THE PAGAN HOLIDAY MABON – THE AUTUMN EQUINOX – A Spiritual Celebration
“Mabon is the time of harvesting the full yield of nature. What was planted at the spring equinox is now ripe and mature. The card depicts the ritual setting for the Mabon festival, which is marked by the autumn equinox. Statues of the Goddess and God appear behind an altar, with the sun setting, casting shadows upon the ground. here they stand as the Lady of the Harvest and the Lord of the Sheaf.
The God is decorated with the intertwined red, black, and white woven cords of the mystery tradition, from which hang the sacred silver and golden boughs. Red represents the living blood of our ancestors, which flows in our veins. Black represents the deep shadows that contain the enlightenment awaiting the true seeker. White symbolizes what remains behind, a metaphor of the bone, representing the wisdom and knowledge left behind by our ancestors.
On the God statue appear oak leaves and acorns, representing his divine woodland nature. The Goddess statue holds a lighted candle, which symbolizes her divine presence. At her feet is an empty cauldron with nine white shells set in front. The cauldron represents the gateway to the Underworld through which the Harvest lord must pass. For from the Goddess does all life issue forth, and to her must all life return. The nine white shells symbolize her triformis nature as the three Fates, plus her three aspects as maiden, mothers, and crone, plus her rulership over the three realms of the Overworld, Middleworld, and Underworld.
Between the statues, the altar is set with a reed basket filled with the sacred harvest cakes. The basket is now the tomb of the God (as it had once been his cradle at Yule) and bears the symbol of the sun. Apples, pumpkins, and acorns adorn the altar. The basket is flanked by two white candles representing pillars between which the portal to the Underworld or Otherworld is entered. At the time of Mabon the God dies and journeys to the Underworld, where he waits in the realm of Shadow for his rebirth at Yule.
Behind the altar stands an upright sickle, which represents the harvester. A raven, the messenger of the Otherworld, swoops downward to land upon the sickle. This marks the death of the Harvest Lord, who must willingly fall so that his seed will ensure the renewal of life.”
MESSAGE FOR YOU
“When this card appears the work is done, and the manifestation and realization of your plans is at hand. It is time to celebrate. Three words summarize this season: harvest, completion, and fulfill. The Mabon/Autumn Equinox card reveals the harvest we have reaped from what was sown in an earlier season. In a spiritual sense this is the measure of the soul’s journey through life. It is here that we look at the state of our lives, our condition, our relationships. The harvest is the time to look at what has been sacrificed and what has been gained.”
TREE IN FALL
“It is time to release what no longer works. The tree in fall symbolizes decline, shedding, and release, and tells us to shed that which no longer serves the greater good. A tree in fall does not lament waning and loss. It stands as a tree in fall, embracing what is natural to the condition surrounding it while it strips away what cannot be sustained in the coming winter season. The tree in fall depicts the liberation of fall with a tree casting off its foliage.”
THE SHADOW’S EDGE
“The Tree in Fall takes up the idea of shedding that which no longer serves the successful continuation of our lives. The message of this card is that we must rid ourselves of things that drain our energy and resources or detract from our necessary goals. Holding on to things that no longer serve the common good is to risk future health, prosperity, and vitality.”
All above excerpts are from The Seeker’s Guide to The Hidden Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller which I highly recommend purchasing for your tarot/oracle card collection if you haven’t already.
THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
“It is the time of the autumn equinox, and the harvest is winding down. The fields are nearly empty, because the crops have been plucked and stored for the coming winter. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21, for many Pagan and Wiccan traditions it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings. With it being a few weeks away, now is a good time to start decorating your home for the autumn equinox, and planning your fall craft projects! ”
“Depending on your individual spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Mabon, but typically the focus is on either the second harvest aspect, or the balance between light and dark. This, after all, is the time when there is an equal amount of day and night. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead.”
– Patti Wigington
MESSAGE FROM SPIRITBLOGGER
Welcome to Fall! This is my absolute favorite time of year; there is change in the sweet smelling air, the nights get a little cooler, and the trees and plants begin to change their color from bright green to beautiful degrees of orange and red. It’s a great time of year to quietly turn inward and focus on your spiritual development and then turn outward, be social, and share feasting and celebration of the change of season with family and friends.
Take a moment for reflection to ponder the life you currently find yourself in. What’s new or different compared with where you were at the spring equinox? Take time to count your blessings, feel the abundance that surrounds your life, take stock, and celebrate all of your hard work and what’s been accomplished to date before moving forward to set goals for the pagan new year (which begins at Samhain on October 31st). Try making a warm apple or mulled cider, or making a special harvest bread to eat with homemade herb butter, or hosting an elegant autumn harvest dinner and serve foods you find most comforting to welcome in the new season.
Wishing You Brightest Autumn Wishes and Warm Blessings,