We started our triplicity of harvests with Lughnasadh, and the harvest season continues with the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox is our sacred portal into the darker half of the year. The amount of sunlight and night we experience will be in equilibrium for a moment before darkness begins to rule each day and call us more deeply inward.
In this share, we’ll discuss the layered energies of the Autumn Equinox, a few ways to tune into and honor its energy, and some sacred correspondences, specifically apples. I’d also like to discuss the name Mabon often associated with this season.
Listen to this post on my podcast, awen, below.
Mabon is a common name associated with this season, and though there’s nothing wrong with referring to this season as Mabon, which is one of the more manufactured names on the Wheel of the Year. Names that don’t quite make sense on the Wheel of the Year aren’t something new and are something I discuss in my new book, Understanding The Wheel of The Year, shop it here.
The Wheel of the Year itself, as a unified construct of seasonal celebrations, is a relatively modern compilation of celebrations from various people, not one specific culture. The name Mabon was assigned by Aiden Kelly, one of the collaborators of the modern construct of the Wheel of the Year. Mabon was a Welsh mythological figure who doesn’t appear to have any real connection to the Autumn Equinox. Some believe Aiden simply wanted another short name to associate with this season and, Mabon was the best he could come up with. We may never know! That said, Mabon is a common name associated with this season by many Wiccans. If it resonates with you, use it. If it doesn’t, referring to this season as the Autumn Equinox is fine too. As with all of our seasonal celebrations, this is a time to honor and connect with the earth, not quibble over names.
A Balance of Light and Dark
There are so many beautiful energies layered into this season. This phase brings us more deeply into the waning side of the year by corresponding with the last quarter moon (a moon of equal light and dark, another visual of the balance this season brings about.) We also shift from Virgo to Libra season at this time. The sign of Libra, of course, being the scales mirroring this theme of balance again.
Beyond the energetics, the equinoxes spur extremely physical changes as well. The sunlight no longer reigns supreme throughout our day. The plant and animal world take note, and things start to shift and change all around and within us. These physical changes can bring a heightened sense of balance and change for everyone.
The full moon closest to the Equinox, which we experienced earlier this week, is the harvest moon. It wasn’t uncommon for our ancestors to work all through the night in the fields harvesting crops in preparation for the winter ahead during the harvest moon. It’s also fitting that our full harvest moon happened in the sign of Pisces (the end of the zodiac year) as we fully step into the darker half of the year.
As with any harvest, themes of abundance and gratitude surface. What always comes up for me around these themes is the idea of equal reciprocity. Equal reciprocity is always important, but with this season being one of balance, it can be a healing theme to explore. So, as you assess the abundance in your life, can you make space also to explore equal reciprocity? If you have an abundance of food, can you find a way to give back to the earth or those who need more food? If you have an abundance of time, how could you use it to serve yourself and others best? Alternatively, if you find yourself lacking in a specific area, could you ask for more of what you need? These questions can be applied to all facets of your life. I’ll touch on this more when we talk correspondences because I have a perfect tarot card for this season.
A final theme that runs through this season is wholeness. Anytime we strive towards balance, we’re moving into more wholeness. It’s a time to take stock, shed what’s no longer serving, and call in what you’d like to see more of in your life. We see this theme reflected perfectly in the apple, which brings me to our first ritual for this season.
Apple Rituals for the Autumn Equinox
I will be focusing solely on apples for this ritual section! Why apples? Apples tend to ripen around this season and are a potent symbol of abundance, gratitude, wholeness. Apples are associated with the underworld connecting them with moving into the darker part of the year. There’s no shortage of myths and folklore from the Celts, Druids, and other Euro-pagans about apples, apple trees, and their spiritual significance. The island of Avalon translates to the “Island of Apples.” Apples are viewed as sacred and magical fruits by many.
When cut horizontally, the apple reveals five seeds in the shape of a star. The five seeds represent the five elements and the four directions. The circle encompassing them (the outer skin of the apple) represents the wholeness these energies create when combined in equal balance. The apple is a sacred symbol of wholeness and the path to wholeness.
Those are just a few reasons why apples are perfect for this season! There are many ways to work apples into your ritual practice this season, which is why I’m solely focusing on apples for these rituals. However, if you’re looking for some other ways to tune into this season, click here or here for some past posts all about the Autumn Equinox.
This ritual is adapted from my book, Understanding The Wheel of the Year, scheduled to come out next month (order it here!).
Apple Ritual for Wholeness
- One apple
- One brown candle and fireproof dish or candle base
- A piece of paper and pen or pencil
Purchase spell candles and candle bases like these from our shop here.
- Gather your materials and ensure that you won’t be disturbed for 20-30 minutes.
