Did you know that throughout history February 2nd has been a day of celebration? On this day... people would celebrate the coming of Spring and the soon to come end of Winter. In different parts of the world farmers begin tilling the earth on this day, preparing their gardens to be planted. Pretty neat how it is also "Groundhog's Day" where we wait to see if Punxsutawney Phil is going to predict a few more weeks of winter or not. Over time this day has evolved into many different names within many different cultures... Imbolc, St. Brigid's Day, Candlemas.
Whichever name you wish to call this day... it is a day that many use as a time for purification, cleansing, beginning anew... i.e., spring cleaning! It is also a time used for creativity and commitment. So say your new year's resolution didn't quite work out for you over the past four weeks... Well here's another chance.! Start fresh... for now is the time to celebrate all things new. Give your house a thorough cleaning and even yourself! Commit to yourself to make a change... to rid yourself of the lulls of Winter and energize yourself for the coming Spring! Open your windows and let the chilly air and the warm sun cleanse out the stale and stagnant air in your home.
The Romans also celebrated this day by dedicating it to Goddesses Venus and Diana... both Goddesses of Love. The first flower of Spring was associated with these Goddesses hence the timing of this day as well. Not to mention the month of February was named for Goddess Februa... the Goddess of Fresh Starts. So another way to celebrate this day is to decorate for Valentine's Day!
I love how so many things that we do today, whether we take them seriously or consider them folklore, are all interconnected... representing times passed. So have fun with this day... after all... a little head start on Spring Cleaning couldn't hurt right?
Happy Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, Second Harvest! Today is celebrated throughout so many different cultures. It is a day of balance where day and night are equal and it is a day of thanks for the bountiful harvest that you have received until now.
There are so many ways you can celebrate this day be it big or small. Recognize the balance of day and night and bring some balance into your life where you feel it is needed. Give thanks today for all your blessings throughout the past year and celebrate with a feast using fall's harvest of squash, gourds, apples, seeds etc. Even if you don't garden or have a farm... your "harvest" or "bounty" can be represented by all the gifts and blessings that have come to you this year. This is a time to recognize that the warmer months are behind us and to prepare for the colder months ahead. Go for a walk and embrace and appreciate the nature around you. Decorate your home in fall colors!
I've mentioned "Giving Thanks" a couple of times and this is probably making you think of one of our American Holidays in November... Thanksgiving. Well... I am completely amazed from what I've learned in my research of the Autumn Equinox. Did you know that the original date of the Thanksgiving Holiday was October 3rd, which makes a lot of sense considering that most of the harvest has been depleted by the end of November.
"In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his "Thanksgiving Proclamation", which changed the date to the last Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt adjusted it yet again, making it the second-to-last Thursday, in the hopes of boosting post-Depression holiday sales. Unfortunately, all this did was confuse people. Two years later, Congress finalized it, saying that the fourth Thursday of November would be Thanksgiving, each year." -about.com.
So although we of course we will always celebrate Thanksgiving in the end of November. There's no reason not to give thanks all year round, especially during this time when the Autumn Equinox celebrates the ending of one season and the beginning of another.
So today take a moment to find balance, give thanks, and appreciate the beauty that is being provided to us during this time of year.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
~ The Declaration of Independence
Today is the Summer Solstice (Midsummer, Litha, St. Johns Day) ... the longest day of the year when the sun is at it's highest power.
The calendars mostly call this day the day that Summer begins... Why then do some call it Midsummer you ask? Because according to old folklore calendars, Summer begins May 1st and ends on August 1st placing this day, June 21st, exactly in the middle... Hence... Midsummer. To me this does tend to make more sense since all days following today gradually begin getting shorter
Today is a day full of magick and folklore and tradition...Soak up the sun, eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Celebrate the earth and it's bounty. Wear flowers in your hair.