The first hours of fall or the Autumnal Equinox began at approximately 3:44 p.m. here in Arizona. The word equinox is Latin which means equal. Today will have 12 hours of sunlight to 12 hours of dark.
The ancient Pagan faith held rituals on this evening with a feast of fruit, berries, bread and wine. This ritual was to honor both God and Goddess equally. The feasting on summer’s bounty was an honor to the Goddess who rules the earthly plain. The drinking of the wine called to the spirits and honored the ethereal God. With the Goddess and God sharing equal polarity it is a curiosity that we now know that the Autumnal Equinox only applies in the Northern Hemisphere in September and that in the Southern Hemisphere it is the Vernal Equinox or Spring, totally balanced polarities.
The ancient ancestral Pagans were hunter gatherers. They worshiped the seasons, the earth and her bounty and paid homage to the elements, the heavens. The evening of feasting was followed by a day of gathering grain, vegetables and fruit to dry and preserve for the winter. This was also a time to hunt animals, who like their human family was gathering and eating berries to gain fat for the long winter sleep.
Most of the early faiths worshiped the Goddess or Earth Mother and appreciated her bounty. Out of these ancient and shamanic roots the Wicca and other Pagan religions grew. From these first hunter gatherers a civilization and agriculture became part of their present. Although these ancient traditions continue some of the original meanings were forgotten, some of the rituals degenerated into blood sport, hunting and animal or human sacrifice.
The Wicca, who hold the belief of “If it harm none, do as ye will” so it is not a practice of Wicca to demand sacrifice as they believe the Goddess is the “Mother of all living”. Many of the Wicca interviewed expressed the opinion that although they honor the eight movements of the earth, the Autumnal Equinox is an anticipation for the planning of Samhain.
So this is the kick off for the most important of ancient celebrations, the third harvest, the “Day of the Dead”, the Old Hallowmas of dark mysteries and rebirth through death. The gods were believed to have made themselves visible to mankind on this night. The early pilgrims believed that the spirit of the dead walked the earth on this” All Souls” night.
If you are in anticipation of this most sacred of nights for the Wicca, the Celts and Pagans but do not practice the craft, you are more than likely ready to get your Halloween Costumes made or ordered and making plans to get your “Spook on”. No need to wait until Halloween, Phoenix has “The 13th Floor” a haunted house at 2819 W. Bell Road, open this weekend from 7 to midnight. Or is you can wait, the Arizona Original Scream will open the weekend of October 4th. Be prepared to be afraid and shell out between 25 to 29 dollars to do so.
Have a safe Autumnal Equinox. Do a random act of kindness today and every day. Tweet me, or blog me on PollyannaChronicles.com.