Tag Archive: autumn equinox


Full Harvest Moon – September

This Full Moon is all about emotions, healing, and balancing. “This powerful Gateway is an opportunity to greatly accelerate your spiritual growth and to promote Balance in your life. Divine Masculine supports the Divine Feminine. As they come together in Sacred Marriage, you realize that one without the other is not balanced. So, do not act unless it is aligned with your Integrity; your Heart. Be inspired and then take a step toward your dream.” – Ascension: Soulstice Rising .

Additional links: “Celestial Twinkle: Full Moon in Pisces – September 19th, 2013” by Dipali Desai; “The Illumining Harvest Moon: Full Moon in Pisces” by Aepril Schaile; “Bringing Your Magic to Earth – Pisces Full Moon” on Virgo Magic; “Pisces Full Moon: Th. Sep. 19, 2013, 7:13 a.m. EDT, Sun 26.41 Virgo, Moon 26.41 Pisces” by Robert McDowell; “Pisces Full Moon: Dancing with the Leaves” by By April Elliott Kent; “3 Minute Moon Ritual“.

Journeying to the Goddess

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that this full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the…

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Full Harvest Moon – September

The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that this full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

September Moon is also known as Harvest Moon, Barley Moon. The harvesters would gain extra time in the fields by the light of the harvest moon. This is a time of organizing and preparing for the coming months. The zodiac association is Virgo. [1]

“Harvest Moon Painting” by Samuel Palmer

SEPTEMBER: Harvest Moon (September) Also known as: Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth
Nature Spirits: trooping faeries
Herbs: copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap
Colors: brown, yellow-green, yellow
Flowers: narcissus, lily
Scents: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamont
Stones: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine
Trees: hazel, larch, bay
Animals: snake, jackal
Birds: ibis, sparrow
Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Thoth
Power Flow: rest after labor; balance of Light and Dark. Organize. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Celtic Lady. The Olde Way, “Individual Moons Explained“.

Farmers’ Almanac, “Full Moon Names and Their Meanings“.

Willow Grove, “The Witch’s Esbats“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

The Fine-Arts and Bluesband & Poetry Press, “The Names of the Moons“.

National Geographic, “Full Moons: What’s In A Name?

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Full Corn Moon” .

What-Your-Sign.com, “Symbolic Native American Full Moon Names“.

* Check out Mooncircles.com every month, or better yet, subscribe to their monthly newsletter to get the scoop on each month’s Full and New Moons, find out more about Moon Astrology  and read blogs.  They even have a different 3-Minute Moon Ritual for each Full Moon! 

I really wanted to share this here with you as we think about and meditate on the Autumn season, finding balance and get ready for the coming winter.  This comes from today’s DailyOm, entitled “Seasons of Beauty”.

As we cultivate our life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are creating and doing as it is about our appearance.


We tend to associate youth with beauty, but the truth is that beauty transcends every age. Just as a deciduous tree is stunning in all its stages—from its full leafy green in the summer to its naked skeleton during winter and everything in between—human beings are beautiful throughout their life spans.

The early years of our lives tend to be about learning and experiencing as much as we possibly can. We move through the world like sponges, absorbing the ideas of other people and the world. Like a tree in spring, we are waking up to the world. In this youthful phase of life, our physical strength, youth, and beauty help open doors and attract attention. Gradually, we begin to use the information we have gathered to form ideas and opinions of our own. As we cultivate our philosophy about life, our beauty becomes as much about what we are saying, doing, and creating as it is about our appearance. Like a tree in summer, we become full, expressive, beautiful, and productive.


When the time comes for us to let go of the creations of our middle lives, we are like a tree in autumn dropping leaves, as we release our past attachments and preparing for a new phase of growth. The children move on, and careers shift or end. The lines on our faces, the stretch marks, and the grey hairs are beautiful testaments to the fullness of our experience. In the winter of our lives, we become stripped down to our essence like a tree. We may become more radiant than ever at this stage, because our inner light shines brighter through our eyes as time passes. Beauty at this age comes from the very core of our being—our essence. This essence is a reminder that there is nothing to fear in growing older and that there is a kind of beauty that comes only after one has spent many years on earth.

 

I also came across this beautiful and inspirational video today from the Tuatha de Brighid Flamekeepers group I belong to.  Learning to Dance in the Rain Movie.  Enjoy!

 

Source:

~ Dailyom.com, “Seasons of Beauty“.

Autumnus

“Autumn Nymph” by ~limch

“Autumnus’s themes are the harvest, abundance, thankfulness, balance, wisdom, foresight and Autumn. Her symbols are fall leaves and harvested items. This is the Roman personification of the autumn season. While the actual gender of this being is often left to the imagination, the strong connection with the harvest, wines, and fruits intimates a powerful earth Goddess, blossoming with Her seasonal array.

