September 21?  22?  23?, 2002

Friends are asking me about Fall Equinox 'celebrations' --- they are asking me where they are, can we join them, what does one do at them, why are they held, what can we do.

(Some are observing this on Sept. 21.  The technical beginning of the equinox is at 12:55 a.m.  EST Sept. 23.  So that's Sunday night/ Monday morning.)

Perhaps due to my own heightened awareness about Raymon Grace's September 22nd Call To Action, I have been more aware of messages I am getting from other people on this subject, around this time.  So here's some info for you.

This year, the Equinox (there is an equinox in the spring and the fall, when the day and night are of "equal" length.  The Solstice is in the summer and the winter, when we experience the shortest, and, the longest days of the year).  This Full Moon is the Harvest moon, also known as the Full Corn Moon or the Full Barley Moon and occurs at  09:59 EST  on September 21.

PLEASE NOTE:  I did this really quickly, in about an hour, more cut and paste than editing and nicely formatting.   - Marilyn -   9.19.2002


Since I'm doing the web page I can write my opinion. So, This is what I think about it:

Women are important to lead these events as this is about Mother Earth and the Moon is feminine. Honor thy mother.  The Bear tribe has ceremonies at dusk, the magic time.  Women are the keepers of magic, that which is dark and secretive.  We are moving from patriarchal back to matriarchal times and wisdom --- a time of peace.
Celebrations, meditations, observances --- whatever one does --- have more "power" more "oomph" when there are more people doing it --- when there are more people doing the same thing at the same time.  As in The More The Merrier.   This is why August 26th  Raymon's Call To Action  was so effective:  many minds were focused on the same thing at the same time.  Thoughts are energy.  Focused thoughts are focused energy.  It's not necessarily that these days have power in their own right, its that its easiest for humans to make note of them and because we have done this we give power to these days.   Humans have known this and they mark these days the easiest way they know how:  through the seasons.  Every culture knows the longest day, the shortest day, the 2 days of the year where the day and the night are equal.  So that's the marker they use to gather together and share energy.

Monday of this past week was the observance of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish year.  This is the day of contemplation.  One reviews and releases one's transgressions.  You walk to the lake so you can --- symbolically --- throw your transgressions in to the lake.  It is the day of forgiveness.  The day of Atonement.

But what this really is --- its the day of At-One-ment where you become ---- and/or strive to become --- At One with God.  You can not be At One with God if you do not forgive yourself.  So what it is really about is forgiving oneself --- in order to become At One with God.   Many people think its forgiving others.  Nope.  It's harder than that.  It's forgiving yourself.

Jews all over the world do this at the same time.  So there is more power to it, the energy that day is geared towards contemplation and forgiveness.  So its almost as if all the thoughts in the world combine to open up that part of heaven a little bit wider where we can find forgiveness --- in our hearts --- of ourselves.

With the 9.11 event and the possibility of Planet X or approaching some cosmic event and the awareness that negative forces are trying to take control, those who are working for good realize we really have to get out there and do our thing.  We are more aware, more active, we are doing our work.  And, in doing this, we are raising mass consciousness and others are taking part.

The dark forces have lost.  They just haven't realized it yet.  They are still acting out.  It's like shutting off the water in a hose.  You shut off the supply, but for awhile there is still water in the hose until its emptied.

We are moving more and more in to the Aquarian Age energy.  Small groups.  Communities.  We are being pulled to get together in small community groups and work for the universal good of humanity.  The Toronto Dowsers is one such small community group.

I wrote an article on this 2 years ago but folks weren't ready for it yet.  Maybe now.  You can find it at:   Aquarian Age

We in the west have our own ways of observing this event.  Aquarian energy is affecting our entire planet.  They must be following these traditions in China, Brazil, Kenya, Tibet, Indonesia, Tasmania, etc.  Aquarian energy encourages us to be aware of the universe.

