Four Ways to Celebrate Mabon
Heralded as the second harvest Sabbat of the year, Mabon is marked by the Fall Equinox. This is the first day of Autumn, or traditionally when the last of the harvest begins to be reaped. The impending darkness of winter is on the horizon as the world shifts into a longer night. However, there is much to be celebrated at this time--much of the bounty of the previous year is accounted for, and the wealth can be shared amongst the community. Whether you are participating in a literal or metaphorical harvest, here are some ways you can celebrate Mabon:
While many cultures celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, Pagans tend to view Mabon as their chosen holiday of gratitude. Traditionally, this point marked when majority of the crops were harvested. Abundance was prevalent--families celebrated the plethora of goods they had by offering rations to their community as well as the gods for the following harvest.
Our ancestors may have had a physical harvest to be thankful for, but we ourselves can harvest the energy that’s been lain down during the last year. We can celebrate Mabon--and perhaps most importantly ourselves--by practicing gratitude for what we’ve accomplished thus far. To do this, we can write a list of the many strides we’ve made in our lives, from the big to the small. It’s also important that we focus on all that life has offered us. Write a list of what you’re grateful for: people, places, opportunities, items. Keep these lists in a safe place. When you lose sight of your path, refer to these lists to remind yourself why you keep moving forward.
Feast With Friends and Family
As a harvest Sabbat, food plays an integral part in this holiday. To Pagans, Mabon is considered akin to Thanksgiving for the gratitude and the feast. As a way of practicing thanks, Pagans will often have a feast with their friends and family. This generally was seen as a way of celebrating the abundance that had been granted to a person for that season--by feasting with a plethora of people, one could put a tangible element to how well they had done. Further than even this however, Mabon feasts strengthened community relationships. People bonded and were able to help one another when times were rough.
Plan a feast with your loved ones. Celebrate abundance by building a long table and inviting your neighbors to it. Here are some recipes for this season.
Occuring at the Autumn Equinox, Mabon is one of two points in the year in which both the day and the night are equal lengths. This day offers a glimpse into a moment of perfect harmony in the cosmos--just in time for the night to grow longer than the day. The goddess Persephone is often celebrated during this time, as her story symbolizes the balance with which Mabon represents. As the goddess of spring, Persephone was dragged to the Underworld to be the wife of Hades and so ended up spending half of the year with him while spending the other half above ground. Persephone perfectly balances the fruition of the harvest and the dark subconscious of the Underworld.
Her story and the equinox of Mabon can inspire us to seek balance in our own lives. Take a moment to consider, where are you feeling imbalanced? How can you care for yourself so that you may flourish, bringing together your personal spring and subconscious feelings as one? How can you be at peace in yourself? Take a moment to breathe in, and breathe out. Count to 10. Fully immerse yourself in your senses and become aware of the space around you. Eat three square meals a day. Drink water. Dance. Play. Do yoga. Meditate. Take time out of your day to enjoy the fruits of your personal harvest. Find what brings harmony to your heart and do that.
Attend or Perform a Mabon Rite
Pagans tend to be rather ceremonial about their holidays, so a perfect way to honor Mabon would be to perform or attend a rite for this Sabbat. This can be done either individually or with a group--whichever is most accessible to you at the time. If you're interested in attending a group celebration, Witchvox lists some great options for local group ceremonies. If you'd rather perform a rite on your own, you can use the following suggestion to guide you.
Two sheets of paper
A pen or pencil
Lighter or match
A safe space to burn paper, ie. a heat proof bowl
Purifying incense, preferably white sage
Begin by cleansing yourself, your materials, and your space. When the energy feels pure and light, light your candle. Meditate for a moment on the areas which you would like more balance in your life. Where have you been feeling out of sorts? In what ways do you wish for more guidance and support? Write this down on one of your sheets of paper. Carefully fold the paper and put it inside of your heat proof vessel or wherever you’ve designated safe for burning. Light the paper with your match or lighter as you say three times,
In the spirit of Mabon,
balance is what I seek.
May my life and I be as one
with a bountiful harvest for me to reap.
By offering this list to the fire, you’ve symbolically asked that these areas of your life be transformed for your highest good. Take another moment to meditate on all that you feel grateful for. What in your life are you the most thankful for? This can be as big as, say, having a job, or as small as getting to eat your favorite breakfast every morning. Write this down on your second sheet of paper. Hold this list in your hands as you say three times,
I find joy in what life has to offer
and seek out moments of precious gratitude.
There are always opportunities for me to prosper
if the light of thankfulness I do exude.
Keep this list in a safe space so that you may refer back to it when you feel lost from your path. As the balance of Mabon restores your own internal balance, may you always remember that which you have to be grateful for. Blessed be!