In magic traditions, today is a time to appreciate the earth’s abundance somewhat cautiously. After this festival, the daylight hours will begin to wane, meaning wise prudence is called for. So while we reap Autumnus’s bounty from the sowing season, we also begin prudently planning.

Decorate your dining table or sacred space with colorful autumn leaves today. Enjoy as many harvested fruits and vegetables (perhaps from a farmer’s market) as possible to internalize Autumnus’s prosperous, wise energy. Leave out a libation of wine or grape juice for the Goddess to please Her and to encourage continuing providence when Her stores begin to wane.

For children, today is a perfect time to have a leaf-raking party in which they figuratively gather what they need from the Goddess, then play happily in Her energy afterward by jumping in the piles.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

For today’s entry, the only thing I could find on “Autumnus” comes from Wikipedia in which it states, “The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalised to the original Latin word autumnus.” [1]  I also found that Autumnus was defined as “personification; portrayed as mature and manly.” [2]  Hhmm, not very Goddess oriented, huh?

So, what I would like for you to do today is reflect on Autumn.  What does it mean to you?  What does it make you think of?  How does it make you feel?  What do you associate with Autumn?  I must admit that this is my FAVORITE time of year.  I love to watch and take in the splendor of the season’s transformation as the trees begin to change from green to bright reds, oranges and yellows.  I love the smell of the leaves on the ground, the smell of wood smoke rising from a bonfire, the crisp nights that make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket in front of a crackling fire with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled cider.  I love the frosty mornings and the crunch of the leaves and twigs under my feet.  I love the sound of the crickets and the geese as they make their way south.  I love the harvest; the corn, the grains, the apples and fruits of the season and the smells of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Or, does it make you feel sad as it marks the approach of the dark season, knowing that death and winter are on the horizon?  Does it make you miss the heat, beauty and energy of summer?  Does it make you feel anxious knowing that you only have so long to prepare and gather up and store what you need before the first snow begins to fall to make it through the long, cold and dark winter looming ahead?

Photo by Lauren Withrow

Regardless of how you view Fall, Autumnus’s spirit lives and resides in it, in all of it – everything from the beauty of the changing leaves, the romance and activity of the harvest to the dull, dried out dead stalks, death and the peaceful quietude that falls upon the land once all has been reaped, has fallen and died.

 

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com, “Autumnus“.

Wikipedia, “Autumn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg. Witchvox.com, “You Call it the Autumn Equinox, We Call it Mabon“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “All About Mabon, the Autumn Equinox – What is Mabon?

The lunar month of the Vine offers the opportunity to bring your plans to fruition the winter begins.

The Autumn Equinox, when night and day are of equal length, occurs during the month of the Vine Moon.  It helps you realign your energy to prepare for the dark half of the year.  The month of the Vine Moon is a time to value input from others and any networks that are made may prove useful in the future.

 

Time to Consolidate

Focus on magic that resolves; cast a peace spell to end an argument or use prosperity magic to help you settle bills and pay off existing debts.  Magic must be balanced with action now, so use nature’s last burst of energy, visible in the vibrant fall colors, to inspire you to complete projects that you started earlier in the year.

Invest in your health during this month by eating foods packed with vitamin C to stave off colds as the weather declines, and boost your energy levels with herbal drinks.

 

 

FERTILITY AND CONCENTRATION

Jen Delyth ‘Celtic Tree of Life’

The vine is the only plant in the Celtic Tree Calendar not native to northern climes, although it’s  featured in much Bronze Age art.  It was cultivated by migrants from southern Europe.  The name vine comes from the word “viere,” meaning “to twist.”  This refers to the Druidic concept of spiritual development.

 

Fruits of the Vine

In the colder north, the vine was substituted with blackberries.  Both are used in wine, in money spells and are linked to fairies.  Pictures of grapevines were painted onto garden walls in ancient Rome to ensure the fertility of the household.

Eating grapes and blackberries is a magical remedy that aids memory and concentration.

 

 

VINE MOON MAGIC

Use magic during the month of the Vine Moon to restore peace to troubled relationships and to bring prosperity and fertility into your life.

Fall Magic

Try the following charms, remedies and spells to stay in tune with the magical powers of the season.

  • Catch a falling leaf and make a wish.
  • Place a  grapeseed in a glass of red wine and drink on the night of the full moon to attract riches.

Equinox Peace Spell

Use this spell to bring to a troubled relationship or to help heal any dispute.

