21st/23rd September Harvest time!
The Autumn Equinox or Harvest Home is also called
Mabon, pronounced 'MAY-bon', after the Welsh god Mabon
ap Modron, which means literally 'son of mother'.
Mabon appears in 'The Mabinogion' tale. The Druids
call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honour
Green Man, the God of the Forest, by
offering libations to the trees. The Welsh know this
time as 'Alban Elfed', meaning 'light of autumn'.
This is the point of the year when once again day
and night are equal - 12 hours, as at Ostara, the
Equinox. The Latin word for Equinox means
'time of equal days and nights'.
After this celebration the descent into winter brings
hours of increasing darkness and chiller temperatures.
It is the time of the year when night conquers day.
the Autumn Equinox the days shorten and nights lengthen.
To astrologers this is the date on which the sun enters
the sign of Libra, the scales, reflecting appropriately
the balanced day and night of the equinox. This was
also the time when the farmers brought in their harvested
goods to be weighed and sold.
This is the second festival of the season of harvest
- at the beginning of the harvest, at Lammas, winter
retreated to his underworld, now at the Autumn equinox
he comes back to earth. For our Celtic ancestors this
was time to reflect on the past season and celebrate
nature's bounty and accept that summer is now over.
Home marks a time of rest after hard work, and
a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of nature.
is the time to look back on the past year and what
you have achieved and learnt, and to plan for the
full moon nearest to the Autumn Equinox is called
Moon and farmers would harvest their
crops by then, as part of the second harvest celebration.
Mabon was when livestock would be slaughtered and
preserved (salted and smoked) to provide enough food
for the winter.
At the South Pole they will be celebrating the first
appearance of the sun in six months. However, at the
North Pole they will be preparing for six months of
Medieval times, the Christian Church replaced Pagan
solstices and equinox celebrations with Christianized
The Autumn equinox celebration was Michaelmas, the
feast of the Archangel Michael.
Equinox 2006 at Avebury
Arthur and his Loyal
- a member of the Council of British Druid Orders
and environmental campaigners,
begin the Autumn Equinox celebrations with a blessing
for all those passing under the archway.