Episode 90 - Mabon

Episode 90 - Mabon


History and Traditions
Known as the pagan Thanksgiving, Mabon marks the Autumn Equinox, when day and night are equal, making it a time of balance, equality and harmony.  In ancient times Mabon was a celebration of the second harvest (Lughnasadh was the first) when farmers gathered hearty foods like gourds, pumpkins, grapes and apples. In the northern hemisphere, this is September 21 - 24, and in the southern hemisphere it is March 19 - 21.
Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium - dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion, the Sun's power is waning and from now on the nights grow longer and the days are are shorter and cooler.
Many civilizations have celebrated a harvest festival around the equinox. The idea of a harvest festival is nothing new. In fact, people have celebrated it for millennia, all around the world. In ancient Greece, Oschophoria was a festival held in the fall to celebrate the harvesting of grapes for wine. In the 1700's, the Bavarians came up with Oktoberfest, which actually begins in the last week of September, and it was a time of great feasting and merriment, still in existence today. China's Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated on the night of the Harvest Moon, and is a festival of honoring family unity.
Many cultures see the second harvest (after the first harvest Lammas) and equinox as a time for giving thanks. This time of year is when farmers know how well their summer crops did, and how well fed their animals have become. This determines whether you and your family would have enough food for the winter. That is why people used to give thanks around this time, thanks for their crops, and animals, and food. The original American Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 3, which makes more sense with harvest times. By the end of November, there’s not that much left to harvest.
The name Mabon comes from the Welsh God, who was the son of the Earth Mother Goddess. However, there is evidence that the name was adopted in the 1970s, and the holiday was not originally a Celtic celebration.
Wiccan Traditions
The Goddess is radiant as Harvest Queen. She is moving from Mother energy into Crone energy, and the God finally dies with His gift of pure love with the cutting of the last grain. He will return. It is time to thank the waning Sun for the wealth of harvest bestowed upon us. So Mabon is a celebration and also a time of rest after the labour of harvest. In terms of life path it is the moment of reaping what you have sown, time to look at the hopes and aspirations of Imbolc and Ostara and reflect on how they have manifested. It is time to complete projects, to clear out and let go that which is no longer wanted or needed as we prepare for descent, so that the winter can offer a time for reflection and peace. And it is time to plant seeds of new ideas and hopes which will lie dormant but nourished in the dark, until the return of Spring.
How to Celebrate
Modern Mabon celebrations are a time to give thanks for the abundance of Mother Earth - both literally and spiritually.  It’s also a good time to reflect on the Wheel of the Year, recognizing your successes and letting go of the things that did not serve you during the past twelve months.
To celebrate this holiday, pagans often pick apples. Apples are a common symbol of the second harvest. They may use the apples in an apple harvest ritual that thanks the gods for the bountiful harvest. Others might perform a ritual to restore balance and harmony to their lives, as this holiday celebrates a day with equal light and day. Another common ritual is to set up an altar with symbols of the season, such as apples, grapes, and other seasonal harvests. You could also:
  • Host a bonfire for friends and family, along with a feast
  • Decorate your porch or entryway with traditional autumn greenery
  • Write down all your blessings from the past year in a journal
  • Have a picnic
  • Clean your house and get rid of stagnant or negative energy
  • Host a potluck Mabon dinner with your favorite people
  • Sabbat to sabbat divination, particularly to prep for the ‘new year’ and new goals
Symbols: wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty
Herbs: Benzoin, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, tobacco, thistle
Foods: Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions
Colors: Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Crystals of Mabon: Sapphire, lapis lazuli, smoky quartz, yellow agate
Animals: dogs, wolves, goat, stag, blackbird, owls
Deities: Mabon, Persephone/Libera, Thoth, Thor, The Green Man, The Wicker Man, Demeter/Ceres, Dionysus/Bacchus

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