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 Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st

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PostSubject: Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st    Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:47 am

Mabon
Autumn Equinox,
2nd Harvest, September 21st








Mabon,  is the Autumn Equinox. The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops. The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.

Various other names for this Lesser Wiccan Sabbat are The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Equinozio di Autunno (Strega), Alben Elfed (Caledonii), or Cornucopia. The Teutonic name, Winter Finding, spans a period of time from the Sabbat to Oct. 15th, Winter's Night, which is the Norse New Year.

At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family, as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.

Mabon Lore
Autumn Equinox, around September 21, is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. With her departure, we see the decline of nature and the coming of winter. This is a classic, ancient mythos, seen the Sumerian myth of Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends of Demeter and Persephone.

In September, we also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas.  He is the Green Man, seen as the cycle of nature in the plant kingdom.  He is harvested and his seeds are planted into the Earth so that life  may continue and be more abundant.

The Green Man
Kilvey Hill
Swansea






Mabon ("Great Son") is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift horse and a wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader. He was stolen from his mother, Modron  (Great Mother),when he was three nights old, but was eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say he was rescued by the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, and the Salmon). All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive, in Modron's magickal Otherworld -- Madron's womb. Only in this way can he be reborn. Mabon's light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed. In this sense, Mabon is the masculine counterpart of Persephone -- the male fertilizing principle seasonally withdrawn. Modron corresponds with  Demeter.

From the moment of the September Equinox, the Sun's strength diminishes, until the moment of  Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become longer than the nights.

Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourd and melons. Stalk can be tied  together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds. A besom can be  constructed to symbolize the polarity of male and female. The Harvest Lord is often symbolized by a straw man, whose sacrificial body is burned and its ashes scattered upon the earth. The Harvest Queen, or Kern Baby, is madefrom the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, "We have the Kern!" The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol).  In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest  female in attendance.


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PostSubject: Re: Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st    Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:06 am

Setting Up Your Mabon Alter




Mabon is the time when many Pagans celebrate the second part of the harvest. This Sabbat is about the balance between light and dark, with equal amounts of day and night. Try some or even all of these ideas -- obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season

The leaves have begun to change, so reflect the colors of autumn in your Altar decorationsUse yellows, oranges, reds and browns.Cover your Alter with cloths,  that symbolize the harvest season, or go a step further and put brightly colored fallen leaves upon your work surface. Use candles in deep, rich colors -- reds, golds, or other autumn shades are perfect this time of year.

Symbols of the Harvest

Mabon is the time of the second harvest, and the dying of the fields. Use corn, sheaves of wheat, squash and root vegetables on your altar. Add some tools of agriculture if you have them - scythes, sickles, and baskets.

A Time of Balance

Remember, the equinoxes are the two nights of the year when the amount of light and darkness are equal.  Decorate your altar to symbolize the aspect of the season. Try a small set of scales, a yin-yang symbol, a white candle paired up with a black one -- all are things which represent the concept of balance.

Other Symbols of Mabon


  • Wine, Vines, and grapes
  • Apples, cider, and apple juice
  • Pomegranite
  • Ears of corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Gods eyes
  • Corn dolls
  • Mid-autumn vegetables, like squashes and gourds
  • Seeds, seed pods, nuts in their shells
  • Baskets, symbolizing the gathering of crops
  • Statuary of deities symbolizing the changing season
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PostSubject: Re: Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st    Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:16 am

Mabon Ritual To Honor the Dark Mother

Demeter and Persephone are strongly connected to the time of the Auntumn Equinox. When Hades abducted Persephone, it set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the earth falling into darkness each winter. This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess.  The goddess is bearing this time not a basket of flowers, but a sickle and scythe. She is prepared to reap what has been sown.  The earth dies a little each day, and we must embrace this slow descent into dark before we can truly appreciate the light that will return in a few months.

