MABON – THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

MABON – THE AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

This is the Harvest Home and falls in a busy season. Agricultural work all
through the harvest season, from Lughnassadh to Samhain, should be done
communally and with simple rites, keeping the presence of the Gods in mind, and
accompanied by games and amusements where they can be fitted in. The Harvest
Queen with her chosen Lord preside at all these occasions, leading the work, the
dances and the feasting. Wagons coming in from the fields at Mabon form a
parade. There are garlands around the necks of the draft animals, and the
Harvest Queen rides in rustic splendor on the last wagon.

THEMES

Many fruits and nuts full-ripe. Leaves turning. Harvest in full swing. Bird
migrations begin. Chill of winter anticipated. Farewell to Summer. Friendship
and family ties remembered.

Thesmophoria, the Eleusianian Mysteries and the Cerelia, all in honor of Demeter
or the Roman Ceres. Feast of Cernunnos and of Bacchus.

The myth of Dionysos: the young god is sacrificed or abducted as Winter begins.
Hy is restored to his mother in the spring. Dionysos (vegetable life) if the
offspring of Persephone (the seed corn) and Hades (the underworld, beneath the
surface of the earth).

PURPOSE OF THE RITES

Thanksgiving to the gods for the harvest. Magic for good weather and protection
of the winter food supply. Blessing the harvest fruits.

FOLK CUSTOMS

Gala processions to bring home the harvest. One or two fruits left on each tree,
no doubt originally meant as an offering to the spirit of the trees. Harvest
customs are too numerous to list here. Refer to The Golden Bough. They include
relics of purification rites and sacrifice of the God-King.

SYMBOLIC DECORATIONS

Colors: gold and sky-blue
Autumn leaves and berries
Fruits of harvest
Nuts
Acorns
Pine cones
Autumn flowers

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Husing bees
Harvest parade
Barn dances
Harvest ball
Country fair
Canning and preserving parties

THE RITE

Takes place late afternoon of Mabon Day, in a field or garden, not in wild
woods. The Circle may be marked out with autumn braches. Altar in the west. A
sky-blue altar cloth makes a beautiful background for harvest-gold candles and
decorations of autumn foliage.

Make an image of the Goddess from a sheaf of grain, so that the ripe ears form a
crown. Place this image, decorated with seasonal flowers (chrysanthemums are
sacred to Her, being really marigolds) above the altar. It is a barbaric-looking
figure – no Praxiteles goddess. Have a jug of cider and a supply of cups or
glasses near the altar.

Build the central fire in the cauldron and wreathe the cauldron with autumn
branches.

Coveners may wear work clothes or white robes, or dress in ordinary clothing in
autumn colors. HPS and HP should wear crowns of autumn leaves and berries.
Everyone walks in a procession to the Circle, each carrying a sheaf of grain or
a basket or tray of apples, squashes, melons, nuts, etc. as they continue to
walk deosil within the Circle, HP and HPS take their burdens from them and stack
them around the altar.

Banish the Circle with sat water. In the prayer of intention, refer to absent
friends and relatives who are present in spirit and to the harvest offering. Bid
Summer farewell.

HP kindles the fire. HPS invokes the Goddess and charges the fire. Communion
materials are cider and Sabbat cakes.

The Ritual of Harvesting:

Have a fruit-bearing potted plant at the North. Reap the fruit and carry it
slowly, elevated at about eye-level on the Pentacle, on a tour of the Circle.
The fruit represents the benefits and results of our efforts during the year.
The elevation, with all eyes fixed on the fruit, represents our assessment and
evaluation of our results. The coveners’ individual messages, burned in the
fire, briefly detail these. The fruit itself is divided with the knife and eaten
by the coveners as a token that they accept the consequences of their actions.

Have a platter prepared for the Goddess, bearing some of each kind of food
provided for the feast. Using the knife, HPS buries this food before the altar,
inviting the Goddess to share in and bless the feast. HP pours a libation. Then
he pours cider all around and proposes a toast to the harvest.