You Will Need:

  • A white candle
  • A white ribbon
  • Pen and paper

1.  Hold the candle and say, “I dedicate this candle to peace.”

2. Write a list of the grievances that caused the conflict.

3. Light the candle and focus on sending love to the other party.

4. Burn the list in the flame saying, “For the sake of peace, I let it go.”

5. Light the candle for a few moments each night and focus on peace.

6. Tie the ribbon to a bramble or vine.  When the leaves have all fallen, peace will be restored.

Fertility Charm

Use this ancient spell to help you to be fruitful at this time of the year

1. Place a bunch of grapes in a bowl in your bedroom (or office if it’s a project not a baby you’re delivering!).

2. Next say, “Spirit of Vine, I open myself to your powers.”

3. Take some time to collect your thoughts and then make your wish.

4. Finish the charm by eating a grape and saying, “So let it be.”

Prosperity Pie

Use this prosperity pie recipe to bring financial fortune into your life.

You Will Need:

  • Pastry
  • Sugar
  • Blackberries
  • Pie dish
  • Spring water

1. Gather a basket of blackberries, leaving one of your hairs on the vine as an offering of thanks.

2. Wash the fruit in spring water, saying, “Water of life, take my strife.”

3. Roll out the pastry and visualize the prosperous life you desire.  Line the pie dish with a sheet of pastry.

4. Put the fruit into the pie dish, add sugar, and say, “Life grow sweet.” Try to imagine all golden light entering the fruit mix.

5. Top the pie with more pastry and decorate with vine patterns, saying, “The spell is complete.”

6. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes and share with friends.

 

 

 

Source:

“Enhancing Your Body, Mind and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD  14.

 

Goddess Epona

“Epona” by Joanna Barnum

“Epona’s themes are protection of animals; especially those who serve humankind. Her symbol is the horse.  Epona protects the creatures who faithfully keep humans company. This pre-Roman Gaulish Goddess is nearly always shown riding or lovingly feeding a horse and accompanied by a dog – these are Her two sacred animals.  Also, sometimes depicted with corn in Her lap and carrying a goblet, Epona inspires love, fertility and providence in your life. In some myths, Epona appeared to acknowledge a king’s sovereignty, giving Her leadership qualities that can help you when you need more authority in a situation.

To generate a little more providence in your life, eat corn today. Say a silent prayer to Epona, asking Her to saturate your food with power, then consume it to internalize the energy.

If you have a pet, consider blessing it today. To do this, find a small silver charm or a horse or a dog (like those from charm bracelets). This image invokes Epona’s protection. Alternatively, use a little bell and draw the image of a horse or dog on it.

Hold the token cupped in your hands. Visualize it filled with glittery white light and say,

‘Epona, watch over_____________ [fill in with the of the animal]. Keep them safe and healthy no matter where they may be.’

Put the charm on the animal’s collar or cage or in it’s bedding.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Epona (pronounced Ey-PONE-ah) was the ancient Horse Goddess of the pre-Christian Pagan people, known as the Gauls, or Celtic French. She was worshipped for many hundreds of years as a Horse Goddess, who not only protected horses, but also their owners. Epona is also one of the most well known of all the Goddesses within the Celtic Pantheon, and She was granted such titles as ‘The Great Mare,’ the ‘Divine Mare,’ and the ‘Mare Goddess.’

Epona was worshipped throughout the entire Celtic world in a variety of other, different aspects. In Ireland she was known as Macha, the Goddess of War, while in Wales She became Rhiannon, the Goddess of the Underworld. It was in the aspect of Rhiannon that Epona appears in the Welsh collection of tales known as The Mabinogion. She has also been identified with the Celtic Goddess Edain, or Etain, whose full name, when translated, is Etain Echraidhe, which means ‘Etain, the horse rider,’ or ‘Etain, the rider of horses.’

Epona was worshipped widely throughout the entire Celtic and Roman worlds, and Her worship was exceptionally strong in both Rhineland and Gaul. In fact, Epona’s worship became so strong that it spread as far away as the Danube River, Yugoslavia, North Africa and Rome. The Roman army was so impressed by Her that it eventually adopted Her cult, and the Roman soldiers introduced Epona’s worship to the many people that they encountered in their travels.

The British worshipped Epona in the form of a cult, and they gave Her the title ‘Rigantona‘ or ‘Rig Antonia,’ which means ‘Great Queen.’ The Goddess Rhiannon, whose worship occurred at a much later point in time, was strongly associated with Epona, and She was known by that title as well.

“Epona the Horse Goddess” by Gene Avery North

Epona was also known by a variety of other names, which changed according to the various languages and myths that were indigenous to each particular region. It actually matters little whether She was known as Rhiannon, Macha or Epona, because no matter which aspect She happened to appear in, Her image always remained the same. She appeared as a woman with very long hair who was riding side saddle upon a white mare. When She appeared in the aspect of Epona, however, She was depicted as a woman with very long hair, lying half-naked on a white mare.

