And so the Wheel turns and we approach Mabon, Autumn Equinox and the second of the harvest festivals in the year. It is the sacrifice of the animal, just as Lammas marks the harvest of the vegetative God, here we are confronted with the hard decisions that need to be made in terms of the herd…the old, the sick, the weak must be separated out and killed so that the community can eat, so that precious resources are not used to feed and maintain that which is not strong. It can be a ruthless sort of selection, one that is familiar for the Goddess. There is grief here too, for all that was sown and did not thrive. Seeds must be selected and saved, guarded carefully to ensure another year’s fruit. It is time now for reflection upon the harvest of our dreams and plans, winnowing of experience and savouring the blessings; mourning the losses.
Mabon is celebrated when the Sun moves to 0° Libra, like Spring Equinox, it is a balance point of the year. For the past month, Virgo has been transited and now we approach the changing time between very different energies: Virgo with it’s discerning, discriminating, critical and preparatory nature moving into Libra’s balance, accentuating harmony, appreciation of beauty, an emphasis on relating and the ‘other’.
‘Fair’ and ‘Just’ are words that are inherently Libran. Ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Beauty and of Love we can understand ‘fair’ in it’s context of balance, symmetry and harmony. Libra’s symbols are the Scales…the Scales of Justice, where every thing, act, and thought is weighed in relation to the ‘other’ and balance is demanded.
This moment between Virgo’s harvest and Libra’s balancing act is ruled by the element of water, a reflective element. It is also an element that is essentially always seeking its own balance. Water’s reflective quality offers us a mirror, to see our beauty and also to see ourselves as we are. This ‘still point’ offers us a bit of a reality-check, an opportunity to see what actions need to be taken to bring about balance and rectification, the active principles of Libra that will prepare us more fully for the descent into the dark part of the year.
The caution is that we don’t over-indulge in the newly realized wealth of the harvest, that we guard against collapsing ourselves into the warmth and moistness of the golden days of the season. These ‘Indian Summers’ can lull us into a kind of sleepy forgetfulness. Beauty, harmony and appreciation of the receptivity of the feminine can invite a certain indolence. Now we are bidden to move from the somewhat austere measures of Virgo to create a new-found sense of balance in our lives. There is so much beauty, such bounty, fair dues.
The Equinoxes and Solstices are magical moments that are out of time, a bridge between two seasons.