- Take 2-3 minutes to center and ground yourself. You can do this by tuning into your body or focusing on your breathing for a couple of minutes.
- Once you feel ready, bring an area of your life to mind that feels out of balance. Write this situation down on a piece of paper.
- Cut your apple across the middle, and then cut a slice from that. Your slice should have a five-pointed star on it representing the five elements.
- Place your paper on the bottom in a fireproof tray, bowl, or plate. Place your apple slice on the top.
- Hold your brown candle in your hand and ask for guidance around finding more balance and wholeness around the situation you wrote out.
- Place your candle on top of the apple. You’ll be using the apple here as a vessel to inspire wholeness in this spell.
- Light your candle and say aloud to yourself, “I am whole and perfectly balanced. So it is.” or something similar. Stay with the candle as it burns.
Note: Always use proper fire safety and care when working with candles. Never leave your candle unattended.
- As your candle burns, gaze at the flame and tune into your breath and body.
- Call in each of the five elements one at a time (Earth, air, fire, water, and spirit) to restore you to wholeness and bring balance.
- Stay with your candle as it burns and feels the support of the five elements around you.
- Be open to any ideas that come to you to find more balance and wholeness in your life.
- Write down any ideas that came to mind to find balance and wholeness in your life.
- Finally, in the vein of equal reciprocity, I suggest giving an offering to the earth for any wisdom, insights, or balancing you found throughout this ritual.
Watch the ritual in this Instagram reel I created below.
Here are some other simple ways to weave apples into your ritual practice.
- Eat apples or drink.
- Bake with apples (one of my favorites!) As you do, be mindful and aware of their sacred connection to wholeness and consider cutting your apples horizontal to reveal their inner star for your final product! I love a good old-fashioned apple pie or tart for this season.
- Adorn your altar or home with apples.
- Go apple picking if it’s in season for you.
- Learn more about myths and folklore about apples connected with your heritage. Many cultures have legends and mythology about apples.
- Meditate while holding an apple, and ask the apple to share its wisdom with you.
- Plant an apple tree
- Save apple seeds to use in other spellwork. They correspond with magic, psychic abilities, protection, rebirth, and death. They’re an excellent option for protection rituals.
- If you have apple trees where you live, work with the wood of the apple tree for ritual or spellwork.
Fall Equinox and Mabon Correspondences
Correspondences are energies that play well together or match. Working with correspondences is a great way to better amplify your rituals, spells or connect with a specific energy. Placing some correspondences for this season can help bring the energy of the Fall Equinox into your space. Here are some of my favorite correspondences for this season, all from my new book, Understanding the Wheel of The Year.
- Moon Phase: Last Quarter Moon
- Energy center: Sacral, heart
- Element: Water
- Crystals: Carnelian, snowflake obsidian, rhodonite, malachite, moonstone, yellow topaz
- Colors: maroon, orange, brown, tan
- Tools and special objects: fall leaves, corn dolly, guards
- Plants and Scents: yarrow, sage, cinnamon, patchouli, frankincense, anise
- Foods: Apples, grains, guards, pumpkins, nuts, seeds, berries
- Runes: Gebo, Fehu, Mannaz, Sowilo
- Goddesses: Cailleach, Persephone, Inanna, the Morrigan, Modron
- Gods: Avalloc, Dionysus, Mabon
I also wanted to touch on some tarot cards for this season. When we discuss equal reciprocity, the card that comes up for me and makes me think of the Equinox and Libra season is the 6 of cups. 6’s correspond with Venus, harmony, and balance. And the cups mirror the water element that corresponds with this season. The card itself speaks to a give and take between one’s self or between you and others. It’s a great card to meditate with or journal about for this season.
As you can see, this is a rich and powerful season. Remember, each sabbat is a season, not a day. You can tune into its energy and honor it anytime until Samhain.
If you enjoyed this share, please consider sharing it with someone who may enjoy it too—wishing you a beautiful second harvest season. Love & Shadow xoxo, Cassie
Cassie Uhl is a published author, artist, intuitive, and founder of Zenned Out. She created Zenned Out in 2012 with the mission to build a brand that normalizes spirituality. In 2018 she self-published her popular and interactive Goddess Discovery Book series. In 2020 her writing and art became more mainstream with Understanding Auras, Understanding Crystals, and Understanding Chakras, published by The Quarto Group. Her writing style and art combine to help marry accessibility with deep spiritual topics. It is her goal to help others understand and live spiritual practices that can change the world. Inspired by her open-minded grandmother, Cassie has been meditating and working with her energy since her teenage years. She received her 200hr YTT in 2012 with a focus on breathwork. Now, her work focuses on energy work, journeying, mediumship, death midwifery, and healing through traditional Celtic shamanic practices.