A misty autumn equinox

Mabon or the autumn equinox usually isn’t really my festival. Which is weird, because I adore fall and everything that has to do with it, but I never really connected. Wow is this year different!
The weekend before the equinox is usually reserved for the Nehalennia festival here in Zeeland. A day filled with workshops and ritual. This year, because of the pandemic, this is one of the things that is, unfortunately but understandably, cancelled. So I wanted to do something in my own way. Last weekend that was a picnic at the water front, a picnic in the park, and making devotional ritual oils for my deities. And then today, the autumn equinox itself.

Since I had the day off and I wanted to take that day for myself, the plan was to sleep in. However, since my partner had to work early and I am a morning person, sleeping in meant seven o’clock in the morning. *sigh* Then partner came back into the bedroom saying the world had dissapeared, and indeed, there was so much mist, we couldn’t even see the parked cars. I thought to myself “man, I would love to take a walk in this.” Then I remembered that I had the day off and no-one was stopping me! So I made breakfast and took it to the tiny park in front of our house!

After breakfast and meandering for a while I even found that the park was a bit bigger than I thought it was, and I discovered this amazing tunnel of hazels. Beautiful. I also discovered that we have walnut trees, and I ate a freshly foraged walnut for the first time in my life!

By then the sun had risen more and the mist was slowly fading, creating this beautiful light in the trees. In Dutch we call this a Zonneharp, which means Sun-harp.
Back home I took a nice, cleansing shower and had lunch with a bowl of delicious, harvest-y pumpkin and carrot soup. I’d had the plan to do a ritual indoors, but the weather was so nice, I decided to instead grab my witchy journal and head back outside.

I journaled about what I am harvesting this year, and what I would like to “seed” for next year’s harvest. For the first time I also drew oracle cards in public, not really caring what others thought of me (growth!). I made contact with the land spirits and foraged some sweet chestnuts which I am hoping to turn into a rune set! I also ate my first freshly harvested blackberry ever. It was also delicious.
Another nice surprise was waiting for me when I came home, a home-made card by my lovely friend Chantal, to wish me a happy fall!

I adore it, and it was such a nice suprise on this already surprising Mabon day! And as such, a festival that I normally don’t really recognize, just became an entire day of witchiness and festivities. Next year, I’ll know better and hopefully have another amazing autumn equinox.

Ode to Nehalennia

Nehalennia statue, Nehalennia festival 2019

A poem or prayer that I’ve written to my Goddess, Nehalennia. She is the Goddess of the North Sea, of seafaring, commerce, the harvest and the dead. I’ve originally written it in Dutch, but I’ve translated it in English as well. Find both versions below.

In de kolkende golven hoor ik Haar stem.
Nehalennia.
Haar wind speelt door mijn lokken,
Haar zilte zegening raakt mijn lippen.

Deae Nehalennia.
Zij die de storm trotseert, en sterker er uit voortvloeit
Zij die de weg laat zien en onze reis bewaakt
Zij wiens woede schepen ten onder doet gaan
Zij wiens tedere omhelzing rust en vreugde brengt

Vrouwe Nehalennia,
Kracht van de Noordzee
Hoor mij aan!
Want ik ben Uw dochter,
Uw gezouten water stroomt door mijn aderen
Uw storm raast door mijn lijf
Uw kracht en diepte heb ik geërfd

Moeder Nehalennia
Hart van de Noordzee
Wees met mij!

Noordzee by Marjolijn Ashara

English version

In the churning waves I hear Her voice.
Nehalennia.
Her wind plays with my locks,
Her silten blessing touches my lips.

Daea Nehalennia.
She who faces the storm and flows from it, stronger
She who shows us the way and guards our journey
She whose rage causes ships to perish
She whose tender embrace brings us peace and joy

Lady Nehalennia,
Power of the North Sea
Hear me!
For I am your daughter
Your salted water flows through my veins
Your storm rages through my body
Your strength and dept I inherited

Mother Nehalennia
Heart of the North Sea
Be with me!

(First published on my witchy Tumblr)