As the days begin to fold in on themselves and the nights begin to stretch out their dark and wondrous ways, we have reached the final arc of the Celtic calendar, the Autumn Equinox. In the ancient Celtic calendar, the Autumn Equinox was one of eight points on the annual wheel of the year, mid-way between the festival of Lunasagh and Samhain (Celtic new year).
Like with the other Celtic seasons, the marking of the Autumn equinox can be evidenced in the ancient stones and monuments of Ireland. In Cairn T at Loughcrew, for instance, the sun is welcomed into the inner chamber on the dawn of Autumn equinox, illuminating the back stone to reveal symbols and markings, bringing light to the ordinarily dark places. Which in many senses is what rituals do; they create a pause and point into which to invite contemplation and reflection, focus and intentionality to the places in our lives which we may rush over or abandon due to busyness or the pace of contemporary life.
Like the Spring equinox six months ago, the autumn equinox is a time when day and night are in equal measure. At this time of year, as we enter the darker phase of the year, marking the turning with a ritual can help us embrace the change, and the gifts and offerings of the dark days ahead.
So, as the year turns and we cross this autumnal threshold, we are invited to an inwards motion, a introspection and a re-gathering, calling us to bring ourselves into relationship with our own rhythms and needs, our own equilibrium and to take stock of our resources for the winter ahead.
To support you, I have created the final ritual in the cycle of eight, beginning last October (with Samhain), all the way through the Celtic year, until now. For those of you who completed the Spring (Vernal) equinox ritual, you’ll find parallels in the practices, with a focus on equanimity. In addition there is a new section on preparing you for the winter days ahead.
I recommend you carve an hour for yourself, light some candles, cuddle up with your journal and a hot cuppa, and savour.
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With love, may your day unfold with delight,