Mabon, the Fall Equinox, is our harvest celebration. As during the Spring Equinox is is a time of balance between dark and light. But now, we are moving from light to darkness, from warmth to cold. We gather the harvest of summer and prepare for the winter ahead.
The Goddess at Mabon
At Mabon, The Mother of the Harvest becomes the Old One, the wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after our labors.
In ancient Greece, the Goddess of the season was both Demeter, who can be generous with her gifts, or hold them back as she mourns for her daughter, and Persephone, who goes into the underworld to return again.
In the British Isles, the ancient name for the Goddess of this time was Modron, which simply means “Mother”. Sometimes she was pictured as a trio of women, each seated on a throne. Together, they were called the Mothers. They were responsible for abundance and sustaining the life of the people In the Celtic myths, is is Modron’s son who is stolen away into the Underworld.
Whenever we feed the hungry, we honor the Mothers.
The God at Mabon
This Holiday takes its name from the God Mabon. He was called “Mabon, son of Modron,” which means “Son, Son of the Mother.” He is such an ancient God that most of the stories about him have been lost. All we know is that he was stolen away from his mother when he was only three nights old and imprisoned until he was rescued by King Arthur’s companions.
Because Mabon knows what it is like to be imprisoned, he is also the God of freedom. He frees animals from their cages and loosens the bonds of all those unjustly imprisoned. He protects all things wild and free.
His totem animals are the owl, blackbird, stag, eagle and salmon.
We honor Mabon when we protect the wild things, animals and when we work for freedom for all people.
The Mabon altar is simple. Make an arrangement of some of the things harvested that will keep for a few weeks: winter squash, dried corn, herbs, pumpkins. If you haven’t harvested anything yourself, this is a good time to go to a farmers’ market or a pick-your-own farm and choose what you want on the altar.
Autumn leaves, a bouquet of late-blooming flowers, picture or figurines of animals are good additions, as well.
If you know any stories of people who have been imprisoned for their beliefs, their religion or race, you can put their pictures on the altar.
The Colors of Mabon
The colors of Mabon are vivid and brilliant. Just look at the burst of color in the forests with autumn leaves in red, bronze, orange, yellow and rust! Even the night sky glows a deep indigo and the stars shine clear thru the colder sky.
Incense, Herbs and Woods
Nutmeg, cloves, SPICE are the scents of Mabon, along with Sandalwood and myrrh. Heather, pine and cedar also make good choices.
Herbs commonly associated with Mabon are: mace, cinnamon, cloves, cypress, juniper, oakmoss, marigold, ivy and sage.
Build your fires with pine, apple, and oak. Make your wands from hazel at this time of year.