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 The Mabon Edition 
Thank you for subscribing to Inner Circle Sanctuary's newsletter. Included is information about the Autumn Equinox, links to upcoming events sponsored by ICS, recent blog posts, & information on joining our membership.
Autumnal Equinox - September Equinox - Mabon 
Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 1:02 PM PT
The Equinox is an astronomical event that occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fall equinox marks the first day of autumn in what is called the astronomical seasons. At the equinox, at the equator, the Sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. The day and night are not quite exactly equal, as the name translates*, due to the angular size of the sun and atmospheric refraction. That day, called the equilux, will occur here in Las Vegas on

Tuesday, September 26 
The sun will rise at 6:31 AM PT and will set at 6:31 PM PT

*Equinox is derived from the Latin aequinoctium, 
aequus (equal) and 
nox (genitive noctis) (night).


Photo from: https://storm338.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/autumnal-equinox-is-here/
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX RITUAL
by Lord Tanys

We consider Sabbats to be times of communion with the Gods, and harmonization with Nature, at the turning points of the “Wheel of the Years.”  Our late High Priest, Lord Mordred, always said “Sabbats are the Gods’ time,” and so we never do spellwork or initiations on Sabbat days. We do however, make offerings of food and drink, and ask boons of the Gods, in the form of a wish written on parchment, wrapped around a candle, and burnt in our sacred center fire.

As our theme for the Autumn Equinox is “Thanksgiving” we write what we are thankful for on our parchment, and wrap it around a silver candle. Silver candles are used as “Thank You Candles” in our Tradition. For what are you thankful this year?

We also play the “Candle Game” at Autumn Equinox, as described in “A Witches Bible Compleat” by Janet and Stewart Farrar. It is a very entertaining game for a group of adults to play- as long as you have a good sense of humor, and enjoy a lot of kissing, and being (lightly) scourged! If you don’t, by the way, we are definitely not the coven for you…

As we are a Nature based religion, we relate most to the Harvest aspects of this time of year, Mabon being the middle of three Harvest Sabbats; the first being Lughnassadh, and the last, Samhain. Other groups and traditions mark this Solar tide in their own way, with their own focus.

Why are Equinoxes so powerful to those of us who believe such things? I liken it to a two cylinder engine, preferably a V-Twin. At the Solstices, one cylinder is diminished- Day overtaking Night at the Summer Solstice, and Night absorbing Day at the Winter Solstice. At the Equinoxes, both cylinders are firing equally- that’s a lot of magical torque!

Let’s examine how some other magical groups observe the Equinox.

The Ordo Aurum Solis (Order of the Gold of the Sun) performs Affirmation Rituals in its Houses of Initiates. These rituals theugically reinforce (affirm) cohesion within the Houses, their attachment to the Order, and to the Egregore of the Order as a whole. 

The Golden Dawn observes this potent time with grand ceremonies as found in “The Golden Dawn” by Israel Regardie, and “The Equinox and Solstice Ceremonies of the Golden Dawn” by Pat and Chris Zalewski.

How will you celebrate Mabon? Whether you are a Solitary Practitioner, or part of a group or coven, observing this powerful time of the year with joy and reverence will join you to a large community of magical people, and harmonize you with Nature, and energize your Spirit. May Frith and good seasons go with you!

Happy Mabon!

This is an abbreviated version of a comprehensive post by Lord Tanys. Read more about Mabon, relating to the season, and how others celebrate the holiday here.
DEMETER
by Lady Anwyn

The name Demeter comes from de, which is a derivative of the Cretan word dêai, meaning barley, and the word meter which means mother. De could also come from the Greek word da which means earth. Whichever etymology you choose to believe, it means the same thing. Demeter is the earth mother. Demeter’s influence was not limited to just grain, but extended to vegetation and fruits in general, and thus fertility. Women, especially, revere Demeter for her attributes of health, birth, and marriage.

As a mother goddess, Demeter is usually depicted as a mature woman with a chaplet of corn bearing a cornucopia and a torch. Her festivals take place during the harvest season and the first corn was always given to her as an offering. To ensure the fertility of the crops, pigs were often sacrificed to the goddess. Animals that are sacred to Demeter are pigs, serpents or geckos, and bees. 

