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Mabon is the pagan holiday that falls on the Autumn/Fall Equinox. It is a festival of abundance, prosperity, harmony, and balance. In this article, we will discover various Mabon celebrations and traditions.
You can also watch the recent video about Mabon Celebrations
Mabon is the second harvest festival in the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Astrologically, it begins when the Sun enters 0 degrees in the sign of Libra.
The name Mabon was introduced by Aidan Kelly in the 1970s and refers to the story of Welsh god Mabon ap Modron. Mabon meaning derives from the name Maponos translating as “Great Son”.
Other names for this holiday are the Fall/Autumn Equinox, Second Harvest, Harvest Home (England), Alban Elfed (Druidic), Michaelmas (Christian), Witches’ Thanksgiving, Meán Fómhair (month of September in Irish).
✦ NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
✦ SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
Mabon Celebrations and Magical Intentions
abundance, acceptance, accomplishment, balance, community, contemplation, death, divination, equality, fulfillment, goals, gratitude, grounding, harmony, harvest, healing, love, peace, planning, preparation, protection, prosperity, reflection, remembrance, thanksgiving, transitions, sharing, spirit world, vision quests
Mabon Traditions and History
There haven’t been any extensive records of specific holidays during Fall Equinox. People mainly celebrated the harvest season with feasts and dancing. Modern Mabon celebrations have been present for just over 50 years.
The festival name Mabon (introduced in the mid-1970s by Aidan Kelly), comes from Welsh legends about Mabon ap Modron – a mythological figure whose name literally translates to “son of the mother”.
The legend says that Mabon was kidnapped from his mother Modron three days after his birth and kept (probably) in the Underworld. After many years he returned to living and has been considered the youngest and oldest of all souls. His story is a male counterpart to the one of Demeter and Persephone.
Mabon is a God of eternal youth, cycles, death and rebirth, hunting, harvest, male fertility, vitality, love, magic, and prophecy.
Another holiday called Harvest Home has been popular in the British islands since ancient times. People have been celebrating this festival with foods and drinks, decorations, gifts, and choosing their Harvest Royalty – Lords and Queens. It was also common to collect cailleach – the last sheaf of corn (grain), make it into a doll, and keep it until the next planting season in spring.
In Ancient Greece, people celebrated the Eleusinian Mysteries – a harvest festival that had its origins in the story of Demeter and Persephone/Kore.
During the month of September, our ancestors harvested food for the winter. They pickled, canned, made jams, ciders, wine, and brew ales.
Modern Mabon Celebrations
✦ Mabon is a great time to prepare foods for winter. Pickling vegetables, making apple cider, fruit jams, or canned goods is a great way to preserve some sunny flavors for the colder months.
✦ Mabon celebrations are based on bringing balance and harmony into our lives. This is the time when day and night become equal. From now on, the days will become shorter, and focused more on retrospection, planning, and going inwards.
✦ During Fall Equinox we can focus on remembering the ones that passed away. Some Mabon celebrations include lighting a candle in memory of the dead, leaving an offering for them, or saying a prayer
✦ Doing something nice for others is a great way to honor the Mabon celebrations. Sometimes this holiday is called Witches Thanksgiving and is a great opportunity to give your energy to the things that matter to you. Leaving a small treat for your loved ones, volunteering in a place of need, or donating some old things to charity are great ways to give back.
✦ When autumn is right behind the corner, focusing on your comfort and inner well-being is very important. Try to incorporate some self-nurturing aspects into your Mabon celebrations. Get cozy and do things that you love! Wrap yourself in a blanket, light a fire in a fireplace, read a beloved book with a cup of hot chocolate, or a pumpkin spice tea. This is the true magic of the autumn evening.
What are your favorite ways to nurture yourself?
✦ Getting to know and accepting our shadow selves. Mabon is a great time to focus on Shadow Work and bringing forth the fullness of our personalities.
Check out the Shadow Work group in the Witch Community for this month’s prompts and exercise.
✦ Mabon celebrations can include writing a gratefulness list of this year so far. Think of all the things that you are thankful for. What have you accomplished during this year? Are you reaping what you sow? Who makes you feel loved, happy, and appreciated?
✦ One of the most common Mabon celebrations is to have a feast with family and friends. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the abundance and prosperity of our lives. Sharing our favorite, comforting foods with others, dancing, playing music, and checking out some old board games to make this holiday more special!
✦ Going apple picking and then making your favorite desserts with them. Apples are amongst the most common Mabon symbols. They represent love, abundance, beauty, health, and fertility. Why not incorporate them in some Mabon recipes and a little bit of kitchen magic?
✦ Another popular Mabon symbol is the cornucopia basket. Traditionally it is called the Horn of Plenty and is connected to the Greek legends. One of them says that baby god Zeus, nurtured by the goat Amaltheia, didn’t realize His power, and broke off one of her horns, which then became the Cornucopia.
As a part of Mabon celebrations, you can weave your own cornucopia basket and fill it with the autumn treats – fruit, nuts, seeds, and other decorations. Some people also like to bake the cornucopia pastry and fill it with their favorite flavors.
✦ Decorating the Mabon altar can be a great ritual too! You can include things such as nuts, seeds, autumn leaves, chestnuts, acorns, little pumpkins and squashes, candles, and decorations in the autumn color palette.
✦ Practicing magic aimed towards decrease or end is another thing you can try during the Mabon ritual. Since is the day that introduces us to the darker side of the year, we might want to get rid of our old habits and make space for what’s coming.
Wheel of the Year books:
Disclaimer: The links below are affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission from purchases you make at no extra cost for you.
✦ “Witch’s Wheel of the Year” Jason Mankey
✦ “The Modern witchcraft guide to the wheel of the year” Judy Ann Nock
✦ “The Hearth Witch’s Year” Anna Franklin
✦ “Year of the Witch” Temperance Alden
✦ “Mabon: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Autumn Equinox” Diana Rajchel
How do you celebrate Mabon?
I am very curious to hear the way that you celebrate the Fall/Autumn Equinox! What are the symbols that come to your mind when you think of Mabon? Are you looking to make any spells or crafts? Have you heard of cornucopia baskets?
Let me know in the comments! Let’s see what we’re all up to!
* I know some of you might be in the Southern Hemisphere and celebrate Ostara at the moment. You can read my blog post about Ostara here!
Mabon Printable Bundle
In the Shop Section, I uploaded Book of Shadows Pages with Mabon correspondences, Mabon herbs and crystals, crafts, oil blend, altar ideas, and a page about the God Mabon and other Deities.