An equinox altar with symbols of autumn as well as the sea. Photo by Meghan MacLean.
Fall Equinox is the time when the seas become rough as the winter gales set in. It is also the middle of the harvest, when day and night are of equal length, and the family pauses the harvest to have a feast, in honor of the occasion.
Making an Equinox Altar
You can make an Equinox altar somewhere in the house or in a covered place outside. Remember that Fall Equinox is the middle of the harvest. The harvest is not quite finished and there are still things to do.
It is nice to put a few samples of what you are harvesting now on the altar. That could be vegetables, herbs or flowers if you have a garden or images of things that you are achieving in your life at this time, as well as images of the things you want to dream into your life in future.
Fall Equinox is a time of transition when the oceans churn and boil. A few sea shells, a statue of a porpoise or a starfish and some blue sparkly cloth will evoke the oceans at the change of season. And a Mermaid or Merman can represent the creatures of the ocean, seen and unseen.
* Place blue and green cloth and stones on the altar to symbolize the world under the waves.
* Look for things that are unique to the fall, such as pine cones, colorful leaves, seasonal flowers, and freshly fallen nuts, and use them to decorate the altar.
* Place images or little statues of Mermen and Mermaids on the altar, along with a bowl of seawater or salt water.
* Add pictures or little statues of water animals, such as seals, swans, seagulls, pelicans, otters, fish, dolphins, and whales.
* Place some seashells on the altar.
* Put small bowls of freshly gathered crops—berries, grapes, grains, nuts, apples, or any other seasonal items—on the altar to symbolize the bounty of the land.
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Fall Equinox Altar: Giving Thanks & Setting Intentions
The Fall Equinox altar is a place to give thanks for what has been accomplished in the light half of the year and to set your intention for what you wish to accomplish in the dark half of the year.
Put written notes on the altar offering thanks for all you have been given this year and identifying anything that would be a seed for future projects and personal growth. (If the altar is outside, place these notes in jars with lids to protect them from the elements.)
Other Fall Equinox Projects
* Store fresh produce and herbs for the winter by drying, canning, pickling, and freezing.
* Make jams, jellies, and pies from fruits that are ripe at this time. Make gingerbread creatures—horses, geese, Mermen, Mermaids, and any other symbols of the season.
* Make breads and cakes using small bits of many different grains (cornmeal, wheat flour, rye flour, barley flour, and so on) and any berries that are in season (cranberries, blackberries, and so on) to celebrate the harvest.
* Bring a basket of fresh vegetables from the garden to a local food bank to feed the poor.
* Bake a cake and offer a piece to the fire to appease any evil forces and to ward off bad luck.
* Plant a tree. The Fall Equinox is the very best time to do that!
* Dig new carrots and tie them in bunches with red ribbons or thread. Give the bunches to friends, sweethearts, and neighbors.
* Leave offerings of berries, fruits, flowers, herbs, and nuts outside for the land spirits
* * * * *
In Fall Is the Harvest
In Fall is the harvest.
The pumpkins are fat,
The leaves are falling,
What do you think of that?
In Fall we get apples,
Donuts, and cider,
As wind blows the leaves
Higher and higher!
The cornstalks are yellow
And dried in the Sun.
Raking leaves into piles
Means jumping and fun!
Soon will be Halloween
With goblins and ghosts.
Then comes Thanksgiving
And big turkey roasts.
We give thanks for the harvest
And all that it brings.
Warmth, love, and family
Make our hearts sing!
© 2022 Ellen Evert Hopman.
Edited excerpt printed with permission
from the publisher, Destiny Books,
an imprint of Inner Traditions International.
BOOK: Once Around the Sun
Once Around the Sun: Stories, Crafts, and Recipes to Celebrate the Sacred Earth Year
by Ellen Evert Hopman. Illustrated by Lauren Mills.
In this beautifully illustrated book, Ellen Evert Hopman shares rich stories drawn from traditional folktales, hands-on crafts, and seasonal recipes to help families and classrooms learn about and celebrate traditional holy days and festivals of the sacred earth year. Designed to be read out loud, the stories are complemented with pronunciation guides and translations for foreign words.
For each story, the author includes hands-on projects special to the holiday--from crafting magical wands and brooms to flower crowns and Brighid’s Crosses--as well as seasonal recipes, allowing families to enjoy the tastes, smells, and sounds associated with the feast days and celebrations.
For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition
About the Author
Ellen Evert Hopman has been a Druidic initiate since 1984. She is a founding member of the Order of the White Oak, an Archdruidess of the Tribe of the Oak, and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages. She is the author of several books, including Walking the World in Wonder.
The book's illustrator, Lauren Mills, has won national acclaim as both an author/illustrator and a sculptor. She is the author and illustrator of the award-winning The Rag Coat.