5 Facts About September Equinox Traditions That Started With Pagans

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 Ways Fall Decor, Traditions & The September Equinox All Started With Pagans

For the second time of the year the entire world is in complete balance for a moment between light and dark. That's because it's a time to celebrate the September Equinox. 

What is the September Equinox?

Also known as the Autumnal Equinox, we know that it's a time of harvesting.

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But did you know that the roots of Equinox come from Paganism and Greek Mythology? Although Pagans may not consider themselves a religion, their practices during this time year can't be separated by their role in the festivities.

Equinox season began when Hades, the god of the underworld, and Zeus compromised to divide the seasons to appease Demeter so she would stop mourning the loss of her daughter, Persephone, to Hades. 

When is the first day of Fall 2020?

While the exact date varies year over year, the first day of Fall begins on September 22nd. But this is only in the Northern Hemisphere; for those in the Southern Hemisphere, Fall begins in March.

The September Equinox doesn't begin at midnight, however. It begins: 9 AM EDT, 8:30 AM CDT, 7:30 AM MDT, and 6:30 AM PDT.

Here are 5 truly interesting rumors, details, and facts about the September Equinox, Paganism, Mabon, and Stonehenge Winter Solstice.

1. Paganism is far from what you think it is.

There are possibly 1 million Pagans in the United States alone. The roots of Paganism come from ancient religious practices followed in various Greek and Egyptian and Roman cultures. 

The most recognized symbol of Paganism is the 5-pointed start in a circle called "The Pentacle."

The points of the symbol represent the four directions: East, West, North, South, and the sacred spirit. Some refer to these as the Guardian of the Watchtowers and the sacred spirit.

2. The Sacred Spirit and celebration of Equinox is called 'Mabon.'

Mabon marks the beginning of the second harvesting which is centered on grains, specifically wheat.

The day also marks a season when darkness reigns over the light world until Springtime when light rules over darkness. They also consider this a time of energy exchange between feminine energy and masculine energy.

RELATED: What's The Difference Between An Equinox And A Solstice?

3. 'Mabon' takes place every year at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is one of the 7 wonders of the world and is located in England.

No one knows how the structure ended up here. But the placement of the stones can predict the exact time of the changes in seasons

Some scholars speculate that Stonehenge may have been used to predict the astronomical events taking place at this time. Stonehenge may also have been used by ancient astrologers as a calculator to time the movement of the sun, planets, and stars into their various placements of the zodiac. 

In fact, the Spring Equinox is the start of the astrological New Year. Some zodiac signs are even referred to as seasons. For example, Libra and Aries are called Equinox signs, while Cancer and Capricorn are considered solstices.  

4. The September Equinox involves a celebration ceremony.

Although mostly everyone considers Cornucopias as a symbol for Harvest and Thanksgiving, it's actually a Pagan practice to acknowledge life and death.

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Pagans gather gourds and put them into a wicker cornucopia, along with a pine broom from a pine tree, including pine cones and acorns. These items are put inside a wicker basket that's all natural and set on the center of the kitchen table, typically with a burgundy or brown candle, or taper candle.

These items are an offering at the end of the Equinox ceremony, a reminder that things are returning to the ground. This return to the earth symbolism is another reminder that new life is coming again soon.

They anoint the candles, basket, and gourds with scented and seasonal oils, and say a prayer to the goddesses and the gods.

5. Music, teas, and food are part of the festivities.

Tea is drunk with a special meal during this ceremony. Individual cups of tea are offered to the Pagan gods and goddesses, including the gods of darkness and light. Food is also served with a prayer.

When the ceremony is over, the offering is buried into the ground to symbolize the cycle of nature. 

However, you decide to bring in the Fall Harvest as winter is ushering in, we all can practice gratitude — the act of giving thanks for our blessings while looking forward to new life in the Spring.

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Aria Gmitter, M.F.A., is YourTango's Senior Editor for Horoscopes and Spirituality. She's an astrologer, numerologist, tarotist and theologian.