Here are some links folks sent me this week --- you have to cut and paste.  Some are doing this Sept. 21, some Sept 22, some Sept. 25th.  Maybe we'll all get together and work on it the same day?

www.heal-the-earth.com   (Raymon's Call to Action)
http://thank-water.net/english/   (From Masaru Emoto's work on water)
http://www.whetung.com/pow.html   (A Pow Wow weekend near Toronto)
http://www.peaceoneday.org/    (World wide peace organizations)

Fall Equinox

        WICCAN / PAGAN:
        Fall Equinox, also known as Mabon, occurs in the middle of September. It is the main harvest
        festival of the Wiccan calendar and marks the beginning of Autumn. The Goddess manifests in Her
        Bountiful Mother aspects. The God emerges as the Corn King and Harvest Lord. Colors are Orange,
        Dark Red, Yellow, Indigo, and Brown. It is the festival of thanksgiving.

        Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased
        and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving. Hang dried ears of corn around your
        home in appreciation of the harvest season. Do meditations and chanting as you store away food
        for the Winter. Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction -- for home,
        finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career
        and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center).

        -        -        -        -        -        -        -

                         The Fall Equinox, or Mabon, is celebrated as the final harvest of the
                         season.  This holiday was pivotal in ancient times, since a good final
                         harvest was crucial to surviving the winter months ahead.  This is the
                         time of year where we truly reap what we have sown and we prepare
                         for the long winter that lays before us.  The day and night are again
                         equal in time and the God has traveled at last to His place of rest.
                          Now, He has sacrificed the last of Himself to provide us with a final
                         harvest of food before the winter begins.  Celebrants gather to mark the
                         turning of the wheel and to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of The
                         God, recognizing that He will be reborn at Yule.  This holiday has been
                         called "The Witches' Thanksgiving" and is a time for feasting together
                         with family and friends.

                         This is also the time to welcome the season of the Crone.  Kore' goes to
                         the Underworld to learn the secrets of the Crone (or in some stories she
                         is kidnapped by Hades), and the earth is bare as Her mother, Demeter,
                         mourns Her loss.  But although the winter is before us, we know that
                         the wheel will turn again, life will be reborn, and our blessings are

    -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -

   Although our Pagan ancestors probably celebrated Harvest Home on September 25th, modern
   Witches and Pagans, with their desk-top computers for making finer calculations, seem to
   prefer the actual equinox point, beginning the celebration on its eve (this year, sunset on
   September 21st).

   Mythically, this is the day of the year when the god of light is defeated by his twin and
   alter-ego, the god of darkness. It is the time of the year when night conquers day. And as I
   have recently shown in my seasonal reconstruction of the Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd, the
   Autumnal Equinox is the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is
   possible to defeat him. Llew now stands on the balance (Libra/autumnal equinox), with one foot
   on the cauldron (Cancer/summer solstice) and his other foot on the goat (Capricorn/winter
   solstice). Thus he is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle

   Two things are now likely to occur mythically, in rapid succession. Having defeated Llew,
   Goronwy (darkness) now takes over Llew's functions, both as lover to Blodeuwedd, the
   Goddess, and as King of our own world. Although Goronwy, the Horned King, now sits on Llew's
   throne and begins his rule immediately, his formal coronation will not be for another six weeks,
   occurring at Samhain (Halloween) or the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Winter
   Lord, the Dark King, Lord of Misrule. Goronwy's other function has more immediate results,
   however. He mates with the virgin goddess, and Blodeuwedd conceives, and will give birth --
   nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) -- to Goronwy's son, who is really another
   incarnation of himself, the Dark Child.

   Llew's sacrificial death at Harvest Home also identifies him with John Barleycorn, spirit of the
   fields. Thus, Llew represents not only the sun's power, but also the sun's life trapped and
   crystallized in the corn. Often this corn spirit was believed to reside most especially in the last
   sheaf or shock harvested, which was dressed in fine clothes, or woven into a wicker-like
   man-shaped form. This effigy was then cut and carried from the field, and usually burned,
   amidst much rejoicing. So one may see Blodeuwedd and Goronwy in a new guise, not as
   conspirators who murder their king, but as kindly farmers who harvest the crop which they had
   planted and so lovingly cared for. And yet, anyone who knows the old ballad of John Barleycorn
   knows that we have not heard the last of him.

   They  let him stand till midsummer's day,
   Till he looked both pale and wan,
   And little Sir John's grown a long, long beard
   And so become a man...

