Friday September 22 2017, Mabon, aka the Fall Equinox and the official start of Autumn, arrives. What does this mean, and what are some ways to celebrate it? I’m so glad you asked!
Wait a sec – I thought “Mabon” was a naughty word!
I had no idea there was a bit of controversy in Pagan circles about the “proper” name for this particular occasion until last year, when a Facebook post by Christopher Penczak got me Googling. However, when all is said and done, I have no problem using Mabon and Fall Equinox interchangeably, as I have since I first started down this path a bazillion years ago.
Okay, so what does it mean, exactly?
Traditionally, the Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of the fall season and many cultures have harvest festivals at this time. In the Pagan and magical communities, the Autumnal Equinox represents the height of the harvest season which began with Lughnassadh and ends with Samhain. As a Sabbat, the Autumnal Equinox is sometimes referred to as “Pagan Thanksgiving”. Although the equinox is often celebrated for its own sake, many different Pagan and Heathen traditions have specific festivals tied to the date. Some of these are Second Harvest, Alban Elfed Winter Nights, Harvest Home, Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair and Mabon. In addition, many Pagan Pride Day festivals are held near the Autumn Equinox.
Autumn Equinox feasts are generally food-focused, featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables and fresh baked bread shared with friends, family and the less fortunate. For many Circles, this is their last chance to celebrate outdoors before the cold weather sets in, so a bonfire and BBQ are in order. The theme of the day is usually gratitude and the sharing of blessings. The Gods & Goddesses celebrated at this time tend to be Gods of the Harvest.
Some Pagans commemorate Persephone’s descent into the Underworld at this time, or this observation may be saved for Samhain. Either way, Her mother Demeter or Ceres is often a major focus of worship at this time.
The descent of Inanna into the underworld may be remembered at this time.
Some Pagans use this time to honor the Dark God/dess or Crone.
Some Pagans believe that the Sun God is defeated and dies at this time (Many observe this at the Summer Solstice instead) and he will be reborn at the Winter Solstice. Others honor The Green Man or The Horned God at this time.
What are some ways to celebrate it?
Here’s a bunch of links and blog posts with some great suggestions (one of the many benefits of sharing stuff on Twitter for #WitchBlogWed –
- 8 Ways to Celebrate the Autumn Equinox/Mabon
- Making Corn Dollies for the Autumn Equinox
- Mabon Ritual – Persephone’s Confession
- Craft Projects to Celebrate Mabon
- Three Mabon Rituals
Last year, I set a goal to put together simple ritual graphics for each quarter and cross quarter day. However, like the bad witch I am, I only managed three (hoping to remedy that this coming year). Here’s the first one I put together, using inspiration from the spells over on the Llewellyn site and one of my photos from Fall 2015 (I edited the exposure a bit, since this was taken with my old camera).
Mabon/Fall Equinox Infographic
Finally, here’s the graphic I created for the occasion, using a picture I took last year in our backyard. Bright Mabon/Fall Equionx blessings to all!
Wait a second! What if I live in the Southern Hemisphere?
Aha! I’m finally putting together matching graphics for my pagan friends below the equator. I’m using Australian Central Standard Time as the time zone – please shout out if there’s a different zone that’s more commonly used. Bright Ostara/Spring Equinox Blessings to you!