Mabon is also known as the Autumn Equinox. The Equinoxes are a time of equal length and of balance restored. They are a time of change.
In autumn, the noticeable change is that of the trees. The landscape changes slowly from green, to gold, to bare. This annual happening is stunning and beautiful and often brings a sense of loss and sadness as the warm, long days of summer recede and the cold, chill of winter beckons.
With the longer evenings, we can take time to think of the year that has past and give thanks for the opportunities and the blessings. We remember that not every opportunity has to be taken up and blessings often follow a time of challenge. We can begin to plan for the colder months, physically, by drawing in the harvest, preparing vegetables, gardens, trees and plants for over wintering.
Spiritual reflection at Mabon assists in preparing to meet our ancestors at Samhain. We can bring into balance our male and female aspects. Our light and our shadow, our fears and our hopes, our strengths and our weaknesses.
All must be accounted for, everything looked at and then released or stored. As we would routinely inspect stores of fruit and vegetables, we learn to look within and leave go of all that is dead or decayed; we keep that which will sustain us for the winter.
The dark half of the year begins at Mabon, yet it is not a time for sadness. The long nights of Samhain and Yule bring peace and restoration to the tired soul. The earth may be covered in a blanket of snow and the frost may be sharp, yet this brings protection to the spirit within. Long evenings temp us into sitting quietly in a favourite chair, to take long, scented baths, to wrap in warm blankets, to gaze into the fire, to read, to think, to be at peace.
There are many kind and comforting treats we can enhance our lives with during the long winter months. It is important not to mourn summer and to try and embrace the whole of the year and all the seasons have to offer.
When we use autumn to begin to journey inwards, to light candles and incense, to dwell in thought and mediate, then we can renew the spirit and re-charge the energy within.
Celebrate Mabon with baskets of fruit, berries and grains. Make current biscuits, gingerbread, apple cakes and berry pies. Prepare warm apple cider, spiced fruit cups. This may be the last outdoor festival of the year, so prepare a bonfire of the clearings of the garden, wear warm clothes, keep blankets to hand, prepare warming food and drinks.
Share your feast and good fortune with friends and invite new neighbours or people you haven’t met. Encourage the fellowship of spirit and good relations, resolve to keep in touch with people and ensure the elderly and the frail of looked after and taken care of during the winter.
Prepare your hearth; bring in baskets of logs, pine cones, dried flowers and herbs. Enrich your home with golden colours, piquant scents, spiced food, the sound of wind chimes. Leave food for the birds and any wild visitors to your garden or plot.
Save the ash from your Mabon fire to sprinkle onto pots or into vegetable gardens to take warmth and appreciation into next year’s growing and propagation.
Leave offerings of food and wine for the Mabon spirits, have appreciation for the Earth Mother, connect to the stars, reflect on your deeds, celebrate your achievements, sleep peacefully as the day and night balance.