Farewell, O Sun, ever returning light.
The hidden God, who ever yet remains.
He departs to the land of you,
through the gates of death, to dwell
enthroned, the judge of Gods and man.
The horned leader of the hosts of air.
Yet, even as stand unseen about the circle
the form of the Mighty Lords of the Outer Spaces.
So dwelleth he, the lord within ourselves.
So dwelleth he within the secret seed,
the seed of new reaped grain,
the seed of flesh, hidden in the earth,
the marvelous seed of the stars.
‘In him is life, and life is the light of men,’
that which was never born and never dies.
Therefore, the Wicca weep not, but rejoice.’
–The Book of Shadows (1957),
September – The Harvest Moon
September is the ninth month of the year. Its name is derived from the Latin word septum, which means “seventh,’ as it was the seventh month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Virgo, the maiden (August 23 – September 23), a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury. September is a month of fulfillment. Kitchens are busy, as the garden’s last produce is canned and preserved. the air is filled with the cidery tang of harvest time Squirrels hide their nuts and chipmunks line their nests with grain. Asters raise their purple heads, and monarch butterflies add their black and orange hues to autumn’s palette. The sacred beverages of the season – cider and wine – echo the colors of nature. now. At Mabon, we celebrate the Autumn Equinox, and the dual nature of life/death. Now we’re reminded of the Goddess Demeter, and how her period of mourning for her abducted daughter Persephone coincides with nature’s decline. To honor Demeter, drape your altar with purple fabric and upon it place on red apple. Meditate about what you have and what you wish for. Bury the apple as you visualize your wish coming true. At Mabon, we celebrate the second harvest and say farewell to summer, and enter the dark seasons. Days grow shorter as the Great Son, Mabon returns to Mother Earth. For the sabbat, altar decorations include pumpkins, squash and grapes. September’s Full Moon is the Harvest Moon, perhaps the most well-known of the year. It rises above the horizon and glows in solitary splendor. She is queen of the September night. The night belongs to her and her alone. Honor her by raising a glass of cider or wine, then respectfully pour it onto the earth. By September’s end, autumn’s flame begins to burn. You can see it in the orange of the maples and in the purple wild asters. Golden September—it’s a time to dream, and a time to make those dreams come true.
The Harvest Moon
September brings us the Harvest Moon, sometimes referred to as the Wine Moon or the Singing Moon. This is the time of year when the last of the crops are being gathered from the fields and stored for the winter. There’s a chill in the air, and the earth is slowly beginning its move towards dormancy as the sun pulls away from us. It’s the season when we’re celebrating Mabon, the autumn equinox.
- Colors: Browns and greens, earth tones
- Gemstones: Citrine, chrysolite, peridot, bloodstone
- Trees: Bay, larch, hawthorn
- Gods: Demeter, Brighid, Freyja, Vesta
- Herbs: Wheat, valerian, witch hazel, skullcap
- Element: Earth
This is a month of hearth and home. Spend some time preparing your environment for the upcoming chilly months. If you don’t already have one, set up a hearth or kitchen altar for those times when you’re cooking, baking and canning. Use this time to clear out clutter—both physical and emotional—before you have to spend the long winter days inside.
Thanks to science, the Harvest Moon does things a little differently than some of the other moon phases. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “The usual behavior of the Moon is to rise distinctly later each night —an average of about 50 minutes later… But around the date of the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises at almost the same time for a number of nights in our intermediate northern latitudes.” Why does this happen?
The Chinese Moon Festival is considered a family event, and entire extended families will sit up to watch the moon rise together on this night, and eat Moon Cakes in celebration. HuffPo’s Zester Daley has some great ideas on making your own moon cakes.
Harvest Moon Magic
Finally, remember that the harvest moon is a season about reaping what you have sown. Remember those seeds you planted in the spring—not just the physical seeds, but the spiritual and emotional ones?
This is the season where they are bearing fruit; take advantage of all of your hard work, and collect the bounty you deserve. Here are a few ways to benefit from this month’s full moon energy.
- Jessica at MoonKissed has a great suggestion for increasing your personal harvest, and says, “Increasing harvest is a two part process: first we give gratitude for the harvest we’ve already received, the abundant friends, lovers, passions, and support from the Universe. Then Ask for our cup to be full or re-filled, in balance. Anything you’d like to increase, desire more of, would like illumination about, put into this spell.”
- Use the harvest season to plan ahead for the coming winter months – stockpile magical supplies and ingredients so that you’ll have them on hand when it’s too cold or snowy to get them fresh.
- Consider the abundance you have in your own life, and start thinking about ways you can share it with others. Can you donate things to organizations that help the needy? What about setting up a food drive, or volunteering your time at a homeless shelter? Use this time of year to pay things forward, both materially and magically.
Herbs: Copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap, acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passionflower, pine cones, rose, sage, Solomon’s Seal, tobacco, thistle, vegetables.
Foods: Breads, grains, seeds, dried fruits and beans, baked squash, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions, wine.
Colors: Brown, yellow-green, yellow, red, russet, maroon, gold, scarlet, purple.
Flowers: Narcissus, lily, aster, morning glory.
Scents: Storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamot. Autumn blend made by combining: benzoin, myrrh, and sage, also these incenses separately.
Stones: Blue sapphire, peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates.
