The Autumn Equinox is represented by everything that comes to mind when we think of autumn: apples, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and colorful fallen leaves. It’s the time of year when you begin to feel the chill in the air and the desire to cozy up for the long winter. The Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon within some neopagan circles, takes place each year between September 21st and 23rd in the Northern Hemisphere when the length of night and day strike a perfectly equal balance. The word "equinox" means "of equal length." Though the historical origins of this sabbat are mostly unknown, nature shows us that this point of the cycle centers a strong focus around bringing our lives into balance.
Also known as The Witch’s Thanksgiving, the Autumn Equinox is the second harvest sabbat, the first being Lugnadsadh on the first day of August. By now, the later fruits of the crops planted in the spring should be ripe for harvest. This makes it another great sabbat for feasting! The seasonal foods and smells of this time of year are a favorite to many, and it is no surprise why. The trees are ripe with apples, pears, and pomegranates and the ground is bursting with pumpkins and other winter squashes. As the days grow cooler, warming scents arise like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
How can you celebrate the Autumn Equinox? Here are seven ideas to help you connect with this changing of the seasons!
Apples are a significant symbol of the Autumn Equinox and picking apples is an inconspicuous activity even those in the broom closet can participate in. Cut through the middle, the seeds create a shape that looks like a pentacle! To a witch, an apple is a symbol of protection. Visiting an apple orchard is something you can do with your family and friends, even if they aren’t witches. Apple picking is a fun activity anyone can enjoy!
Plus, they are delicious! Baking with apples is another great way to celebrate this sabbat. You can create sweet treats like apple pie, apple crisp, apple cake, and more! In magick and witchcraft, apples promote health, love, fertility, and life, so bake until your heart is content!
Be a Kitchen Witch
As the weather cools, being in a warm kitchen becomes an enjoyable activity once again. This is the season of the kitchen witch!
This is the time of year I usually start baking pumpkin spice things! Like apples, pumpkins are also symbols of protection. The spices used such as cinnamon, clove, and ginger can be used for prosperity, love, and good luck, so the combination is a thoughtful and tasty treat to feed family and friends!
Another easy way to bring witchcraft into your kitchen is by carving sigils into your baked goods. If you have a personal sigil that matches with the intention of your ingredients, you can carve it into the dough or the filling before putting it in the oven. When making soup, you can even draw it with your stirring spoon. This is a wonderful, subtle thing to do for witches in the broom closet.
Feast with Family and Friends
After all that baking, you’ll need some help eating your delicious creations! Every sabbat is a great time to get together with family and friends, but this second harvest sabbat represents an opportunity to share your bounty of food with those you love. This is the reason we call it the Witch’s Thanksgiving!
Have your friends bring a dish and create a feast! The Autumn Equinox is a time to appreciate what you have, whether it be for the food on your plate or for the love of those surrounding you.
Cleanse and Protect Your Home
From this point forward, the nights will gradually overtake the daylight, so traditionally this is a great time to put some protection charms on your home. As we approach the next sabbat of Samhain, the veil is at its thinnest which means it is easier for spirits to cross into our plane.
There are many options for cleansing and protecting your home, such as the smoke of sacred plants or frankincense resin, lining your entrances with black salt, or displaying an evil eye. These methods will cleanse your home of negative energy and prevent anything harmful from entering.
Decorate Your Altar
This is a fun time of year to change up your altar decorations, as there are so many beautiful pieces of nature available to collect. You can gather fallen leaves, especially oak as a correspondence to this sabbat, acorns, and decorative pumpkins. When considering what colors to use on your altar, think of the colors of changing leaves, such as red, orange, brown, and gold.
Other ideas are candles in corresponding colors and an offering plate of dried fruit, especially seasonal fruit like apples and pears. You could display corresponding herbs such as cinnamon, chamomile, sage, rue, or yarrow in a dish shaped like a leaf or an acorn. Crystals related to the Autumn Equinox are amber, aquamarine, citrine, lapis lazuli, opal, peridot, and sapphire.
Take a Walk in the Woods
Depending on where you live, this may be a great time to go on a nature walk to observe the changes that have started to take place. You may be able to find some changing colors of dying leaves and plants going to seed. Take some time to reflect during your walk about what these changes mean. The Autumn Equinox is not just about balance, it is also the beginning of the death cycle of nature. What is your relationship with this phase? Take some time to sit with the question outside in nature.
You can also use your nature walk as a time to collect some of the items to decorate your altar!
Make a Mabon Incense Blend
This is where you can let your creativity run wild! Whatever scent makes you think of autumn, add it into a loose incense blend that you can burn during rituals or just when you want to enjoy your favorite scents of autumn. I love burning a cinnamon stick when I’m in an autumnal mood. It’s one of my favorite scents in the world! It fills the air with warm and cozy smoke.
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If you want some guidance or inspiration on what to add to your homemade incense blend, I’ve included a recipe from Scott Cunningham’s The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews to give you some ideas!
- 2 parts Frankincense
- 1 part Sandalwood
- 1 part Cypress
- 1 part Juniper
- 1 part Pine Needles
- 1/2 part Oakmoss
- 1 pinch pulverized Oak Leaf
Check out Bounty, our Mabon Incense, Herbal Spell Blend in the shop.
These are just some of the many ways you can honor the Autumn Equinox! How do you plan to celebrate? Share in the comments below.
You may also like reading another article from our library, 7 Ways to Celebrate the Mabon Sabbat.
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