During these modern times, we certainly aren’t going to sacrifice a pig to honor the goddess. Most of us probably don’t have a corn harvest either. If you would like to make an offering to Demeter during her harvest season, you could make corn muffins and share them with the goddess. The best ways to commune with the gods and to make offerings is just to share your time and effort with them.  After all, Demeter is the mother goddess. Don’t you want to spend time with your mother? 

This is an abbreviated version of a wonderful essay on Demeter by Lady Anwyn. Please read the whole piece here.
CELEBRATING THE ELDERLY
by Lady Adalynne

Beyond the daily care of our aging parents, how can we do better as a culture to celebrate our elderly? Here are a few ideas:

-    As the saying goes, “Age before beauty,” proper etiquette dictates that the eldest female is given priority in these circumstances:

o    When people are seated. (Older men offered remaining seats.)
o    When opening doors for others.
o    When orders are taken at a restaurant.

-    These are more ways to celebrate our elders:
o    Serving them first at home mealtime.
o    Driving them around for appointments or errands after they relinquish their driver
o    Call them as often as you can, send them letters or cards, invite them to social functions, and drive them to their favorite activities to alleviate loneliness triggered depression.
o    Ask for their advice to acknowledge their wisdom and value.

Consider this, if you believe in the concept of reincarnation, then we are possibly the older souls who came after them and we are caring for them now as our spiritual children from past lives. Even if you extend compassion and kindness to an unrelated elder, you never know when your souls may cross paths again in future lifetimes.

This is an abbreviated version of a great post by Lady Adalynne. Please read the whole piece here.
HOW TO CELEBRATE AUTUMN EQUINOX
by Lady Nashoba

Autumn was always my favorite time of year. The air gets crisper, the nights get chilly. We have made it through the blazing heat of summer; it’s perfect hoodie weather without the freezing temperatures, or the gray hued days of winter.  

Some things to do to celebrate the Equinox:
  • Go outside!  Seriously, notice the changes in the season. Have a picnic with friends and family. 
  • Find some balance in your life. Meditate. This is a time that can get you a little off kilter; you may have excessive energy, and things are totally out of control, or little to no energy to accomplish even the simplest daily tasks. You can even feel “spiritually lopsided”. Meditation will help bring those in line, bring you back to center.
  • Volunteer! Whether it’s at a food bank, an animal shelter or to clean up some public land or park. Volunteering is a great way to teach children to be grateful for the abundance they have and how to give back to the community.  It also does an adult soul good, as well.  
  • Grapes are abundant this time of year. Honor the wine deities. Take a tour of a winery; have dinner party with some great friends; take a wine-making class.  
This is the time that we celebrate the light, and welcome the dark. There are so many things to do to celebrate, acknowledging, meditating, and thankfulness are just the beginning.

Wishing you all a wonderful harvest season.  Blessed Be.

This is an abbreviated version of a beautiful post by Lady Nashoba. Please read the whole piece here.
"Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again."

~chant
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Midsummer Information gathered from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/literally-psyched/why-we-celebrate-the-summer-solstice/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reckoning_of_Time
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bede
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00155870802352178

Photo credits:
Globe Photo from http://www.michaelquinton.org/summer-solstice.html
Epona ~ The Celtic Horse Goddess By Emily Balivet, 2009 http://www.emilybalivet.com/Epona.html
Vestal Virgin by Jean Raoux (1677–1734) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_Raoux_-_Vestal_Virgin_-_WGA18999.jpg
Kupala (aka Festivities on Midsummer Night) by Wojciech Gerson  (1831–1901) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gerson-Kupala.jpg
Osterfeuer TK on the beach of Binz, Rügen island, Germany by Tom Küpper
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Osterfeuer_TK.jpg
The God Face Surreal by Kyle Pearce 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/keepitsurreal/1794450683
'Fairy Islands' from the book Elves and Fairies 1916 by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Fairy_Islands%27_from_the_book_Elves_and_Fairies_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite.jpg
Ra aboard the Atet, his solar barge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_deity#/media/File:Ra_Barque.jpg
Apollo in his chariot with the hours by John Singer Sargent Museum of Fine Arts
http://www.mfa.org/collections/publications/john-singer-sargent-murals-museum-fine-arts-boston
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