For Classroom or Home School
Week 2: Autumn / Element: Earth
Nature Craft and Ritual
Preparation 1: Autumnal Equinox
This session happens before the Summer break begins which may be long before the Autumnal Equinox.
Four times during A Joyful Path, Year 3, the lesson plans pause for two back-to-back sessions: Nature Crafting and a Ritual Celebration to honor the gifts of the season at hand.
The Nature Crafting session provides ways for the children to learn about, and get ready for, the pending holiday as well as to honor the respective gifts of four elements: earth, air, water and fire.
The intention is to generate excitement and genuine anticipation for the upcoming ceremony and celebration. The Ritual Celebration offers a simple liturgy to co-create with the children, and your greater community, as desired. This happens at the following times:
Dates for the Northern Hemisphere
• Autumnal (Fall) Equinox (September 19-22, date varies)
• Winter Solstice (December 20-22, date varies)
• Vernal (Spring) Equinox (March 19-22, date
• Summer Solstice (June 20-22, date varies)
Dates for the Southern Hemisphere
• Autumnal (Fall) Equinox (March 19-22, date varies)
• Winter Solstice (June 20-22, date varies)
• Vernal (Spring) Equinox (September 19-22,
• Summer Solstice (December 19-22, date
What is the Autumnal Equinox?
The Northern and Southern Hemispheres experience the seasons in polar opposition, of
course and the exact dates of the Equinox and Solstice fluctuate slightly within a one to three-day period. You may wish to look up the exact date for your year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumnal Equinox takes place in September when the Sun crosses the equator line, and the planet tilts South. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the opposite. There, the same day in September marks the start of Spring, as, from this location, the planet tilts North (or towards the Sun).
The Autumnal Equinox marks the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. Just like the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, on this day, Earth’s axis sits perfectly in balance, offering equal parts of daylight and darkness.
Indoor lighting, heat, air conditioning, and other technology buffer most of us from the extremes of either solstice. And yet, it is important (spiritually, physically, and psychologically) that we notice the incremental changes that are taking place. Notice the changing light and temperature, and the changing behaviors of the plants, trees, and animals.
Honoring, celebrating, and thanking Earth for Her seasons and cycles began with the earliest humans. Ancient Earth-centered rituals did this so well, of course, that most of our present holy days and celebrations can be traced back to Indigenous or pagan practices.
Be sure to click here to download the Teaching Introduction and Instructions.