Gathering in the temple, we created elemental altars together. One each for earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Draped cloths in each of the four quarters, plus one in the centre of our circle were adorned with flowers, crystals, feathers, candles, shells, incense... The temple space was cleansed with incense and salt water. We cleansed each other and entered...
Together in our peaceful sanctuary, we grounded, cast a circle and invoked the elements, Deities and other Mysterious Ones.
In this time of balance and change, we wrote on leaves those things we would shed and cast them into the cauldron to be transformed. In this time of harvest, we took apples, naming them for those things we would gratefully reap and take with us into the dark half of the year. In this time of community celebration we gifted eachother with hazelnuts, naming them for the blessings we would wish on eachother.
In this time of Autumn Equinox I gathered with good friends in celebration, shed my fears and tears and grief, held on to my hopes and blessings, and discovered all the good things others wish for me. In this pause from routine, this place of balance between light and dark, summer and winter, when day and night stand as equals, I felt the shift and realised that both balance and change are necessary.
The universe is in a fine dance between stasis and chaos. And so am I. This time of upheaval in my life may well turn out to be a blessing. I am certain that it will be a time of growth and learning.
P.S. Paul's account of the ritual is here.