Also known as the Autumn Equinox, the 2nd Harvest, and The Witches’ Thanksgiving (among other names), the Sabbat of Mabon is typically celebrated September 21st thru 23rd. With this Sabbat, comes the changing of seasons from summer to fall.
As an equinox, Mabon brings us a natural balancing point or threshold between the old and the new, the light and the dark, the heat and the cold (depending on where you live), and harvest vs. loss.
For the ancestors, this was a time to start preparations as they gathered crops to store for the coming winter. With the first harvest at Lammas now complete, Mabon marked the second harvest. In gratitude and to ensure the abundance of the third and final harvest at Samhain, it was customary to share some of what was reaped with others (especially the less prepared or less fortunate).
Communities would gather around feast tables to share in food and fellowship, mending emotional and physical fences to manifest ties that would bind and improve their odds of survival as individuals and collectively.
Mabon is still a time where we are encouraged to reflect on the year as it begins its back half. We can acknowledge the many blessings we have received, yet make room for more to come. We can mourn the losses that have been experienced, yet make room to continue growth and healing.
This is our time to accept (or reap) what we have chosen to sow. And it’s an opportunity to still buckle down and achieve goals both before the next turn of the Great Wheel—and before we say goodbye to yet another year.
Granted most of us no longer grow/slaughter our own food, we can still appreciate and honor the season of harvest, Mabon, and its communal gratitude traditions. Consider decorating your home or workspace (or switching your wardrobe) to fall colors such as red, green, yellow, orange, brown, and black. Carry some Pyrite, and add more apples to your décor or diet.
Apples have long been considered symbols of immortality, harvest and abundance. The fruit and its blossoms are associated with the Fae realm, and with discovery of hidden knowledge. If you are one who works with Fairies, consider leaving a bit of apple as an offering. Apples are a tasty way to get in more fiber and antioxidants too—perfect support for the immune system with cold and flu season just around the corner.
Pyrite is also known as “Fool’s Gold.” As an earthly element, it resonates with fire energy, symbolizing the warmth and lasting presence of the sun and an ability to generate wealth by one’s own power. This stone has long been believed to be a natural shield from negative energies, while boosting one’s vitality, leadership, and willpower.
Ways you can honor or celebrate Mabon can be as simple or multistep as you desire:
*Jump in a fallen leaf pile.
*Start a gratitude journal.
*Organize your pantry and give canned or dry goods no longer wanted (and not expired) to your local food bank.
*Take a walk in the fall air, collecting pine cones along the way. These can be coated with a bit of nut butter and rolled in birdseed then hung outside to help our feathered friends.
*Consider hosting a potluck for family, friends, or neighbors. Fall is the perfect time to trade soup and quick bread recipes!
*Set an altar in fall colors and hold ritual, honoring your Higher Powers or connecting to deities such as Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Thor, The Green Man, and Hermes.
As part of my Mabon rituals, I like to make a Burning Man. This is a faceless poppet in human form that I fill energetically with the things I’m ready to burn away—or with goals that need a spark of manifest to get going. Sometimes I make a corn dolly, but tracing a gingerbread cookie cutter on paper works just a well. After thanking the poppet for its service, I stuff it with thoughts or write words of intention and power (or symbols) on it. When I am ready, I burn the poppet in my cauldron to release my needs and goals to the Universe.
Another Mabon tradition in my home, is to make and eat Apple Butter. Here’s my favorite recipe:
Crockpot Apple Butter
6 pounds of your favorite apple (or a mix of 2 or 3 varieties)
1 cup of dark brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
½ cup granulated white sugar or sugar substitute
1 tbl. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tbl. vanilla or powdered vanilla
Slice apples and remove cores & seeds (I keep the skins on but that’s optional).
Dump everything into your crockpot and stir to combine.
Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 12 hours.
Mash apples to desired chunkiness, or move to a blender for a smooth butter.
Store in plastic or glass container with sealing lid.
Keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.
I usually gift a few jars to friends, family, or neighbors the spirit of gratitude for community.
I hope that your Mabon season is filled with abundance and blessings! Come back next month for more tips and be sure to bring your questions to the next live!
Until next time,