This ritual welcomes the archetype of the Dark Mother, and celebrates that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. Decorate your altar with symbols of Demeter and her daughter -- flowers in red and yellow for Demeter, purple or black for Persephone, stalks of wheat, Indian corn, sickles, baskets.


Have a candle on hand to represent each of them -- harvest colors for Demeter, black for Persephone. You'll also need a chalice of wine, or grape juice if you prefer, and a pomegranate.
If you normally cast a circle or call the quarters, do so now.

Turn to the altar, and light the Persephone candle. Say:
The land is beginning to die, and the soil grows cold.
The fertile womb of the earth has gone barren.
As Persephone descended into the Underworld,
So the earth continues its descent into night.
As Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter,
So we mourn the days drawing shorter.
The winter will soon be here.



Light the Demeter candle, and say:
In her anger and sorrow, Demeter roamed the earth,
And the crops died, and life withered and the soil went dormant.
In grief, she traveled looking for her lost child,
Leaving darkness behind in her wake.
We feel the mother's pain, and our hearts break for her,
As she searches for the child she gave birth to.
We welcome the darkness, in her honor.



Break open the pomegranate (it's a good idea to have a bowl to catch the drippings), and take out six seeds. Place them on the altar.
Say:
Six months of light, and six months of dark.
The earth goes to sleep, and later wakes again.
O dark mother, we honor you this night,
And dance in your shadows.
We embrace that which is the darkness,
And celebrate the life of the Crone.
Blessings to the dark goddess on this night, and every other.


As the wine is replaced upon the altar, hold your arms out in the Goddess position and take a moment to reflect on the darker aspects of the human experience. Think of all the goddesses who evoke the night, and call out:


Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Tiamet, Hecate, Nemsis, Morrighan
Bringers of destruction and darkness,
I embrace you tonight.
Without rage, we cannot feel love,
Without pain, we cannot feel happiness,
Without the night, there is no day,
Without death, there is no life.
Great goddesses of the night, I thank you.



Take a few moments to meditate on the darker aspects of your own soul.
Is there a pain you've been longing to get rid of?
Is there anger and frustration that you've been unable to move past?
Is there someone who's hurt you, but you haven't told them how you feel?
Now is the time to take this energy and turn it to your own purposes. Take any pain inside you, and reverse it so that it becomes a positive experience. If you're not suffering from anything hurtful, count your blessings, and reflect on a time in your life when you weren't so fortunate.

When you are ready, end the ritual.
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PostSubject: Re: Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st    Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:23 am

Mabon Balance Meditation
Celebrating the Dark and the Light


Mabon is one of those times of year that affect people in different ways. For some, it's a season to honor the darker aspects of the Goddess, calling upon that which is devoid of light. It's a time of both positive and negative energy.

For others, it's a time of thankfulness, of gratitude for the abundance we have at the season of harvest. No matter how you see it, Mabon is traditionally a time of balance.  After all, it's one of the two times each year that has equal amounts of darkness and daytime.

Galina Krasskove over at Patheos sums it up beautifully. She says, "On this holy tide, we hail the hunter and the hunted, the predator and the prey, the plough and the scythe, the blessings of growth and of decay. We honor our resources, and the frugality and careful planning of every ancestor whose careful household management got their families safely through the cold constraints of winter. Mabon is a time of remembrance and of culling away, of honoring what we have, what we need, but also what we can provide to others.  It is a time to look clearly at where we are weak in spirit, where we are strong, and where we stand somewhere in between, a time to take stock of our portion of gratitude and blessings for the coming season."
Because this is, for many people, a time of high energy, there is sometimes a feeling of restlessness in the air, a sense that something is just a bit off-kilter. If you're feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life.

Setting the Mood

Now that fall is here, why not do an autumn version of Spring Cleaning?  Get rid of any emotional baggage you're dragging around with you. Accept that there are darker aspects to life, and embrace them, but don't let them rule you. Understand that a healthy life finds balance in all things.

