Mabon

Helpful Information

Date: September 20th - 23rd, depending on the year

Other Names: Atumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest

Pronunciations: MAY-bun, MAY-bon, MAH-boon, MAH-bawn

The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter's Night, which is the Norse New Year.

At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.

Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!

Deities: Goddesses - Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses. Gods - Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man

Symbolism: Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance

Symbols: wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty

Colors: Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold

Herbs: Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables

Traditional Foods: Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions

Incense: Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage

Stones: Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates

Ritual

Tools & Instruments

  • Red Altar Cloth
  • Wicker Basket
  • Red Apple
  • Assorted Fruits and Vegetables of the Second Harvest (Berries, Squash, Corn, etc)
  • A Bell
  • A Fallen Tree Branch
  • A Boline
  • A Sprig or Two of Ivy
  • An Autumn Blend Incense
  • Personal items

Preparation:

Sweep area, moving in a deosil (clockwise) manner. Outline your Circle with a red cord, low vibration stones, or various Harvest items such as wheat, corn, beans, etc. Set up your alter and place the red alter cloth over it. At center top, place the wicker basket, filled with the assorted fruit and vegetables. Place the apple and the bolline on your Pentacle or a plate. Place the tree branch to the right of the basket. Place the rest of your tools and props according to your personal preference. Take a shower or bath for purity. Sit quietly and meditate to ground and center. When you are ready, begin by playing some soothing music associated with the Sabbat and your ritual.

Cast the Circle and call Quarters. Pick up your Wand in your right hand, face your alter, and with arms stretched out above your head, say:

"I honor Thee, Autumn Queen, and Thy consort, the God of the Harvest.
The Wheel has once more turned, and the change of season begins.
What will be is. What was will be.
The Equinox is upon us, and the time to reflect, at hand.
All time comes together, here and now in this sacred space.
And I, but a moment in time, feel the change as I pass From one season to the next.
The Second Harvest has been reaped, and the time of rest is deserved.
Go now My Mother and slumber.
Go now My Father and dream of re-birth.
I shall be here to greet Thee on Your return."

With arms still out-stretched lower your head and close your eyes. Contemplate what you have just spoken. When ready, open your eyes and lower your arms. Pick up the apple and place it in the center of the Pentacle/plate. Cut it crosswise with the Bolline, to reveal the natural pentagram at it's core. Then lift half the apple, pentagram up, as if in offering, while saying:

"As the Wheel turns, the seasons pass, and the years give 'way To the next,
Guide me most Wise Ones,
Lest I forget
Every beginning has an ending
And every ending is a new beginning."

Take a bite of the apple. Put the rest aside to share later with the wildlife. Pick up the tree branch and shake once at each direction, starting with North, saying:

"As the days grow colder, and the nights last longer,
May I remember the summer past.
With sunlight fading, and hearth inviting,
My memories will warm my soul.
From a season of hard work and hard play,
I hear Mother's voice calling me forward.
While I rest, shall She lull me, with songs of a dream,
As close to Her bosom I cling."

Face the alter and hold the branch out in front of you with both hands, saying:

"With memories of the summer, least I never forget,
And aspirings for the colder months to come,
Least I never stop striving,
I honor Thee with this symbol of Nature,
Keeping it and Thee in my home and heart,
That I may see it and pause,
To reflect on the Ancient Mysteries,
Leading me to a better understanding of myself,
And of others, and all that is Life."

Put the tree branch on the alter, into the basket of fruit so that it sticks out, back in your direction. Contemplate on the various memory symbols that you have attached to it. Also contemplate on the various projects for autumn and winter that you have attached to it. Close your eyes and feel the seasons pass within the circle from summer to autumn. When ready, say:

"Between the worlds I stand in this sacred place.
All time is here and now.
As I leave this circle, the season shall have changed,
And I will have changed with it.
May I use the short time of Winter Finding
To draw the strength and power from within
As I quest for vision, understanding, and peace."

