Autumn Equinox was known to the ancient Greeks as Demetrion, after the grain goddess, Demeter. It is the height of the harvest season, which begins with the grain harvest in early August and ends with the meat harvest at the end of October. Demetrion celebrates the fruits of the land and the fruits of the year. This means that now is a good time to reflect upon the past twelve months and give thanks for all the good fortune in your life. As for some this year may provide a meagre harvest, count your blessings where you can. As the days and nights are now in equal balance, it is time to integrate what we have learned into our lives.
In the ancient world, Demetrion also marked the end of the fighting season and was a time when the warriors returned home for rest and recuperation. It was also a time when the autumn sowing would have been done for the crops to sustain the family through the winter. I find that a potent thought. Whatever age you currently are, this is a powerful concept to meditate on. Being prepared for winter in all its many guises is a fundamental part of our psyche – it is how we have survived so long through harsh winters. Think about what seeds you need to plant now for the winter seasons, literal and metaphorical. What do you want the autumn and winter years of your life to look like? Take stock accordingly as we stand on the cusp of practical organised Virgo and logical and insightful Libra. Take note of any such stirrings as these are the skills you can develop as we journey deep into the darkness through the winter months. Give thanks for your good fortune and prepare what you need.
Meditation: Harvest, good fortune, resources for the winter.
Planets of the week: Venus, Mercury.
Offering: Grain of some sort if possible, wine or mead.
Demeter was at the height of her powers at this point in the cycle, but soon she loses her beloved daughter Kore (Persephone), to the god Hades. The old must give way to the young (as do we) and whatever our age we must prepare to rest. Reflect upon your aging, think about how you want to spend your winter years.
Also do not forget about your life’s passion. This passion keeps us young, invigorated and strong; so whether it is baking cakes or studying Victorian sewerage systems, keep at it. Never let that particular light die. We stand now at the opposite point of the year to the Spring Equinox, when our energies in this area are the strongest. If you have not used your energy to advance your passion in any way, ask yourself why, and consider how you can change.
Ritual: Light your candle, or a fire if you are able, at sunrise or sunset – whenever is most convenient, but during these times of balance, doing so between the day and night is ideal. Make your offering and then say your prayer. Reflect on any insight you receive.
Prayer: O beloved Demeter, lady of the harvest. Thank you for the good fortune I have incurred this year. I ask you to assist me now in my autumn sowing so that I may reap a bountiful harvest for the winter times of my life.