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.