September 20-23…………Autumn Equinox, Equal Time of Night and Day

Origins: Mabon is named after the Welsh God, the “great son” or “great hunter.”
Some scholars refer to Mabon as bringing the “harvest home,” although others
insist “harvest home” occurs at Lammas.  Certainly September’s “harvest moon,”
the nearest to earth all year, and the largest-looking full moon has always
helped farmers bring in the grain far into the night.  Mabon ushers in the dark
part of the year which lasts until Yule.  The myth of Persephone and Demeter
defines this holiday, as does any myth about travel to the underworld and a
resulting cold and death upon earth.  Mabon reflects themes of balance,
thanksgiving and harvest.  Native American agricultural peoples honored this
very time of harvest variously within North America–celebrations which parallel
those of Europe–yet are centered upon corn, the native grain of this continent. 
A lively, growing expression of earth religion depends on altering it, with
reverence, to our circumstances.  So here Mabon is re-interpreted from a North
American viewpoint.

     There in the garden, in the sweet, steep Autumn light, she was
     singing to the corn: a dark haired woman with hair tied up like a
     flowered squash fruit.  Dressed all in white buckskin, when she
     laughed I could see where crows had left their footprints near her
     eyes.  Leaves have already begun to turn, and the breeze is cool
     where the black and white Koshares, the clowns, spit seeds in the
     watermelon patch.   A sinewy, muscular and fierce looking man in a
     wheat colored shirt led us to the activity.  The entire tribe was
     preparing for the feast.  The woman and I brought the corn to the
     table, where her friend in the black striped skirt washed it with
     quick, graceful hands.  Jay was hurrying all around, in his blue
     flannel shirt, bossily organizing everyone.  Folks moved aside as a
     big boned and graceful woman brought her trout and berries to the
     table.  A gentle eyed, slender woman quietly gathered together some
     skittish, black eyed girls wearing brown striped sweaters to look
     after the children.  A pacing, skinny boned Grandfather in loose
     jeans and a tan beard shot with gray hung around, eager to get some
     food.  At the table shaped like a turtle’s shell we all sat down
     together : coyote, deer, chipmunk, bear, bluejay, raccoon and
     snake…and so many others gathered in the spirit of thanks-giving.


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