Druidry and Paganism
The Autum Equinox is called the Alban Elfed in Druidry and Paganism, it’s held on the 21st n 22nd of September. It’s a time of balance and harvest, of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth. This season marks the end of the dominance of the summer king and the move towards winters rule. Once again all is equally balanced. The hours of daylight become equal to the hours of night once again. Summer has gone winter is yet to be. The trees begin to shed their leaves getting ready for their winter sleep. The animals hide away their winter stores and start to put on more fat.
This seasonal ceremony finds fulfillment in the collected harvest. This is the time of fulfillment, the time of achievement. On the circle of the year its place is the west. The place of the setting sun, of things dying down, the beginning of old age. It’s time for us to reflect on our personal achievements and what we have personally harvested in our live. We can let go of striving, and enjoy instead the fruits of our lives and our year.
Many ancient rituals were carried out in the British Isles at this time, the last sheaf of corn was often woven into corn dollies and dressed in good cloth then this was placed in a young boy or maidens house until the following year. When ploughing time came in the spring, this was torn up and scattered on the freshly ploughed fields to bring luck to the harvest. Some ancient farmers refused the last bit of their harvest believing it may bring them bad luck, they would toss the last sheaf into neighbor’s fields and the last to harvest their fields would be the one who held the sheaf and the bad luck would be theirs.
Making mandalas of grains and seeds or decorating your circle with leaves, grain, fruit, nuts and wine are all good ways to celebrate the Alban Elfed. This is a good time to make wine or mead, jams and fruit cakes. As it’s a good time for reflecting this is the ideal time to begin a journal or diary. It’s a time of quiet, of patience, of thinking. This is also the time for the chores at home, now the harvest has been gathered, repairs to households would begin to prepare them for the winter season. Also associated with this season is the element water, the color blue, gold, mead and wine.
Performing a ritual at this time we add to our corners some items that represent our harvest from the past year. We give thanks for the journey we have traveled, the gifts we have received and the experiences that we have had.
Alban Elfed ~ Autumn Equinox ~ Druidry and Paganism