A Mabon Celebration: Celebrating The Second Harvest

September 09, 2021

A Mabon Celebration: Celebrating The Second Harvest

As we transition out of the warm nights of August, we steadily begin making our way through the abundant month of September, welcoming with it the many transitional properties of the autumn season. However, September isn’t just a welcoming period for the autumn itself, but for the second of the three harvest festivals of the Wheel of the Year, known as Mabon. Mabon, also known as the autumn equinox, is the sabbat that marks the time of which day and night are equal, when we gather our crops once more and enjoy the last bit of warmth before the cooler months take over. On a deeper level, Mabon also has many powerful energetic transitions taking place, which can push us to seek change, deeper spiritual connections, and inner wisdom as we approach one of the most symbolic days of the year. 


With so much going on energetically, it can be hard to know the best ways to celebrate the energy of the season and fully welcome it into your space. So to help you out, in this article, we're going to go over everything having to do with the divine autumnal sabbat of Mabon. From its history to its correspondences, traditions, and a few ways you can celebrate it today, let’s dive into everything you need to know about this powerful sabbat. 


Mabon correspondences:

Date: September 21st

Colors: Orange, red, yellow, and brown

Crystals: Citrine, Amber, quartz, agate, and hematite

Deities: Demeter, Persephone, Mabon, The Goddess, and The Horned God 

Animals: Owl, fox, wolf, stag, and crow

Herbs/Flowers: Yarrow, chamomile, cinnamon, rosemary, frankincense, and sage

Food: Pumpkin, corn, squash, dried fruits, pomegranate, and grains

 

History 


To start, Mabon is one of the eight sabbats of the Wheel of the Year that marks the transition out of summer into the autumn season. Named after the God of Welsh and Celebrated on September 21st, this is a time that celebrates the balance of the equal light and dark as we slowly begin to prepare for shorter days and longer nights as winter approaches. 


Symbolically, this is the time when the Goddess moves into her crone stage as she grows older and begins to lie down and withdraw her power from the land, leaving it cold and still. However, many also choose to celebrate this festival by honoring the goddess Demeter, as well as Persephone, as it is said that Demeter's grief in losing her daughter to the underworld is also what caused the earth to transition from its warm and abundant peak into a long and stagnant winter. 


Aside from this, energetically speaking, Mabon is a beautiful time of reflection and movement. It is a time to complete goals, cleanse away old energies, and let go of what is no longer serving you. Not to mention, it is also a good time for making changes in our lives and planting seeds of intention that will grow and rise in the spring. Therefore, it is a great time to reflect on your path and your goals and begin taking larger steps towards bringing them to fruition. 


Traditions


Now, when it comes to traditions of the first harvest, Mabon has been celebrated in various ways throughout the decades. From giving offerings to the earth to apple picking, there are many beautiful ways to honor this divine sabbat. Here's a list of a few of our favorite traditions. 

1. Give thanks 


The first and most common tradition celebrated amongst many is to set aside plenty of time to give thanks. Whether it is giving thanks for bountiful food on your table or just the gift of being alive, this time of year is focused on being grateful for all that you have. 


With that said, you can simply bring gratitude into your space by setting up your altar space focused around the thoughts of it, leaving out offerings to the gods and goddesses of this time as a thanks, lighting a candle in their honor, writing down a list of things you’re grateful for, or even by saying a simple prayer of gratitude before a meal. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take plenty of time to give thanks for all that you have to better align yourself with the energy of the season, as this is truly a merry time to spread love and gratitude. 

2. Go apple picking


Next, another common tradition that has been used to honor and embrace the magic of Mabon is to go apple picking. Throughout the years, apples have long been considered to be a symbol of the second harvest and are often regarded as fruits of wisdom. For this reason, they are often used as altar decor during the autumn months, as well as used in many rituals as an offering of gratitude to the gods and deities of autumn. 


No matter which way you prefer to use them, apple picking has long been associated with Mabon and is a fun and productive way to take part in the traditional activities of this season, as well as spend time outside connecting with the autumnal healing energies of the earth.

Easy Ways to Celebrate Today 


Now, when it comes to ways you can celebrate Mabon in today’s world, there are a variety of easy ways to incorporate its energy into your space. While times and traditions may have changed since Mabon was first celebrated, many of its key elements have still carried over since the beginning. With that said, here are a few fun ideas of how to celebrate Mabon in our modern times.

