Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Bit About Mabon

Is it really Mabon again? Egads, the year flies by, doesn't it? After another summer of intense heat, which is really not to my liking, we are again at that point on the Wheel of the Year where I come alive once more. Autumn is most definitely my season, which is not surprising really as I am a deeply introverted person who spends a great deal of time inside her own head. So it makes perfect sense that I would thrive in that portion of the Earth Wheel where things are becoming quiet and resting within themselves for the dark of winter. Samhain is my favorite sabbat of the year, but Mabon can sort of be viewed as the "gateway" to Samhain, and that's good enough for me.

Mabon, a lesser sabbat, is also known as the Second Harvest Festival (after Lammas). It represents the balance between the darkness and the light; of perfect equality. The foods of Mabon are corn, potatoes, nuts, apples and onions. Bread is, of course, a must. The traditional herbs of this sabbat are thistle, tobacco, myrrh, marigold (to symbolize the last of the bright light) and sage, which should be burned at any rituals. Not surprisingly, the symbols of this sabbat are what we see on every farm stand we pass in our daily travels: gourds, pumpkins, apples, pine cones, and corn stalks. The pomegranate is an important food and decoration for feasts and altars alike, symbolizing fertility, abundance and equanimity.

This is a sabbat of the solitary and the mysterious. Not sure what to do to celebrate? Try making some homemade wine, or take a walk alone in the woods while gathering dried seeds, leaves, branches and berries. You can use these to adorn your house and your altar. Alternately, you can take some of what you have gathered and visit the graves of loved ones now passed and decorate their headstones with the pinecones, leaves and berries, honoring those who have gone before you as a prelude to Samhain. Bake a loaf of bread- even a quick bread of fruit and nuts is nice- and break a slice into pieces, scattering it outdoors (preferably in the woods or on a harvested field, if possible) as an offering to the Goddess who has now matured into the Crone, as well as to give one last thanks for this past season of abundance. In doing this, you'll also be feeding some hungry wildlife on these first few cooler days and nights.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Linder Rox on flickr.


Little Messy Missy said...

Speaking of alters,I have tried repeatedly to create an alter for myself, over the past 15 years and can not seem to make one that feels right. Any suggestions? I too thrive this time of year and was born on Halloween in 1974 so I feel especially connected. Great post.

Victoria said...

Actually, this time of year is the only time I set up a decorated altar, sad but true! I do Samhain and then Yule and that's about it. Occasionally I'll be motivated to do something for Ostara, but usually not. I usually use lots of lights (orange and purple fairy lights) for this season, fruits, pinecones, gourds, leaves, berries, pumpkins, branches and loads of candles and incense too. Check out my entry from 11-01-09 for photos of my Samhain/Day of the Dead altar from last year posted here. It has crows, fruits, family photos, native american artifacts, tobacco and corn, tarot cards etc. I use my sideboard in the dining room and I never worry that too much is TOO much. For someone who likes things simple, I oddly find with my altars that lush is always best! lol Go with whatever your heart tells you to add: all those autumn things, fave tarot cards, whatever your heart desires! Since it's your birthday- why not add some childhood mementos that you cherish too? Let me know how it goes- I'd love to see photos! Take care!

Little Messy Missy said...

Thanks, I will!