   Incidentally, this annual mock sacrifice of a large wicker-work figure (representing the
   vegetation spirit) may have been the origin of the misconception that Druids made human
   sacrifices. This charge was first made by Julius Caesar (who may not have had the most
   unbiased of motives), and has been re-stated many times since. However, as has often been
   pointed out, the only historians besides Caesar who make this accusation are those who have
   read Caesar. And in fact, upon reading Caesar's 'Gallic Wars' closely, one discovers that Caesar
   never claims to have actually witnessed such a sacrifice. Nor does he claim to have talked to
   anyone else who did. In fact, there is not one single eyewitness account of a human sacrifice
   performed by Druids in all of history!

   Nor is there any archeological evidence to support the charge. If, for example, human sacrifices
   had been performed at the same ritual sites year after year, there would be physical traces.
   Yet there is not a scrap. Nor is there any native tradition or history which lends support. In
   fact, insular tradition seems to point in the opposite direction. The Druid's reverence for life was
   so strict that they refused to lift a sword to defend themselves when massacred by Roman
   soldiers on the Isle of Mona. Irish brehon laws forbade a Druid to touch a weapon, and any soul
   rash enough to unsheathe a sword in the presence of a Druid would be executed for such an

   Jesse Weston, in her brilliant study of the Four Hallows of British myth, 'From Ritual to
   Romance', points out that British folk tradition is, however, full of MOCK sacrifices. In the case
   of the wicker-man, such figures were referred to in very personified terms, dressed in clothes,
   addressed by name, etc. In such a religious ritual drama, everybody played along.

   They've hired men with scythes so sharp,
   To cut him off at the knee,
   They've rolled him and tied him by the waist
   Serving him most barbarously...

   In the medieval miracle-play tradition of the 'Rise Up, Jock' variety (performed by troupes of
   mummers at all the village fairs), a young harlequin-like king always underwent a mock sacrificial
   death. But invariably, the traditional cast of characters included a mysterious 'Doctor' who had
   learned many secrets while 'traveling in foreign lands'. The Doctor reaches into his bag of tricks,
   plies some magical cure, and presto! the young king rises up hale and whole again, to the
   cheers of the crowd. As Weston so sensibly points out, if the young king were ACTUALLY killed,
   he couldn't very well rise up again, which is the whole point of the ritual drama! It is an
   enactment of the death and resurrection of the vegetation spirit. And what better time to
   perform it than at the end of the harvest season?

   In the rhythm of the year, Harvest Home marks a time of rest after hard work. The crops are
   gathered in, and winter is still a month and a half away! Although the nights are getting cooler,
   the days are still warm, and there is something magical in the sunlight, for it seems silvery and
   indirect. As we pursue our gentle hobbies of making corn dollies (those tiny vegetation spirits)
   and wheat weaving, our attention is suddenly arrested by the sound of baying from the skies
   (the 'Hounds of Annwn' passing?), as lines of geese cut silhouettes across a harvest moon. And
   we move closer to the hearth, the longer evening hours giving us time to catch up on our
   reading, munching on popcorn balls and caramel apples and sipping home-brewed mead or ale.
   What a wonderful time Harvest Home is! And how lucky we are to live in a part of the country
   where the season's changes are so dramatic and majestic!

   And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl--
   And he's brandy in the glass,
   And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl
   Proved the strongest man at last.

   Mabon is the celebration of the Autumn Equinox. (exact times vary from year to year - check
   your current almanac for exact times)

   Mabon is traditionally the second harvest festival of the year. Throughout the wheel of the
   year we have been planning, planting our wishes, and working hard toward our goals. At this
   time, we may make the final "harvest" of our dreams and at Mabon we shall give thanks for the
   "riches" of the year.

