Autumn Equinox 2010

On 26th September, members of Hollow Hills celebrated the Autumn Equinox with a ritual dedicated to the Greek goddess, Demeter.

Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presides over grains and fertility of the earth  and the seasons.  Demeter and her daughter Persephone are central figures in the Eleusinian Mysteries (secret initiation ceremonies held annually at Eleusis in ancient Greece and regarded as a major festival during the Hellenic era).

The celebration of the Autumn Equinox is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of deities during the winter months.

Offerings of food and drink featured heavily in this ritual, with gifts of honey, bread, fruits and wine being given, and of course the throwing of barley at the altar by all members simultaneously.  Always a fun part of Greek rituals!

We cast for two omens using “astragali” (knuckle bones) and a corresponding omen table: the first omen received gave us the message “There are no crops to be reaped that were not sewn” and the second, “You will go more easily if you wait a short time”.

The first seems to be guiding us to think about what foundations are we laying, either in our personal lives or as a grove, that will give us our desired outcomes? Are we reaping what we sow?

The second seemed to be advising us to employ a degree of patience and forethought in our actions, rather than rushing headlong into something, but also that waiting too long may produce reckless actions.

Our ritual ended with a thanking of deities and other-worldly entities that had been invited and honoured, and we then returned inside for our feast just as the heavens opened and a torrential downpour began – it seems the gods were benevolent in holding off the rain until the formal work was over. A positive omen in itself, perhaps? 🙂

Hollow Hills Autumn Equinox Ritual Altar 2010

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