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Second Harvest: Autumn Equinox

Posted by sirensays on September 20, 2009


Is it Samhain Yet?

Is it Samhain Yet?

When Neo-Pagans began using the term Mabon for the Autumn Equinox back in the 70s, they didn’t predict the internet and how it spread the word like wildfire. But whatever you want to call it, this year it falls again on September 22.

While the day isn’t truly balanced out between daytime and nighttime, the day is about seven minutes longer than the night at latitudes up to about 25 degrees, increasing to 10 minutes or more at a latitude of 50 degrees. For many in magical and earthwise communities, be they Pagan or not, the Autumn Equinox signals more harvest (following Lammas at the beginning of August), as well as a time of slowing down, preparing to go inward, looking towards Samhain and Dia de los Muertos or All Souls Day. Most of us have the luxury of doing this because we we don’t farm or ranch for a living. However, for Pagan gardeners, Autumn is an important and exciting time. Here in California, it can also be a confusing time because we get so much hot weather through October. It’s hard to look at Autumn fashion displays and feel a real longing to wear long sleeves, sweaters, wool, tights, corduroy or boots when it’s 80 degrees outside. As I write this, we are in a heatwave and I can’t even get excited about pumpkins, gourds, squash or cornucopias. I can, however, get excited about other Summer-into-Autumn images and archetypes, some from my yard and magical practice. Here are ones that I hope you enjoy:

Relax When It's Shady

Relax When It's Shady

Foxglove

Foxglove

Borage with Lemon Verbena & 2 Types of Mint

Borage with Lemon Verbena & 2 Types of Mint

Lantana

Lantana

Lily

Lily

Green Man with Morning Glory Vines

Green Man with Morning Glory Vines

Wilting Morning Glory Vines

Wilting Morning Glory Vines

Yellow Coreopsis is Friends with Pink Petunia

Yellow Coreopsis is Friends with Pink Petunia

Marigold Antigua Yellow

Marigold Antigua Yellow

Marigold Antigua Orange

Marigold Antigua Orange

Queen of Pentacles

Queen of Pentacles

I hope these pictures convey the richness of Summer with its heat taking us into Autumn here in California. Plants need extra care and protection from the fierceness of the sun, as they are both blooming and wilting, giving us fruit and dying on the vine.

The Queen of Pentacles represents this time of year for me. She is surrounded by the gold of Summer and Harvest, sitting quietly, contemplating the riches and bounty the season has brought her. She is queenly and contemplative, with blooming vines above her and water in the background, the Earth sturdy under her throne. This card reminds to me relax and count my blessings, especially during these trying economic times. In this area, unemployment is 12% but the flowers don’t know it, the Earth doesn’t know it, and my waiting-for-Samhain doggy in the top photo doesn’t know it. All of them just keep on keepin’ on, with some care from us. So I’m going to take a cue from the Queen of Pentacles this season and sit quietly on this sturdy, blooming-while-dying-and-being-reborn Earth, counting my blessings, letting myself slow down in the heat, and enjoy the bounty of the overheated season.

Autumn Tapestry

Autumn Tapestry

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