The Autumn Equinox – The feast of the second harvest.
The September festival is one of my personal favourites of the year. It is at this time we celebrate the fruition of all the plans we made at Samhuinn last year. We have spent a full year working with them and now we get the chance to reap our rewards.
At this time the plants are finished producing new fruits and we have made that last hard push to gather in the harvest. It is after that great communal push that we can come together and celebrate with the huge harvest feast. It is a great time to rest on what you have achieved and be proud. Thinking about this time I have the picture from the Lord of the Rings of Bilbo’s birthday party. It has always struck me that this is how a harvest celebration should look. Maybe I am just longing for simpler times. This is also the time to get out and soak up last warm rays of the sun before we enter into the dark half of the year. So why not plan a family picnic, if you are lucky enough to have some warm days still.
In our spiritual lives, the fruits of our growth should have been harvested and we are awaiting the beginning of the new productive cycle. This is a great time to focus inward. We get to look at what we have achieved and we can take time to learn from what we have not done well. It is only through diligent reflection that we can truly learn. This is the festival of consolidation. It is only by looking at what we have done and learning well the lessons of the year that we can begin to plan the year to come. We use our past to guide us into the future.
We know that on this day the light and dark halves of the year are in perfect balance and it is from this day that the darkness begins to grow and that winter gathers its strengths.
All the work is done the food is safely stored away. The wild blackberries are pushing out the last of those luscious dark berries, just as we enter the dark half of the year. Take time to relax. To praise yourself on what you have achieved and to have fun with your family.