Autumn Equinox magick

As I finish writing my short exploration of Dożynki Harvest Festival I am left with different thoughts. Living in modern, western society, a poor harvest hardly impacts our daily life, let alone survival. We live an illusion in which human ‘mastered nature’. The sense of dependence so strongly present in rituals of the past disappeared from our daily consciousness. That’s probably why we seem to be so shocked when a tsunami or earthquake wipes out an entire region.

Since I moved out of big cities and live on the edge of a forest I feel a much stronger part of nature and its cycles. I can go on foraging trips and do gardening and they again visibly affect my life.  I no longer need to ponder what harvest means to others. As I make another jar of jam made from fruits I collected in my garden I feel spontaneous gratefulness to the weather, the trees, the sun and everything that made this jam possible.  When I celebrate like this I feel I honour something primeval and that this means the plums will be back on my tree the next year. I do not care about whether science or gods lie behind it. Magic and life can not be separated and I feel part of them both. This experience seem inherent in the process of growing your own food.

When I lived in a rented room and had no garden my celebration of autumn equinox could be going to a club or meeting friends and watching a great movie. Our culture, the things we create, be it a poem, a rave party or a new furniture in the living room, all come from our hard work. Celebrating the harvest ultimately celebrates our achievements, big and small. It celebrates the fruits of our work.

Many jobs we do these days seem pointless and not worth living for. Doing them we can end up feeling frustrated, unappreciated and empty. We feel trapped and begin to believe our life will never change. The celebration acts as a reminder of constant changes in the world around and in ourselves. It can be a good time to do spells enchanting for a new job and changes to our life in general.

For people working in the fields, the end of harvest marked a transition into a more relaxed  and quiet time of the year but also a time when death becomes more tangible. I find early autumn a perfect time for holidays for that reason. I can step out of my daily routines, be quiet, relax and perhaps do something that feels exciting and dangerous so I feel the rush of life again. I can re-think my situation with a fresh mind afterwards. I see this as part of equinox magic. I make sure that during this holiday (even if it’s only one day off) I do something different than usual, go outside my comfort zone. I do something that makes me feel more alive.

One year I was preparing to move to another city and for my autumn holiday I visited Alton Towers and had a ride on the Nemesis roller-coaster (my first time on one). This was symbolic of the upcoming changes. It was terrifying but really fun too. I felt ready for everything afterwards! The move was swift and comparatively easy.

This year my equinox travel was to Pieniny in south Poland where myself and Anton had a  great and magickal time involving rafting a mountain gorge, taking a chair lift up a nearby hill and having many chilled out walks in beautiful local parks. The focus of this travel was reorientation after our wedding.

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Search for Magickal Name: Dana

I realised I needed to part with my magickal name Lolita Perdurabo. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to come back to the name given to me by my parents and this left me with a blank mind. I decided to set out on a journey to find my own magickal name. I realised that I have never done so before. The names I was called did not reflect my inner self but merely how others perceived me or what they expected of me or wished for me. My individuality had been locked inside the social mandala and constricted within it. My new magickal name would have to express my own perception and understanding of myself. Searching for a magickal name means a journey of self discovery.

I began with an empty head. I wasn’t sure about the gender of my new identity. I considered it from different perspectives and decided that for political reasons I want my name to be female, rather than male or androgynous. I had a strong feeling that my name should honour women without antagonising my own male and androgynous personalities. I felt a certain affinity with the Crone and began researching different pantheons in search for one suitable. The other angle I took was to look at deities in some way associated with my patron Saint Anne. I came across some names that had a certain appeal but nothing stood out to me as the ‘right one’. Perhaps it was time to give up logical methods and let the path unfold by itself.

Meanwhile I visited my hometown, Krakow. Being there means a lot to me not only because of catching up with my family. The place in which I grew up became a very inspiring magickal space for me and I feel that spending time there helps me reconnect to my past and reflect on the present from a good vantage point. In addition to searching for a new name I also decided to focus on learning a bit more about the magickal significance of my hometown. As it often happens with magickal quests they both converged.

I stumbled upon a curious book in my mothers personal collection. It explores the Celtic history of Poland and it had a whole chapter dedicated specifically to Krakow and its ancient and modern mounds. I learned that the hill and woods I grew up around were also important spiritual/magickal centres for both Celtic and Slavic people. I felt very inspired by this book and decided to borrow it.

Meanwhile my stay in Krakow focused on visiting the woods and mounds nearby my home. I felt a strong connection to them and decided I want this to be reflected in my new name. I had a very interesting communication with an old Willow Tree that me and my sister spent a lot of time palying on as kids and meditating on as adolescent and teenage girls. I also managed to capture the most amazing photograph of a waxing cresent moon from which I also received a message. The synchronicity of all these events created no doubt in my mind that I was on the right track with it all. It was a very magickal and cheerful time.

I was thinking about the Celtic roots on my way back to Scotland. I realised that I was deeply influenced by Celtic culture and magick on a subconscious level. The places I chose to live in were all in some way connected to the Celts and my current home is situated on a hill with a Pictish hill fort on its top. As I was reading through the book I came across descriptions of Celtic gods and goddesses and one of them stood out immediately. It was the goddess Danu. She was described as all-mother, lady of the currents and primeval waters, goddess of sky and earth and of the elements. She was also described as mother of Tuatha Dé Danann (people of Danu), a Celtic tribe that was beaten by invaders and driven underground to become the faery. This all captivated my imagination but, to seal it, the note in the book added that Danu in Christianity corresponds to St. Anne.

Not long after reading this I remember a strange dream I had last year. I was in the middle of rewatching the X-files series and working with my M.I.B persona Agent V. In this dream I was V and I was chasing a flying saucer or something like that. I was climbing up a steep hill through the trees. Down below stood a man who brought me to the place. He was possibly a policeman or a ranger. He called me Dana. I looked back surprised and thinking ‘I’m V!’ As if anticipating my response he said. ‘ana is your TRUE name, isn’t it?’ I felt real joy when he said this.

At the time I didn’t make much out of it thinking that my subconscious confused my Agent self with Dana Scully and I ignored the dream as nonsensical but after reading about the goddess Danu, of which Dana is an alternative spelling, it all became marvellously clear. I found the first part of my new name.