The Equinox and the Harvest Moon emphasize the need for balance in our lives. The Equinox brings a balance of light and dark hours to us, urging us toward preparation for what lies ahead. Whether we are headed toward the dark nights of the Northern Hemisphere or the fiery days of the Southern Hemisphere, we must now set about a change in behavior so that we can meet our challenges without hesitation.
There are many ways to mark this time of year, but a ceremony ~ no matter how small ~ gives credence to our actions while continuing to serve as inspiration through times of fading strength. The items for the Harvest Moon ceremony are symbols of things past and things yet to come. You may want to complete all of them or only one. You may even be inspired to create a ceremony of your own ~ that’s always best because its meaning is truly heartfelt.
String of Dreams
For this ceremony you’ll need a collection of seeds, nuts, and berries, such as holly berries, to serve as “beads.” Each is a symbol of potential, sustenance, and things yet to come. You’ll also need a needle and thread to string them together, fashioning them into a long string. Hang the string anywhere you like until the winter solstice. If you tie the ends of the string together, you can make a necklace. You can be as austere or as lavish as you like, even adding crystal beads or charms. There may be many beads on your string, or only one. It’s up to you.
The “magic” of this ceremony comes from the intentions you place in each of the items as you string them together. Visualize the things you would like to find in your life by the winter solstice or spring equinox. You may like to write each wish on a piece of paper, fold it into a square and add those to your String of Dreams, as well. I made one of these for the first time in 1999, and I still have it ~ a reminder of some dreams realized and others that faded away. The children in your life will enjoy this ceremony, too, and they will have fun creating a piece of wearable art.
Dried leaves and broken twigs are symbols of completed cycles. It is believed that hauntings occur because spirits can’t let go of a person, a place, or a pattern and stay tied to it until they are released by a ceremony or blessing. Your Leave Taking will allow you to pour your hauntings ~ unwanted habits, emotional patterns, unachieved goals, or unspoken goodbyes ~ into the leaves and twigs that you gather. With a Sharpie pen, you can even write something on the leaves.
In a safe environment ~ and being exceptionally careful ~ these items will be part of a fire ceremony. Place them in a heavy-duty pot ~ or in a fireplace or fire pit if you have access to one ~ and light a match to them. You may want to add a bit of sage or other herb that has special meaning to you. I have a wrought-iron pot that I drag out every few years which is reserved just for fire release ceremonies. I always enjoy adding a bit of smudging sage as a cleanser to the mix.
Cornucopia of Blessings
This is a simple ceremony, but one you can add to as often as you like through the coming weeks. If you don’t have a cornucopia ~ which are readily available this time of year in grocery and craft stores ~ you can use a bowl, vase, a cup, or a special box for this ceremony. The vessel isn’t important, but what goes into it is. On a small piece of paper, write down one way in which you have been blessed. Do this daily or anytime you feel as though you’ve received a little blessing ~ a compliment, a laugh, even a tear that has touched you. Papers in varying colors to match the season are especially nice for this ceremony.
Gather your blessings until Thanksgiving Day, the winter solstice, Christmas, New Year’s Day, or any day you decide upon. On that day, find some quiet time to sit with your cornucopia. As you do, open each paper and read it ~ recalling all the ways your life has been blessed. You may want to add a few messages of gratitude for the little niceties that come your way. They seem to slip past us, and it’s so rewarding to have a reminder of something that has graced our past.
Whether you celebrate autumn with a ceremony or simply by letting it glide gracefully out of your life, acknowledge the abundance you now have in your life. Start with gratitude, release the negative, make room for more abundance to enter.
Photo: Beyond the Veil by Astral Phoenix from Photobucket
- “Libra/Aries Full Moon” and related posts (planetaryapothecary.com)
- “Harvest Moon, Jupiter, and Autumn Equinox” and related posts (stellarinsights108.blogspot.com)