The Wheel of the Year continues its rotation we observe the changes in our seasons. Autumn Equinox is just around the corner. This lesser Sabbat celebrated in the northern hemisphere occurs September 21st and in the southern hemisphere celebrated on March 21st.
Autumn Equinox has several names:
The Second Harvest Festival;
Feast of Avalon;
Equinozio di Autunno (Strega);
Alben Elfed (Caledonii) or Cornucopia; and
Mabon was not an authentic ancient festival in name or date. The name, Mabon was only recently applied to the neopagan festival of the autumn equinox. Aidan Kelly, working on a religious studies project in the 1970s created the name.
When Autumn Equinox begins, the Sun’s strength starts to diminish. This transition continues until Winter Solstice in December when the Sun grows stronger and days become longer than the nights.
Autumn Equinox is a period to reflect on the Mysteries – honoring aging deities and spirit world. This time of reflection allows us to stop and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests; our personal harvests can be a varied as ourselves. Whether from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the high-speed pace of everyday life this period allows us to focus on balance within our lives. Bringing family and friends together we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. We finish old business and prepare for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
As a thanksgiving celebration, we are able to appreciate and give thanks to the Goddess for her bounty and share in the joys of the harvest. Consider including fall fruits, squash, pumpkins, grains, nut breads, and vegetables in your feast. To set the mood of the season, set your table with symbols of Mabon such as wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
The weather begins to change and we may look to change our decor to reflect this second harvest. As you decorate for the season, be sure to include red, orange, maroon, brown, and gold – think of the broad range of color seen in the leaves as they change.
Ways you can decorate your home, yard or office include:
– Stalks of corn or wheat can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds.
– A besom can be constructed to symbolize the polarity of male and female.
– The Harvest Lord may be symbolized by a straw man, whose sacrificial body is burned and its ashes scattered upon the earth.
– In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.
When planning for a magical Autumn Equinox, consider some of the correspondences listed below to depict the season.
Magical Herbs of Mabon:
Acorn, benzoin, chamomile, ferns, frankincense, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passion-flower, rose, rose hips, rosemary, rue, saffron, sage, Solomon’s seal, sunflower, tobacco, thistle, vegetables, yarrow, and wheat.
Pine, sage, sweetgrass, or myrrh. You can also mix marigold, passion-flower, and fern, using frankincense or myrrh as a resin for Mabon incense. A special Autumn Blend includes benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Mabon Magickal Stones
During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun’s energy to you. Clear quartz, amber, Peridot, diamond, gold, citrine, yellow topaz, cat’s-eye, aventurine, sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.
Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.
Mabon Wine Moon Cider
4 cups apple cider 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
4 cups grape juice additional cinnamon sticks
2 cinnamon sticks for cups, 6 inches long
1 tsp allspice
In a 4-quart saucepan, heat cider and grape
juice. Add cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
Bring just to boiling. Lower heat and simmer
for 5 minutes.
Serve with ladle from a cauldron. Makes 8 cups
Another magickal Mabon beverage…hot apple cider.
Apple rules the heart, cider alone is a self-love potion. By spicing it with cinnamon, ruled by Jupiter and the Sun, we are in essence,ingesting the sunlight.
Take time to reflect and consider your direction. This is also a good time for works to build self-confidence, harmony, and balance. It’s also a time of change. Protection, wealth and prosperity spells are appropriate as well.