Rituals for the Autumnal Equinox

Here in the central Coast Range Mountains of California, where I live, the Wheel of the Year is quite different from most other places in which Druidry is typically practiced. In order for my personal practice of Druidry to authentically connect with the land, sea, and sky with which I live, it was necessary to rewrite the Wheel of the Year and develop a completely new set of seasonal rituals, which honored our local spirits of place, and the wisdom embodied by the natural seasons and cycles, found here.

The following activities are those which I perform, with family, on or about the day of the Autumnal Equinox, in a dormant, outdoor wild-space — unless smoky air-quality proves too dangerous, in which case it is performed indoors at my altar, aside from the act of offerings of food and water to local wildlife, which must be done outside.


FIRE SEASON – READ-ALOUD

I come to the Sacred Grove today to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, a time of balance between darkness and light that is shared by all living beings on Earth. It is also a time of dramatic change in weather, all over the world. This shared experience, of perfect balance coupled with rapid change serves to unite all beings of planet Earth, despite our many differences.

Here in the Coast Range mountains of Northern California, autumn is the Season of Fire.

As the sun continues its journey southward toward its winter home, the icy Pacific upwelling stops, and summer fogs disperse. Temperatures near the coast now soar, and tinder-dry brush and trees, stressed by the summer-long drought, catch light. Smoky wildfires ravage the land, killing flora and fauna, and destroying forests, fields, and homes.

Though the obvious face of Fire Season is one of destruction, the Power of Fire is also a force of cleansing and renewal. Fire clears space for new growth. It enriches the soil with its ash. And it serves to remind us of our duties, as stewards of the land.

In times of dearth, when Nature fails to provide for our immediate needs, it is the responsibility of wise stewards to provide a Plan B. It is up to us to be prepared, to keep stores of seed, and water, and food, so that we can provide for our beloved kin until the season of suffering ends. Until the arrival of the winter rains, we can help our kindred Beings of land and sea and sky by sharing a bit of our stored water and food, and offering up our heartfelt prayers for the return of the autumn rains.


FIRE SEASON – ACTIVITIES

Read aloud, and re-enact the story, “Singing Down the Rain”

Refresh and restock all emergency supplies; review all emergency preparedness procedures for home and family.

Set out water offerings for the local wildlife. Keep the water bins clean, fresh, and filled throughout the duration of Fire Season.

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