Mabon is one of the pagan Wheel of the Year festivals, and is celebrated during September 21 (March 21st in the Southern Hemisphere) to 23rd. September is a time of harvest and storing supplies for the winter to come. The autumn equinox is a good time to gain mental and physical balance to achieve harmony within yourself, think about how to better harvest your beginnings and things until the end of the year.
The time of harvest is celebration of the Goddess for giving her blessings. It is a time when we must find balance within ourselves, to understand what is the meaning of our lives. There are three aspects of Mabon, which are celebration, gratitude and balance.
Celebration. You don’t have to physically grow fruit of the earth in order to celebrate, as anything you work on can have its own fruit. Look back, look at your harvest which grew from your work, and look at the results. Tell your family and friends about your successes, as Mabon is a good time for bragging. During Mabon, farmers are willing to show their neighbors their crops and their flocks. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in the results of your labor. A demonstration of the crop can also act as a gratitude to the Gods and the earth for their generosity. Invite every newcomer to your table to dine, because guests eating at your house is a sign of future prosperity.
Gratitude. Say something nice and give gifts to those who helped you achieve your successes. Try not to forget even the smallest help, every little bit counts to where you stand today.
Balance. The Autumn Equinox is a mystical point where time stops, where day equals night, where the forces of light and darkness freeze in balance. We close ourselves to safe power for the new summer, for a time of a new rebirth of life. We don’t just garner powers, we are creating the qualities within ourselves that are necessary for proper management of such powers, such as composure, inner balance and inner peace.
- Other names for Mabon: Autumn Equinox, Wine Festival, Feast of Avalon, Meyban, Meybon.
- Symbolism: Autumn festival, balance, autumn equinox.
- Gods & deities: Mabon, Demeter, Modron, Persephone, Lugh, Ceres, Dionysus, Cernunnos, Thor, Horned God.
- Decorations: Corn, autumn leaves, dry twigs, acorns, mushrooms, squash.
- Stones: Azure, sapphire, yellow agate, yellow topaz, amethyst.
- Plants: Acorns, asters, ferns, honeysuckle, marigold, myrrh, passionflower, pine, rose, sage, thistle, walnut, poplar, oak seeds and leaves, autumn leaves, wheat straw, cypress and pine cones.
- Incense: Sandalwood, myrrh, jasmine.
- Colors: Orange, red, brown.
- Food: Red wine, poultry, fish, squash, melons, vegetable stew, tortillas.
- Animals: Crow, owl, dog, wolf.
- Mythical creatures: Gnome, sphinx.
Mabon is a time for celebrating life and its gifts, harvesting the earth, the darker part of the year, the God of Sun and the time of regret for the things that haven’t been completed. Mabon is the second from two days in a year, when day equals night in the Wheel of the Year. Lugh, the God of light is defeated by the God of Winter, who was his twin brother and rival.
Today, Mabon rituals are aimed to provide enough food, shelter and resources in countries and for people who find themselves in difficult situations, to save them from famine and floods, to protect dolphins, whales, fish and other endangered species. These rituals also help the search for peaceful decisions where they are vitally important. A personal ritual during Mabon is suitable for solving problems related to prosperity in all aspects of your own life. It is a time of opportunity for older folks and for people who are beginning to use their knowledge in new areas.
On Mabon people usually go out to see the nature, in the woods to collect seeds and fallen leaves. Some of the leaves are used to decorate homes, while others remain for future use. Food on Mabon comes from the second harvest, which is usually grains, fruits, vegetables and especially corn. Corn bread and dried squash are traditional Mabon cuisine.
Decorating your Wiccan altar on Mabon is fairly simple. Gather all the items and objects that can be stored for several weeks such as corns, herbs and pumpkins to place on your altar. Autumn leaves, autumn colored items, images or statues of animals are also a good addition. If you know any people who are imprisoned for their religious beliefs, for their faith or because of racial discrimination, you can place their photos on the altar.
Goddess in Mabon
The Goddess turns into an old woman, a wise grandmother who teaches us to rest after the work is done on Mabon. In ancient Greece, Demeter was the Goddess of this season, who was generous with gifts, and Persephone who descended into the Underworld to return again. In the British Isles, the ancient name of the season’s Goddess was Modron, which means “mother”. She is sometimes portrayed as three women who are called Mothers, and each sit on a throne. They were responsible for the maintenance of fertility and life. In Celtic mythology, the son of Modron descended into the Underworld. Every time we feed the hungry, we honor the Mothers.
God in Mabon
The name of the Sabbat and festival comes from the God Mabon. He was called “Mabon, son of Mordon” which means “Son, the son of Mother”. Mabon is an old God, so old that most of the stories about him were lost. All that we know is that he was abducted from his mother when he was only three days old, and was thrown into prison until he was saved by the knights of King Arthur. Due to his experiences of being a prisoner in a dungeon, he is a God of freedom. He frees the animals from cells and weakens the chains of all those who are unjustly imprisoned. He protects all that is wild and free. His animal totems are the owl, the blackbird, deer, eagle and salmon. We honor Mabon when defending the animals, and when we work for the freedom of all people.
How to Celebrate Mabon
There are many different Wiccan ways to celebrate Mabon, some like to work with witchcraft by performing rituals and casting spells, some like to open tarot spreads for themselves, while others like to cook festive dishes.
We have a whole section for Mabon related articles here. Here are some more ideas for your Mabon celebrations: