The bite of chill is in the morning air. The dry leaves, no longer able to cling to the branches, tumble down our empty street in the still of the night, the sound of them scraping across the pavement. The farmers are out in the fields with their harvest, and the crock pots are brought down from the shelf of their summer hiatus, ready for another round of soups and stews to warm the weary soul.
We approach the Autumnal Equinox.(September 22 in North America)
Practiced in a variety of ways in both Pagan and non-pagan communities, the first day of Autumn is shared by all as a time of harvest, of wrapping up old business and preparing for the dormancy of the winter months ahead. It is the one of just two times a year when the hours of night and day are in perfect balance.
It's traditionally also a time of celebrating all that is positive in our lives--developing an attitude of gratitude. Finding balance and rest amid the hustle of everyday life. Gathering to and celebrating family.
For some, it is a time to honor the Green Man--god of the forest with libations of wine, cider, and herbs and prepare for the Celtic New year which begins at Samhain (Nov. 1)
On September 29-30 this year, we will celebrate the full moon, or Harvest Moon. Shine on! ;) If you'd like to follow the moon's phases, you can get a great graphic here...CalculatorCat
This particular fascination with Celtic festivals, solstice's and the equinoxes has lent itself as inspiration for many of my novels.
Winters Desire (celebrating Winters Solstice-Dec.)
The Pleasure Garden (celebrating Beltane-May 1)
Tortured, my medieval erotic romance, was also influenced by the ancient Celtic culture.
*NEW* Release Oct.1-Dark Pleasures (celebrating Samhain-Nov. 1-pronounced, Sow-wen)
The Celtic year divides itself into 4 seasons; Imbolg (spring), Beltane (Midsummer), Lughnasadh (late summer) and Samhain (the Celtic New year)
Each of these festivals is said to be a time when the veil is thin between the living and the dead and many of our current customs have their roots in these ancient traditions. Most commonly the idea of carving and lighting pumpkins, setting them on walkways in in our homes and giving out treats--is a variation on the theme of the ancients setting out food and drink to pacify the spirits of the dead as they traveled through the thin veil of the night.
Whatever your beliefs may be, the eternal cycle remains the same as it always has. But, now and again, it's worth looking back at the history and true purpose of these festivals to see what they meant, how they influenced a people, and how those roots eventually influenced us.
So whether you are celebrating Mabon, the autumnal equinox, or simply the first day of Autumn--do so with gratitude in your spirit and an appreciation an respect for Mother Earth and all she provides.
This year I'm celebrating Samhain early with the release of Dark Pleasures on October 1! Click here to pre-order to your fav e-reader!
To all those attending RAW 2012! Can't wait to see you next week!!
Do you celebrate the festivals in some special way? What traditions do you have in your household that are Celtic inspired?
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