This is it: the end of summer and the beginning of a new season FALL. The nights become longer than the day and we tend to want to cocoon away from the long, cold dreary season of winter that approaches
The autumn equinox falls on 22 September and officially marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. But apart from that, it has a long history of associations, taking on a huge significance culturally and in astronomy.
The word equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night”. And that’s exactly what happens at the beginning of autumn and spring – the days are divided neatly into a 12-hour day and night for just two days a year, after which they start splitting apart.
The event happens because the Earth is slightly tilted. That means that as it moves around the Earth, once a year, its top and bottom tilt slightly towards and away from the Sun – not only leading to the different lengths of the day but to the different amount of heat, too.
On the equinox, the sun is visible right above the planet’s equator, splitting it down the middle in a neat astronomical alignment. That leads to perfectly divided amounts of sunshine and sunset and sunrise that happens perfectly in the east and west.
From today, the planet will tip so that people in the Northern Hemisphere gradually have shorter days than nights and cooler weather. That will carry on until the solstice or shortest day when we’ll start moving back towards the sun and again and move back towards lengthening days.
Apples have always been popular tools for foretelling the future. There are a number of traditional methods in folklore for seeing who one’s lover might be.
- Peel the apple, keeping the peel in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love’s name.
- Wait until midnight and cut an apple into nine pieces. Take the pieces into a dark room with a mirror (either hanging on the wall or a hand-held one will do). At midnight, begin eating the pieces of apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece, throw it over your shoulder. The face of your lover should appear in the mirror.
- If a girl has more than one potential lover, peel an apple and pull out the seeds. Place a wet seed on your cheek for each boyfriend. The last one left stuck to the skin represents the suitor who is the true love.
Because of its associations with the harvest, the apple is perfect for Mabon magic. Try the Apple Harvest rite, or honor the goddess Pomona at the harvest.
- Mabon Apple Harvest Rite: This harvest ritual is designed with solitary Wiccans and Pagans in mind, and uses the apple and its five-pointed star as the focus. Honor the ancient gods at Mabon with this harvest ritual.
- Pomona, Goddess of Apples: Pomona was an obscure Roman goddess, but she still has significance when it comes to the blooming of orchards and fruit trees in the fall.
- Magic of the Apple Blossoms: The apple is associated with immortality, but is also considered a food for the dead, which is why it often makes its appearance at Mabon celebrations.
In addition to being tasty and sweet, apples are perfect for craft projects. Try one of these to decorate your home with magical apple energy.
Apple Candleholders: Make a set of decorative candle holders by coring out the top of a pair of apples.
Apple Garlands: This easy-to-make craft not only looks pretty but will leave your home smelling delicious and welcoming!
Apple Butter: Brew up a pot of delicious apple butter to celebrate the harvest.
Apple Magic Patti Wigington