the Autumn Equinox September 21st mid-harvest festival a time of giving thanks for the things we have. Pronounced may-brawn. (Lesser Sabbat)
The Autumn equinox is the end of harvest and the time for the harvest festival
Night and day are of equal lengths
Mabon is celebrated on or around 20 – 22 September here are different ways to celebrate this sabbat.
Mabon is a time of balance, and it is the time to celebrate the stability of the hearth and home. This ritual is a simple one designed to place a barrier of harmony and security around your property. You can do this as a family group, as a coven, or even as a solitary. If you live in an apartment, feel free to adapt the rite as necessary. The key here is to focus on the perimeter of your personal space, whether you have a half-acre yard, a big rural spread, or a downtown condo.
How To Hold a Hearth and Home Rite for Mabon
You'll need the following items:
A bowl of fresh earth from your yard
An assortment of iron nails (railroad spikes work nicely if you can get them)
A brown or green candle to represent the land
There is no need to cast a circle before beginning this rite, because you will be casting a magical perimeter as part of the working.
Begin at the entrance to your property that sees the most traffic. If you have a yard and house, this will likely be the end of the driveway, where it connects to the street. If you live in an apartment or town home, you may wish to use your front door, or the hallway in front of your door. You may want to put your supplies on a tray or in a bag, if you're doing this alone. If you have other people participating, give each person some items to carry. You can do this rite at any time of the day, although evening may be better if you don't want your neighbours to come over and ask what you're up to.
Place the bowl of earth at the entrance to your property. If you like, you can place it on a table, or you can just set it on the ground. Place your hands into the bowl, and feel the cool soil on your fingertips. Feel the energy of the earth, travelling from the ground, up into the bowl, through the dirt, and into you.
Focus on the bowl of earth, and say:
Earth, symbol of security and stability,
bring peace and harmony into my home
at this season of thanksgiving.
May my family be well,
my house be a haven,
and my table be one of hospitality.
May the earth, the soil, the land,
ground me and protect me and
those whom I love,
and that which I call mine.
My property shall be a safe place,
a secure place, a harmonious place
for all those who enter.
As I will, so it shall be.
Leave the bowl in place, and begin slowly walking around the perimeter of your property, travelling in a deosil, or clockwise, direction. Feel the energy of your land, and the way in which you connect with it. Is there a tree you particularly love? Or the big rock where the kids always sit? Or that weird piece of root that you trip over every time? Consider why your property is home instead of just a place to live. Even if you live in an apartment, you can do this -- what about that creaky spot by the door that your mom always hears when you come in late? All of these make a house personal and connect us to it.
Periodically -- and depending on how many iron nails or railroad ties you've got -- stop and touch the ground. Drive a nail or spike into the dirt - iron is known as a protective material throughout many cultures. As you push it into the earth, say:
Iron spike, in the ground,
protect my home, my family and me.
Keep out that which would cause us harm.
Repeat this with each iron nail or spike, until you've placed a protective barrier around your property. By now, you should have returned to your bowl of earth at the entrance. Light the green or brown candle, and place it within the bowl. Pack the earth lightly around it so that the candle doesn’t topple over. Say:
Dark and light, equal parts
at the time of Mabon.
Fire and earth, together.
Balance, harmony, security,
these things shall be mine.
If there is a particular deity of your tradition that represents hearth and home, now might be a good time to call upon them asking for assistance. If you do so, be sure to make an offering in their honour. If you choose not to call upon deity at this time, just take a few moments to reflect on your home life, and the things that mean security to you. When you are finished, bring the bowl with the candle inside, and place it in a spot where all can see -- on your hearth, or the kitchen table -- and allow it to sit until the candle goes out. When the candle has burned away, return the earth to your property.
Even if you just live in one room of a home, you can still do this rite. Simply adapt it so that you're going around the perimeter of the room, beginning with the doorway. Instead of pounding iron spikes into the ground, you can tuck a small nail up under the edge of the carpet.
A balancing ritual
You can perform this ritual anywhere, but the best place to do it is outside, in the evening as the sun goes down. Decorate your altar (or if you're outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with colourful autumn leaves, acorns, small pumpkins, and other symbols of the season. You'll need a black candle and a white one of any size, although tea lights probably work best. Make sure you have something safe to put them in, either a candle holder or a bowl of sand.
Light both candles, and say the following:
A balance of night and day, a balance of light and dark
Tonight I seek balance in my life
as it is found in the Universe.
A black candle for darkness and pain
and things I can eliminate from my life.
A white candle for the light, and for joy
and all the abundance I wish to bring forth.
At Mabon, the time of the equinox,
there is harmony and balance in the Universe,
and so there shall be in my life.
Meditate on the things you wish to change. Focus on eliminating the bad, and strengthening the good around you. Put toxic relationships into the past, where they belong, and welcome new positive relationships into your life. Let your baggage go, and take heart in knowing that for every dark night of the soul, there will be a sunrise the next morning.
The Mabon Altar
Mabon marks the beginning of Autumn and the death of the land, that is to come, but it is also a celebration of life, as it is the second, and largest, harvest of the year. At this time 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 everyday life. The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the "Harvest Moon," since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them.
Autumn is also the time when the king is called to his death at the end of his term. His body would then be ploughed into the earth to fertilize the land for the spring sowing so this is a continuation of the John Barleycorn tale of Lammas.
Most of us enjoy this time of year for the beauty of the Autumn colours and the energy felt in the crisp earthy air. It can be great fun hunting for just the right harvest symbols to use to decorate your altar. Autumn flowers are a must, as are fruits such as pumpkins, squash and apples set in an old wooden bowl, you can add to these some pomegranates. Decorate your altar with orange, brown and yellow, use candles, fruit and vegetables, cornucopias, bread and wheat stalks. Stones – amethyst, yellow topaz, carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire and yellow agate.
Grains and fruit and vegetables, especially corn. Cornbread, beans and baked squash, potatoes, Beef stew, pork chops with sage, meat casseroles, Apple crumble, apple pie, raspberries and blackberries
Wine (fruity), beer, ale, cider
Autumn leaves, acorns, pine cones, a pomegranate, and a small statue or figure to represent the Triple Goddess in her Mother aspect.
Symbols of Mabon
Grapes, wine, vines, garland, gourds, pine cones, acorns, wheat, dried leaves, burial cairns, rattles, Indian corn, Sun wheels, and horns of plenty
Herbs of Mabon
Vines, ivy, hazel, cedar, hops, tobacco, acorns, asters, benzoin, ferns, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, mums, myrrh, oak leaves, passionflower, pine, roses, sage, Solomon’s seal and thistles.
Incense of Mabon
Frankincense, aloes wood, jasmine, cinnamon, musk, cloves, benzoin, myrrh and sage.
Colours of Mabon
Red, orange, deep gold, brown, russet, maroon and violet
Stones of Mabon
Amethyst, yellow topaz, carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire and yellow agate.
Altar candles for Mabon
Orange, dark red, yellow, indigo, and brown
Protection, wealth and prosperity, security, and spells to bring a feeling of self-confidence. As this is a time for balance, you may like to include spells or rituals that bring into balance and harmony the energies in a room, home or situation you are currently involved in.
Apple blossom, hay/straw, black pepper, patchouli