Celebrating Autumn Equinox: A Simple Ritual of Thanksgiving

My Autumn Equinox altar.

I feel like I could say that every holiday is my favorite one when it arrives, but this year I am especially excited about Autumn Equinox, which will be on Friday, September 22nd. It has been a long, hot, smokey summer, and the return of the autumn rains here in the northwest has me ready to cozy up on the couch with my knitting, my journal, and a good book to thoroughly enjoy the cool, showery weather. I’m already feeling the pull to turn inside myself as we enter this introspective season.

Autumn Equinox is also a time of giving thanks for what we have harvested in our lives so far this year, and I like to include a ritual of gratitude during my celebrations.

For this simple ritual, you’ll need a little bowl of some small item like dried beans, dried rose hips, rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, or a grain of some kind. You want whatever you use to be large enough to pick up piece by piece, so millet or quinoa might not be the best choice! You’ll also want a small jar or another bowl to transfer the items into.

You can do this as part of a larger ritual, or this can be your whole Autumn Equinox celebration.

Light a candle and cast a circle if you would like to. Or you could sit outside to do this ritual enjoying the sights and smells of autumn.

Take a few deep breaths and center yourself. Now, pick up one bean (or whatever you are using) and say something that you are grateful for, and transfer it to the other bowl or jar. Keep going until all your items have been transferred from one bowl to the other. You may have to get creative as you go on, depending on how many items you started out with, but it will help you remember all the things you are grateful for, even things you may not think of very often like having clean water flowing from your faucets, or the fan that kept you cool through the summer heat.

I keep this “gratitude bowl” on my Autumn Equinox altar, to help remind me of all the blessings in my life, and of all that I have harvested this year, big and small.

This year, I will also be adding a small jar of rainwater to my altar in thanksgiving for the return of the rains that have helped dampen the fires that have been burning here in the west, and have cleared the air of smoke. Blessed be the rain! Blessed be fresh air!

If you’d like, you can also do the Autumn Equinox tarot spread that I shared last year.

What seasonal changes are you seeing where you live? How do you like to honor the change in seasons from summer to fall?

May you have a blessed Autumn Equinox and a blessed fall!

3 thoughts on “Celebrating Autumn Equinox: A Simple Ritual of Thanksgiving

  1. magicalfaeriemom says:

    Hi, I’m new to celebrating sabbats and this is my first Mabon, I have a question. I made a “Gratitude Jar” for the whole family to throw in something every evening on the Mabon week, but I’m wondering what should I do with it once the holiday is over? I don’t think tossing them away or burning them would be a good thing as I don’t want to “get rid of” our blessings. Maybe keep the jar until next year, then read our blessings next year before creating a new one. But do I just throw them out then? Hopefully you can help me out 🙂
    Many Mabon Blessings to you!


    • Amy says:

      Thanks so much for the question! I love the idea of doing a family gratitude jar, and I think your idea of saving it and re-reading them before next Mabon is a really good one. I do understand how it feels strange to throw away or burn your blessings, but you can think of it like releasing the positive energy so that it can return to you in a new form. If the paper you wrote on is biodegradable, you could also bury them next year after you re-read them. I think if you make a ceremony of burning or burying them, or even just putting them in your recycle bin, and visualize all of that positive energy being released into the world as a blessing, it may help it not feel like you are “destroying” your blessings. It is like composting something–letting it go to nourish something new. I hope that helps! Bright blessings, and may you enjoy your first Mabon!

      Liked by 1 person

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