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ALL About Mabon: History, Recipes, Correspondences, Activities and Much More! 
(PART 1)

(A Diverse Collection of Mabon Information)

 

Posted and edited to fit MySpace's format by MAGICKAL WINDS

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Mabon

 

The Time of Change is upon us again -

the Equinox comes, the Wheel turns...

The Goddess and the God prepare for

Their journey to the Otherworld,

as the Earth and all of Her children

prepare for the Time of Quiet and

Reflection that lies ahead...

May we use this Autumnal period

to seek for the strength and power within

to assist us on our own quests for

vision, feeling, and peace...

May we see and feel the presence of

the Goddess and the God within, though

without, the Earth begins Her slumber...

Keep us in Your light...

Who Was Mabon?

 

by Dana Corby

 

 

 

Lady Autumn

 

author unknown

 

Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,

I have seen You in the setting Sun

with Your long auburn tresses

blowing in the cool air that surrounds You.

Your crown of golden leaves is jeweled

with amber, amethyst, and rubies.

Your long, flowing purple robe stretches across the horizon.

In Your hands You hold the ripened fruits.

At Your feet the squirrels gather acorns.

Black crows perch on Your outstretched arms.

All around You the leaves are falling.

You sit upon Your throne and watch

the dying fires of the setting Sun

shine forth its final colors in the sky.

The purple and orange lingers

and glows like burning embers.

Then all colors fade into the twilight.

Lady Autumn, You are here at last.

We thank You for Your rewards.

We have worked hard for these gifts.

Lady Autumn, now grant us peace and rest.

 

 

 

Mabon History

 

Celebrated on the Fall Equinox.

 

Celebrated with wine, apples, garlands, gourds and cornucopias. With

decorations of orange, russet and maroon.

Honoring the aging Gods and Harvest deities.

 

 

Mabon History

 

Mabon (May-bawn) is also known as the Feast of Avalon and the festival of

the Wine Harvest. To the Celts, Avalon is the mysterious place for the land

of the dead. and literally means the "land of apples". Thus this is a

holiday for celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the desire for the

living to be reunited with their deceased loved ones.

 

But the holiday is also named for the Welsh God Mabon. Mabon means the

"great son". He was the son of Modred, kidnapped at the age of 3 and later

rescued by King Arthur. His life represents the innocence of youth, the

strength of survival and the growing wisdom of the elderly. Perhaps it is

this view of the cycle of life that brings Mabon to his most popular role,

the King of the Otherworld and the God of Darkness.

 

His myths overlap with other Gods such as the Welsh God Gwyn Ap Nuad, which

means "white son of darkness". He is seen as the God of war and death, the

patron God of fallen warriors. Once again this is a representation or

connection to the Land of Avalon.

 

 

The Purpose of Mabon

 

As a holiday, Mabon represents the time of honoring the dead, visiting

burial sites, giving thankfulness for the end of the harvest season and the

bounty it provides. These are the themes of closing, letting go and

remembering. For the year, the harvest and for those who were lost to land

of Avalon during the year.

 

Although many view the Harvest season as a celebration of life, it is also a

celebration of death. The bounty you gather from your garden provides

nourishment for you, family and friends. But it is also the death of those

plants and vegetables which have been harvested from that garden. Thus Mabon

is a celebration of the cycle of life.

 

 

Mabon Celebration

 

There are many ways to give honor during this 2nd harvest festival. One old

traditional way is to visit the burial sites of your loved ones, placing an

apple on their marker. This represents the promise of the Great Spirits for

renewed life (a new incarnation).

 

This is a Celtic festival of thanksgiving, so what a better way to give

thanks than to prepare a meal with the harvest of your garden. Those that

indulge in wine can brew a new batch of this home made nectar of the Gods.

Those that do not indulge, can brew preserves and jellies from grapes,

raspberries and blackberries. Don't forget an apple pie for dessert.

 

A main course can consist of meats, most often red meats. But this is just a

suggestion. In this day and age of healthy eating, you should prepare a meal

that fits your personal lifestyle. However, your side dishes should consist

of late summer and early fall vegetables.

 

During your meal, share tales and happy stories about those you lost during

the year. Or share your experiences and review the lessons you feel you have

learned during this past season. Reflect on your deeds and actions and give

thanks for the gifts you were given.

 

After your meal, share the chore of cleaning up. This is a way of showing

honor and respect to your host and hostess. Think of it as a physical action

to show that you understand the interconnection of all life and the desire

to respect what you have been given and thanks for receiving those gifts.

