms onto the God’s Eye itself if you wanted to.
Hang the God’s Eye above your altar or on a wall to celebrate the Sabbat.
Apple candle holders
I always have several candles on my altar whatever the season is, apples are a good one to use at this time of the year.
What you need:
Firm apples or even small squashes.
Herbs of your choice
Rinse the fruit or vegetable and dry. Give the outside a bit of a polish to make it clean and shiny. Using a knife or a corer make a hole in the top where the stem is. Work down about halfway into the fruit so that the candle will have a firm base. Make the hole the same diameter as your candle.
Pour some lemon juice into the hole and let it sit for a few minutes, this helps to stop the fruit from going brown and squishy too quickly. Pour out the lemon juice and then dry the inside.
Insert a sprig of fresh herbs into the hole, rosemary or thyme works well. Then add take your taper candle and drip a small amount of wax into the hole to secure the candle and quickly set the candle in to it.
I love drying apple slices, it fills the whole house with the most amazing scent.
What you need:
Ground spices – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom or a mixture of your choice
Slice up your apple or apples horizontally so that the star shape shows in the centre, make them just under ¼ inch thick. Place the slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a little lemon juice, give them a gentle stir so that they are all coated. Then take them out and dry them with paper towel.
Next sprinkle the apple slices on both sides with your spice mixture.
Now the next step is your choice, you can either string the apple slices onto some twine and leave them hanging in a dry place, they will take a couple of weeks to dry or you can lay the slices on baking sheets and dry them in the oven on a really, really low heat, this takes 4-6 hours.
Once dried the slices will feel a bit rubbery but they will last for ages and ages. They can be made into wreaths, used in incense or pot pourri.
Using the dried apple slices you can make a wreath.
What you need:
Plenty of apple slices
Wire, this can be florist wire, craft wire or even an old coat hanger
Bend the wire into a circle, a square, a heart – whatever shape you want your wreath to be, then thread the dried apple slices onto it until it is full. Finally fix the ends together with pliers then add some ribbon in a loop to hang the wreath from.
Wreath of leaves
An easy and simple wreath to make.
What you need:
Artificial leaves from the craft store or real autumn leaves
Paper plate or thick cardboard
Raffia or ribbon
Cut a hole in the middle of the paper plate to make it wreath shaped (or cut a wreath shape from cardboard), make small hole in one edge and thread your ribbon or raffia through it and make a loop to hang it up with.
Glue your leaves onto the paper wreath shape, cover it completely.
You can add silk flowers, glitter or sequins too.
Pine cone bird feeder
Birds love these!
Birds like the tiny seeds that lie within the pinecones and peanut butter is an excellent source of fat and protein for wild birds.
What you need:
String or wire
Tie the string at the top of the pinecone so that you can hang it in a tree. Using a knife push the peanut butter into all the little openings on the pinecone. Then roll the pinecone in the birdseed, press the seeds in as much as you can.
Then hang the feeder in your garden.
Easy to make and so pretty.
What you need:
Fabric scraps or wrapping paper in autumn colours or real leaves
Cord, string or ribbon
If you are using fabric or paper you will need to cut out leaf shapes and then glue them onto card to make the stiff enough.
Take your leaf shapes or your real leaves and carefully make a small hole in each (a hole punch is useful) then string them onto your cord or ribbon until you have the length of garland you require.
To watch the replay of my live chat/Q&A on the Autumn Equinox click the link below:
The crafts were taken from Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch by Rachel Patterson