   While in the past, most all were farmers, this harvest festival traditionally applies to the harvest
   of foods, yet in this day and age, the "harvest" may also apply to the "seeds of dreams and
   wishes" that were planted many months earlier. Now is the time to see if they have come true.
   Whether they have come true or not ... a ritual to thank the growing energies of the God and
   the fertility of the Goddess should be preformed at this time. Lay upon your altar a sampling of
   your "harvest" .... use it freely in your ritual. (Note: even if your "harvest" came up empty, IE:
   your dreams were not fulfilled, the God and Goddess should still be thanked for the effort put
   forth in your name)

   Mabon marks the first "thanksgiving" Sabbat for Witches. At this time many gather together to
   share what they can share. (Samhain / Halloween also is a "thanksgiving" Sabbat) Whether the
   sharing is a story, a helpful hand, a bale of hay, or ? ... it is a tradition to bring something that
   you grew, "created", or obtained during the earlier part of the Witches year to any ritual or
   gathering that you may attend at this time.

   At the Autumn Equinox the sun and moon are in complete balance. From this day forth (until
   Spring Equinox) the moon (Goddess) will once again reign supreme over the sun (God).

                                                                           Harvest Meditation

                                                                     Please take a seat and clear your mind
                                                                     of what fills it now and hear these

                                                                     As you are sitting, close your eyes and
                                                                     feel the yellow of the sun. Reach up
                                                                     with your arms and let your fingertips
                                                                     touch that yellow. Now, lay back, with
                                                                     your arms extended and become a ray
                                                                     of the sun. As we all lay in a circle, we
                                                                     form the sun - we are all rays of this
                                                                     vivid starburst.

                                                                     Look down to the Earth and see the
                                                                     fields ripe with the summer's
                                                                     abundance. Find your self in the center
                                                                     of this abundance holding a large willow
                                                                     basket, eager to begin your autumn

                                                                     Step first into an expanse of sweet
                                                                     corn. See the erect, regal, green stalks
                                                                     of corn. Observe a ripe ear on a
                                                                     particular stalk which extends to you.
                                                                     Under its scruffy whiskers kernels that
                                                                     sparkle like gold shine through. You are
                                                                     reminded of your own riches - both
                                                                     tangible and intangible. Reach out and
                                                                     pick this ear and put it into your

                                                                     Leave the corn field and enter an
                                                                     orchard; an apple orchard. See the
                                                                     beauty of these trees, these majestic
                                                                     symbols of the Goddess. Feel the
                                                                     fullness of her boughs - full of ruby red
                                                                     apples of knowledge. Reach up, way
                                                                     up, and pick two. Put one in your
                                                                     basket and eat the other. Taste and
                                                                     enjoy this fruit - for in this garden
                                                                     tasting an apple is not forbidden.

                                                                     Now move toward an onion field which
                                                                     beckons you. Once green, now
                                                                     browning spikes point up to you,
                                                                     tempting you to dig below…..Pull gently
                                                                     and the ground gives birth to an
                                                                     iridescent, opal bulb, full of body and
                                                                     character and strength. A vegetable
                                                                     with the power to make you feel the
                                                                     power of tears. Add this to your
                                                                     growing harvest.

                                                                     Notice ahead thick bushes of ripened
                                                                     raspberries. Sharp brambles protecting
                                                                     their precious, succulent garnets. The
                                                                     sweet nectar of these berries remind
                                                                     you of your own sensuality - your own
                                                                     ability to feel, express, extend all that
                                                                     is soft and loving and warm to others.
                                                                     Take your time here and pick plenty of
                                                                     these supple jewels for your basket.

                                                                     Step away now and look around you.
                                                                     Find a patch of fruit or vegetables that
                                                                     appeals to you. Enter it, admire its
                                                                     offerings, select a precious gem of your
                                                                     own to harvest. Choose a resource to
                                                                     sustain you in the rapidly upcoming
                                                                     time of cold and darkness. Capture
                                                                     some warmth and light and savor its

                                                                     With your arms now laden with this
                                                                     basket of bountiful treasures, it is time
                                                                     now to rest. Take your harvest to the
                                                                     grassy knoll in the sun just beyond and
                                                                     sit and bask in the glory of its healing
                                                                     heat.  Rest in contentment knowing
                                                                     you have collected that which you
                                                                     need to give you strength and
                                                                     nourishment in the winter days to

                                                                     Put yourself back in the sky now.
                                                                     Become the sun once again.  Shine
                                                                     down upon yourself and your
                                                                     gatherings.  Absorb the energy of the
                                                                     fruits of your labors, bless these seeds
                                                                     you planted in the Spring and nurtured
                                                                     to fruition through the summer.  Be the
                                                                     sun.  Shine down upon all that is good
                                                                     and good-giving.  Give the light of hope
                                                                     to all you shine upon.

                                                                     When everything you have touched
                                                                     with your rays is full of your brightness,
                                                                     open your eyes and rejoin our circle.

                 WESTERN, as in the US:
                              Today is the official beginning of autumn. The air is crisp, the
                               foliage is spectacular, there is a nip in the air. Summer is over,
                              and Winter is quickly approaching. Autumn is the second time of
                              balance in the year, when day and night are of equal length. It is
                               a time to celebrate the harvest and to store our abundance for
                               the coming cold but cozy months of winter. Animals are busy
                               preparing for winter hibernation. Everywhere, there is great
                              energy in the air. From this point on, we celebrate the oncoming
                                     season of shorter days and longer nights.

    Sun Bear (Alabama, South Carolina, Florida)
    Chumash - California


The Bear Tribe Medicine Society is a network of contemporary people of all races drawn together by the vision and legacy of Sun Bear, a Native American teacher whose life’s work was to form a tribe of teachers responsible for sharing with others those lessons of earth harmony and responsibility they had each successfully learned. The Bear Tribe is not a tribe bounded by geography or ethnicity, but rather by belief and action. It is a tribe-in-progress composed of people who are constantly learning better ways of serving the sacred web of life.

While the Bear Tribe honors the Native tradition from which Sun Bear came, its cross-cultural teachings are based on many sources of Earth Wisdom. The Bear Tribe teaches what its members are learning: earth awareness, the philosophies of worldwide earth cultures as they relate to contemporary society, personal vision, personal responsibility, self-reliance, self-generated ceremony, working with and for the earth, and finding ways to preserve and protect the environment for this generation and all future generations. We strive to achieve this through our programs, books and other items.

 Mobile, Alabama

http://www.ewebtribe.com/BearTribe/news-events/autumn/fall.htmlFall Equinox

    As the wheel of seasons change we find ourselves moving into "The Time of Mudjekeewis, the Spirit Keeper
    of the West"

    Mudjekeewis, the Father of all the Winds, provides a home for the thunder beings.

    Now is the time of the Harvest.  This season comes with the colors of blue and black.  It is the time of
    twilight, that magical time of day between light and dark.  The time of dusk.

    This year, the Autumn equinox falls on September 23rd.  We will spend the early part of the day cooking and
    preparing for the Harvest Celebration.  We will set an Altar of fruits, vegetables and brightly colored leaves
    and then we will light candles of brown, gold, orange, blue and black.  The candles will burn all night in
    gratitude of all we have received from the season past.   The next morning, the bounty of our Harvest Altar
                       will be placed in the woods as our give-away back to the Earth and "all our relations."

                      We will visit our Earth Mound.  The Earth Mound is an Altar made of earth that holds
                       prayers and gifts for each season.  Over the years more earth is added as we come
                       togther in community, each bringing to the mound our heartfelt gratitude for life and
                       the changing season.  We have a large stone that sits in the direction of the season.
                        This stone is moved clockwise to the new position each Solstice and Equinox.  We
                       sing songs of the season past and songs of the new season.

                       The Earth Mound is round in honor of Turtle Island, like the turtle's back, and the
                       stone represents her head.  It is our altar to Mother Earth.  We thank her for carrying
    us on her back and providing for us and our needs.   As we move her head to the new seasonal position she
    looks out from her sacred place to watch over us and "all our relations."

    We will come together to sweat and pray at dusk.  It is during this time of life that people who have been
    given a vision know themselves well enough to be ready to share the lessons of their vision.   In our Lodge
    we will start our prayers in the South to honor the season past.  As we move to the West, we will seek the
    guidance of Mudjekeewis to help us aspire to maturity.  We will pray for strength,
    adaptability, responsibility, teachings, leadership and power.  We will ask for help in
    discerning our purpose in life and then pray for help to fulfill that purpose.

    When we reach a level of maturity we need to go beyond ourselves and concern
    ourselves about the welfare of others.  We need to use our abilities for the good of
    the people.

    It is at this time that we pray for the power of Mudjekeewis to help us serve..... to
    serve with strength, courage, grace and great ability.  Mudjekeewis brings healing to
    the spiritual level....healing to all that we consider to be sacred.  Our Lodge will end
    with gratitude and thanksgiving for this knowing.

    We will conclude our day of celebration by preparing "spirit plate" and placing it on the Earth Mound and
    then we will partake of the feast from the bounty of our harvest.  We will eat, laugh, tell stories of the
    summer months and share our plans for the fall.

    When the kitchen is cleaned and all is made ready for the next day, we will sit in circle and smoke our pipes
    before retiring for the night.

              -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -            -


             The Chumash Indians of southern California were once the largest cultural
                    group among the western tribes. But 'reduction' by Spanish, Mexican, and
                   American invaders of California greatly reduced their numbers. Today, only
                   the Samala subdivision of the Chumash are legally recognized by the federal

                                Chumash Autumn Equinox

This text explores social and spiritual beliefs about the autumn equinox, as expressed in the
traditions of the Chumash Indians of southern California. Their equinox ceremonies were held on
September 21. This was the exact moment in time when day and night are of equal length.

September is the ninth month of the solar year. It is the time when Mother Earth bears the fruits of
her womb and provides prosperous crops of seeds, fruit, and animal meat. In this sense, the earth
mirrors the physiological pattern experienced by human females, whose gestation period is also nine
months. Prayers, songs, verse, and political orations associated with equinox gatherings frequently
touch upon the importance of Mother Earth and of the Sun and other celestial bodies that impact
human life during the fall season.

They are rich in inspirational locution. Many phrases enriched public discourse during this season,
including poetic-mythological references to the Eye of the Sun, the Beauty of the World, the Flower
of the Wind, the Children of the Sun, and enigmatic discussions of the Sun's Shadow and the Walnut
Shell Enigma. One of the purposes of this text is to introduce the reader to the turn of mind that
produced such inviting phraseology, embodied in public pronouncements of hope qualified with
overtones of foreboding and redemption.

The fall equinox is one of the four major astronomically determined holidays of the Chumash
calendar. The spring equinox, and the two solstices, complete the quadrisected ceremonial year. The
fall equinox is characterized by a season of harvesting, plus the beginning of the darker days of
approaching winter.

F.L. Kitsepawit was one of the leading Chumash historians of the early twentieth century. He used
John Harrington of the Smithsonian Institution as a consultant. Together, they preserved important
information on Chumash equinox traditions. The Kitsepawit/Harrington field notes included, for
example, tantalizing passages about the teachings of I. Suluwish, concerning the equinox and what
he described as the Shadow of the Sun. This text begins with a background discussion of the
shadows created by the sun, and how an analysis of the cosmic duality of shadow/light contributes to
our understanding of traditional Chumash theology.

To understand the phrase Shadow of the Sun it is helpful to examine the meaning of 'shadow' in
Chumash teachings. Clearly the sun is not a shadow, but rather the mirror opposite. It's rays drive
away shadow! Throughout this text, therefore, the role of the Sun as illuminator is a reoccurring
subject of discussion. Secondary shadow themes associated with the approaching winter months
include dusk, dark, shade, insubstantiality, foreboding, and demonology.

Speeches made at Chumash equinox gatherings often emphasized the need for caution.4 The day
after the equinox, the sun began a six month period of declining power. With each setting sun, the
length of the day was diminished, and the length of the night increased. Family elders warned
against the approaching winter. They did not let themselves be lulled into thinking that the hot days
and good weather would last much longer. The Thanksgiving feast that followed the equinox was a
time of joy. But the educated Chumash knew that the approaching winter months would test both
individual and communal spirituality.

John Anderson

July, 2001

Chumash Autumn Equinox

                                  [ A Book by Dr. John Anderson ]
                                              Chapter 1

                                      The Sun Ceremony

The well-known Chumash historian F.L. Kitsepawit described his people's traditional gatherings for
the fall equinox ceremony in some detail. He explained that the equinox observance takes place in
the Month of Hutash, which is September. Like the Harvest Festival, an event that occurs later in this
month, the Sun Ceremony does not take place until after the harvest is picked, processed, and
stored. A characteristic of equinox oratory was the repeated expression of cautionary language. And
many of these foreboding speeches were presented by the Paha, or master of ceremony, who took on
the role of the Sun Priest.

Twelve Antap officials served under the Sun Priest at the equinox gathering. Each represented a
month of the solar year. Presumedly, the beginning of this Sun Ceremony ended the official work of
six of the attending Antap officials and ushered in the period in which the remaining six Antap
officials became more active. The ritual obligations of the spring and summer Antap officials had
focused on secular issues. But the newly active fall and winter Antap would focus the people's
attention on spiritual issues concerning communal unity in the face of winter confinement, death, and

                          The Role of the Sun in Chumash Theology

To this date, no consensus has emerged among American academics writing about Chumash
theology. In the early part of the twentieth century Christian bias, and a heavy reliance on Catholic
mission archival materials, led to a pandemic denigration of Chumash traditionalism. When the field
notes of John Harrington became available in the second half of the century, however, a vast amount
of new data stimulated an academic reassessment of Chumash theology. But Harrington's field notes
were not self-explanatory. Exegesis of his vast Chumash data continues, therefore, and a consensus
remains an elusive goal because so many statements made by Chumash working with Harrington led
to the publication of commentary presenting contradictory or at times erroneous explanations of
Chumash metaphysics. Kitsepawit told Harrington on one occasion, for example, that the sun was the
"chief" god of the Chumash who "adored" the Sun. Unfortunately this commentary led Hudson and
Underhay to conclude that the Sun was the Chumash supreme supernatural being. But this is clearly
incorrect, for the supreme Chumash supernatural was the creator deity who I have described in other
texts as living at [behind?] the North Star. This creator was the "Invisible One" who is misidentified
by Hudson and Underhay as the Sun. But it was Eagle who served as the celestial guardian of the
invisible deity's pure realm which was located at the apex of the cosmos, while the Sun remained far
below in a less pure level of the sky.

The Chumash called their solar deity "uncle. In a Samala narrative, he is depicted as an old widower
with two unmarried daughters. These daughters presumedly are the Morning Star and the Evening
Star. But in a Lulapin Chumash narrative told by R. Timi, they are depicted as the wives of the Sun.

Like the uncle in Chumash family life, the Sun was a stern disciplinarian, who did not allow his
nephews to indulge in their greed or become lazy. He watched over all daily events, with his great
solar eye which "sees everything." But this did not mean that the solar deity saw everything that
transpired in the cosmos, only that he saw what transpired on the earth when he was traveling in the
sky on his daily journey from east to west. When twilight came and night fell, the solar power
diminished dramatically as the sun disappeared at sunset, moving into the western portal which leads
into the underworld.

The celestial Eagle, Coyote, and Morning Star became active in the night sky, as they gambled with
one another to determine the fate of humanity. Yet somehow the Sun participated as the fourth
member of this gambling contest, allied with the celestial Eagle who was the sun's superior. How the
sun managed to be active in the night sky. without driving away the night lights, is unknown.

Kakunupmawa is a ritual name for the Sun. According to traditional Chumash lore, all humans were
known as children of the Sun, or "sons of Kakunupmawa" Yet , even though they identified
themselves as sons of the Sun, educated Chumash did not claim to fully understanding.


                          Fall Equinox:Sacred Community
                            at Highland Springs Life Center
                           September 19-22, 2002
                                           Guided by

                                Brugh Joy and Carolyn Conger

                         This Unique Event is Filling Rapidly.
                       Register Now to Avoid Disappointment.

                    During the Autumnal Equinox we will gather in sacred community
                    on the rolling oak woodlands, beautiful meadows and
                    breathtaking mountain views offered by Highland Springs
                    Life Center in Northern California, about one hour Northeast of
                    Sacramento. This is a time to gather with others, to enter deep
                    personal and collective spiritual states of awareness through
                    prayer, chant, dance, song, and through individual and communal
                    rituals. "Holos", a megalithic stone circle, will be initiated during
                    our first gathering.