 

During the evening hours you can continue the festival with a formal holiday

ritual. There are as many ways and suggestions for conducting such a

ceremony as there are people on this planet. But if you need a detailed

example you have two places on our network to look. For a simple Celtic

Ritual or Ceremony Outline or I invite you to visit our Wiccan Star site and

review the Mabon Sabbat Ritual.

 

End your evening in private reflection. It is important for anyone

practicing a spiritual life to reflect on his or her actions. Record your

thoughts, your emotions and your experiences. This is the true value of your

book of shadows. And there is no better time to take stock of yourself and

your life than during a High Holy Day.

 

 

Mabon

 

The Wheel of the Year holds several purposes, both theological and practical.

Theologically, the story of the Wheel often varies depending on the Tradition. The Wheel

gives the accounts of the mythological events that repeat throughout the year as well as

a vague "history" of the Gods and Goddesses involved within the pantheon. For the

newbies, by "Tradition" we mean "denomination"; for example Wiccan, Celtic, Druid, Native

American, etc. On the more practical side, the Wheel trains us to be able to deal with

death and the inevitability of re-birth that follows. Paganism teaches that death, a

natural function of the universe, is a part of life; a dramatic change that is the

beginning of a new experience, and something to be celebrated at the proper time not

feared (not condoning Suicide!) Through the ideas of Heaven and Hell, Christianity

teaches a deep fear of death, and this spurs our society's horror of death. We are always

trying to find new and improved ways to beat death, but we will never succeed. It is sad

our society portrays death as such a terrifying experience; we would certainly have less

emotional pain and suffering in the world if death could be seen as what it is: a

transformation, nothing more.

 

In this section you will find a rendition of the upcoming quarter of the Wheel of the

Year. Included will be the mythological lore and some traditional practices for the

celebration, along with some ideas for activities and decorations.

 

*Date/Name:

September 22, 1997 holds the date for the next Sabbat: Mabon (pronounced "MAY-bon") marks the Second Harvest of the Celtic/Pagan year.

 

*Background Information:

Mabon marks the Second Harvest, the end of the grain harvest (which begun at Lughnasadh), and rests on the Autumn Equinox. The Equinox mirrors dwindling of life (and eventual progression to rebirth), as well as the struggle for balance; day and night are equal for a single day. The pagans of antiquity didn't have the ability to determine astrological positions as we do today. The European peasantry, therefore, celebrated this Sabbat on September 25th; actually, the Celts marked their days from sundown to sundown, so the Mabon celebration actually started on the sundown of our September 24th. Today, with the help of our technology, we can calculate the exact day of the Equinox; the date when the sun enters the sign of Libra, the Balanced Scales, which appropriately fits the Equinox.

September 25th is a medieval holiday which the Church Christianized under the label of

"Michaelmas," a feast in honor of the Archangel Michael. It is thought that the Roman

Catholic Church at some point considered assigning the quarter dates to the four

Archangels, since they had assigned the cross quarters to the four gospel-writers. Making

the Vernel Equinox a holiday called "Gabrielmas" was taken into consideration in honor of the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary on Lady Day. This Sabbat can also be known as: the Second Harvest Festival, Feast of Avalon, Cornucopia, Wine Harvest, the Fall Equinox, Harvest Home, the Autumnal (or Autumn) Equinox, Festival of Dionysus, Alban Elfed (Caledonii, Druidic), Winter Finding (Teutonic), or Equinozio di Autunno (Strega). The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is called the Harvest Moon, and farmers would harvest their corps by this moonlight as part of the Second Harvest celebration.

 

*Meanings:

Mabon is very much like Thanksgiving. Most of the crops have been reaped and abundance is more noticeable than ever! Mabon is the time when we reap the fruits of our labor and lessons, both crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, to celebrate that which is passing (for why should we mourn the beauty of the year or dwindling sunlight?), looking joyously at the experience the year has shared with us. And it is a time to gaze into the bright future. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe; endings are merely new beginnings.

 

Since it is the time of dying sun, effort is also made to celebrate the dead with joyous

remembrance. It is considered taboo to pass a burial site and not honor the dead. Natural

energies are aligned towards protection, wealth, prosperity, security, and boosting

self-confidence. Any spells or rituals centered around balance and harmony are appropriate.

