The wheel of the year ever turns again, and now we find ourselves staring down the changing of the seasons from the warm summer sun to the cooler autumn nights. The colors from lush greens and bright colors of summer flowers to the richness of autumn leaves and the bountiful harvest from the crops. Mabon is the also known as the autumnal equinox were light and dark are equal this happen from Sept 21st-29th, and is also the time of the second harvest were the rest of the crops are gathered before winter. I love this time of year and sharing some information for anyone to enjoy if your stumped for ideas on how to celebrate Mabon or autumn equinox along with information and background to this wonderful celebration.
Mabon has much lore behind it, and as a history nut I love learning the behind the scenes of any holiday. Did you know that The Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth. Also, Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter’s Night, which is the Norse New Year. At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection. The god and goddess at this time of year go through the cycle or death and rebirth, for example The Goddess at Mabon- The Mother of the Harvest becomes the Old One, the wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after our labors. In ancient Greece, the Goddess of the season was both Demeter, who can be generous with her gifts, or hold them back as she mourns for her daughter, and Persephone, who goes into the underworld to return again.In the British Isles, the ancient name for the Goddess of this time was Modron, which simply means “Mother”. Sometimes she was pictured as a trio of women, each seated on a throne. Together, they were called the Mothers. They were responsible for abundance and sustaining the life of the people In the Celtic myths, is Modron’s son who is stolen away into the Underworld. Whenever we feed the hungry, we honor the Mothers. The God at Mabon-This Holiday takes its name from the God Mabon. He was called “Mabon, son of Modron,” which means “Son, Son of the Mother.” He is such an ancient God that most of the stories about him have been lost. All we know is that he was stolen away from his mother when he was only three nights old and imprisoned until he was rescued by King Arthur’s companions. Because Mabon knows what it is like to be imprisoned, he is also the God of freedom. He frees animals from their cages and loosens the bonds of all those unjustly imprisoned. He protects all things wild and free. His totem animals are the owl, blackbird, stag, eagle and salmon. We honor Mabon when we protect the wild things, animals and when we work for freedom for all people.
I like many of you love to decorate for this time of year and to ready our home for the celebration of Mabon here are the colors, incense, candles and anything else you want to incorporate through out your home.
Herbs & Plants of Maybon:
Acorn, aster, benzoin, cedar, ferns, grains, hazel, honeysuckle, hops, ivy, marigold, milkweed, mums, myrrh, oak leaf, passionflower, pine, rose, sage, Solomon’s seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, cornbread, wheat products, grains, berries, grapes, acorns, seeds, dried fruits, corn, beans, squash, roots (i.e. onions, carrots, potatoes, etc.), hops, sassafras, roast goose or mutton, wine, ale, & cider.
Incense & Oils of Mabon:
Pine, sweetgrass, apple blossom, benzoin, myrrh, frankincense, jasmine, sage wood aloes, black pepper, patchouli, cinnamon, clove, oak moss, & sage.
Colors/Candles of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, gold, deep gold, green, orange, scarlet, all autumn colors, purple, blue, violet, & indigo.
Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, yellow agates, carnelian, yellow topaz, & amethyst.
The Mabon altar is simple. Make an arrangement of some of the things harvested that will keep for a few weeks: winter squash, dried corn, herbs, pumpkins. If you haven’t harvested anything yourself, this is a good time to go to a farmers’ market or a pick-your-own farm and choose what you want on the altar.
Autumn leaves, a bouquet of late-blooming flowers, picture or figurines of animals are good additions, as well.
There is also wonderful spell work that can be done this time of year as well to honor the god, goddess and the harvest.
- Use a deep orange or burgundy altar cloth, and brown, burgundy, or purple candles. Decorate with bunches of dried herbs, sunflowers, autumn leaves, potatoes, acorns, and Indian corn. Burn Mabon incense (Mabon Recipes 2 has several types of incenses).
Cast Circle using the athame. After ritual, leave any edible decorations (herbs, sunflowers, acorns, corn, and so on) outdoors for the wildlife to enjoy.
Mabon Celebration Ideas
•Potatoes are very symbolic at Mabon, for they grow and take shape under the ground. For this reason, many Crafters like to have a potato bake during this celebration. Just rake the leaves from your yard, then use them for a bonfire to welcome the fall season. Wrap potatoes in foil, bake them in the fire, and thank the Earth for Her bounty by saying: ◦”O Goddess Mother of us all,
We thank You as Your blessings fall.
Upon us – each and every soul –
As the year wheel turns and rolls.
For nourishing our bodies and
Our spirits with Your gifts from the land.
For your abundance on the Earth.
We give you thanks with love and mirth.”
