The Celts are renowned more for their celebration of the “major” sabbats- Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasagh and Samhain. Yet nowadays even those of us following a Celtic based tradition tend to celebrate the inbetweeners- the “cross-quarter” festivals- the solstices and the equinoxes. They change slightly from year to year because their significance is based on where the earth is in relation to the sun. The equinoxes are moments of pure balance; day equals night; light equals dark. Nothing outweighs the other; nothing has an advantage. Symbolic of peace, tranquility and calm, but also the feeling of hanging in the balance, the calm before the storm; the moment where we pause, reflect and prepare, before sudden change, activity, bustle. Historically at this time of year we would have been racing to get ready for winter, knowing that the night is coming to swallow the light and bringing with it cold, frost, death and darkness. But for now, we have a still point, a moment where we can gather ourselves; our resources; our energies and know that we are ready; ready for whatever the darker months may bring. We remember that they do not only bring the darkness without, but the hearth fires and joy within our homesteads, and that equally while we burn the fires to ward off the darkness, we accept the darkness as a vital part of the eternal cycle. We do not spit at it, hissing like a cornered cat; we prepare well and know that we are safe within our chosen havens- with family and loved ones to help out; with food and fire and knowledge that the sun is but a turn of the wheel away.

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