Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For the Files: Autumn Equinox 2012, Family Style

Autumn Equinox: a child's "Hearthfire Wish."
Autumn Equinox: a child's "Hearthfire Wish."

It seems to me that the Equinoxes are the truest, most acute transitional periods. I personally experience them as abrupt times of change -- arriving at these occasions & finding we must turn a sharp corner on a round wheel -- how is this possible? When I celebrated the traditional Wheel of the Year, the Equinoxes were of secondary importance to the Fire Festivals. These days, I find my orientation changing...

This year we decided to mirror last Spring's Vernal Equinox ceremony with another giving-of-thanks & putting-forth-wishes ritual. We took our cues from our Springtime ceremony:

"Twenty-four beautiful Spring eggs... Twenty-four notes, twirling in the breeze. Our messages of gratitude & our wishes, offered to the wind. Brown (foundation) papers, three a piece, record that for which we give thanks. Green (growth) papers, three a piece, record wishes for the new season which rushes forth. Hanging little eggs on tiny brass wires, under the twinkle of the three planets."

For this Equinox, we gathered leaves. Gold leaves we collected to represent our gains, gratitudes, treasures kept in hand & heart. Firey red & orange leaves we collected to represent the forthcoming hearthfires & wishes thereof, be they kindled in the woodstove or ignited in our souls. 

Autumn Equinox: Giving thanks, making wishes.
Autumn Equinox: Giving thanks, making wishes.

We took time to consider our blessings & wishes together, sharing, discussing, reflecting. When all the words were assembled, Hubby carefully stamped them into the leaves, one wish, or one gratitude for each leaf -- every leaf thoughtfully chosen to be the messenger of our heartfelt words.

Autumn Equinox: This year, we send our messages on the leaves.
This year, we send our messages on the leaves.

Instead of sending our messages on the Wind as before, this time we chose to send them by Water. Packing up our leaves & libation (a hard cider courtesy our community Brewer's Guild), we headed up the foothills of the Chugach mountain range to one of our family's most precious & sacred places. Down the murky, saturated trails we trekked. The evening was cold & the Sun was quickly setting, yet despite the waning daylight, we could not resist stopping for lingonberries along the trail. Irresistible! What cheerful, game-playing fruits, they are... 

Autumn Equinox: Leaves & libations.
Autumn Equinox: Leaves & libations.
This was the first time we had been to the streamside & small bridge in a very long time. Things had changed in subtle ways; the patch of wild currants was smaller & moose-trampled, trees had fallen & the local vegetation had changed in other, more obscure ways. Transformed, but still familiar, we found it welcoming, comfortable -- perfect for sharing our messages with each other & with the Web. 

The wolves kept less than a mile from the bridge began to bay, reminding us of the rapid passing of the day. Yet without urgency, we each took turns, speaking aloud the words pressed into our handful of leaves. One by one, the leaves & their messages flitted to the water & meandered down the stream. One by one, we gave thanks & shared our hopes for the future. Our voices carried over the stream & blended with the humming voices of many -- many who undoubtedly also carry hopes, dreams, wishes & thanks of their own. Our libation on a fallen cottonwood tree was a natural echo: From the gods to the Earth to us. From us to the Earth to the gods. We are deeply thankful, to be such blessed creatures. May our words be heard on the Waters & beyond.

Giving thanks for treasures received.
Giving thanks for treasures received.


Nestis said...

Thank you for sharing what you did with your family - I love the simplicity of it. The Autumn Equinox is always my favorite time of year, and sending thankfulness down a flowing stream as we head into the dark is just so perfect.

Our Whole Grove said...

I weep with the beauty of your family, your magic and your leaves. xox

Kourtney said...

Oh I absolutely loved this post! The messages on the leaves... beautiful!

Thanks for linking up to PPBH!


Moma Fauna said...

Simplicity & intuition (or perhaps instinct?) are my guides these days. Let us talk sometime soon about building tradition.

Moma Fauna said...

Join us someday please. Weepy leaves strewn all about us... we can make even more magic together. :)

Moma Fauna said...

Thank you Kourtney & it was my pleasure. ;)

Connie Mitan said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate and honor! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Pagan Blog Prompts!

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