You can perform this ritual anywhere, but the best place to do it is outside, in the evening as the sun goes down. Decorate your altar (or if you're outside, use a flat stone or tree stump) with colorful autumn leaves, acorns, small pumpkins, and other symbols of the season. You'll need a black candle and a white one of any size, although tealights probably work best. Make sure you have something safe to put them in, either a candle holder or a bowl of sand.

Light both candles, and say the following:

A balance of night and day, a balance of light and dark
Tonight I seek balance in my life
as it is found in the Universe.
A black candle for darkness and pain
and things I can eliminate from my life.
A white candle for the light, and for joy
and all the abundance I wish to bring forth.
At Mabon, the time of the equinox,
there is harmony and balance in the Universe,
and so there shall be in my life.
 
Meditate on the things you wish to change. Focus on eliminating the bad, and strengthening the good around you. Put toxic relationships into the past, where they belong, and welcome new positive relationships into your life. Let your baggage go, and take heart in knowing that for every dark night of the soul, there will be a sunrise the next morning.
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PostSubject: Re: Mabon - Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st    Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:30 am

In addition to -- or instead of -- holding a monthly Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups prefer to have a season-specific full moon ceremony. The traditional autumn season includes September's Harvest Moon, and the Blood Moon of October, and wraps up with the Mourning Moon of November. If you'd like to celebrate one or more of these  Moon phases with a ritual specific to the harvest, it's not hard. This rite is written for a group of four people or more, but if you needed to, you could easily adapt it for a solitary practitioner.

Try to hold this ritual outside. Fall nights are usually crisp and cool, and a perfect time for outdoor rituals. Ask each member of the group to bring an item to place on the altar -- something that represents the bounty of the harvest. Decorate the altar with these seasonal goodies. Some ideas would be:


  • You'll want to include quarter candles*, as well as a cup of wine or cider. If you're including Cakes and ale as part of your celebration, place your cakes on the altar as well.
  • A basket of Apples
  • Gourds, squashes, or small pumpkins
  • Indian corn
  • Colorful leaves
  • Stalks of grain or wheat


Assign a member of the group to call each quarter. Each person should stand at their assigned quarter holding their unlit candle (and a lighter or matches), and facing the Altar.  If there are more than four of you present, form a circle.

Some traditions choose to begin rites facing east, while others prefer the north. This ritual begins with the calling of the north quarter, but you can adjust or adapt it based on the needs of your own tradition.

The person in the north quarter lights their green candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

We call upon the powers of Earth,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the fertile soil of the land bring us
prosperity, abundance, and the bounty of the land,
in this time of harvest.



Place the candle on the altar.
The person to the east should light her yellow candle, hold it to the sky, and say:

We call upon the powers of Air,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the winds of change bring us wisdom and knowledge
in this season of abundance and bounty.



Place the candle on the altar.
Moving to the south, light the red candle and hold it to the sky, saying:

We call upon the powers of Fire,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the shining light of this season's moon
illuminate our way through the coming Winter.



Place the candle on the altar.
Finally, the person to the west lights the blue candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

We call upon the powers of Water,
and welcome you to this circle.
May the cool autumn rains wash away
the last comforts of summer,
and prepare us for the chill that is to come.



Place the candle on the altar.
Have everyone in the circle join hands and say:

We gather tonight by the light of the moon,
to celebrate the season, and rejoice.
May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love
and compassion, abundance and prosperity,
fertility and life.
As the moon above, so the earth below.



Go around the circle, passing the wine or cider. As each person takes a sip, they should share one thing they are looking forward to in the coming month. Do you hope to manifest financial independence? Develop your intuitive powers?  Or are you perhaps hoping to grow your relationships? Now is the time to state your intent.

Take a moment to reflect on the bounty of the season. When everyone is ready, either move on to your next ceremony --Cakes and Ale,  Drawing Down The Moon, healing rites, etc. -- or end the ritual.




Tips:

  • Quarter candles are colored candles based on the colors of the four cardinal directions: green for north, yellow for east, red to the south and blue in the west.
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