Mabon, Autumn Equinox
On the 21st or 22nd of September we celebrate the vigil of the autumn equinox. Day and night are balanced in this minor Sabbat, but from this day onwards nights become longer. This is the yearly opposite to Ostara. Sun enters constellation Libra.
It is also known as "The Witches' Thanksgiving" and as Cornucopia. In ancient times it was celebrated on the 25th, and this date became St.Michael's day in christianism.
It is time for the second harvest, the wine harvest. In the past, the second crop was being prepared in these days. Thus, the harvest that began in Lammas was finished. Druids honored the trees and the forest god by offering wine or cider libations.
Again we gather the result of our efforts and liberate ourselves from the things that are no longer necessary and only hinder us in our path. We are supposed to do a work of introspection and balance ourselves. We might review unbalanced elements in our lives and inharmonious aspects of our personality, then try to fix them. Mabon is a good chance to deal with our pending matters.
We prepare ourselves for the coldness of winter and the death of the God in Samhain. We try to create a cozy atmosphere in which to spend autumn and winter.
The Mother Goddess grown old becomes the witch and weeps her fallen consort. The God loses his battle against darkness. This is the sacrificial moment in which we learn to let go of the things we love. What we abandon, will return to us in a different form.
We decorate the altar with autumn leaves, pinecones, acorn, walnuts, etc. We braid ivy crowns and fill our horns to simbolize abundance.
Traditionally, people painted their faces black and white. In Central Europe there were dances with wine, mead and fermented mare's milk. Priestesses ate Amanita muscaria, which allowed them to dance several days in a row.
Before the ritual, we would walk through a park or forest to gather fry leaves. We'd put them in a basket and then on the altar.
Then we'd take the basket and walk around the circle, scattering around the leaves as we say:
Leaves fall, days grow colder
The Goddess unfolds her earthly robe around her,
While you, oh great sun God, sail to the West,br /> To the lands of eternal rest
Shrouded in night coolness
Fruits ripe, seeds fall,
Day and night are balanced.
Cold winds blow from the howling North.
As the powers of nature look extinguished,
Oh blessed Goddess, I know life goes on.
Because the first harvest can't be without the second,
Just like life can't be without death.
Blessed are you, Oh fallen God who travels
To the winter lands and the loving arms of the Goddess.
We come back to the altar, leave the basket, rise our hands and say:
Oh blessed Goddess of all fertility,
I've sown and harvested the fruits of what I've done, good and evil.
Give me courage to sow seeds of joy and love
In the year that'll come, banishing misery and hate.
Show me the secrets of wise living in this planet.
Oh you who are lit up in the night!
We meditate about aging, death and rebirth.
We thank for what we've obtained and write down our wishes.
We burn the paper with the candle. The candle can be of any color related to this Sabbat.
(There's some who choose not to work magick in this Sabbat, since light is too vulnerable now.)
Now we enjoy the feast.
Afterwards, we bid farewell to the gods and to the elements.
Gods: Mabon and his mother Modrom; Bacchus, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Old Goddess
Food: Walnut bread, cider, red wine, grapes...
Incense: Cypress, sandal, pine, juniper, salvia.
Stones: Amber, tiger's eye, cat's eye, yellow agate, citrine quartz.
Runes: Harvest rune Gera
Items and symbols: Cornucopia, scales, ivy crown.
Colors: red, orange, golden, brown, purple.