Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox is this weekend, Saturday, September 22nd. An equinox is when the day and night are in balance, when the light and dark are equal. Saturday is the seasonal shift from Summer to Fall. From Saturday until the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the days will be getting shorter and the nights longer. We will begin withdrawing from the outside world, going inward as the outside temperatures begin to drop. The vibrant, exuberance of summer will recede with the sunlight and the slower, meditative energies of winter will begin to take hold.
Myths abound about this shift, the most familiar being Persephone's return to the Underworld. You remember your mythology class, right? Hades, Lord of the Underworld, became enamored with the lovely Persephone, daughter of Demeter, Greek Goddess of the Harvest. He steals Persephone away to his realm. Demeter goes into mourning over her daughter's disappearance and the earth suffers with her. Eventually, a negotiation takes place and Hades agrees to release Persephone. However, because Persephone consumed a number of pomegranate seeds she must return to Hades for part of the year. Demeter rejoices in the return of her daughter and the earth flourishes – spring/summer. When Persephone returns to the Underworld, Demeter mourns and the earth is abandoned – fall/winter.
It sounds like a horrific and sad story, but I always wonder about the seeds. Persephone is said to understand that anyone who eats anything in the Underworld is bound to stay in the Underworld. And yet, she consumes some pomegranate seeds. Was she tricked by Hades or his minions, or did she eat them willingly because she wanted to stay? There are variations of the myth exploring both sides. I believe she made a conscious choice to eat the seeds, to shift from daughter to mate.
As with all of the equinoxes/solstices, this is a magical opportunity. As the day and night reach parity, consider how the energies of the planet begin to shift. I can feel a slight sense of breathless anticipation, can't you? Like that moment before the roller coaster starts that first drop, or the pause before the see-saw tips. The potential vibrates in the air around us.
Take a moment on Saturday to consider how your life is in or out of balance. What do you need to do to bring more balance into your life? Right now, at this moment, you can begin to balance the scales. You can take in the energetic seeds that will germinate in the cool darkness and bring balance into your life.
Settle yourself in a safe, comfortable place. Close your eyes. Relax and listen. Breathe in the cooling energy of the season. Breathe out the stress in a warm huff. In and out, slowly and smoothly. Imagine yourself standing in a peaceful, comfortable place with the summer sun on your right and the autumn moon on your left. Feel the warm and the cool energies ebb and flow around you, mingling into a single comfortable level. Absorb that energy, accepting the presence of balance into your life. Let the calming energies fill you, balancing you. Take one more deep breath and then slowly open your eyes.
Happy Mabon! Blessed Be!
Denise Golinowski is a reader and writer of fantasy and romance. Her first enovella, The Festivalof the Flowers: The Courtesan and the Scholar is available now through the Wild Rose Press. Her second enovella, Collector's Item will also be published by The Wild Rose Press in 2013. You can also visit her blog at Golinowski's Gambol.