•Honor family ancestors with a feast of oatmeal walnut cookies and apple juice. Set a place for everyone present, and include place settings for the honorees. Go through family albums or photographs, recall the life stories of the ancestors pictured, and meditate upon the importance of their lives. Remember how each family member gone before lives on in you. End by thanking the ancestors for the roles they continue to play in your lives by saying: ◦”For your lives, I give you thanks
You, who live now in the ranks.
Of memories of times now past
Whose blood still flows within me fast.
Whose personalities I share
Whose mannerisms here and there
Come out in me from time to time.
Bringing reason for my rhyme,
I thank you for the parts of me.
You’ve put in place that I might be
I promise now that you shall thrive.
With loving thoughts throughout my life,
For all I am and all I’ll be,
Is because you live in me.”
•Get up early on Mabon morning. Listen to the songbirds in the trees, and bid a fond farewell to those creatures who begin to burrow beneath the Earth for winter hibernation.
•Using a needle, draw pieces of monofilament cord through several sunflowers. Hang the flowers in trees so the birds can eat the seeds. As you hang each flower, say: ◦”Symbol of Sun, Who now departs.
And leaves the world both cold and dark,
Live on within these seeds of Light.
And feed our feathered friends in flight.
That they may thrive in winter’s chill.
Until again with light you fill
The Earth and shine again anew.
Replacing ice with morning dew.”
•Remember that thanksgiving isn’t just about saying thank you. It also involves giving something back for all you’ve received in life. That being the case, volunteer at a hospital, or spend some time visiting the elderly. Even better, plan to spend a day working at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. It will not only lighten the hearts of those you touch, but bring you the blessings of reciprocation. Blessings are much more valuable than anything else we hold!
Copyright © 2011 Ravenna Angelline
2) Mabon Ritual
For Solitary; Easily adapted for Group Ritual
by StormWing, Copyright © 1996 – 2007
Preparation & Set Up
This Ritual is best performed during the early evening hours, just after Sunset, as this is the time of day which corresponds to the time of year. Sweep area, starting in the North and moving deosil, with your Magickal broom to cleanse the Circle area and “sweep away” any lingering negative energies. Lay out the circumference of your Circle with cord, stones, etc., as necessary.
Set up the Quarter candles (North-Green, East-Yellow, South-Red, West-Blue) and/or other items symbolizing the elements at the Four Quarters (use a compass if not permanently marked out). Set up your altar as desired, and face it to the North, covering it with the red altar cloth. Place all of the items listed below in their proper places upon it. For this ceremony, decorate the altar with the cornucopia filled with harvest items, and whatever else feels right. In addition to your usual tools and props, upon the altar should be:
Red or Brown Altar Cloth
Cornucopia filled with Fruits and Vegetables of the Harvest
A Red Apple
Bolline or another Sharp Knife (for cutting the Apple)
Altar Pentacle or a Plate (to cut the apple on)
A Second Wand decorated with Colored Ribbons
(to use in the Demeter/Persephone portion of the ritual)
A Wicker Basket (to carry the Decorated Wand in)
Incense – Any of the following either alone or mixed together to make an Autumn Blend:
Frankincense, Aloes Wood, Jasmine, Cinnamon, Musk, Cloves, Benzoin, Myrrh, and Sage
When all is set up, take a shower or bath for purification and don your ritual robe or other ritual attire. Be sure to wear your Magickal jewelry. Sit quietly and meditate for a little while – to ground and center before beginning the Ritual. When you feel ready to begin, play some quiet peaceful music for the ritual.
After the Circle is cast, begin the Mabon Sabbat Ceremony by sitting quietly for a few moments, then say these words aloud in dedication:
“Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest, I have seen You in the setting Sun, with Your long auburn tresses blowing in the cool air that surrounds You. Your crown of golden leaves is jeweled with amber, amethyst, and rubies. Your long, flowing purple robe stretches across the horizon. In Your hands You hold the ripened fruits. At Your feet the squirrels gather acorns. Black crows perch on Your outstretched arms. All around You the leaves are falling. You sit upon Your throne and watch the dying fires of the setting Sun shine forth its final colors in the sky. The purple and orange lingers and glows like burning embers. Then all colors fade into the twilight. Lady Autumn, You are here at last. I thank You for Your rewards. I have worked hard for these gifts. Lady Autumn, now grant me peace and rest.”
Sit quietly again and reflect on the meaning of the Autumn Season for a little while.
When you are ready, pick up your wand and hold it in your power hand, face the North and with your arms outstretched (kneel or stand) and say:
“The Wheel of the Year turns on and on, bringing us all to and from each Season, and from and to another. What will be is. What was will be. All time is here and now in this Sacred Space.