Pick up the sprig(s) of ivy, and wrap around your arms, from the elbow to the wrist. Pick up the Bell with your right hand, and ring thrice, to toll the passing of the first 3 seasons of the year. Now place it in your left hand and ring once to usher in the 4th and last season of the year. Place the bell on the alter and the ivy in your cauldron (for burning later).

"In Life is Death, and in Death is Life.
The Sacred Dance goes on and on
From whence we came, we shall return,
And come again.
Seasons pass, and pass again,
The circle stays unbroken
Heed the words of your child, here,
Through Your wisdom I have spoken."

It is now time for meditation and spellworking. Associated spellworkings would include those for protection, wealth, security, and self-confidence. If there is no spellworking, celebrate with Cakes and Ale, then release the Circle. Clean up. You are done. Find an appropriate place in your home to display the decorated tree branch.

*Find a fallen tree branch. It need not be a large one, for it will adorn your alter, then go on display in your home. The more smaller offshoots from the main branch, the better. Mine has four, which I think is awesome! Next, take a couple of pine cones, small shells, dried flowers, or any other item that reminds you of the late spring-summer months. With some string, tie each to the offshoots. Also take yarn or ribbon of yellows, oranges, reds, and gold and tie one end to the offshoots. Then, on very thin strips of (colored) paper, write down some projects to work on during the upcoming 'dark' months. Wrap these around the offshoots (like little cocoons) and tie closed with silver thread. These you will open over the next couple of months when you start feeling lethargic or without a sense of direction. I tie on a couple of small bells, to add some ambiance to my ritual.

***This ritual and the accompanying activity planner are dedicated to MadaRua, as she gracefully transcends from one season of Life to the next. Our prayers and blessings are with you.

Adapted by: Akasha Ap Emrys for all of her friends and those of like mind.

Child Activities

BeanBag Dolls

Materials: That one glove in the bottom of the closet or drawer that lost its mate over the summer. A small ball, some dried grain, yarn, and a needle and thread, and 2 buttons.

Tuck the ring finger up inside the palm of the glove and stitch the hole closed. Fill the glove up to the stretch cuff with rice, beans, popcorn, etc, and tie it off with a piece of yarn. For the doll's head, place a small ball (ping-pong) in the cuff and sew the glove closed. For hair, wrap the yarn around your hand several times, tie the loops together at one end with a strand of yarn, and cut the other end. Stitch the tied end to the top of the doll's head. Finish the doll by stitching on some button eyes. (Explain to children that although we all look different on the outside, we are all the same inside. Tell how the God/dess made each of us with love and care.)

Animal Brethren

Materials: An apple, paring knife, lemon juice, whole cloves, pencil, jar, glove, felt scraps, glue.

Peel the apple and remove some of the core from the bottom. (Parents) To carve the animal's face, cut two holes for the eyes, slice two triangle flaps for the ears, cut a deep "X" for the nose and mouth, and some shallow slits for whiskers. Soak the apple in the lemon juice for about 15 minutes, then remove to a paper towel to dry. Insert cloves into the eye holes. Push the pencil into the bottom of the apple, and set it in a jar to dry. To hasten drying process, a food dehydrator works great! As the apple dries, lift the ears so they dry upright. When the head has dried, use the glove and felt scraps to make the body. Glue on markings and paws. Cut off the middle finger of the glove, and drop the pencil through it, with the head attached. Have the child grab the pencil with their 3 middle fingers, while using the thumb and pinkie for the animal's forelegs. ( Discuss the habits of different animals during the winter months. Explain why we leave bird food and other tidbits out for our winged and furry brothers.)

Edible Autumn Leaves

Materials: 1 bag each of semisweet chocolate and white chocolate morsels (chips), broad leafed herbs such as mint, basil, celery, etc.

