Summer is finally over, and the leaves are turning their crisp gold, red, and brown colors. The Second Harvest is upon us, and there’s plenty of things to do in preparation for the long cold winter. First thing I did today was walk out my door into the cool weather, and put my bare feet in the wet grasses for one last time before it all freezes. Then I set and decorated my Altar in preparation of the ritual this evening. Tonight we celebrate the Goddess as she passes between the Mother to her time of solemn wisdom as the Crone. Day and night are equal in power, and we honor the Green Man, the lord of the forests as he prepares for his death in the winter till his rebirth in next year’s spring.
Now is the time to plant the seeds for next year, and gather the last of the harvest while leaving the final cuts as an offering to the spirits in honor of their bountiful gifts that we have been granted this year. The seeds we sow will collect the sleeping energies of the winter in preparation of their new life come spring. Those who have gone before us are now remembered, and honored in their spirit for their tribute to this world. Mabon is a time of thankfulness, remembrance, preparation, and bounty. A time to share our gifts, tip our glasses, and make offerings for the blessing of a kind, and generous winter to wrap us in its cool blanket of snow.
Depending on your path you might have plenty of traditions you already follow with each Autumn like cleaning, canning, baking, spending time with loved ones, but there are plenty of more things we can do to show our gratefulness for the turn of the wheel into a new season, and our desire for a comfortable winter.
The name Mabon is fairly new. There’s no supporting evidence that the Wheel of the Year was celebrated as a set of eight Sabbats till it was adopted by Wicca. Though people have been celebrating the Autumn Equinox for centuries in many faiths, and traditions. Some believe the name comes from an old Welsh God who was known as the Son of Light. In this time the Sun is darkening, and we are moving further away from its warmth. Though this interpretation is still disputed by those who believe Mabon is attributed to the mother, and not the son. Either way it is celebrated much the same.
Autumn Equinox Activities:
* Make offerings to the spirits – Things that are harvested in this time make great offerings like acorns, hazelnuts, corn, apples, and fruit.
* Honor the dead – Placing apples on burial cairns is the traditional method, but other way we can honor them is by simply taking a moment to remember them. Tip a glass of wine to the Earth as a symbol of wetting their lips.
* Festive Decorations – Wreaths, solar wheels, rowan crosses, and festive bouquets are all great ways of bringing the spirit of Mabon into your home. Apples being a largely celebrated symbol for this time of year would make a great wreath when cut into circles, and sprinkled with salt, and cinnamon to dry.
* Gathering, and Planting seeds – By gathering the seeds we show gratefulness for all the year has brought us, and by planting them we honor the roots of life that will bring us next year’s bounty.
* Wine making – With all the fruits being harvested now is the time to start making the wines that will warm our blood in the winter, and add to our tribute of the celebrations come spring.
* Doll crafting – Corn dollies, wheat dolls, bean bag dolls, and apple dolls are all colonial traditions for this time of year. These dolls embody the spirit of the season, and bring their own unique blessings to your home depending on which ones you choose to create.
* Decorating the Altar – Autumn leaves, fruits, grains, and nuts are all very festive decorations that splash a bit of the seasonal color in your home.
* Meditation – With the balance of the day and night a great way to celebrate is to take a moment to find your own inner harmony, and balance the energies in yourself as well as around you, and in your home. Meditation is a great tool for beginning this process.
How ever you choose to practice this season I hope it be blessed by the God and Goddess with plenty of light, life, love, and laughter as we turn the wheel again this year. Brightest of Wishes for this festive season, and may we be granted with wonder, and comfort for the long winter through.
God and Goddess Bless!