Shūbun no Hi is the Autumn equinox – at this time, light and dark are equal. This is an important time of year in which we can restore balance in our lives. It is the perfect time for self-reflection, gratitude and to give offerings to O-Kami. In the Pagan calender, this event is known as Mabon – the time where we give thanks for the harvest that we have received.
Some ideas of things we can do at Shūbun no Hi:
- Find some balance: We can use this time to reflect upon the past year and to decide what we need to do in order to improve ourselves. We need to look at the darker aspects of ourselves, as well as the light, as both are equally important. Now is a time for meditation, divination and ritual.
- Pay your respects to the dead: This time of year is associated with the dead. Visit your ancestor’s graves and leave offerings of apples for them. Wipe down their graves with water and tidy them up.
- Harvest some food: Apples are heavily associated with this time of year and we can show thanks to the kami by harvesting them and giving them as offerings. We can also use them in magical ritual, divination and recipes.
- Give thanks: This is a great time to show our appreciation for the blessings that O-Kami has bestowed upon us. If you are able, please attend your local Shinto shrine’s Autumn festival. If you are solitary, you can perform a full formal ritual at your kamidana/altar to express gratitude for all you have received.
- Become one with nature: Visit places of high spiritual energy, appreciate the Autumn colours and feel the wind as it gets ever colder. This is the purest thing you can do at this time of year – acknowledge the season changing and take a nature walk.
- Purify your home: Clean your home both physically and spiritually. You can do the latter with the use of incense, sage, crystals or even haraigushi if you have one. Remove and throw away any items you no longer need, and give thanks for the basics of life which you have received from O-Kami.
- Revere the kami of Harvest: Inari Okami is at heart, a agricultural kami. Pay your respects to Inari Okami by making offerings of local produce. Pray with utmost sincerity and know that Inari Okami will continue to bless you throughout your life time.
Whatever you do, I hope you have a fantastic Shūbun no Hi/Mabon!