Welcome to September, witches! This post was supposed to come out on the first of the month, but that didn’t happen because of who I am as a person. No worries though, we’ve just entered the new moon so everything is still relevant! Can you believe that we are almost to fall? I am so excited. This quarter of the year is by far my absolute favorite. The changing leaves, the chill in the air. It’s all really just so wonderful. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the magical correspondences for September and a few of the important dates to keep in mind as you plan your rituals, spellwork, and other magical dealings for the next few weeks.
This month holds one of the Pagan Sabbats as well as the Harvest Moon which is one of the monthly Esbats ( full moons – we’ll be going over the Sabbats and Esbats in an upcoming post so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it if you’d like to learn more!) Near the end of the month, we see Michaelmas. Although technically not a pagan holiday, many of the traditions of this feast to St. Michael were adapted from pagan traditions.
Magical Correspondences for September
Much of the imagery and correspondence for September surrounds the ideas of the harvest, the coming of winter, and the preparations that are needed around the home as we near the colder months of the year.
As with the traditions of other months, the natural world plays a large part in the pagan religion in the fall. This can be traced back to the early origins of the path as agriculture, natural cycles, and preparation for colder months to come were important parts of the lives of our ancestors.
For many, it was a life or death situation. If you did not prepare for the winter or had a poor harvest your family might not make it through the cold winter. For this reason, it was imperative to keep the Gods happy and to give thanks for all that they provide for us.
In our modern lives, it’s easy to lose connection to this closeness our ancestors had with the natural world and the cycles of the year. With a little reflection and meditation though, we can all come up with ideas of how we can show our gratitude to the Gods for everything they provide in our lives, even if we aren’t as dependant on a good harvest or a warm fire for the night.
The month of September falls in the zodiac signs of Virgo and Libra ( we’ll get into that a bit more in a minute) and is ruled by the elements of Earth and Air. The month is feminine in nature. The trees that represent or are central to work in September include Bay Laurel, Oak, and Hazel. The flowers and herbs include Fennel, Goldenrod, Lily, Rye, Wheat, Valerian, and Skullcap. Crystals that represent the month of September include Agate, Carnelian, Citrine, Diamond, Iolite, Lapis Lazuli, Peridot, and Sapphire. The month embodies the energies or themes of caring for the body, caring for the home, purification, and gratitude.
Mabon, which is celebrated from September 21st through September 24th, is one of the four lesser sabbats of the pagan wheel of the year. This holiday is traditionally a celebration and time of giving thanks for the second harvest ( with the first harvest celebrated in August during Lammas). Although this tradition is fairly new, coming from the neopagan movement of the 1970s, many aspects tie into the traditions and lives of our pagan ancestors. In fact, the name Mabon comes from an individual named Mabon ap Modron (son of Modron) in Welsh mythology.
The four lesser sabbats, which include Ostara, Litha, Mabon, and Yule are special days that mark the cycle of the sun. Ostara and Mabon are the equinoxes and are a time of working to better understand and honor duality as they are the two times of the year that the day and night are equal. Litha and Yule, of course, are the summer and winter solstices.
The deities that are honored during Mabon are often those who are most closely tied to the harvest, the Earth, and domestic affairs. When we look at the cycle of the year in relation to the triple goddess representation ( maiden, mother, and crone ), Mabon corresponds with the change into the crone aspect of the year and so deities that represent the crone aspect of the triple goddess are often a wonderful choice for this time of year. The days are getting colder and the flourishing life brought forth from the Goddess during spring and summer begins to fade. Gods and Goddesses that are often honored during Mabon include Demeter, Epona, Isis, Pamona, Persephone, Dionysis, Hermes, Thor, and Thoth (among others).
Activities for Mabon
There are many ways that the autumn equinox is celebrated by pagans around the globe. Common themes include large feasts or gathering the fruits of the second harvest such as apples, grapes, and other fall crops. Winemaking is common in some traditions, and some follow a tradition of giving thanks to the trees through libations.
When celebrating with children activities such as nature walks to gather acorns, baking apple-flavored cakes and bread, stamping things with cut apples, or even taking time to meditate on change can be a good option.
Rituals for Mabon
Of course, giving thanks is a big aspect of this pagan holiday. Let’s be real a lot of us have a LOT to be thankful for this year too. Our Gods ( and Goddesses) have kept us safe, fed, and still ticking through a lot in recent years. They totally deserve a little extra appreciation. This can take whatever form is most comfortable for you such as a special offering, a meditation to connect with their energies, or even a special meal in their honor.
Placing symbols of harvest-centered Gods on your altar can be another way of honoring them. There are great books such as Llewellyn’s Book of Correspondences or Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs that will help you get started on finding things that relate to the deities you are trying to honor this Mabon. ( You can totally do something special to honor your usual deities during this time as well. They don’t have to be a specific harvest deity!)
As one of the equinoxes, Mabon can be a great time for rituals that focus on things like restoring balance and harmony to your life. Perhaps you’d like your health to be a little better or maybe you want to improve a negative relationship in your life. This time is an excellent one for doing this kind of magic.
Storytelling was an important aspect of the lives of our ancestors. Before written languages were created they were the only way they had to pass on legends, myths, morals, and lessons from one generation to the next. It is these days of the year when the world outside becomes harsh and unforgiving that storytelling takes on another purpose. Storytelling became an important form of entertainment as families were forced to remain inside their homes more. This tradition is another great way to celebrate Mabon and the coming of fall, especially with children. They are a great way to connect with family members who may no longer be with us and to honor those who came before us by regaling others in their tales.