HPS gives thanks to all the gods for the harvest. HPS asks the blessing. The
usual divinations and similar business follow, then feasting, dancing and games
and the rite ends as usual.

MABON (circa September 21)

MABON (circa September 21)

 

Decorate the altar with acorns, oak sprigs, pine and cypress cones, ears of

corn, wheat stalks and other fruits and nuts. Also place there a small rustic

basket filled with dried leaves of various colors and kinds.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle of Stones.

Recite the Blessing Chant.

Invoke the Goddess and God.

Stand before the altar, holding aloft the basket of leaves, and slowly scatter

them so that they cascade to the ground within the circle. Say such words as

these:

 

Leaves fall,

the days grow cold.

The Goddess pulls Her mantle of the Earth around Her as You,

O Great Sun God,

sail toward the West to the lands of

Eternal Enchantment.,

wrapped in the coolness of night.

Fruits ripen,

seeds drop,

the hours of day and night are balanced.

Chill winds blow in from the North wailing laments.

In this seeming extinction of nature’s power,

O Blessed Goddess,

I know that life continues.

For spring is impossible without the second harvest,

as surely as life is impossible without death.

Blessings upon You,

O Fallen God,

as You journey into the lands of winter

and into the Goddess’ loving arms.

Place the basket down and say:

 

O Gracious Goddess of all fertility,

I have sown and reaped the fruits of my actions, good and bane.

Grant me the courage to plant seeds of joy and love in the coming year,

banishing misery and hate.

Teach me the secrets of wise existence upon this planet,

O Luminous One of the Night!

 

Works of magick, if necessary, may follow.

Celebrate the Simple Feast.

The circle is released.

Mabon To Samhain

Mabon to Samhain

Wiccans observe the autumnal equinox with a lesser sabbat that many call Mabon. The day and night may briefly be of equal length, but from now on the hours of darkness will grow steadily longer, with the signs of natural life fading apace. With harvest over, the Goddess of the waning moon, now descends to the Otherworld, where she will reign alongside the Horned God, who has battled hideous beings in his quest to become Lord of Death.

Your Daily Number for Sept. 21st: 1

Your personal power is strong today. You may find yourself starting a new endeavor, or engaging n a new pursuit that is based in self-expression or spirituality. You’re connected with the world today, and it may be a good idea to jot it all down on paper.

Fast Facts

About the Number 1

Theme: Masculine, Creative, Independent, Aggressive
Astro Association: Mercury
Tarot Association: Magician

BRING HARVEST HOME

BRING HARVEST HOME

by Melanie Fire Salamander

Mabon: the second harvest, of grain and in the Northwest of wine grapes. A good time to think about food, harvested from the fields now. Our lead writer meditates on a whole ritual life built around food, the making of bread, oxtail soup and baked figs and eggplant, and the many connections between cooking and magick. So too do we have another writer’s tale of making communion bread, and discussions likewise of making ritual wine and aphrodisiac liqueur.

Food warms the house as it cooks; food warms the body as we eat. After we gather in our harvest and cook or ferment it, often we share it. Breaking bread together has long been a symbol for truce and the establishment of friendship ties. Catherine Harper considers the sacredness of this act in her lead story. In the Lakota and other Native American traditions, the milestones of life are often denoted by sharing not only food but many or all household goods, in a Giveaway ceremony. Napecinkala writes of this ritual in this issue.

One of my favorite images of this season, driving or walking on an evening just as the last stains of sunset leave the sky, is passing in blue darkness a small house set back among trees. Beyond thinning branches, windows golden with light shine. Behind them, I imagine a family or friends around a fire or a laden table, coming together, cozy against the cold night.

I wish you and your family (of birth or choice) a warm harvest and safety against the coming winter.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Sept. 21st is 58:Joy

58: Joy

Hexagram 58

General Meaning: A joy that is shared is symbolized by a group of friends playing, or a carefree young girl singing to herself while engaged in her work. Happiness is rising within, and spreading out into the world.

