Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Equinox. Merry Mabon. Autumn. Second Harvest. Freyas Blot

Say Goodbye to Summer! Our journey towards Winter has begun.

Autumn Equinox near September 21stFallfest of is another joyous festival in the Asatru holy calendar, and falls on the Autumn Equinox, and is the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere: the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward; the equinox occurs around September 22 - 24, varying slightly each year according to the 400-year cycle of leap years in the Gregorian Calendar. Fallfest represents the second harvest of the season.

Bonfires, feasting and dancing played a large part in the festivities. Even into Christian times, villagers cast the bones of the slaughtered cattle upon the flames, cattle having a prominent place in the pre-Christian Germanic world. (Though folk etymology derives the English word "bonfire" from these "bone fires,") With the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family then solemnly lit their hearth from the common flame, thus bonding the families of the village together.
Materially speaking it marked the beginning of the gathering of food for the long winter months ahead, bringing people and their livestock in to their winter quarters. To be alone and missing at this dangerous time was to expose yourself and your spirit to the perils of imminent winter. In present times the importance of this part of the festival has diminished for most people. From the point of view of an agricultural people, for whom a bad season meant facing a long winter of famine in which many would not survive to the spring, it was paramount.
At the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. In the northern hemisphere, before the autumnal equinox, the sun rises and sets more and more to the north, and afterwards, it rises and sets more and more to the south.
In ancient times, our European ancestors celebrated their Harvest Feast, where they have found many reasons to be thankful and to celebrate. Our people have done this for as long as we can trace our history. Although what our people have felt thankful for has certainly changed over the many years, remember you sit down this year with your family, you're participating in an ancient tradition. And it's a great time to figure out what you're thankful for.

* 9/23 (5:04 a.m. EDT): C--Marks the beginning of Autumn and point of equal daylight and darkness; celebrates the bounty of Mother Earth with feasting and aiding those in need.

Harvest (around September 23) - At the Autumn Equinox, we give praise and thanks to the group of Germanic deities known as the Vanir, whose specialties are fertility, plenty, and pleasure. The best known Vanir are the twins Frey and Freya, but there are others.

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