In the spirit of the Solstice-a-Longs, I present a three-night (or day) devotional for the coming Equinox. As with the Solstices, I am presenting information for both the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Once again, I am inspired by rites that were included in the Troth’s Book of Blots. The two rites are designed for larger groups; I have edited them for the candle-lighting theme that I used with the Solstice-a-longs. As there is no tradition for multi-day celebrations for the equinoxes as there is with Yule (at least that I can find), that simplifies things greatly.
The first step is, obviously, to find what day the equinox is in your hemisphere. Keep in mind time zones may move the date, if the actual time of solstice falls near midnight. This year, in my time zone, the Equinox is Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm EDT. Thus, the devotional begins on Tuesday, March 19, and ends on Thursday, March 22. A good site is http://www.timeanddate.com.
Again, given both the source and also my own leadings, this is presented with a Norse theme, however, everyone is encouraged to be creative and apply their specific ideas to this, and I again invite folks to share it with me.
In general, at both Equinoxes we will be honoring the transition of seasons. The equinox itself is a time of balance between day and night. One can think of it is also balancing of other energies as well as one works through the three days.
Day 1: Thanking the energies/gods/spirits of the previous season.
In the south, we would light a green and a yellow candle (or whatever you feel is appropriate) representing the fertility of the summer that is passing and for the harvest that is being brought in. Offerings of produce, bread, and mead could be appropriate here, and any early crops (which we don’t have here, yet). I plan on honoring Freyja and Freyr, as the Vanir, and gods of fertility and harvest (simplistically speaking).
In the north, honoring those of the winter months who are yielding the cold season of rest and renewal. Offerings of vodka (because of association with northern lands), jerky, and other preserved items, representing the storage of food over the winter, are suggested in the blóts that inspired this. I would honor Ullr and Skadhi.
Day 2: Thanking and honoring spirits of protection. There are usually many predictions of what the weather will be like for the coming season, be it hurricanes or blizzards. Thanking the spirit/god one sees as protecting either humanity in general or your own residence is appropriate. I personally would thank Thor for seeing me through the Summer (and Winter) and asking for his blessings and protection for the coming Winter (or Summer), with ale and porridge for an offering.
Another activity, again inspired by Earrach of Pittsburgh, is to select a stick and break it at the precise moment of the Equinox. Explanation here: http://thebookofsassafras.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-breaking-of-stick.html. We’ll be “breaking the stick” at 5:58 p.m. locally, and adding to a sunwheel we’re creating with the broken stick from solstice
Day 3: Asking for blessings for the season to come, and just flip the offerings and spirits suggested above.
In the south, honoring the deities or spirits that symbolize the rest and reflection of the winter, and the blessings of renewal it can bring.
For the northern hemisphere, asking for the blessings of the coming season of planting, growth, and eventual harvest.
May the blessings of the Ever Changing Sun be yours.