Celebrating the Wheel of the Year
Sep 05, 2016 08:27AM
By Doreen Lavista
As evening temperatures are cooling down and good sleeping weather is upon us, we may have noticed that the daylight hours are shorter and the evening sky has a certain brilliance to it. We are reaching that time of year of the autumnal equinox, September 22, or as some say, Mabon.
Mabon is a holiday based on the Earth’s natural cycles. This is part of Gaia’s journey around the sun, and the equinox gives us equal daylight and equal darkness. We will lose one minute of daylight per day until the winter solstice. Mabon is a celebration of abundance, harvest, labor and appreciation of all the benefits for which we’ve worked through the year.
Although we experience equal day and night, the day light is notably shorter now, as Mabon falls between the summer (Litha) and winter (Yule) solstices. The autumnal equinox is here and we are about to reap what we have sown during the spring and summer.
The harvest season has been under way since August 1, Lughnassadh, which is the midpoint (or cross quarter) between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. Around Crystal River, Mother Earth has bestowed tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers and cabbage.
Some honor the Greek deity Demeter, not only for the harvest, but for what was accomplished in personal/professional lives, as well. Mabon is a time for gratitude, not yet the final culling of vegetation; but a time of balance and reflection of what has occurred earlier during the year.
Demeter is the mother of Persephone. According to fable, each spring, Persephone emerges from her realm of the underworld and Demeter celebrates by restoring vegetation to the world. But, in autumn, Persephone returns to the underworld, as she is bound to her husband, Hades. Demeter then ends the growing season. Later, to the Romans, Demeter became Ceres, goddess of grain and agriculture.
We feel the shift of the seasons, regardless of how subtle they may seem. We observe, consciously or unconsciously, the turning leaves, the smell in the air and acorns on the ground. We prepare for the onset of winter and the temporary removal of light from the northern hemisphere after Samhain, October 31.
Mabon brings us the celebration of breads, wines, cheeses and the drive to make merry. The harvest moon falls on September 16 and 17, just days before the equinox, providing enough romantic light for snuggling with a sweetie.
We honor the light and the dark, for we cannot appreciate one without the other. We honor the changes of the seasons and flow in harmony with them. Nature’s cycles are part of our being, rooted deep within our DNA, and we respond accordingly. Celebrate the harvest this season. Give thanks for accomplishments, opportunities, connections and networking. Hug loved ones, wave to neighbors and remember we reap what we sow.
Doreen Lavista is a ULC minister and reiki master/teacher in private practice in Crystal River. For information visit Reiki and Tarot with Doreen on Facebook.