Joy arises through gentle means, but springs from a solid inner base. The power of pure joy should not be underestimated. The enjoyment of learning and discovery, for example, has let to great innovation and much material progress. Accordingly, that which brings the most joy into the world — love — is the source of life itself.

If happiness is supported by personal stability, it will eventually wear down the stiffest barrier and win over the hardest heart. True joy is a beacon in the world, and though it is indeed rare, its presence is an indication of great good fortune, both now and in the future. How could it be otherwise?

Today’s Runes for September 21st is Nyd

Today’s Runes

Ice Runes are most commonly used for questions about struggle, conflict, and achievement. Nyd represents many things, most of them unpleasant – heed it well. Constraint, delay, loss, need, and sorrow are all frequently seen in this rune. Nyd speaks most strongly of pause, the hallmark of the both the timid and the patient, and is often interpreted as foretelling a delay in the effect of other runes that it accompanies. Fortunately, even where there is misery and danger there are valuable lessons to be learned – the trick is to learn them before you are overtaken by despair.

Today’s Tarot Card for September 21 is The Empress

The Empress

This Tarot Deck: Tarot of the Spirit

General Meaning: Traditionally entitled “Empress,” this major arcana or “trump” card portrays the energy of the Great Mother. She is Nature, around us but also within us, the ever-unfolding Source of life-giving power. She is often pictured as a pre-Christian Goddess, as the one whom the High Priestess is channeling down to earth for the rest of us.

In medieval Europe, the Empress card was painted to represent whatever Queen currently ruled the land, probably to satisfy the Inquisitors. But the scholars of the Renaissance and beyond had no doubt of her true identity, although she could not be fully revealed on Tarot cards as the “woman clothed with the sun” until after the French Revolution.

This supreme archetype of femininity also symbolizes fertility. It is She who provides us nourishment and security. She is also sometimes seen as delighting us with flowers and fruit. A potentially terrifying aspect of this archetype manifests itself whenever karmic mood swings wipe out our plans, like a storm that has come upon us. Whatever happens, the Empress is the Source of our Embodiment and of Natural Law. She might even be called “the Great Recycler.”

Daily Horoscopes for September 21st

We take ourselves more seriously as the moody Cancer Moon forms stressful aspects with domineering Pluto, pleasant Venus and somber Saturn. By the end of the day we may feel as if we’ve been run through the wringer. An anxious quincunx from angry Mars to healing Chiron doesn’t help to soothe our worries. However, a quincunx from the Sun to nebulous Neptune can ameliorate a tense situation by dissipating intense emotions before any damage is done.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

If you’ve been withholding your feelings, it’s time to release them now that feisty Mars aspects wounded Chiron. Unfortunately, there may be a price to pay because you know more than you are willing to admit. Unexpressed emotions can stew until you lose your temper, so don’t keep secrets any longer than necessary. Forgiving yourself is just as important as forgiving others.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

Although you may not enjoy being mad at others, you could feel on-edge today and some unsuspecting little thing might be enough to set you off. Naturally, your frustration can prompt angry words, but don’t let your thoughts slip out unconsciously. Pay attention and stop yourself from stirring up trouble. Be honest, but remember that blaming anyone else is entirely unnecessary and counterproductive.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

You may have to handle an urgent financial situation that you let go for too long. It could be as simple as processing a bank transaction or paying a bill. But it might require you to set aside time today to get ready for something later in the week. Luckily, your natural flexibility enables you to move through this minor crisis with ease.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