Select your sprigs of leaves in the produce section of your grocery store or from your garden. Wash leaves thoroughly and pat dry. Melt chocolate with 2 tsp. of butter, stirring until smooth. Pour chocolate into small bowls and give each child a clean small paintbrush. Paint the underside of the leaves with the chocolate and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Slowly pull real leaves away from chocolate leaves. (Explain to children how art is a reflection of the true beauty of Nature.)

Woodsy Flower Vase

Materials: Ľ inch diameter sticks, scissors, an empty plastic (p-butter) jar, 2 thick rubber bands, ribbon, glue, and pinecones.

Break or snip sticks to about 1in. longer than jar. Place rubber bands around jar, 1in. from top and 1in. from bottom. Tuck the sticks under the rubber bands, placing them together as close as possible. Once the jar is surrounded by sticks, push the rubberbands to the center of the jar and cover with autumn colored ribbon. Ribbon can be tied into a bow. Glue on a few pinecones and fill the vase with flowers. (While hiking and looking for sticks, explain why fallen sticks are more Earth friendly, but if live branches are needed, to take only what is needed and thank tree for gift.)

Harm None Paper Bouquets

Materials: Autumn colored tissue paper, scissors, crayons, and pipe cleaners.

For each flower cut eight 3-1/2 in.squares. With side of crayon color down 2 opposite sides on each square. Lay on flat surface with colored sides at top and bottom. Start folding from the top, like a paper fan. Each pleat should be approx 1/2in wide. For the stems, bend a pipe cleaner 1-1/2in. from one end to form a hook. Place the pleated squares in a stack, and place the stack in the hook. Twist the hook around the stem. To open flower to full bloom, twist the petals a half-turn near the stem. (Thank children for beautiful vase of flowers that can be used on your alter for the Mabon ritual, and later a table center piece.)

Begin Again Eggheads

Materials: A couple of eggs per child, felt-tip markers or crayons, grass seed or bird seed, some soil, a nail, and some plastic wrap.

Have children draw funny faces on their eggs with the markers or crayons. Take the nail and make a hole at the top of the egg, keep working on hole until about the size of a quarter. Drain and rinse inside of egg and spoon some soil into it. Put in some grass/bird seed, moisten soil, and wrap in plastic wrap. Set in a sunny spot to sprout. Once grass starts sprouting, remove the wrap and water daily. (Explain to children that although the egg is no longer what it was originally, it has gone through a death and a rebirth as something else living and part of Nature.)

Animal Guide Totems

Materials: A sheet of construction paper, plastic spoon, small water-based paint set, markers, paper towel tube, and glue.

Fold the sheet of paper in half, and have the child drop spotsofpaint along the fold. Fold the paper, lay it flat, and gentely rub it. Re-open the paper and have the child tell you all about the animals, fish, and birds that they see in the paint blots. When the paint dries, help the child outline these creatures with the markers. Cut out and around the blot characters and glue to the paper towel tube to make the totem stand upright. (Discuss the different AnimalGuides, and the qualities we learn from them.)

Backyard Chant -- Mabon Prayer

Autumn colors of red and gold
As I close my eyes tonight
Such a wonder to behold
I feel the God/dess hold me tight
Watch leaves turning one by one
Though it grows dark, I shall not fear
Captured bits of Autumn Sun
For Divine Love protects all here
Soon they'll fall and blow away
Through the night, until the morn
The golden treasures of today
When the shining Sun's reborn
When the trees are bare
Time to sleep, time to dream
And the ground grows cold
Till warm gold rays upon me stream
These warm memories
I'll still hold.

Recipes

Sea Turtle Wisdom Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar or honey
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Raisins
  • 1 egg
  • Water
  • Green food coloring

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Whisk in sugar/honey, salt, and oil. Slowly fold in flour, as it becomes harder to stir, turn the dough onto a lightly floured countertop and dust the dough with flour. Knead the dough by folding it in half and pressing it with the palm of your hand until it springs back when you poke it lightly with a finger. Form into ball and place in lightly greased bowl. Dust dough with flour and cover it with a clean cloth towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes. (Shouldn't spring back, now).

