Mabon: A Pagan/Wiccan Celebration of the Autumnal Equinox
By Mata H on September 23, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
September 23rd marks the first official day of autumn, the Autumnal Equinox, which is part of the celebration of Mabon in Pagan and Wiccan groups. The Autumnal Equinox is one of only two days of the year during which the day and night are of equal lengths at the equator. (The other is the Spring Equinox.) The Equinoxes are seen as occasions where the veil between this world and what lies beyond is thought to be thin. For Pagans and Wiccans, this is a time to focus on balance. Myths and legends about the earth and the balance between light and dark are very much a part of Mabon.
Mabon is part of a larger cycle of earth season-based holidays on The Wheel of the Year.
Many spiritual groups have something in their paths that can deepen and inform other paths. Perhaps in these traditions of Paganism and Wicca, even if they are not yours, you may find elements that help you on your spiritual path. Or, you may simply enjoy learning about traditions with an ancient history.
Here are some of the various origins of this holiday.
Some say Mabon was a Welsh god whose name translates as "divine youth," who is the son of Modron, the Divine Mother. The legend says that he was stolen from his mother when he was just three nights old. Still other legends describe him as a defender of King Arthur after being rescued from the underworld.
These stories are similar to the story of the goddess Persephone stolen away to the underworld from her mother Demeter. She returns in the spring. Demeter's happiness allows everything to grow. But in autumn, when Persephone has to return, Demeter is sad and lets the world fall cold.
The Druids call this Mea'N Fo'mhair and honor the Green Man by making offerings of beverages like mead and cider to the trees.
There are many sorts of earth-based spiritualities that honor this time. Most of them focus on balance and thanksgiving as part of their occasions and rituals. For some, it includes special thanks to the ancestors, special gatherings of herbs, and special rituals.
Whatever the path is to the occasion, the emphasis on the Autumnal Equinox is on gratitude for the bounty of the year.
In "Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom" (which has delightful header graphics), Mrs B has an article on "Mabon Fun for the Kiddies" with helpful links and a look at her Mabon recipes.
Akumaxkami of Les Fleurs Noires shares her Mabon recipe for honey baked apples stuffed with cranberries and bananas.
One Pink Fish describes a number of craft activities for Pagan children.
Cousin Linda in An EeeBee Life discusses how she and her Pagan husband are planning for Mabon, from decorations, to rituals to cooking.
Foods for a Gluten-free Mabon are highlighted by LJ at A Racing Mind, including a crustless pecan pie.
Victoria at Dancing Beneath the Moon says:
Whatever you choose to do to celebrate this little sabbat, take a moment to reflect on your life and the passing of another season, another year. Dive into the quiet of your mind for a spell, and revel in the last of the light while welcoming the gentle darkness that is quickly coming.
Victoria, at Awake with Charm and Spirit suggests this way to celebrate Mabon:
Autumn's Spirit asks us to open your Heart with the Harvest of all Things and Share...share with those in need , those less fortunate, those who may need to feel the Blessings of Harvest and Abundance in some way.
Danu's Daughter offers an extensive overview of Mabon at her blog.
Rhianna at Wyldstone Cottage gives an extensive primer on this holiday including its celebration by a variety of traditions.
If you are celebrating Mabon, may you have a fulfilling and fine experience!
~~ Contributing Editor, Mata H. also blogs right along at Time's Fool