Since the summer solstice the days have been getting steadily shorter, and the nights longer, by now the change is noticeable. The autumnal Equinox is on September 22, 2013 at 4:44 P.M EDT, on this date the sun crosses the Celestial Equator. The length of day and night are roughly 12 hours each, the equilux, or the date when the day and night are equal vary by location. the nights will continue to lengthen until the Winter Solstice. Daylight and darkness are in a near balance, at Mabon. In the southern hemisphere Osterea. the Vernal Equinox. is celebrated, but there the days are getting longer. And earth is is balance.
"On the equinoxes, the very center of the Sun sets just 12 hours after it rises. But the day begins when the upper edge of the Sun reaches the horizon (which happens a bit before the center rises), and it doesn't end until the entire Sun has set. Not only that, but the Sun is actually visible when it is below the horizon, as Earth's atmosphere refracts the Sun's rays and bends them in an arc over the horizon. According to our former astronomer, George Greenstein, "If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have 'equal nights.'"~~the Old Farmers Almanac
Mabon is also a thanksgiving for the bounty of the harvest, the evening meal, is called "harvest home". A time of celebration, for looking back in thanksgiving and ahead in hope, Mabon is poised between the light and the darkness. This concept may be foreign to our lives, we who have lived all our lives with electric lights and central heating. We still lament the passing of summer, but are no longer dependent on what we have grown to feed us through the winter, and usually we our homes are not heated by the wood we cut and hauled, or the candle we rendered the tallow for and the patiently made. Candles, like their store of food they must keep the rodents from spoiling.
The balance of night and day in Mabon, the Autumnal equinox, reflects onto the balance in our own life. A time for introspection and honoring ourselves and our experiences by learning from them and taking that learning into the new year. In the quiet months ahead, a time that the earth appears dormant are a time when the earth and ourselves regenerates and assimilates, in preparation for waking from our dormant state better prepared for the journey or journeys ahead.
As we celebrate Mabon the beginning of the dark half of the year on this equinox, in the southern hemisphere the celebration of Ostara welcomes the light half of the year.