So many posts on the Autumnal Equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, etc.
I guess it’s time to share my thoughts and plans for this holiday. Mabon. I take a little bit of issue with the name of the celebration. I suppose that I should clarify my reasons for that. All too often you come across the pagan practitioner who wants to tell you that all the things that they do are the way they’ve been doing them for years because they’re the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter and born into Wicca and we’re all just peasants. Totally cute right? So, with this uber ancient unbroken line, using the name Mabon just bugs me. Of course, I know that things that trace back all the way to the 70’s and Aiden Kelly are very ancient for most 14 year old High Priests/Priestesses.
Moving right along. I think it’s a great thing that people want to celebrate the change of the season, the wheel of the year, the harvest and give thanks. Cool. Do what you do! But… how many of these modern worshippers are participating in the harvest in any way, shape or form? With the exception of the few who actually do work harvest and those of us who have home gardens, what are you harvesting?
Ok ok, I’m being too literal of what the holiday is supposed to be about. I’m not getting the spirit and the idea behind it. Fair enough, it’s all about Thanksgiving. LMAO! For those of us who are in the US this seems to be more like a warm up. We’re having a test run right now so that we’ll be ready for the main event, you know, Turkey Massacre Day!
Yeah, I get it. I’m a snark filled nay sayer, I’m mean. I’m persecuting you for your beliefs at this very moment! (Actually I’m not, but I know I’ll be accused of it.)
What I want to focus on is the Autumnal Equinox. I’m not going to celebrate harvest because I’m not harvesting anything. I don’t really want to celebrate the changing season. I’m in the central valley of CA. We have maybe 2 seasons. They’re FUCKING HOT (Summer), and I THINK I NEED A HOODIE (Winterish/Springish). It would make more sense to celebrate the seasons according to when decorations hit stores, when Starbucks starts selling pumpkin products and when Mcdonald’s gets the Shamrock shake.
Now, multiple sources point out the equinox happening sometime between September 21-24. Gives me just a lil bit of wiggle room.
Since I am developing my own path, I more or less forget about the traditional neo pagan associations for the equinox and focus on the Japanese. The period around the autumnal and vernal equinox is higan. There’s a saying that goes, “both the heat and cold end with higan.” Higan lasts for seven days – beginning three days prior to the equinox and ending three days after. Higan comes from Buddhist origins and means “other side of the river of death.” We live on this side, on the other our departed. This is the time to pay respects to our ancestors, make trips to the family graves, etc.
Yes, some may find this a little morbid, but we are entering natures cycle of death. The leaves are changing and falling from the trees, it’s getting colder. It’s a reminder of the two sides of that river, time to pay our respects, speak with our loved ones, tend to their graves and contemplate how the cycle of birth and death works.
Source on Higan: