What Happens at the Equinox?
Equinox Means "Equal Night"
Translated literally, equinox means "equal night." The Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are, therefore, about equal in length all over the world during the equinoces. The autumnal equinox will occur September 22 at 11:09 P.M. EDT. This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern.
Reasons for the Seasons:
These brief but monumental moments owe their significance to the 23.4 degree tilt of the Earth's axis. Because of the tilt, we receive the Sun's rays most directly in the summer. In the winter, when we are tilted away from the Sun, the rays pass through the atmosphere at a greater slant, bringing lower temperatures. If the Earth rotated on an axis perpendicular to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, there would be no variation in day lengths or temperatures throughout the year, and we would not have seasons.
Mabon is very much like Thanksgiving. Most of the crops have been reaped and abundance is more noticeable than ever! Mabon is the time when we reap the fruits of our labor and lessons, both crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, to celebrate that which is passing (for why should we mourn the beauty of the year or dwindling sunlight?), looking joyously at the experience the year has shared with us. And it is a time to gaze into the bright future. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe; endings are merely new beginnings.