 

*History/Mythology -- Celtic/Welsh:

The tale of Mabon ap Modron, the Welsh God, (the "great son of the great mother"), also

known as the Son of Light, the Young Son, or Divine Youth, is celebrated. The Equinox is also the birth of Mabon, from his mother Modron, the Guardian of the Outerworld, the

Healer, the Protector, the Earth. Mabon was taken after he is a mere three nights old

(some variations of the legend say he is taken after three years). Through the wisdom of

the living animals -- the Stag, Blackbird, Owl, Eagle and Salmon -- Mabon is freed from

his mysterious captivity. All the while Mabon had rested within his mother's womb; a

place of nurturing and challenge. With strength and lessons gained within the magickal

Outerworld (Modron's womb), Mabon is soon reborn as his mother's Champion, the Son of Light, wielding the strength and wisdom acquired during his captivity.

 

Also, (from a variation in legend) the Equinox is the day of the year when the god of

light, Lugh, is defeated by the god of darkness, Lugh's twin and alter-ego, Tanist. The

night conquers day. The tales state that the Equinox is the only day which Lugh is

vulnerable and the possibility of his defeat exists. Lugh stands on the balance (Autumn

Equinox-Libra) with one foot on the goat (Winter Solstice-Capricorn) and the other on the cauldron (Summer Solstice-Cancer). He is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).

 

Two events occur rapidly with Lugh's defeat. Tanist, having beaten Lugh, now takes over

Lugh's place both as King of our world and lover to the Goddess Tailltiu. Although Tanist now sits on Lugh's throne, his official induction does not take place for another six

weeks at Samhain, the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Dark King, the Winter

Lord, the Lord of Misrule. He mates with Tailltiu, who conceives, and will give birth

nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) to her son, another incarnation of Tanist

himself, the Dark Child.

 

Lugh's sacrifice represents not only the sun's dying power, but also the cycle of

rebirth, his energy remaining within the corn we have since harvested. A incarnate (of

Lugh) corn spirit was thought to specifically reside within the last stalk (or stock),

which was traditionally dressed in fine clothes and decorations, or woven into a wicker

man-shaped form. This symbolic decoration was then harvested and carried from the field to be burned with rejoicing for the spirits release and Lugh's upcoming rebirth.

 

*Mythology -- Greek:

In Greek mythology, Autumn begins as Persephone returns to the Underworld to live with Hades, her husband. The myth says that Demeter's daughter, Kore, had taken a day to pick flowers in a meadow when the Earth opened up, and Hades pulled the girl into the

Underworld to become his bride. Kore's name became Persephone when she married Hades. For nine straight days, Demeter searched for Kore, with no success. In misery and

despiration, Demeter questioned Helios, the Sun God, who informed her that her brother,

Zeus, had given the girl to Hades. Furious, Demeter left Olympus to roam the Earth

disguised as an old woman, ending up settled in her temple at Eleusis. Soon after, she

cursed the Earth so it would yield no crops. Zues sent her a frantic message inquiring as

to why she had prevented growth on the planet. She replied that there would be no

regeneration of vegetation on the Earth until her daughter, Kore, was safely returned.

Zeus immediately dispatched Hermes into the Underworld to retrieve the girl. Hades, not

wanting to relinquish his bride permanently, convinced Persephone to eat some pomegranate seeds before she returned to her mother, Demeter. Demeter was yet again distraught when she learned of this trickery! Finally, Zeus declared that Kore-Persephone would live with her mother during one half of the year and return to her husband, Hades, during the other half. In thanks, Demeter lifted the curse on the Earth, creating Spring. Every year hence, during her time of greatest sorrow, Demeter renews the curse, as her daughter returns to Hades and the Underworld.

 

*Mythology -- Wiccan:

Day and night are equal and the God prepares to depart and begin the journey back to the

strength and development within his mother's, the Goddess', womb. Both sad and joyful,

the Goddess lovingly awaits her God's rebirth.

 

*Decorations and Activities:

Activities vary with region and tradition, as well as personal preference. Some ideas

include making a Sun Wheel as described in the Lughnasadh document&183; Also, one could

mirror the Celtic tradition of dressing a corn stalk in cloths and burning it in

celebration of the harvest and upcoming rebirth.

 

Simple altar decorations can be obtained by taking a calm "pilgrimage" through your local woods and collecting leaves, acorns, berries, and other things symbolic of nature's

bounty. Some chose to sprinkle Autumn leaves around the house and on the sides of walk

ways as decoration, though this may not be convenient if one lives in the city or doesn't

enjoy the cleanup. Alternately, the changing leaves can be dipped in paraffin and put on

wax paper. After the leaves dry, they may be placed around the house or in large jars

with sigils of protection and/or abundance carved lightly into them.

