The autumnal equinox is the halfway point between the longest and shortest days of the year, and usually falls on Sept. 22 or 23. The equinox itself is a brief moment in time when the sun appears directly over the Earth’s equator and is one of only two points in the year when day and night are approximately 12 hours long everywhere on Earth.
For us In the Northern Hemisphere, daylight will dwindle until the winter solstice due to our sun taking a lower path in the sky. However it’s not all doom and gloom as we move into the darker part of the year as the diminishing sunlight makes our trees transition into their Autumn coat of shades of reds, oranges, ochres and yellows before finally dropping their leaves for their bare state for winter.
The months of Autumn give us atmospheric early morning mists, magickal fungi, Michaelmas daisies, architectural seed heads, hips and haws to make syrups, wines, gins, teas and tinctures as well as the season of chutney and jam making. Fruits, nuts and hops are all ripe for picking and the pantry of seasoned foragers, home cooks and healers can become very full as they make use of ‘wild food’.
The Autumn equinox, in the wheel of the year is often called Mabon (a god of Welsh mythology) or Second Harvest. It is a time to give thanks to the last of summer and welcome bountiful Autumn.
We are lucky not to ever have to face famine due to poor harvests. Our food is plentiful thanks to supermarkets and world trade. This also means we get little indication of seasonality in our food as we can purchase most foods throughout the year. Perhaps this Autumn we could try to become a little more attuned to the season by eating seasonal and local produce. Traditionally it is a season of preparation as our ancestors preserved foods, collected fuel, put fields to a state of rest and made the most of the daylight hours before the dark days of winter.
Equinox is a time of balance and we too can react to this in our lives, addressing things that may have taken over in our lives more than we would wish and by bringing back a sustainable way of living. We can also pledge to bring balance and sustainability in our environment and give more time to noticing nature at this very wonderful time of the year.
Seasonal folklore - ‘Sleeping with rosehips under your pillow is thought to protect against bad dreams’.
Wishing you all a wonderful Autumn x