A how-to celebrate guide, plus six ways to honor it
Fall is finally here, and we all know how important this time of the year is for the witchy community! Today we will dive into one of the main fall celebrations: Mabon.
What is Mabon?
Mabon is known as the pagan's Thanksgiving. It marks the Autumn Equinox when day and night are of equal lengths, which is why this sabbat is known for balance and harmony. The fall equinox falls on September 22 this year and is a time of balance as night and day are equally divided, but the light is starting to diminish in favor of darkness. Modern Mabon is a time for thankfulness for abundance and all that Mother Earth has provided throughout the year. It is also a good time to reflect on the past year and let go of the things that did not serve you.
The History of Mabon
In ancient times the figure of Mabon, god of youth, vegetation, and crops, was celebrated. The term, which means "young man" encompasses the whole story of divinity who was kidnapped for a few days of life by his mother, living as a prisoner. Similar to the story of Persephone and Demeter, the Greek goddess Demeter when losing her daughter, turned the lushes earth into the barren cold, in her grief.
Mabon, in addition to being one of the eight sabbats for the celebrations of pagans during the autumn equinox, has over the centuries become synonymous with the fruits of the earth, the dishes collected in abundance after the summer cultivation period. Not surprisingly, it is often represented by a cornucopia, which is a bottomless basket from which fruit, vegetables, and other goods flow without stopping. Its association with the autumn equinox is therefore easy to understand. After the hard spring and summer work, it is time to enjoy its fruits, to accumulate plenty of provisions because the coldest and hardest months of the year are upcoming. Precisely because between the summer and winter seasons, Mabon represents both the success of light and also darkness, those that are coming and that could envelop those who have not thought about winter subsistence in time.
Mabon: The celebrations
Celebrated during the equinox or in the days immediately preceding or following, Mabon is honored both inside the home and in public, with an abundance of food and small rituals. The colors that characterize this season are typical for autumn, such as the orange of the leaves, the red of the fruits, and the brown of the wood. You can collect fresh or dried flowers, acorns, and pinecones, all to represent this season as well.
Mabon is a great time to celebrate with a large family lunch or dinner, inviting your friends and neighbors to celebrate together. Although, this may be a very busy time for those with children returning to school, so celebrating with a family meal of thankfulness is appropriate as well.
Six Fun Ways to Celebrate Mabon
Decorate Your Home
My favorite way to prepare for Mabon is to decorate! The first thing to do is to prepare your home to welcome the energies of the season and to start to align with the cycle of the year. Start with a purifying cleanse of the rooms with incense, sage, or your choice of crystal spray. You can then bring in fresh or dried flowers, your favorite potpourri, a fresh besom, and any other autumn and fall decor that you love. I have a collection of glass pumpkins that I love putting out on our dining room table with my other fall decorations. I also prepare a centerpiece full of pumpkins and lights, that I enjoy changing over with every season.
Prepare Your Altar
You can also celebrate Mabon by preparing your altar for the season! Spread a beautiful brown cloth on the altar, a symbol of Mother Earth, decorated with golden ribbons, a symbol of the last rays of the sun, then place the symbols of the season on the altar: brown, golden, and orange candles. A sickle, a symbol of the magical harvest, or another tool that can also symbolize your harvest this year. Of course, your crop does not need to be agricultural or material, a basket or saucer with wheat grains and various seeds would suffice.
If you are a Tarot reader, you can display the following cards for Mabon. The Sun, symbolizes the success you achieve this year, The Wheel, symbolizes the wheel of the year and its constant change, and The Star, symbolizes your desires and goals for the upcoming year. You can surround the tarot cards with onyx, citrine, and garnet.
The Celebration Meal
The celebratory meal of Mabon is one of the new rituals my husband and I will start doing with our daughter, Juniper, as we start new traditions and weave in the Wheel of the Year and my practice as a family. This meal can be as extravagant or as simple as you wish, don't overexert yourself if you simply do not have the time. You can cook dishes that represent the harvest of the season, and enjoy conversations that focus on thanksgiving, reflection, and new beginnings.
Mabon is the perfect time to relax, reconnect and unwind, honoring what you have and being thankful for the harvest and for the gifts the earth has given each of us. Spend at least 10 minutes a day honoring this special time of the year by keeping the world outside and unveiling your inner self. Create a moment all for yourself, like a self-love ritual. Light some candles, and use essential oils to focus and center. If you can, a walking meditation outside is a great way to honor nature and its gifts while spending time outside as well!
Time to Bake!
If you're a baker, Mabon is the perfect time to bake some delicious treats. You can celebrate Mabon by making an apple crumble or spice cookies. Baking is such a delightful way to get cozy and create a sweet welcoming atmosphere for your home. If you can, go apple picking and harvest herbs and fresh ingredients for your recipes to connect with nature while giving thanks. You will bring powerful energy to your table while honoring tradition.
Mabon is all about analyzing things, drawing up balances, and having a clear vision of how, with gratitude, we are going to approach the end of the year. There is nothing better than journaling to express your thoughts, emotions, and expectations during this season. You can even create a photo album adding pictures of the things you are grateful for, the latest accomplishments in your life, and the goals you would like to achieve by the end of the year. Express yourself and let your essence and true self unveil to allow your vision to manifest!