Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Autumnal Equinox

     Autumn, my favorite time of the year. Cool nights for sleeping, the sun feels good on your back rather than sending you desperately seeking a patch of shade, and it recalls knee socks, and wool skirts, and crunching through piles of leaves. 

    Also known as Mabon, from the Pagan perspective, the equinox is a cross quarter day, (and therefore a direct barometer), and we have twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night. All is in balance.  

But on that special day, the battle between light and dark tips in favor of darkness. 

Slowly the night takes subtly at first one hardly notices. Then leaving work one day you're surprised to see you need to turn on your headlights when driving home. Or you need a thin jacket in the morning going out to the barn as you stumble along in the dimness. 

   The edges of dawn and dusk blur and fade away; little bits of daylight replaced by shades of gray. And so it goes until Yule, the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. 

    Then the battle shifts once more in favor of light, and so the wheel turns. 

        Mabon is the second harvest, and we give thanks for the abundance in our lives, whatever form that may take.
   We also must remember to lay in supplies--like wood, and hay, and maybe a bottle of Evan Williams. Aah Evan, the only man I know for sure who will be there when I wake up in the morning. But I digress.  

The equinox also reminds us of pomegranates, and the tale of Persephone. 

 As the story goes, Zeus and Demeter (goddess of agriculture) had a daughter named Persephone. Zeus and Demeter's brother, Hades, falls in love with her and wants her for his bride. For some reason, Zeus agrees to this, and Hades kidnaps his niece and takes her to the underworld.  
Demeter searches the world over for her daughter. destroying crops, land, and livestock as she bewails the loss of her daughter. 

    Helios, the god of the sun, and the one who sees all that happens on earth, finally tells Demeter what transpired. She is furious, especially when she learns Zeus' was jiggy with the whole abduction deal. She takes the form of a mortal and wanders the earth forbidding the trees to bear fruit or the crops to grow. After one year of plague, Zeus relents and send Hermes to get Persephone. 

     During all this time, Persephone hasn't eaten anything, (yeah right) and since Hades is pretty cute, being Queen of the Underworld has it's perks. Anyway, before she leaves, Hades convinces her to eat just one little old pomegranate seed, and that sets the curse into action. If she eats down there she must remain down there.

    Now Demeter is really in a tizzy, so Rhea, the mother of Zeus, Demeter, and Hades, steps in to settle the dispute.  

   Persephone will spend half her time in each realm. Demeter agrees, (Rhea rides a chariot pulled by lions. I wouldn't argue with her either) but Demeter is still ticked-off so during the months her daughter is in Hades, it will be winter and no crops will grow. And thus we have the reason for seasons. 

      So, do not tarry, go out and enjoy the last hurrah. The time for snuggling and hibernating (which can be fun too) is just around the corner. 

1 comment:

  1. Gini, I hadn't heard about the Fall Equinox being called Mabon. I know, where have I been? I enjoyed your post.