1. Altar/home decor


The first way to celebrate Mabon, as with any other sabbat, is to decorate your home or altar space with corresponding pieces of the season. For Mabon, this means all things autumn and woodsy. With that said, a few ideas for altar or home decor might include:


  • Crystals such as amber, tigers eye, citrine, smokey quartz, and obsidian
  • In-season flowers such as chamomile, marigold, mums, and sunflowers
  • Herbs of the season such as rue, yarrow, rosemary, sage, or cinnamon 
  • Autumn leaves, wheat stems, corn husks, pinecones, acorns, pumpkins, and gourds
  • Candles and other decor in colors of yellow, orange, red, gold, and brown  

Aside from this, you can also burn seasonal incense on your altar or in your space to help invite the energy in further. For this, you might choose frankincense, sage, myrrh, cinnamon, or clove, as these are all uplifting woodsy scents that are all commonly associated with the season.


No matter what you choose to use, the most important thing is that your altar and decor align with what you feel is a good representation of Mabon for you personally. Therefore, even if it’s not what you commonly see used for this sabbat, if it connects with you and your practice, make sure you add it to your altar space to help the energy to truly be as strong as it can be.

2. Host a bonfire/potluck with friends and family 


Next, since Mabon is considered to be a powerful time of giving thanks and reconnecting with loved ones while also surrounded by good food, as many consider this to be the witches' thanksgiving. Because of this, making time to gather safely with loved ones around a bonfire or at an autumnal feast would be an excellent idea. With that said, a few ideas for some corresponding food and drink for Mabon might include:


  • Bread
  • Whole grains
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Pomegranate
  • Corn
  • Dried fruits 
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Cider and wine

Above all else, September is one of the richest and most abundant months in terms of comfort food, so setting aside dedicated time to give thanks for the abundant harvest we have been gifted by enjoying seasonal food with loved ones is an easy and meaningful way to connect deeper with yourself, as well as the energy of the season.

3. Reflect on the past 


Next, another big theme for Mabon is to reflect on the past. As this is the time that marks the transition into the slower half of the year, it is an excellent time to reflect upon your journey this year and how far you’ve come. Have you accomplished what you wanted to this year? Are you on track with your goals? If not, how can you get there?  Taking the time to reflect on the lessons learned and working to build a strategic plan to get you to where you want to be is an excellent idea at this time and may even prove to be both a fun and rejuvenating practice to take part in.


4. Connect deeper with your intuition/spirit world


Next, aside from its many other energetic associations, Mabon is also a highly spiritual time, as we are steadily approaching the thinning of the veil in October. Because of this, your intuition, magic, spells, and rituals will all be heightened, making it an excellent time to focus on reconnecting with yourself energetically, taking part in ancestral work, as well as intention-setting rituals. Not to mention, this is also a beautiful time to start thinking more of your loved ones on the other side and begin to set aside offerings for them as we continue to connect deeper to the home and hearth approaching Samhain.


Overall, whatever you choose to do, the energy in the air is growing stronger more than ever right now, so make sure you take advantage of its powerful healing properties as it approaches its peak to help enhance your magic.

5. Cleanse your house and get rid of stagnant energy 


Next, another great way to welcome autumn is with a cleansing ritual. Commonly used for the changing of each season, cleansing is a great way to allow any old or stagnant energy of the past season to leave while simultaneously inviting in the new season and all the healing energy it brings. This can be in the form of smudging, aromatherapy, sound cleansing, breathing exercises, meditative/visualization practices, or anything else that you prefer. 


Either way, cleansing is not only a great way to push out old energy in your space and wipe the slate clean but to also honor and welcome in the changing of the season, as well as the true lesson that the autumn brings, which is letting go. 

6. Take time to find your balance 


And lastly, because Mabon falls on the autumn equinox, which represents a balance of equal light and dark, it is also a powerful time for finding balance within yourself. With that said, you can do this by meditating, reconnecting with nature, performing a balancing ritual, making a gratitude list, or even simply doing some seasonal cleaning. Whatever you choose to do, autumn is all about honoring the light and the dark in equal balance, so make sure you take time to find a way that works best for you to help represent that fully. 


In conclusion, Mabon is a beautiful time of honoring the fruitfulness of the abundant earth as well as cleansing away the old as we work through finding balance within ourselves and our space. No matter which way you choose to celebrate it, this harvest celebration is a beautiful sabbat of delving deeper into ourselves, giving thanks for the abundance of the earth, and joining together with loved ones in merry commemoration. Make sure you take plenty of time to honor and embrace this sabbat fully to better align yourself with the divine energies of the season and to truly make the most of its healing energies.


~ Blessed Mabon ~

Written by: The Spirit Chic


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