Well, it's Mabon...the first day of fall. Am I incredibly excited? Yes, I am. Often times here in Ohio the first day of fall feels much like summer but today Mother Nature is providing us with very fall-like weather to give us a taste of what is to come. The only thing that could make this day any better would be a homemade caramel apple and some hot apple cider. But alas, I will have to wait for my favorite fall treats. The leaves have just started to turn and there are still far more green than red, orange, and yellow but one has only to step outside to see that autumn has come to stay.
Mabon is the Pagan celebration of this day, the second in the three harvest festivals. In our lore the Goddess is now pregnant and getting bigger by the day while the God (who is associated with the sun and whose power ebbs and grows accordingly) is getting weaker every day. On Samhain (October 31st-November 1st) he will die and already the first signs of death are apparent.
The celebration of the first day of Autumn goes back thousands of years to the ancient Pagans who relied on the earth for everything. This was seen as an abundant time, a time to be grateful for a good harvest, because a good harvest meant that the people would not go hungry during the barren winter months. It was a time for the people to gather together and feast, to give offerings to the Gods of the land that had provided for the people. It was a happy time (assuming the harvest was a good one, of course. I doubt there was much celebration if something went wrong with the crops). The autumn months were also a busy time as everyone worked to prepare for the winter.
Here are some of the things associated with the Mabon holiday courtesy of wicca.com:
Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st
Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the 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.
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.
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.
Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Herbs of Maybon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables.
Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Stones of Mabon:
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.
Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.
Deities of Mabon:
Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.
Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!
So whether or not you are Pagan, get outside today and enjoy the beauty of Nature, the bounty of the autumn season. Be grateful and be happy for another year of good health, good people in your life, and for any form that abundance has taken for you since the spring. :)