Mabon / The Autumnal Equinox
Mabon is a Sabbat of celebration for the abundance of the harvest; a time
meant for us to give thanks through song, dance and feasts. This is a time
of balance, when day and night are equal once again; a time of meditation
and introspection; a time to slow down the pace of our lives and to relax
and recognize our own personal harvests during the year that is fast
declining; a time to appreciate the connection we have with those around us,
as well as those who have gone before us. It references the sense of
community that this harvest festival fosters, for it's through our kinship
with those close to us that we endure through the long, dark, cold nights of
Winter. The Autumnal Equinox is a time when we prepare our personal
harvests, gathering those experiences transpired over the past year(s),
bringing them within, making them a part of who we are - allowing them to
die, regenerate into wisdom, and be reborn within.
Mythically, this festival celebrates the story of Modron, the Great Goddess
of the Earth, and the birth of her Son, Mabon. Mabon is a Welsh name
meaning "great son", and refers to the Son of the Great Mother, The Divine
Son of Light. According to the mythology, Mabon disappears (or is
kidnapped, depending on tradition) three days after his birth - thus, the
light goes into hiding and is veiled in mystery in the womb of the Earth,
here personified as his mother, the Great Protector and Guardian of the
Otherworld. The Otherworld is a place of challenge and a place of nurture,
a place where one is renewed and regenerated, a place of new life. Mabon
can there be reborn, the Source of Light and Joy, the champion of his
Mother. Just as the Light is being drawn into the earth accumulating
strength and wisdom, to become a new seed, Mabon has returned to his
mother's womb. For as the Winter begins, the earth incubates the tender
seeds. Throughout the Winter, the seeds are kept within Her womb so that
they may be reborn and bring forth new life.
Beyond Mabon, Michaelmas and Harvest Home, this Sabbat has also been known
as the Festival of Dionysus, the Wine Harvest, Harvest of First Fruits,
Cornucopia, the Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), and Alban
Elfed (Caledonii or Druidic - which celebrates the Lord of the Mysteries).
The Teutonic name for this season is Winter Finding, which begins on the
Equinox itself and continues until Winter Night, October 15th, which is the
Norse New Year. Yet another name is Fogharadh - which is a Gaelic word
meaning "hospitality and abundance".
Additional deities associated with Mabon include Dionysus and Bacchus, the
Gods of Wine; Demeter, the Goddess of Grain; Persephone, Queen of the
Underworld and daughter of Demeter; Thor, Lord of Thunder in Norse
mythology; Morgan; Epona; Pamona; the Muses; Thoth, Hermes; and Hotei.
Mabon marks the completion of the grain harvest begun during Lughnasadh. It
is a time of great joy and sorrow - a time of great change. We are at this
time between the worlds … we mourn that which is passing, joyful for
bountiful harvest and the awareness that the Mother will hold the seed of
Light in Her womb. This is a time of realization that the Wheel of the Year
has turned once more and will continue to turn. For time is circular not
linear, there is no end but only new beginnings, the continuance of life
During Mabon, we are reminded of the necessity of fallow periods. These
periods allow us to regenerate and incorporate that which we have progressed
through. For in life, events happen, choices are made, and actions
generated - we cannot go back and change that which has passed, but we can
reap the harvest of wisdom these have brought us. We do not know that which
we have not experienced, and it is this time we give thanks for that which
has been our lives, for that we perceive as wonderful and that we perceive
not to be, for they all are part of the sum of who we are.
It is through the passage of this lifetime we gain wisdom through
experience. This wisdom then guides us into our tomorrows … fueling our
desire to learn, live and learn once more. We journey from Death into Life,
from Life into Death, knowing that once again the Wheel of Life will turn
and we shall begin yet again. From each life, we reap the harvest of
experience that becomes etched into our Souls, like the roads on a map -
guiding us closer and closer to that understanding that which cannot be
understood without understanding.
Suggested News Resources
- Mabon Outrage (And Why We Love the Autumnal Equinox)
- A lot of people don't like the word Mabon to signify the Autumnal Equinox. I get it, I'm not a fan of it either. I used to not mind it all that much, and even defended it on a few occasions, but I find it harder and harder to do so.
- Mabon/Autumn Equinox Ritual 2015
- The “greater sabbats” are generally thought of as the “cross-quarter” holidays of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas, but on my personal calendar it's the Fall Equinox and not Lammas that stands taller.
- Mabon 2014: Six Ways To Celebrate The Pagan Autumnal Equinox
- The autumnal equinox falls on September 23 in 2014, marking the official first day of fall as well as the pagan holiday, Mabon, in the northern hemisphere.
- Preparing For the Celebration of Mabon Harvest and Feast
- Mabon is one of the seasonal festivities observed by modern day pagans that usually falls between the 21st and 23rd of September.
- Wiccans Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox with Mabon
- The Wiccan celebration of Mabon commemorates the autumnal equinox as summer becomes fall, the days get shorter and the nights longer. An equinox, as any scientist knows, is an astronomical point in the year where the earth is at a certain tilt on its axis.