After the dough has risen once, punch it down and form balls for the shell (6in. diameter), head (3in.) , and legs (2in.), and assemble on a greased cookie sheet. Etch a crisscross pattern on top of shell with a knife. Use 2 raisins for eyes. Let rise for 30 more minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush lightly with egg wash ( 1 egg whisked with 1 tbs. water and couple drops green food coloring) and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 turtles

Harvest Morning Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated apples
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin or line it with paper liners. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sugar and oil until well combined. Stir in the grated apples and carrots. In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Blend the dry ingredients with the apple mixture until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Lunch Crumble

Ingredients:

  • 5 apples
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 tbsp. apple juice or orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan or a casserole of the equivalent size, then dust it with flour. Peel, core and slice the apples, and arrange them in the pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, salt and allspice on low speed until it forms a coarse meal. Crumble the mixture evenly over the apple slices and sprinkle with the juice. Bake for 35 minutes. Makes 6 servings. (Serve warm with chilled fruit and vegetable plates, buffet style.)

Cinnamon Apple Butter 'n Turkey Sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 9 to 10 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tsp. apple pie spice
  • (or 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg and allspice and 1tsp. cinnamon)

Cut the apples into 1-inch chunks. (Don't worry about making them perfectly sized.) Place in a large, nonreactive saucepan and pour cider over them. Cover the pot and cook for about 30 minutes over low heat, until the apples are soft. Cool the mixture, divide it into two batches and puree each in a food processor or blender. (At this point, you have an unsweetened applesauce, which makes excellent baby food). Pour the pureed fruit into a large baking dish, sprinkle with the apple pie spice, and stir. Spread mixture evenly in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 2 to 3 hours, until thick and deep brown. Stir every 20 minutes. Cool the apple butter and then scoop it into a clean jar with a sealable lid. It will keep for up to two months in your refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups. Create your favorite turkey sandwich buffet with slice turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado wedges, sprouts, etc. Use the cinnamon apple butter instead of butter or mayonnaise.

Share the Wealth Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 24 tart apples
  • Lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Peel and core the apples, then cut them into chunks. Place the apples in a large nonreactive saucepan, and add the lemon juice and water. Stir in the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the cinnamon and raisins, if desired. Stir light for a chunky sauce and rigorously for a smooth sauce. For a pink applesauce, use red apples and leave the skins on. Once the apples are soft, you can strain out the skins or lift them from the sauce with a fork. Makes 2 1/2 cups. (Pour into resealable jars, decorate to give as Harvest gifts to relatives, friends, and neighbors.)

All Things Harvested Pot Roast

Ingredients:

  • 4 - 5 lb. pot roast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 10 oz. cans French onion soup
  • 4 large potatoes, quartered
  • 1 8 oz. package raw baby carrots
  • 1 16 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli/cauliflower mix

In dutch oven or oven safe pot w/lid brown both side of the roast, using half the butter. Set the roast aside. With remaining butter, saute' the onion, garlic, and celery until onions are tender and beginning to brown. Add the the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and pepper. Mix well and then return the pot roast to the pan. Sprinkle salt over the roast and add the french onion soup. Cook at 325 degrees for 4 hours. Baste meat as needed. Add potatoes and carrots and salt to taste. Cook for another 45 minutes. Add broccoli/cauliflower mix and cook for 20 more minutes. Serve with hot bread. Makes 8 servings.

Mabon Caramel Apples

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Kraft Caramels
  • 6 red or green apples, destemmed
  • 6 popsicle sticks

Melt caramels slowly in a double boiler. When runny in consistency, stick popsicle sticks into top center of apple, and dip apple into caramel sauce, making sure to cover entire apple with a coating of caramel. Place dipped apples, stick up on wax paper covered cookie sheet an refrigerate till caramel hardens. Makes 6 servings.