September Zodiac Signs
The month of September contains the two zodiac signs of Virgo and Libra. Both of these zodiac signs give us a chance to slow down, analyze the world within and around us, and make changes where we see necessary.
The Virgo Zodiac Sign
Virgo is the 6th sign of the zodiac lasting from August 22 through September 22nd. It is ruled by the Earth element. When we look at astrology in terms of the 12 segments of the body Virgo is the ruler of the area that is nearly in the center near the navel. This position cuts the zodiac and the body in half, reminding us of duality. The phrase “as above so below” is an appropriate one when thinking of Virgo and the lessons that this sign has to teach us.
Virgo is often represented by a maiden (virgin), and the myths surrounding this sign tend to revolve around wheat, corn, or grain. During the harvest time, these crops go into a state of preservation, as do we. At times there is also a representation of fire, which is an element of purification. As a sign of the body Virgo pushes us to look at how we can purify ourselves to preserve our physical bodies. This could be through avoiding sugar or slowing down on tobacco/alcohol. It could also take the form of working to decrease the number of negative thoughts we have during the day. In doing this purification we work to connect the divine with the human by removing any blocks we may have and increasing our connection to our deities and the universe.
The colors of green and brown are commonly used to represent Virgo, again coinciding with themes such as crops, harvest, and the decreasing of life force as the cold winter months march their way in. Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury which goes into retrograde during this time of the zodiac this year (on the 27th). It is an auspicious sign, meaning that it is a time of good luck and often positive outcomes. It is also a domestic sign meaning that it is a good time to focus on things such as housekeeping, self-care, and other tasks of the home and body. Herbs that are associated with Virgo include Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Fennel, Lavander, Peppermint, Thyme, Skullcap, and Valerian. Crystals that are associate with this zodiac sign include Amethyst, Citrine, Flourite, Green Jade, Moss Agate, and Red Jasper.
In terms of duality, once again, Virgo is tied to enemies and confrontations. In fact, violence plays big into Virgo. Weapons, danger and the general feeling of unease and anxiety that we feel when we are around those that we dislike or don’t trust are all parts of Virgo energy. All of these things can help us to understand areas in our life that we need to focus on and purify to move forward. Pay attention to the feeling that you have around a certain person. Is this Virgo trying to tell you that distancing yourself is the best option?
The Libra Zodiac Sign
Libra is the 7th sign of the zodiac in the zodiac. In terms of the body, Libra is aligned with the kidneys, skin, lumbar region, endocrine system, and buttocks. Basically, what we would consider the “pelvic” area of the body. Libra is a sign of balance but also of considerable indecisiveness as they have to take the time to fully weigh all of the different options and outcomes of a situation. Libra is a very analytical sign which invites us to take a closer look at our lives and the environment that we are in.
As a sign of balance, the Libra is the true neutral point of the zodiac for they are often able to see the merit to both sides of an argument. This can lead to some troubles with expressing boundaries or a tendency to bend over backward to try to keep others happy. During Libra, which extends from September 23rd through October 23rd, it is a good idea to take a look at your relationships and analyze whether each is a balanced give and take. Perhaps there is a relationship that is particularly draining on you. Maybe you’re asking a little too much of a friend and need to back off. Libra is the time to really find insight into our interactions with others.
Libra is ruled by the element of air and is considered one of the cardinal zodiac signs, one of four that initiate the seasons of the year. This sign is ruled by the planet Venus. The colors blue and pink are commonly associated with Libra. The birthstone is the opal black tourmaline, aquamarine, and lapis lazuli are also frequently associated with this sign. Herbs that are commonly associated with Libra include Bergamot, Catnip, Chicory, Elderberry, Thyme, and St. Johns Wort.
Although not technically a pagan holiday it is believed that this festival to St. Michael the Archangel was adapted from pagan traditions across Europe. Many aspects of this holiday align quite well with various other pagan traditions celebrated and observed in September. For this reason, some pagans have decided to add Michaelmas to their celebratory calendar (and some pagans do work with angels, particularly the Archangels such as Michael).
In the Catholic tradition, the Archangel Michael is seen as the defender of the church. He is the chief opponent to Satan and is also tasked with assisting the devout in their hour of death. One can see the correlation here as Michael, who helps souls on the passage of death is celebrated at the time of the year that the world passes into the “death” phase of the cycle. In the feast of Michaelmas, we can honor St. Michael and ask for safe passage through the darkness of winter.
A tradition that is often part of Michaelmas celebration is the making of a corn doll. Somewhat akin to the belief of animism, the corn doll is believed to harbor the spirits of the crops and the field until the next harvest season. We can see the correlation to many pagan harvest traditions in this belief and so it is still observed by some pagan communities.
No matter the type of witchcraft you practice there are a variety of ways that you can add a little magic into your September. Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas on how you can add magick to your life and welcome the coming of fall. Be sure to follow Ghastly Girl on social media ( including TikTok!) for ideas on fun activities, spells, and more to help make your fall more magickal.
Do you have any spells or rituals that you do for the harvest? Leave us a comment and let us know how you welcome the new season. We love to hear what everyone else is doing to connect to their pagan roots!