I now pause to watch the Wheel turn and cast this Circle on this blessed eve to celebrate the Season of Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox – the time of the Second Harvest. In this moment between time, I come to praise the bountiful aging Goddess and Her consort, the God of the Harvest. I wish to give thanks and feel myself as a part of the relentlessly turning wheel of life, death, and rebirth.
O Great God of Wine and the Harvest, who has been known as Mabon, Dionysus, Bacchus, and Thor – Grant me strength and understanding throughout this season and always.
O Great Goddess of the Harvest and the Underworld, who has been known as Demeter, Persephone, Modron, and Morgan – Teach me the secrets of the Mysteries and the ways of Magick.”
Place your wand back in its place on the altar.
Spread your hands out over the Harvest Altar and say these words:
“The time of change is upon us again – the Equinox comes, the Wheel turns…
The Goddess and the God prepare for Their journey to the Otherworld, as the Earth and all of Her children prepare for the time of quiet and reflection that lies ahead…
May I use this Autumnal period to seek for the strength and power within to assist me on my own quest for vision, feeling, and peace…
May I see and feel the presence of the Goddess and the God within, though without, the Earth begins Her slumber…
Keep me in Your light…”
Lower your arms and sit quietly meditating again for a while.
When you are ready, stand at your altar facing the North and raise your arms in greeting. Say:
“Between the worlds I build this sacred altar. Outside of time, this rite leads to the ancient way. Where I may find Demeter of high Olympus And conjure Magick great. Be here, I say.”
Place the decorated wand in the wicker basket and carry it to the North. Say:
“Persephone returns to the Underworld. Weep not, Earth Mother, For the Divine Child of love is here.”
Carry the basket to the East; say:
“Persephone returns to the Underworld. Although the Light is fading, It shall return to the Earth.”
Take the basket to the South; say:
“Persephone returns to the Underworld. The cold of winter comes, But only for a short time.”
Finish by carrying the basket to the West; say:
“Persephone returns to the Underworld. The Earth shall lie in slumber Until the Light of this Divine Child Once more grows in strength and shines full upon us.”
Place the basket on the floor before the altar. Ring the bell three times.
Take your bolline in your power hand and the apple in the other. Say:
“Reveal to me your hidden secrets That I may come to understand your sacred Mysteries.”
Set the apple on the altar pentacle (or plate) and cut it crosswise (with the bolline) to reveal the pentagram in the core. Contemplate this hidden sacred symbol for several moments. Then say:
“In life is death, in death life. All must follow the sacred dance into the cauldron, Time after time, to die and be reborn. Help me to remember that Every beginning has an ending And that every ending has a new beginning.”
Take a bite of the apple. What is left put outside later to share with the birds. Say:
“Holy Mother, Demeter, Comfort and protect me in my times of tribulation. Instruct me into the Mysteries. You, with your daughter Persephone, have the power To lead me to new understanding.”
Now is the time for meditation and any spell workings you may need or desire to end your Sabbat celebration. Appropriate Spell work for Mabon include those for protection, wealth and prosperity, security and spells to bring a feeling of self-confidence. If no spell work is to be done at this time, then proceed with the Cakes and Ale Ceremony, followed by Releasing the Magick Circle.
3) Honoring The Dark Mother
Decorate your altar with symbols of Demeter and her daughter; add flowers in red and yellow for Demeter, purple or black for Persephone, stalks of wheat, Indian corn, sickles, baskets. Have a candle on hand to represent each of them; you can use harvest colors for Demeter, and black for Persephone. You’ll also need a chalice of wine, or grape juice if you prefer, and a pomegranate.
If you normally cast a circle, or call the quarters, do so now. Turn to the altar, and light the Persephone candle. Say:
The land is beginning to die, and the soil grows cold.
The fertile womb of the earth has gone barren.
As Persephone descended into the Underworld,
So the earth continues its descent into night.
As Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter,
So we mourn the days drawing shorter.
The winter will soon be here.
Light the Demeter candle, and say:
In her anger and sorrow, Demeter roamed the earth,
And the crops died, and life withered and the soil went dormant.
In grief, she traveled looking for her lost child,
Leaving darkness behind in her wake.
We feel the mother’s pain, and our hearts break for her,
As she searches for the child she gave birth to.
We welcome the darkness, in her honor.
Break open the pomegranate (it’s a good idea to have a bowl to catch the drippings), and take out six seeds. Place them on the altar. Say:
Six months of light, and six months of dark.
The earth goes to sleep, and later wakes again.
O dark mother, we honor you this night,
And dance in your shadows.
We embrace that which is the darkness,
And celebrate the life of the Crone. Blessings to the dark goddess on this night, and every other.
