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(autumnal equinox)

September 20-23 (check your calender )

Mabon is the celebraton of the main harvest.  The intense heat of the summer has passed, (or, as here in the desert, is thinking about passing), plants everywhere are going to seed, and thoughts begin to turn inward as we prepare for the winter months ahead.

The Earth mother is bearing the last of her food gifts to her children, and the plantlife that remains begins to wither and die.  Trees begin to let go of their life-giving leaves in preparation for their winter slumber.  As the trees pull their life energies inward, they leave behind brilliant colors in the leaves they no longer need; a festive treat for our eyes.

In North America, the autumnal equinox is associated with corn.  The natives of this land greatly depended on this staple to nourish them through the winter months.  Native American corn is a common symbol of our Thanksgiving to Nature at this time.

The equinox is a time of perfect balance between light and darkness, as our 24 hour day is divided in half between daytime and nighttime.  It is also a time of transition.  Days now will be progressively shorter than the nights till the solstice in December.  We can follow the example of our Earth mother and cast off what we no longer need in our lives right now, and look inward to make our own transformations.

How I celebrate Mabon with my family

We have a special spot in our home that we devote to our reverence for the Earth and Nature- an altar of sorts.  Ours is on top of our piano.  We have special candles there, as well as meaningful pictures and symbols.  During a seasonal celebration, this is the place where we honor the season.

At Mabon, I decorate the altar with Native American corn, usually a pomegranite or two from our tree (to remember Persephone, daughter of goddess Demeter, who must leave the world of light to live in the Underworld till the spring equinox), a door blessing I make in thanksgiving for all the plenty we have in our lives, a wooden bowl of fruit (including locally grown apples), some decorative squash and gourds, and some withered and dried plants from our garden that have gone to seed.  Last year, I also made dream pillows, and these were on the altar as well.

After the door blessing has been on the altar for awhile, I put it on our door outside.  Last year, ours was made of a grapevine wreath, and I glued some dried peppers from our garden there, some dove feathers, and symbols of our growth  over the past year as individuals and as a family.  (our personal "harvests")This can be a satisfying family project.

I made Native American corn necklaces for me and my then two-year-old son by removing the kernels of  several ears of of this beautiful decoration, and boiling the kernels for about 15 minutes to soften them.  I then threaded them on a double strand with a needle.  This can be a fun project to do with older kids.  We wore the necklaces off and on throughout the season.

The dream pillows I made were small, (about 4 inches square)  and were stuffed with herbs and dried rose pedals.  The purpose of the dream pillow is to help us remember and listen to our dreams, as part of the inner work we do in the autumn and winter.  The fabric I choose was deep purple, with gold shooting stars repeating in a pattern.  The herb I used was mugwort, to help promote sleep.  If I make the pillows again this year, I will put just a pinch of mugwort in the pillow.  Me and my husband and son are very sensitive to smells, and this great herb was very overpowering.  (enough to prevent sleep.)  We ended up not using them at all!

We had a special dinner on Mabon night.  I made wild rice with a vinegarette stir fried with garlic, onions, apples, peppers, and nuts. There were ribs cooked on the grill, and we also made a cornmeal bread with beans, made by steaming the mush with water. (autumn's element)

We are looking forward to Mabon this year, too.  Below are some links to other websites that can give you some more ideas, and my book references.

Blessed Be!

Most of my ideas came from a wonderful book called, Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.  The ISBN number is:0-89281-550-7.

Get some more ideas from the following websites:
The Witches Sanctuary        Mary's Witchy Page

links on the Seasonal Celebrations page:(the pages that have been created are in underlined text)

Mabon Samhain   Yule Imbolc Ostara Beltaine   Litha Lughnasad

return to the main Every Day is Sacred page

page updated: October 6, 1999

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