Introducing Thea Dawson, part owner of the Moons & Runes New Age store, private investigator, witch and main protagonist in Martine’s cozy crime series Moons & Runes Private Investigators. Thea’s blog posts will look at some of the content in her family grimoire, including recommendations and recipes for celebrating each of the festivals. Thea will post a new blog every six weeks or so as she will be sharing this blog spot with other ‘guest bloggers’, from Martine’s magical world. Thea, like the others, will be blogging ‘in character’.
Hi, Thea here. Barnes has just made me a fresh cup of coffee and told me to go put my feet up for ten minutes or so, so I thought I’d take the time to share with you what’s going on here at The Pentacle, in preparation for the Autumnal Equinox. All the shops around the park have been working together to make this year’s festival a success and, and whilst it is never the biggest celebration of the year, we all want to make it a time for coming together and being grateful.
Before we go on, here are a few facts to get us started.
The Autumnal Equinox will occur in the Northern Hemisphere on 23rd September 2023 at 6.50 am GMT.
It is a time in the year when the sun illuminates the earth equally over the two hemispheres, giving equal yours of daylight and darkness.
It marks the end of summer and the coming of a period of preparation for the winter months.
Depending on your beliefs and, of course, where in the world you are, the celebration of the autumnal equinox is known by different names: Mabon, Harvest Home, the Festival of Dionysus, Alban Elfed, and Thanksgiving, to name but a few. No matter the name, this point in the year when the gathering of the second harvest and the dying of the season, as the earth prepares for winter, is a time for celebration and gratitude.
What should we celebrate at the Autumnal Equinox?
If you are thinking that the celebration of the Autumnal Equinox is all about harvesting what has been sewn, you would be right, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is all about apples, grapes, beans and tomatoes.
Thanks should be given at this time for:
Family and Friends. Reach out to those you have not seen in a while. If feasible get together and enjoy each other’s company. If not, call them up on Teams or Zoom or Whats App. Let them know you are grateful for having them in your life.
Ideas that have come to fruition/Projects that have become a reality. This equinox is a time to reflect on what you have achieved, maybe some study you have completed, or a problem you have overcome. For me, this year, I will be reflecting and giving thanks for the Timebank Project that I have helped to set up in Casslewich. Click on the link if you would like to set one up in your area.
Gifts nurtured and shared In The Pentacle, we will be starting the day with sunrise yoga and finishing it with a campfire around which all of The Pentacle shopkeepers will come together and take it in turns to give thanks for, and share, their own personal gifts. Last year we discovered that Magnus Einerrson from Ores & Alloys, was a poet! Who’d have thought it? However, we can’t all have Magnus’ talent, but maybe you can knit, kick a football, wire a plug, lift someone’s spirits or change the headlight in an MG5 (really useful one, that).
And yes, of course, the food on our tables. A wonderful way to celebrate, if you get the opportunity, is to gather up the children and go foraging together. I have no children of my own, but many of the other shop owners do, and our little community are going to nearby Alvene Forest for an hour or so to gather fruit and nuts for eating and leaves and pine cones for decoration.
Check out these other Kid’s Harvest Festival party ideas
And finally, the story of Persephone
If you are a fan of Moons & Runes, you will know that Marianne’s cat is called Persephone, but how familiar are you with the tale?
Hailing from Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of agriculture. Abducted by her uncle, Hades, whilst gathering flowers in the Vale of Nysa, she was taken to the underworld, where Hades ruled as god.
Her mother, Demeter, was so distraught that she neglected the harvest, creating famine amongst those of the earth. As a result, Zeus intervened and demanded that his brother, Hades, released Persephone. However, Persephone, whilst in the underworld, had eaten a single seed of pomegranate, which meant she was obliged to spend a third of every year with Hades in the underworld.
Each year, the four months of summer when the Greek fields lie dry and barren, are said to be the time when Persephone is in the underworld, with her return being heralded by the autumnal rains which bring the fields back to life.
Whatever name you give it, and however you celebrate, make the Autumnal Equinox a loving and thankful time of year.