Ahhh, autumn is upon us and it’s time to celebrate the progression of the seasons! Tuesday, September 22, 2009 is Mabon, also known as the Autumnal Equinox.
Mabon is a Sabbat, a day when we celebrate Nature’s cycle of progression. There are eight Sabbats which make up the Wheel of the Year.
Our ties to the cycles of Earth can be roughly placed into four categories: Planting, Growing, Harvesting, and Planning. The Sabbats represent the start of these phases, and their midway points throughout the year.
Mabon is a Sabbat of the harvest time. The last of the harvest is traditionally completed during this period, making Mabon a day to reflect on all that you have achieved, or harvested, in your life. Be sure to give thanks for all that you have been blessed with.
Mabon is when day and night are of equal length. (Mabon’s counterpoint is Ostara, or the Spring Equinox – the only other day of the year when day and night are equal). The Earth reaches a perfect balancing point of experiencing Light and Dark. This is a powerful time to achieve balance in your own life. Take time to give thanks and then reflect on the things you need to bring into balance.
One of the things I most look forward to during the year is watching the sun set on Mabon. On this Sabbat the sun sets directly in the west! (Because of the Earths rotation during the course of the year, the sun doesn’t actually set directly in the West like it will on Mabon!)
Seeing the day actually shift into night, and knowing that it is equal, creates a profound sense of balance and connectedness.
I absolutely love gathering with my friends and preparing to watch the sunset together. It’s even better if you have autumn season foods to snack on – apples, apple pies, corn bread, anything with cinnamon (yummy!) and so on. Use appropriate Mabon colors to decorate with such as brown, orange and red. Even if you are not doing a big ceremony, it’s still fun to decorate, eat and be with your friends on a Sabbat!
A small ritual you can do together (or on your own!) is to pour a drink such as apple juice, wine, or even water into a single cup (a chalice if you have one). Take turns passing the cup around and as it gets to each person, say one thing you are abundantly grateful to have harvested into your life. In this way you are blessing the liquid with your gratitude. When everyone has given their thanks, pour the liquid onto the Earth so she can absorb your thanks for all she has given you.
Another ritual you can do on Mabon is a Self Balancing ritual. I like to use two candles – one white and one black – in order to represent the equal day and night. You can write down a list of things you need to bring into balance, and then burn the paper in the candle flames (be careful and have water nearby!). Or you can just stare at the flames and let them help bring you into a meditation where you journey inward to achieve balance. Whatever you feel moved to do! It can be as simple as writing in your journal!
Mabon is the final Sabbat of the Wheel of the year, a time of culmination. In October we celebrate Samhain (Halloween). Samhain is a time of simultaneous beginnings and endings, when the veils between the worlds are thinnest. Samhain is called the Witches New Year, and I see it almost as the Void before the birth of the God at Yule. It is when Yule comes around that rebirth really starts to happen.
But we will talk more about Samhain in October. For now…Blessed Mabon!!!
What are your Mabon plans?