This Wednesday, 21 March, marks a time of equilibrium when the hours of day and light will be equal. In the Northern Hemisphere, it will be the Spring Equinox, where the energy is manifesting before action, however here in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the time of the Autumn Equinox, the time of repose after action as we edge towards the darker months of the year.
We can take satisfaction in the work undertaken during the warmer months and reap the benefits. Daylight saving is also about to end, and with it the realisation that Summer is well and truly over. It is now time to make preparations for the colder Winter months, if we have not done so already.
In the northwestern sky, Taurus the Bull is close to setting, with the Pleiades the first to go from sight. The Milky Way arches from the northwest to the southeast across the sky. Higher up and a little to the south, Orion the Hunter and his two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, make a spectacular sight as they dominate the western horizon. Virgo, the Young Maiden, is coming up in the northeast with its bright star, Spica, and Libra the Scales is just starting to rise. To the south, at roughly eight o’clock, the Pointers are pushing the Southern Cross up the sky in the southeast.
Within contemporary Wytchcraft, the Autumn Equinox within the seasonal mythos of the Wheel of the Year is the time when the God (the Divine Masculine) begins to change his appearance once more, aging with the seasons. From the Sun King at the Summer Solstice and the Corn or Grain God at Lughnasadh, he now takes on the guise of the Lord of the Wine, represented in the second harvest – that of grape and fruit.
This sabbat is effectively his last dance upon the earth before he descends completely into the Underworld where he will take up his role as the Dread Lord of Shadows. Until that time arrives, there is a call for celebration and wild abandonment. The ancient Greeks called him Dionysus, and to the Romans he was Bacchus, the God not only of wine, but also of music and dance.
As he calls to us in his dance, the God’s presence becomes more shadowy as he is drawn to the call of the Underworld. This call can be heard in each sigh of the wind through the trees, and if we are quick, we can get a glimpse of him in the shades of early dusk. He leads us to the hidden, inwards places of our souls and invites us to explore.
Excerpt from Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats by Frances Billinghurst which can be purchased through Amazon.com.