 

Going through your personal gardens with thanks and lovingly harvesting what is ready is

also appropriate. Breads may be baked in the shape of the Sun, combining fruits or

vegetables and grains, incorporating both of the major aspects of this Harvest. The seeds

of various plants are stored through winter for replanting, and therefore, the plant's

rebirth in the Spring. A feast for friends and family always provides a cheerful

abundance of energy and thanks.

 

Additional seeds and grains can be set out as offering to our fellow creatures, and

provide a healthy chance for birds to join in the celebrations as well. Symbolic designs

can be made out of the sprinklings if one chooses. Those less fortunate should not be

omitted from the celebration. Small, meaningless (to you) packages of food and drink

gifted to a homeless person will make their day!

 

To honor the dead, it is traditional to place apples on burial cairns as symbolism of

rebirth and gratitude. Furthermore, it is a time to honor the elders, who have devoted so

much time and energy to your growth and development. Something special is in order for

these gracious people.

 

*Symbolic of Mabon:

           Foodstuffs: Grapes, Acorns, Wheat Bread, Goat, Indian Corn, Horn of Plenty,

Cornbread, Corn, Root Crops (ie Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, etc.), Nuts, Dried Fruits,

Apples, Beans, and Squash.

 

           Drinks: Wine, Ale, and Cider.

 

           Colors (for those who work with Candle Magick): Red, Deep Gold, Orange, Brown,

Maroon, Violet, Russet, Yellow, and Indigo.

 

           Animals: Dogs, Wolves, Stag, Birds of Prey (especially the Blackbird, Owl, and

Eagle), Salmon, and Goat.

 

           Mythical Creatures: Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaurs, Cyclops, Andamans, and Gulons.

 

           Stones: Yellow Topaz, Carnelian, Sapphire, Yellow Agate, Lapis Lazuli, and

Amethyst. Also, river or stream stones which have been submerged for the Summer may be

used.

 

           Plants: Vines, Garlands (made of these various plants), Gourds, Pine Cones,

Acorns, Wheat, Dried Leaves, Corn, Pomegranate, Ivy, Hazel, Hops, Cedar, and Tobacco.

 

           Herbs: Myrhh, Thistles, Tobacco, Oak Leaves, Hazel, Mums, Hops, Acorns, Marigold,

Roses, Sage, Milkweed, Solomon's Seal, Asters, Ferns, Honeysuckle, Benzoin,

Passionflower, Pine, and Cedar.

 

           Incense would include: Aloes Wood, Cinnamon, Cloves, Benzoin, Jasmine,

Frankincense, Myrrh, and Sage.

 

           Dieties: All wine Deities (especially Dionysus and Bacchus), the Mother aspect of

the Triple Goddess, Persephone, Thor, Modron, Morgan, Snake Woman, Epona, Pamona, Muses,

Mabon, Thoth, Hermes, Hotei, Harvest Deities, and Aging Deities.

 

           Other: Burial Cairns, Rattles, and Sun Wheels (which can be found in this

document).

 

           

Mabon

 

Autumn Equinox, 2nd Harvest, September 21st

 

Mabon, (pronounced MAY-bun, MAY-bone, MAH-boon, or MAH-bawn) 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.

 

 

Symbolism of Mabon:

Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance.

 

Symbols of Mabon:

wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples,

pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.

 

Herbs of Maybon:

Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed,

myrrh, passionflower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle,

and vegetables.

 

Foods of Mabon:

Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes,

carrots, and onions.

 

Incense of Mabon:

Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.

 

Colors of Mabon:

Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.

 

Stones of Mabon:

Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.

 

Activities of Mabon:

Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods,

walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields,

offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves,

acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

 

Spellworkings of Mabon:

Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of

harmony and balance.

 

Deities of Mabon:

Goddesses-Modron, Morgan, Epona, Persephone, Pamona and the Muses.

Gods-Mabon, Thoth, Thor, Hermes, and The Green Man.

 

Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor

Aging Deities and the Spirit World. Considered a time of balance, it

is when we stop and relax and enjoy the fruits of our personal

harvests, whether they be from toiling in our gardens, working at

our jobs, raising our families, or just coping with the hussle-

bussle of everyday life. May your Mabon be memorable, and your

hearts and spirits be filled to overflowing!

 

by Akasha

 

 

 

Mabon, The Witch's Thanksgiving

by Gordon Ireland

 

To Autumn

 

O Autumn. Laden with fruit, and stained

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit

Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest,

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;

And all the daughters of the year shall dance,

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

 

-William Blake-

 

 

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