We’re approaching the autumn equinox, and I’ve been reflecting on what this time of year means — or will mean — to me. In his “Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism” Isaac Bonewits (who founded ADF) admits that the equinoxes aren’t historically druidic as such, but that ‘a party every six weeks is the way to go.’
But that leaves me defining my own meaning for the party.
So, what is the Autum Equinox, or Mabon, about for me?
The obvious answer is the ending of the ‘light’ half of the year and the beginning of the ‘dark’ half. (When there are more hours of darkness than of light in the days.) And, with that, there is a lot of emotional baggage for me. After all, I tell myself that I suffer from weather-dependant depression. (I’m solar powered, as it turns out.) And, we’re moving towards the part of the year that is hard for me to deal with.
Can I celebrate that?
I believe I can, but there is more to it than that. This is a harvest holiday, and certainly in the middle of the harvest season. And I think that it’s clearly a holiday about preparing for the darker part of the year. And that can be celebrated.
This is a time of the year when I can:
- Begin brainstorming indoor activities I can do with the kids, so that I’m ready when they’re inside
- Start making a training plan that will keep me moving (and happier) during the ‘dark months.’
- Find things (press leaves?) that will remind me of the summer and sun, so that I have something I can look forward to.
- Go through my bookshelves and make a list of favorite books to re-read, so that I’m ready when the dark days come.
I imagine there isn’t a limit to the list, but the idea is that this is a time of making preparations and of enjoying the last hours of sun still available to us. And that is something that can be celebrated.
How I will be able to reflect all these things in an ADF ritual is still up in the air (I still have some time). The important thing is that I have an understanding of what this high day means to me, and what I want to celebrate in the ritual.