Autumn Equinox/Alban Elfed Solo Ritual
by Maria Ede-Weaving
This ritual can be performed outdoors on a beach or in a grove. You will need to construct a large spiral of stones or pebbles upon the sand/ground. If this is not possible, the ritual could be adapted for indoor use, creating a mini spiral with stones, chord or ribbon, or merely circling inward to the centre of your circle and back out again.
You will need a white and a black candle, a stone – one that comes from a place that is special to you and connects you to the Earth Goddess – and an apple to connect you to the God of the Harvest.
Ritual Statement: I cast circle to celebrate the festival of the Autumn Equinox. At this time I give heartfelt thanks for the Earth’s bounty: trees swollen with nuts and fruit; the hedgerows heavy with blackberries; the last of the grain gathered and stored.
We feel exhilarated by the sharp blue autumn skies and the vibrant reds of rosehips, haws and rowan berries; by the beginning of the leaves turning, more glorious in their last days. At this moment of great abundance, we feel the days slowing, the evenings darkening and a new chill gathering at the edges of our reverie.
Calling the Goddess: I call upon the Goddess as Ancient Earth Mother, ground of my being. May I honour you always; may my roots grow deep within your rich soil. At this time, I honour you as bright lady of the rowan in berry; the hips, haws and sweet fruits of autumn are your generous bounty. I give thanks for your abundance. You are the strength of badger; the intelligence of fox and as the warm earth gives these creature shelter and safety, you are also our guardian and home.
I honour you also as Ocean Mother, surrendering myself to your vast mystery and grace. Wash clean my weariness and hurt, uphold my heavy heart, cleanse me of life’s burdens. Teach me through your fluid nature to flow easily with whatever life brings me, ever-changing, ever-adapting, ever-deepening my wisdom. May your salt heal my deepest wounds; may your currents be stronger than my darkest mood; may I drink from your sacred chalice and be held in the lap of your tender embrace. Great Goddess of Earth and Sea, please bless me with your presence.
Calling the God: I call upon the God as Father of the Abundant Harvest. Your spirit ripens to fullness in vine, fruit, nut and berry. Guardian of the Sacred Source of all Inspiration, at this time of balance between light and dark, with your deep wisdom guide me towards darkness and repose, towards the source of all life, inspiration and creation, that I might take stock, replenish and give thanks. Please bless me with your presence.
The Beginning of the Journey Inwards to the Source:
At this time of the Autumn Equinox, we not only give thanks and offer gratitude for the immense blessings of our lives, we also contemplate and prepare for the journey towards winter.
At this time when light is balanced with dark, we search for equilibrium in ourselves. As the growing darkness stretches out before us, we celebrate the paradox and mystery that in times of waning we are blessed with harvest; that in endings there are fruits to nourish us through the darker times.
Place a black candle at the centre of your spiral and a white candle at the beginning of the spiral on the outer edge. Stand at the beginning of the spiral. Have with you your apple and your special stone. Say,
Goddess and God, I ask for your guidance as I begin my journey back to the centre of the spiral. Teach me that this is the journey up river to the source, a journey I will make many times in my life, as sure as the ebb and flow of tides, as vital as the breathing in and out of my own body.
Pick up the white candle and light it. The white candle represents the waxing energies of the year. Carrying your candle, your apple and stone, you walk the spiral, silently and slowly with focus and intent to the centre. Take your time and concentrate. Feel yourself actually moving to the deep source within you.
When you reach the centre sit down. There you will find your black candle – this represents the waning energies of the year. Light it and place both candles next to each other with the apple and stone between them. Meditate on the balance that the candles represent; feel the light in equal balance to the dark – this is the gift of the equinox. Reach for that equilibrium within you; feel it as a moment of stillness and peace. Draw this feeling into yourself. Let it nourish and ground you.
Then focus on your stone. Imagine you have roots growing out of you, deep into the earth beneath you; feel your connection to her; feel her as home. Then focus on your apple; feel the abundance of your life; think about the precious things within you that you have brought to this place to nourish and support you through the coming months.
Spend time with your feelings; acknowledge the images and sensations that come. When you feel ready to start your journey out of the spiral say,
I have brought all that is precious here to store deep within me. This place will nourish me through these coming weeks of growing darkness. I welcome the shortening days and the chance to ponder; to sit at winter’s hearth and dream my dreams. From this place of balance I draw strength to move on with joy and gratitude into winter. As the year grows older and wiser, I give praise for my joys and sorrows, for the lessons they have taught me. I welcome the letting go and trust in the wheel’s turning. I give thanks for the countless blessings and abundance I am gifted with. Blessed Be.
Now slowly walk the spiral back out again…
Give Thanks: Sweet Goddess and God of the Abundant Harvest of Earth and Sea, I thank you for your presence and your deep generosity. May your wisdom grace my life; may I honour you, this land and this earth as sacred and precious. Go with me always.