                    There will be time for solitude in nature and time to join in
                    community. The 700 acres of the Life Center and River Highlands
                    Ranch border an 11,000 acre state wildlife preserve and
                    recreation area. You'll enjoy contemplative walks, the many
                    ponds, indigenous flora and fauna, clear air and beautiful night
                    skies. This is a special time set aside for celebration of spirit,
                    individually and communally, in an inspiring natural setting.

                    Bring your musical instruments, artist materials and journals. Days
                    will be warm and nights cool, so "layering" is the way to go. Also
                    bring hiking boots or other sturdy footwear--and don't forget
                    your flashlight!

                    Fees: $295 per person, including all meals. ( $200 of your
                    donation to Highland Springs is deductible to the extent allowed
                    by tax law and the IRS.) Brugh and Carolyn are donating their
                    services for this event


The harvest moon is the name given to the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox.

Looking for a heavenly rendezvous? The moon's available 9/21 By Jim Bencivenga | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

"Dad, the moon is coming home with us."

Songwriter Greg Brown puts these words in the mouth of a young girl riding with her father in his pickup truck as a full moon rises over the Iowa plains. The song taps the celestial magic of a moon at the horizon's edge. The orange orb appears closer, even as it actually distances itself from  Earth.

If it has been awhile since the moon came "home with you," next month's harvest moon on Sept. 21, is your best bet for a heavenly rendez-vous.

Hardworking New England farmers in the 17th century were the first Americans to "moonlight" on the job. They gave the adjective "harvest" to September's moon and thanked nature's God for providing them with extra light to bring
in the crop.

Normally, the moon rises 50 minutes later each night. But there are key variations in its travels across the sky. In the northern latitudes, September is when these variations are most visible.

The reason for this is that the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. On the 21st, the full moon rises at sunset per the norm, but then, for several nights, it will appear just 25 minutes or so later.  This stems from the tilt of Earth at this time of year. And the effect increases if the full moon occurs on or about the date of the equinox, as it does this year.

The harvest moon will also be more pronounced this year because it occurs at the same time as the low point of the moon's own orbital tilt, which traverses an 18.6-year cycle. This accentuates (fast-forwards from our vantage point on Earth) the angle its orbit makes with the eastern horizon at moonrise.

Full moons always rise at or near sunset. That's because, in order to appear full to us, the moon's fully illuminated hemisphere - its "day" side - must be facing us. And, for the dayside to face entirely in our direction, the moon has to be opposite the sun. Hence, all full moons rise in the east as the sun is setting in the west. And all full moons are highest in the sky around midnight, when the sun is below our feet.

Why does the moon look bigger on first appearance each month? It is an old lunar mystery known as the "moon illusion." As the moon peeks over the horizon, we see it swell to enormous size and then, in just a few hours after it climbs in the sky, (as Earth rotates on its axis through the night) appear to melt like a giant snowball.

Timothy Ferris, offers a preliminary explanation in his new book, "Seeing in the Dark." This theory holds that when confronted with a phenomenon beyond its sensory experience, the human mind creates its own impression and an
object near the horizon is perceived as larger than something high in the sky.

When considering the moon, there's always more than meets the eye. Some 900 million years ago, a day on Earth was 18 hours. Thanks to the gravitational "braking" force of the moon, we now have a 24-hour day. The reciprocal force of Earth's gravity on the moon long ago caused the moon's rotation to synchronize exactly with its orbit around Earth every 29 1/2 days. That's why, from Earth, we always see the same side of the moon.

And if this gravitational handshake isn't enough to make you stop and look anew at the moon, consider that the "inconstant" moon of literature is still, literally, drifting away from Earth as if gently ending its relationship with its suitor.

Laser beams shot from Earth and bounced off reflectors placed on the moon by Apollo astronauts confirm that the moon separates itself from Earth at a rate of 1.5 inches a year. At this point in galactic time, total solar
eclipses occur because the moon is close enough to earth for them to occur. In a few million years, the moon will be too far away to cover the entire solar disk and only partial eclipses will be visible.

Better "come home" with the moon Sept. 21.

 Marilyn -  9.19.2002