For the Autumn Equinox, the village green had a wonderful candle-lit labyrinth set up by Kay’s Pathway. The labyrinth was marked out by grass seed, so as to leave no harmful paint or suchlike, and then lit by hundreds of candles in lanterns, jars, glasses, whatever was available.
Arriving to it, on a dark and cool September night, felt really rather magical. At the centre of the labyrinth was a conker cairn: the idea of which was that you take a conker (horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum) and walk the path with it, leaving it in the middle. For me, this was an offering to the Earth in thankfulness for the year so far.
It was interesting to see how people reacted, for the most part people walked the labyrinth in silence, or spoke in whispers. Almost everyone seemed instinctively to feel that this was sacred time and sacred space, regardless of beliefs.
The labyrinth was not Pagan, and nor (I imagine) were most people who walked it last night. But it was one of those mysterious traditions that speak of an older way of being that I like to think of as “Folk Pagan”.
I didn’t do a “formal” Equinox ritual, as I have shifted in my practice lately to more simple acts of daily awareness rather than scripts and circles (which I feel work better in a group setting), so having this opportunity to practice walking meditation in the Equinox labyrinth was a beautiful alternative, and to me still very Druidic, way to celebrate Alban Elfed, and also to take part in the activities of my local village community too.
All of that, followed up by a wonderful seasonal brown ale (Water Vole by “From the Notebook” beers, money from which goes to wildlife charities), was a great way to acknowledge the turning of the Wheel of the Year as we spiral into the darkness.
What did you do/what are you doing to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox?