Autumn Equinox is upon us, day & night are equal, we are at the tipping point. The landscape turns from green to brown as fields are ploughed, and leaves take on diverse & splendid hues. The grain crops now safely stored away, whilst in the orchards, fruit is gathered.
The festival of Mabon is celebrated, we give thanks for what we have received from our summer labours. It is a time for celebration, but also for mourning the passing of the God, both in his solar aspect & his earthly guises of Green Man, Oak King & John Barleycorn.
It is the time of 2nd harvest, the 3rd harvest of flesh & souls is yet to come at Samhain.
We would like to share with you a pathworking, that we have written, and will be working at the Autumn Equinox. For those who took our Spring path, you may find a sense of familiarity within the landscape. Please feel free to join us, as we journey into Fall.
Our followers in the Southern Hemisphere may choose to take our Spring path.
AUTUMN EQUINOX PATHWORKING
Find your own way into sacred space. (You may wish to cast a circle, light a candle, burn some appropriate incense). Close your eyes, relax and begin rhythmic breathing.
Finding yourself walking on a path, you come to a gate, take careful note of its appearance, colour, symbols etc. When you are ready, open it and pass through. You find yourself in a meadow, the summer flowers which flourished here are now replaced with an abundance of wild fungi. The air is warm & moist and the late afternoon sunlight is pleasant against your skin. You notice in the fields adjoining the meadow, that the barns & farm buildings hold rows of neatly stacked Hay-bales. In a nearby orchard there are pickers gathering in the ripened fruit from the heavily laden boughs. What scents & sounds are in the air?………………..Reflect for a moment to acknowledge & give thanks for what we have received during the Summer-tide; that which has nourished us & will continue to do so during the lean times to come.
The meadow is surrounded by hedgerows, a small wood lies ahead. A lone, hunting barn owl catches your attention as it glides toward you. Circling above your head it comes to rest on a nearby hedge, rotating its head to look directly at you, a sense of contact is initiated. Feeling sure that this is a guide, but with some trepidation, you silently agree to follow in its wake. The Owl flies off toward the wood, keeping a short distance ahead. Experiencing a vague sense of unease and uncertain of whether to continue, you pause. (You may at this point choose to go no further and return across the meadow. Pass through the gate & return to your everyday awareness). Alternatively you accept the invitation to follow on into the wood.
On entering the wood you notice the odd leaf fluttering to the ground, although some leaves remain green, others with hues of amber, citrine, & olive are present. The Owl flying overhead leads you along a winding path, further into the heart of the wood. What do you see, hear & smell?……………
Approaching the heartland you find yourself at the entrance to a clearing, looking upward for your guide, the Owl is nowhere to be seen. Stepping into the clearing you immediately see a large throne upon which is seated a hunched figure…………..
Moving closer you see that his face is wrinkled, weathered & shows his great age, his eyes are drooping and tired. His gnarled hands give the appearance of twisted branches. Upon his bowed head a crown of Oak leaves dry and withered, his once proud shoulders now slouched. His head lays slumped almost upon his chest, which by its almost imperceptible rise & fall indicates he is living. You hear his laboured breathing, he manages to slightly lift his eyes holding yours for a moment. There is a strong impression that he is trying to convey a message, but you are unsure as to what the message is. The Owl alights, perching upon the back rest of the throne. Before you can enquire as to the message, the figure takes a shuddering, rattling breath, his eyes close and finally he is still. Before your eyes the figure starts to disintegrate & decompose, until all that remains is his crown of Oak leaves upon the throne. You are struck by the realisation that you have witnessed the death of the ‘Oak King’.
Pause for a moment to reflect upon his passing……..
The Owl plucks an Acorn from the crown, its defiant posture challenges you to approach and take it………..Do you risk beak & claw for this gift?……………
Reaching out you take the acorn from the beak & put it in your pocket.
The dying king’s unspoken message resides within this gift.
A chill breeze whips up, dusk is falling and it is time for you to leave this place. The Owl remains upon the throne and screeches a farewell. Feeling confident you begin the return journey alone. There are many more leaves falling from the trees, forming a crisp carpet, their colours now touched with crimson, the colour of the dying Sun.
Arriving at the outer wood you notice underfoot is now damp and that the bed of leaves is soggy and mulching beneath your feet. Emerging from the wood, you see a lone figure veiled and dressed in black, standing a little way off. A powerful wave of grief & loss emanates from her and envelopes you. You recognise her as the ‘Mourning Mother’, and standing in silent communication you share in her bereavement…………….
You raise a hand in salute & turn toward the gate.
Heading back across the meadow it is now dark, there is a clear starry sky and the air is damp & chill. Pass through the gate, closing it firmly behind you, and return to your everyday awareness.
The mid point between Equinox & Samhain, as the God descends into the underworld, is a opportune time to work with the Oak King’s gift.
Visualise your acorn in as much detail as possible & meditate upon this image to reveal the message/promise held within.
A period of meditation on at least 3 consecutive days is recommended. This allows you to bore down fully into the kernel of the subject, thus revealing its fullest meaning.
At Samhain we enter the dark half of the year (Gaimos), traditionally this is the time for reflective practice.
For those in the Southern Hemisphere who are entering the light half of the year (Samos), you can use our ‘Egg Meditation’ following our ‘Spring Pathworking’.
Wishing all our followers a very fruitful Autumn Equinox.