Stories about Epona [are] lost to the world forever, although one story regarding Her origin remains. During the decline of the Roman Empire, a Greek writer named Agesilaos wrote a story in which he claimed that Epona was the product of a man named Phoulonios Stellos, who had no interest whatsoever in women. Instead of mating with a woman he preferred to mate with a mare, and when that mare gave birth, it was to a beautiful human-looking daughter. Interestingly, it was actually the mare, herself, who named her daughter Epona, and by her doing so, she deified Epona as the Goddess of Horses.” [1]

Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Epona could take the tangible forms of both parents.  Sometimes, too, She appeared as a rushing river, which suggests that Epona was a fertility Goddess, often seen in Celtic culture as a water spirit.  Similarly, the connection among Celtic peoples of the horse and the sun suggests a solar nature to Epona, supported as well by the patera or round sunlike plate that She carries in many sculptures.

The sacred mare Epona appeared as the bestower of sovereignty in the ancient Celtic rituals of kingship, which may have included a rite of marriage with the mare Goddess.  Among Indo-European peoples in India, a rite of mare-marriage, which solidified a man’s claim on the rulership of a geographical area, is attested and has been connected by scholars to the figure of Epona.

Aerial view of the Uffington White Horse

Recent excavations of the magnificent British monument, the White Horse of Uffington, strongly suggests that the 360-foot-long horse represents Epona.  Using a new technique, archaeologists have been studying the rate at which the hillside, upon which the White Horse is carved into the chalky soil, has descended towards the deep valley (the Vale of the White Horse) beneath.  The White Horse has puzzled researchers for many years, some maintaining that it was a late medieval creation, others that it derived from the post-Celtic era.  Even before the recent attempt to date the monument itself, it has been noted that the horse’s design echoed that of coins issued by the Celtic warrior Queen Boudicca.  The identification of the White Horse with the Celts is now virtually certain – and as the Celts had only one horse-divinity, the likelihood is that the horse on the hill was Epona.  Vestiges of Her are also found in the figure of Lady Godiva and the mysterious white-horse-riding woman of Banbury Cross” (p. 114).

  

On an Etsy.com page selling a replica of an Epona statue found in Alesia, France, I found a piece of information especially inspiring:

Epona in our everyday lives

“Although Epona was and still is traditionally seen as a horse Goddess, She can fit into so many aspects of our lives. She is the Goddess of dreams not only of the sleeping kind but the dreams of hope and ambition. She can be helpful in manifesting dreams and is a good protector to have when venturing on a new path in life. A prayer or invocation can be offered to Her if one is having trouble sleeping or wishes to have insightful or peaceful dreams. She is a nurturing caregiver and can be called upon as a protector of families, children and women who are about to give birth.

Epona is also good to turn to when seeking positive blessings and prosperity. She is good to call upon during dark, difficult times in life such as grief and loss and can offer guidance that is gentle and loving in nature. Roses are a wonderful offering to leave on your altar for the Goddess Epona as are rose petals or rose incense. Sandalwood incense can also be used as an offering. When burning a candle for Epona, the most common color associated with Her is white.” [2]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

Element: Earth

Sphere of Influence: Horse and Motherhood

Preferred Colors: Brown, black and white

Associated Symbol: Horse, cornucopia, keys

Animals Associated with: Horse, mares and foals, dog, birds.

Suitable Offerings: Fruits, mare’s milk, apples, hay, sweet grass, oats, fresh water, a thick stout that you can practically chew on.  Roses, rosebuds, rose garlands.

Scents/Incense: Rose, sandalwood.

Gemstones: Cat’s eye, ruby, azurite, obsidian, and moonstone

Astrology: Aries

Tarot: Queen of Wands

Chakra: The sexual and heart chakras

Feast Days: The Autumn Equinox, when night and day are of equal length, occurs during the month of the Vine Moon; December 18 (based on the Roman calendar).

[34, 56]

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Etsy.com/shop/Harmonycraft, Epona – Celtic Horse Goddess“.

A Journal of a Poet – The Goddess As My Muse, “Epona, The Gaulish Horse Goddess“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Epona”.

PaganNews.com, “Epona“.

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Epona“.

Tribeofthesun.com, Epona“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

EPONA.net (An in-depth Epona site with historical facts about Epona)

Firewolf, Dawn. Realmagick.com, “Epona“.

Held, Catherine Anne. Dreamhorsewomen.wordpress.com, “Women and Horses in Mythology: Epona“.

Lady Zephyr. Order of the White Moon, “Epona“.

Myst, Willow. Order of the White Moon, “Epona“.

Nemeton, The Sacred Grove: Home of the Celtic gods, “Epona: A Gaulish and Brythonic Goddess: Divine Horse“.

Readtiger.com, “Epona“.

Took, Thalia. The Obscure Goddess Online Directory, “Epona“.

Wikipedia, “Epona“.

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