Although you don’t want to place your feelings out in the open for everyone to see, you’re determined to take more of a risk now as headstrong Mars in your 2nd House of Core Beliefs aspects healing Chiron. Meanwhile, the Moon is back in your sign, empowering you to demonstrate your emotional intelligence; forfeit your personal agenda today so you can go along with the general consensus of the group.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Someone may be waiting for your support, but you could be annoyed that he or she isn’t forthright enough to just come out and ask for help. Remember, others might not be as willing to share their feelings as you are, yet there’s nothing to be gained by comparing yourself to your friends. It’s healthier to express any anger you are feeling as gently as possible, before it builds into something more complicated and becomes harder to manage.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Your friends may come riding to the rescue now that the nurturing Cancer Moon is in your 11th House of Social Networking. Don’t be surprised if others defend your ideas or stand up for your integrity. You might think that everything is being blown out of proportion today, but it’s still healthy to protect yourself against someone’s attack. Don’t hesitate to demonstrate that you’re capable of owning your ideas and maintaining an unpopular position.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You won’t likely feel indecisive today, for there’s very little uncertainty in your thoughts and actions. You know exactly how you’re feeling now, but don’t necessarily want to share your emotions with anyone else, even if others are trying to coerce you into spilling the beans. Although you might prefer to be diplomatic, do whatever you must to set clear boundaries so you can maintain your sense of security.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Someone may think you’re being too intense today when you share your personal vision of the future. But the Moon in your 9th House of Big Ideas squares radical Uranus, leaving you torn between following the rules and doing something totally off the wall. Although you’re probably leaning toward the expressive, rather than the suppressive, side of the equation, it’s still wise to withdraw for a while to give everyone some breathing room.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

It may come as a shock to a close friend or lover that you want to dig into the emotional underpinnings of your relationship today. Although this may be out of your normal comfort zone, you realize that understanding the current power dynamics is important now. You intuitively know that two opposing factions can be brought back together again through dialogue. Remember, temporarily loosening the reins of control could ultimately shift the advantage in your favor.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You’re not in the mood to listen to others whine about circumstances that are not within their individual control. The responsive Cancer Moon’s current visit to your 7th of Relationships encourages you to instruct people to accept their fate and then put their efforts toward something that truly matters. Unfortunately, some folks just don’t get the message and others don’t even seem to care. The truth is that once you have given your opinion, it’s up to everyone else to change their attitudes.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Following your intuition is your secret strategy today and it can transform you from an ordinary human being into a veritable superhero. Fortunately, you have the stamina now to make your dreams come true, so don’t give up. There’s no value in justifying your choices to everyone else. All the right words can only do so much; lead by example, instead.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Relationships seem complicated by issues you cannot quite grasp as you try to untangle your feelings from the pile. You may believe that you should be setting new boundaries, but you really don’t want to distance yourself from the value of working closely with others at this time. Although you might not feel like being very expressive today, don’t be afraid of telling others what’s on your mind. You might be pleasantly surprised by what happens next.

the daily humorscopes for wednesday, september 21st

the daily humorscope

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

 
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Excellent day to refer to everyone as “Doctor.” This will make them grin, and they’ll forget all about that favor they were going to ask of you.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Aliens will land in Los Angeles today. Unfortunately, nobody will be able to tell.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You will win 12,000 cases of peanut brittle today, on a call-in game show. That’s a LOT of peanut brittle, as it turns out.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Good day to count your blessings. Both of them.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Good day to wear tropical fruit on your head.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
You look rediculous in that. Go and change.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Chaos will ensue, when you are accidentally hit by a motorist, just as a bus full of lawyers specializing in insurance claims is passing by on the way to a conference. The bus will literally erupt into a heaving mass of clawing, screaming, and briefcase-bashing lunatics. Eventually they’ll take out a class-action lawsuit against you.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
By careful detective work and a hidden pressure-sensitive scale, you will discover that the young woman next door weighs the same as a duck. Be careful! And if I were you, I’d put your duck on a diet.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
You will receive a “Dear John” letter from a loved one today, but much to your relief, your name isn’t “John”.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
About your new idea… Sure, I’ll bet you could sell your handmade voodoo dolls by marketing them over the Internet. The competition, however, can be “fierce”. You might want to stop and consider how many flights of stairs you’re interested in falling down, before you commit yourself to that course of action…
Aquarius (January 21 – February 18)
Today you will read a small booklet titled How To Make A Fortune in Frog Farming, which will change your life.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
This week you will angrily tell someone that you are more than just a name and a number! You are also punctuation!