As the wine is replaced upon the altar, hold your arms out in the Goddess position, and take a moment to reflect on the darker aspects of the human experience. Think of all the goddesses who evoke the night, and call out:
Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Tiamet, Hecate, Nemesis, Morrighan.
Bringers of destruction and darkness,
I embrace you tonight.
Without rage, we cannot feel love,
Without pain, we cannot feel happiness,
Without the night, there is no day,
Without death, there is no life.
Great goddesses of the night, I thank you.
Take a few moments to meditate on the darker aspects of your own soul. Is there a pain you’ve been longing to get rid of? Is there anger and frustration that you’ve been unable to move past? Is there someone who’s hurt you, but you haven’t told them how you feel? Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to your own purposes. Take any pain inside you, and reverse it so that it becomes a positive experience. If you’re not suffering from anything hurtful, count your blessings, and reflect on a time in your life when you weren’t so fortunate.
When you are ready, end the ritual.
**You may wish to tie this rite into a celebration of the Harvest Moon.(Wigington, Patti. “Rites, Rituals and Ways to Celebrate Mabon, the Autumn Equinox.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2018, thoughtco.com/mabon-rites-and-rituals-2562284.)
Those are a few Rituals that can be adapted to Solitary or Group…
Now I am also a food lover and this time of year brings so many yummy recipes so here are a few of them I found if you would like more please feel free to email me or comment and I will be glad to pass more along.
Edible Autumn Leaves
1 bag each of semisweet chocolate and white chocolate morsels (chips), broad leafed herbs such as mint, basil, celery, etc.
Select your sprigs of leaves in the produce section of your grocery store or from your garden. Wash leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Melt chocolate with 2 tsp. of butter, stirring until smooth. Pour chocolate into small bowls and give each child a clean small paintbrush. Paint the underside of the leaves with the chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Slowly pull real leaves away from chocolate leaves. (Explain to children how art is a reflection of the true beauty of Nature.)
Cinnamon Apple Butter (–N-Turkey) Sandwiches
9 to 10 apples, peeled and cored
1 cup apple cider
2 tsp. apple pie spice
(or 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg and allspice and 1tsp. cinnamon)
Cut the apples into 1-inch chunks. (Don’t worry about making them perfectly sized.) Place in a large, nonreactive saucepan and pour cider over them. Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat, until the apples are soft. Cool the mixture, divide it into two batches and puree each in a food processor or blender. (At this point, you have an unsweetened applesauce, which makes excellent baby food). Pour the pureed fruit into a large baking dish, sprinkle with the apple pie spice, and stir. Spread mixture evenly in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 2 to 3 hours, until thick and deep brown. Stir every 20 minutes. Cool the apple butter and then scoop it into a clean jar with a sealable lid. It will keep for up to two months in your refrigerator.
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Create your favorite turkey sandwich buffet with slice turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado wedges, sprouts, etc. Use CAB* instead of butter or mayonnaise.
Share the Wealth Applesauce
24 tart apples
Juice of a lemon
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks. Place the apples in a large nonreactive saucepan, and add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the cinnamon and raisins, if desired. Stir light for a chunky sauce and rigorously for a smooth sauce. For a pink applesauce, use red apples and leave the skins on. Once the apples are soft, you can strain out the skins or lift them from the sauce with a fork.
Makes 2 1/2 cups.
( Pour into resealable jars, decorate to give as Harvest gifts to relatives, friends, and neighbors.)
All Things Harvested Pot Roast
4-5lb pot roast
1 stick butter
1 large onion sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
2-10oz cans French onion soup
4 large potatoes, quartered
1-8oz package raw baby carrots
1-16oz pkg. frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix
In dutch oven or oven safe pot w/lid brown both side of the roast, using half the butter. Set the roast aside. With remaining butter, sauté’ the onion, garlic, and celery until onions are tender and beginning to brown. Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and pepper. Mix well and then return the pot roast to the pan. Sprinkle salt over the roast and add the French onion soup. Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Baste meat as needed. Add potatoes and carrots and salt to taste. Cook for another 45 minutes. Add broccoli/cauliflower mix and cook for 20 more minutes. Serve with hot bread.
Makes 8 servings
Mabon Caramel Apples
1 package Kraft* Caramels
6 red or green apples, destemmed
6 popsicle sticks
Melt caramels slowly in a double boiler. When runny in consistency, stick popsicle sticks into top center of apple, and dip apple into caramel sauce, making sure to cover entire apple with a coating of caramel. Place dipped apples, stick up on wax paper covered cookie sheet an refrigerate till caramel hardens.
Makes 6 servings.
Remember, an apple a day keeps the dentist, doctor, and dermatologist away!!!!
–Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys for all her friends and those of mind–
Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com. All rights reserved.