Illustration by James Stanton

Illustration by James Stanton

Faded For Fall Equinox

Cannabis can play a role in your seasonal celebrations.

The fall equinox is this Sunday, and for us in the Northern Hemisphere, that means one 24-hour period when day and night are equal in length, and then we head off into the dark half of the year.

It also marks the most intense part of the harvest season. The summer grow cycle is just coming to fruition, so the outdoor-grown cannabis community is truly living in the symbolism of this part of the year. Numerous civilizations and spiritual traditions around the planet will celebrate this transition throughout the weekend and over the next six to seven weeks.

For many witches and pagans, this season is called Mabon, and it marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the Underworld Journey of fall and winter. Decorating with dried seeds, herbs, and flowers that grew all summer long is a widespread custom. Hanging boughs of dried cannabis flowers or tucking bunches of leaves into collections of gourds would be beautiful and appropriate, or even just decorating with dried nugs woven into fall leaf garlands and wreaths for doorways.

Some witches during this holiday will also observe a practice called divination wherein they draw on their guides, the elements, their ancestors, or even the gods themselves to ask questions about the coming fall and winter journey using oracles like tarot, runes, and pendulums. Moreover, just like the Oracle at Delphi, many will inhale some intoxicating smoking blend while consulting the fates. You can make your own using cannabis, mullein, lobelia, and blue lotus. Just make sure your priestesses are standing by to help you when the visions come.

For Hindus, this season celebrates Navaratri, which always starts on the first New Moon after the fall equinox (this year, Oct. 10). Hindus will gather with friends and family—especially folks they have not seen for a while—eat good food, play music, and party. They will also spruce up their house with new lights and decorations as well as shop for a new outfit and get a haircut. Take this opportunity to spruce up your smoking situation with a new piece (or two), and give away a smoking piece you do not use anymore. Grab some edibles—or better yet, make your own. Call some old friends (and maybe some family members?), crank up the jams, and party down.

For folks with access to outdoor grows, living like Jews during Sukkot is a possibility. This joyful holiday marks the years the Jews wandered in the desert as well as the end of the fall harvest season. Jewish folks build temporary structures outside and live in them for seven days—all the better if they have access to farmland, where they can build them from dried plant material from the harvest. If you want a really authentic structure, the roof should also be plants, and stacked loosely enough that a little rain can get through and you can see the stars at night. (I dig any religion that includes an official “fort-making” holiday, btw.) Jewish city stoners can observe this holiday by making a couch fort in their living room and getting baked inside while watching Mel Brooks movies. In no way will this satisfy the mitzvah, or religious requirements, for this holiday, but it is much closer to the fridge. Maybe your Rabbi will give you a pass for effort.

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