About Mabon

About Mabon

a guide to the Sabbat’s symbolism

by Arwynn MacFeylynnd

Date: September 20-23 (usually, the date of the calendar autumn equinox).

Alternative names: The Autumn Equinox, the Second Harvest Festival, the Feast of Avalon, Equizio di Autunoo and Alban Elfed.

Primary meanings: The Fall Equinox falls exactly opposite the Spring Equinox of March 20 to 23. Both are times of equal night and equal day. The Equinox is the time of equality between the God and Goddess–the God represented by the Sun, the Goddess by the Moon; fruitfulness of the land results from their connection, and now the harvest’s bounty is brought in and stored against winter and dark times. The key action at Mabon is giving thanks. At the Autumn Equinox, the Sun’s strength also begins markedly to diminish, even disappear, until Winter Solstice in December.

Symbols: Garlands, corn, apples, pinecones, gourds, acorns, wheat, dried leaves and horns of plenty (cornucopias). Foods include corn, beans, squash, nuts, apples and root vegetables; drink includes cider, wine and beer.

Colors: Red, orange, yellow, deep gold, brown, russet, maroon, indigo and violet.

Gemstones: Amethyst, carnelian, lapis lazuli, sapphire, yellow agate and yellow topaz.

Herbs: Acorns, aloe’s wood, asters, benzoin, cedar, chrysanthemums, cinnamon, cloves, ferns, frankincense, hazel, honeysuckle, hops, ivy, jasmine, marigold, milkweed, musk, myrrh, oak leaves, passionflower, pine, pomegranate, roses, sage, Solomon’s seal, thistles, tobacco and vines.

Goddesses and gods: Goddesses include Morgon, Snake Woman, Epona, the Muses and Demeter; gods include Thoth, Hermes, Thor, Dionysus, Bacchus and Herne. The Sabbat is named for a god, the Mabon ap Modron, who symbolizes the male fertilizing principle in Welsh myths. His full name (depending on the translation) means Great Son of the Great Mother, Young Son, Divine Youth or Son of Light. Modron, his mother, is the Great Goddess, Guardian of the Otherworld, Protector and Healer. She is Earth itself.

Customs and myths: In the myth of Mabon, the god disappears, taken from his mother, Modron, when only three nights old. Mabon is freed with the help of the wisdom and memory of the most ancient living animals — the blackbird, stag, owl, eagle and salmon. All along, Mabon has been quite happy, dwelling in Modron’s magickal Otherworld — Modron’s womb — to be reborn as his mother’s champion, the Son of Light. Mabon’s light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom to become a new seed. In a Greek myth associated with the season, autumn begins when Persephone leaves her mother, the earth goddess Demeter, to return to the Underworld to live with her husband, Hades, lord of the dead.

Mabon is rather like Thanksgiving for pagans. The foods of Mabon consist of the second harvest’s gleanings, so grains, fruit and vegetables predominate. Pagan activities for the Sabbat include the making of wine and the adorning of graves. It is considered taboo to pass burial sites and not honor the dead. Another traditional practice is to walk wild places and forests, gathering seedpods and dried plants to decorate home or altar or to save for future herbal magick. The sounds of baying hounds passing through the sky, the “Hounds of Annwn” in the Welsh mythos, are associated with fall and winter.

Spell-work for protection, wealth and prosperity, security and self-confidence are appropriate for Mabon, as are spells that bring into balance and harmony the energies in a room, home or situation. Ritual actions might include the praising or honoring of fruit as proof of the love of the Goddess and God. River and stream stones gathered over the summer can be empowered now for various purposes.