Ways To Celebrate Mabon

Autumn Equinox: 21st-24th September

Mabon is the traditional Harvest Festival in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the second harvest, when we give thanks, celebrate the bounty of summer and when we prepare to enter the depths of autumn and winter. It’s about gathering our resources around us and getting cosy until spring.

Like most witches, autumn is my favourite season. We can feel Samhain’s approach and the thinning of the veil between worlds. Autumn reminds many of us to get back to basics. I tend to gather more ingredients and cast more spells at this time of year. This is also when I ground myself more firmly in Mother Earth and give thanks for her bounty.

My birth chart is Air and Fire dominant with a Fire Grand Trine. The only Earth there to ground me is my Sun in Taurus in the 10th House. I need to consciously and deliberately dedicate time to grounding myself, or I run the risk of spending all my time chasing new ideas and new projects. Every now and again I need to firm up my foundations and I find that during Autumn and, to a lesser extent Winter, is when Spirit reminds me to do that. Every year I look forward to that time of reconnection. This is when I come home and make sense of my life.

Set Up a Mabon Altar

Autumn is a time for giving thanks for Earth’s bounty. Gather harvest fruits (especially apples), horse chestnuts, pinecones, rosehips, hawthorn berries, and fallen leaves to place on your altar. Mugwort, rosemary, sage, and cinnamon are traditionally associated with this time of year and would be wonderful on a Mabon Altar, however, any herbs that resonate with you would fit just as well. Orange, yellow, or white candles will help you strengthen your the connection to the spirit and magick of the season.

Get Out in Nature

This is the time of year that I feel most called to spend time in nature. I love everything about it – the cooler air, the colours, fallen leaves, berries and nuts to collect. If possible, try to go for walks in nature to celebrate Mabon. Grounding yourself in Mother Earth is one of the simplest ways to connect with the season and it’s also one of the most effective. If you do nothing else during Mabon, try to get out for walks in the park. Celebrate Nature’s bounty with Her.

Harvest Spell Ingredients

If you have a garden, or can get out in the countryside, you can gather spell ingredients to be dried and stored during the winter months. I’ll be collecting rowan berries, hawthorn berries, rosehips, horse chestnuts, apple seeds, sloes, and anything else I can find. I’ll also be collecting the flowers that fell from my beautiful orchid in the kitchen – magick ingredients don’t need to be hard to come by! Collect the pips and seeds from the fruit you eat, or flowers from your plants. Research their properties and correspondences, and you’ll build yourself a nice store for later.  

Apple seeds contain amygdalin, which is composed of cyanide and sugar. Ingesting small amounts has no adverse effect on us, so no worries there. When you collect something for use in spell crafting be sure to research its properties and uses. And of course always stay safe. Don’t collect something you’re not sure about.

Plant Bulbs

If you like gardening, you’ll know that this is the perfect time to plant bulbs. This year I’ll be planting daffodils along our driveway. Anything you can do that brings you close to Nature will benefit you hugely at this time.

Restore Balance

The spring and autumn equinoxes are the perfect time to restore balance in our lives. We’re familiar with the idea of a spring clean, but really we should be doing something similar around the time of the autumn equinox. If possible try to complete projects that have been hanging over you for a while, do a small clear-out, and prepare for winter. You’ll want the house to be inviting and cosy during the long winter months. Give thanks for all that you’re grateful for – all the blessings that have come into your life throughout the year.

Deities Associated with Autumn/Fall

Not every practitioner connects with deity in their practise. If you do, placing an image or representation of a deity that is traditionally associated with autumn on your altar will bring you a powerful connection to the season. Placing a printed image of your chosen deity on your altar will help you to visualize and form that connection more easily. It’s just easier for us to imagine divinity in human form. Connecting with deity, or an angelic being, in this way will align you more closely with the energies of autumn. You’ll be more tuned in and more receptive to that energy. Or so I believe!

It’s always best to do your own research and choose a God, Goddess, or angelic being that resonates with you. The following are some suggestions to get you started.

Banbha

Banbha is a Goddess from the Celtic Pantheon. She’s one of the Tuatha Dé Danann and is a patron Goddess of Ireland. Her name is pronounced ‘Bahnva’. She forms part of a Goddess Trinity alongside her sisters Ériu and Fódla. Banbha is associated with harvest and fertility. This time of harvest and thanksgiving is a wonderful time to create, or strengthen, a connection with Banbha. As she’s associated with autumn, you’ll find beautiful public domain images of her wearing golds, browns, and greens. Place one of these on your altar and commune with Banbha throughout the season. Invoke her to bring abundance and protection into your life.

Demeter

Demeter is a Goddess of grain, food, and agriculture from the Greek pantheon. Women in Athens held a festival in her honour each autumn where they performed secret rites, made offerings to the Goddess, and celebrated the autumn harvest. If you feel called to do so, invoke Demeter to bring abundance into your own life. Research her and form a connection with her. Make this part of your autumn ritual.

Freyr

Freyr is the Norse God of peace, prosperity, fertility, good weather and a good harvest. He’s not a God I’ve connected with before and so this autumn I’m going to dedicate time to researching Freyr and to establishing a connection with him. This will form part of my ritual for the season. Deepening our knowledge and strengthening our connections to deity are two of the most powerful commitments we can make to ourselves this season. I urge you to try the same.

Mabon

Associating Mabon with the autumnal equinox seems to be a modern phenomenon, but don’t let this put you off. Mabon is a God of Light and at this time, when light and darkness are balanced, we’re celebrating all that that the light of summer has given us. We’re also preparing to welcome the dark cosiness of winter when we’ll recuperate and rest with the Earth.

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