Balancing Acts

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles,

Today is the Autumn Equinox in my part of the world (and the Vernal Equinox for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere). So I want to wish you all a Happy and Blessed Equinox and mention just a few practices that I do every year around this time – you might want to adopt some of these into your own practices or they might give you some ideas about different things you might want to do.

Deep Cleaning – We talk about Spring Cleaning but Fall Cleaning is a thing too! My family takes time around the Equinox (depending on when the Equinox falls it is not always ON the exact date of the event) to physically and spiritually clean our home. This includes doing things like breaking out all of our fall, Halloween, and Dia de los Muertos decorations, setting up an elaborate ancestor altar, and also creating the shrine to celebrate the Feast Day of Archangel Michael which happens at the end of the month.

I do a ceremony that usually lasts about an hour and a half that includes banishing and blessing work. I work with a ceremonial sword I inherited to cut away any unwanted influences and to seal and protect all doors and windows in our home. I sweep out the house from back to front as this tradition has precedent in both the conjure and currendera traditions I grew up with as a child. Then, I go through the house with Florida Water and I cap it all of my lighting a candle in each room and censing the house (again, back to front) with an aromatic scent like copal, frankincense, or ethically sources palo santo. I round off the entire event with offerings, usually made outside in our magical garden.

Practically speaking I also use this time to do an inventory of our home – do batteries need to be replaced in the smoke alarms? Do any minor repairs need to be seen to in or around the house? Are there any areas in dire need of re-organization? Have I made appointments to have our chimney swept and our furnace checked out once the weather starts to turn? These banal tasks are the exact kinds of things that I always forget and really don’t want to attend to, but when I put them into a ritual context – when they become the practical actions that ground my magical rites – all of a sudden they are much easier to remember.

Caring for Sacred Arts Tools – Caring for our sacred arts tools is an extension of spiritual cleaning. For many magical practitioners the summer is a chaotic, crazy time as is the start of the school year. Go check out your altar, your desk, or wherever it is that you do the bulk of your magical work and make your spiritual devotions. Chances are there are objects in your space that have just kind of ended up there – they are not really adding anything to the space. Do a quick inventory: what is here? What, of the objects that are here, are you actually using? Of the objects that you are using, how might they need to be cared for? Is your lodestone covered not just in magnetic sand but also dust? Time to clean it off and give it a good splash of whisky! Is your cord looking a little tattered and frayed? Snip off the loose ends and make it a ritual by naming any physical loose ends with any loose ends currently at work in your life. Is there a truly funky food or libation offering that needs to be taken care of? Clean it out, clean it up, and put something back on the altar that will be appreciated by your Holy Helpers. Do you have a bunch of sigils and petition papers lying around? Gather them up and decide on a time to ceremonially burn them in order to release their energy (I always do this on the last day of the calendar year).

Tending Your Altars – One you begin caring for your sacred arts tools you might find that you actually need to clean up, re-organize, or perhaps create for the first time, your altar and sacred working space. This is a good time to begin setting up an ancestor altar if you plan on doing one for the season of the dead – you can and will add to it in the coming weeks. If you have children this can be a great time to help them create their own altars. If you find that you need more working space then you might consider creating different altars for different purposes – placing one in the East to draw things to you and one in the West for banishing work, or perhaps creating a space for working on love and relationships and a different space for working on money and prosperity. Don’t forget about the first altar, your own blessed and physical body. Have you paid attention to it lately? Are you listening to what it has to tell you? How do you incorporate your physical body into your spiritual practice? Perhaps you need to bless it and maybe one way of doing that is scheduling a doctor’s appointment, getting a massage, or taking up a new form of physical activity.

If you decide to take on any (or all) of these Equinox activities then you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed (and being pretty busy for the day), but you may also discover that one of the subtle joys of living an enchanted life is the tending and taking care of your own magic. Your practice, your Holy Helpers, and your space will thank you for it as you bring the various elements into balance once more.

What are your favorite ways of celebrating the Equinox?

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

7 thoughts on “Balancing Acts

  1. Love this. I’ve definitely been feeling the call to tidy, organize, neaten, restock. Virgo season, indeed :-) And as a Taurean, I like my larder full, but magical supplies and herbs refreshed and restocked, and everything ready for the darker months. Love this call to also cut, cleanse, seal, and protect. Thank you, Bri! And Mabon blessings to you and your sweet family. xx Robin W

  2. My birthday is usually the Equinox (as it is this year), and I’m amused to discover I spent the morning doing many of the things you suggest here. I redid my ‘up all the time’ shrine, set up new altars for prosperity work and work with Venus (for love, but also beauty, joy, pleasures of the senses). New this year is exploring lodestones, so I’m excited to see how that goes!

  3. Robin, YES. The larder is actually a piece I did not mention but goes along beautifully with the rest – part of tending to our magical supplies is making sure that they are well stocked!

  4. Jenett – love the name “up all the time shrine”! Have so much fun learning about and working with your lodestones and happy birthday!!!

  5. I’m brand new to this group and want to share my gratitude for this magical, creative space! I “lost” most of my belongings just over a year ago and it’s remarkable to witness what’s “left” finding space in a new place with a sense of belonging (magnetically drawn into alignment)! I’ve always loved collecting stones (crystals) natural ornaments, plants, herbs, grains, fabrics and seeds (I’m excited to begin a new cycle) I feel very inspired practicing with everyone!

  6. Mary, I am so glad that you are sharing this with us and that you are feeling the magic. This is a trope I have heard from other students as well who have lost so many of their possessions – to find what has remained to discover what is really needed. It reminds me so much of the Tower card’s message of finding jewels in the ruins. TY for sharing!

  7. I too am new to this group and very new to many of the the things discussed here. However, I was in Ireland for the Equinox and it simply felt like an end and a beginning, if that makes sense. I feel very naive concerning the practices but do have a natural inclination and connection to them

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