Trees: Hazel, larch, bay.
Animals: Snake, jackal.
Birds: Ibis, sparrow.
Deities: Bona Dea, Ceres, Ch’ang-O, Demeter, The Green Man, Epona, Freyja, Hermes, Isis, Land Mother, the Muses, Mabon, Modron, Morgan, Nepthys, Pamona, Persephone, Sky Father, Thor, Thoth, and the Wiccan Goddess in Her aspect of the Mother.
Symbols & Decorations: Acorns, Indian corn, wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, grapes ,corn, apples, pine cones , pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, dried leaves , dried flowers, and horns of plenty.
Activities and Rituals: Celebration of the Second Harvest, ritual sprinkling of leaves, protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance the Mysteries, Equality.
Powers: A time to rest after the labors of the last two months, a time of balance of the light and dark.This is also the time to clear up mental clutter and get thoughts back into perspective.
Symbols for the Month of September
September’s Festival: Mabon. The second harvest.
Symbols include the corn dolly, bread, cornucopia, nuts, acorns, and leaves.
September’s Sign of the Zodiac
Virgo (August 21 – September 20)
Libra (September 21 – October 20)
September’s Celtic Tree Astrology
Muin (Vine) September 2 – September 29
Gort (Ivy) September 30 – October 27
September’s Runic Half Months
Rad (August 29 – September 12)
Ken (September 13 – September 27)
Gyfy (Septermber 28 – October 12)
Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli
September’s Birth Flowers
Marigold, dahlias, and loosestrife
Other: Harvest festivals, Michaelmas Day, Goose Day, Holy Rood Day, and back to school—hurrah!
“If Michaelmas brings many acorns, Christmas will cover the fields with snow.”
“A dark Michaelmas, a light Christmas.”
“If dry be the Buck’ horn on Holy rood morn, ’tis worth a Kist of gold; but if wet it be seen, ere Holy rood e’en, bad harvest is foretold.”
Folklore Courtesy – Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Calendar of Events for September
- 1: Celtic Tree Month of Hazel ends
- 2: Celtic Tree Month of Vine begins
- 10: Birthday of Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
- 14: Birthday of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in 1486
- 14: Birthday of author Ellen Dugan
- 16: Full Moon — Harvest Moon at 3:07 pm
- 17: Television welcomes Bewitched in 1964
- 21: International Day of Peace
- 22: Fall Equinox or Mabon
- 22: Ostara (Southern Hemisphere)
- 29: Celtic Tree Month of Vine ends
- 30: Celtic Tree Month of Ivy begins
A duality of sentiment follows Mabon, being the final harvest of the growing year. The carefree days of feasting and love, give way to the serious considerations of the future and of consequence.
Winter is coming.
Amidst the bounty of food and celebration of life, that first intrusive leaf falls, bringing to mind the endings of cycles. All of Summer is a universal party where the living may meet and greet and enjoy one another’s presence any time they wish. Afterward however, comes the cold isolation of Winter, where rationalization rules both time and resources for gatherings. The living prepare to meet the dead in somber acknowledgment.
The name Mabon, means “The Great Son” (presumably of the “Great Mother”) in an interesting parallel with Mary in Christianity and the Cult of Isis and Horus. Mabon ap Modron, Mabon the Son of the Mother, in Welsh myth was kidnapped from the cradle just three days after his birth, causing his mother to curse the land with famine and cold until he was returned. This recounting is also similar to the tale of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone and likely recollects a period of time in human-race memory when the earth had but two seasons, Summer and Fall and never a lack of food to eat or overcrowding.
Science is beginning to find hints of such a set of conditions evoking dreams of a Golden Age ending some eight to nine thousand years ago globally. The ocean coral reefs bear witness to it. Mabon was also called Maponos by the Romano-Celts of the first century AD and equated him with Apollo. Apples, squashes, turnips, nuts, and wines were offered and consumed in the observance of this festival.
—The Enchanter’s Almanac: 2016 to 2017 (First Edition)
Murray T. Paschal
The Second Harvest
Mabon brings the apple harvest, so this is a good time to have a look at this most magical of fruits. Legend has it that this sacred fruit originally came from the mythical Isle of Avalon, which is thought to be Glastonbury in Somerset. If you ever get a chance to visit there, you will see that it is awash with apple trees— and they make a cracking good cider there too! When cut horizontally across, the apple carries within it the sign of a pentacle, so is thought to be a secret way of telling someone you are a witch.
Apples are used for two main reasons in magic— for love and as food for the dead. Quite different uses, don’t you think? For the love side of things, apples can be shared so that both lovers bite from one fruit. You can carve initials into them and then eat them or bury them. You can use them to foretell a lover’s name. If you peel an apple in one long strip and let the peel drop to the floor, it will fall into the shape of the initial of your future lover. On the other hand, apples can be used to provide food for those departed. Pile them on the altar at Mabon, then bury them at Samhain to sustain the spirits of the dead through the winter, so they can be reborn in the spring.
There are many legends attached to apples. One says that you have to rub an apple before eating it to drive away evil spirits; if you don’t, you are challenging the devil. Another says that if you win at apple bobbing, you will be next to get married or be blessed by the Goddess. Eating an apple is also said to open the realms of the Fae. And we’ve all heard the one that claims that an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Whether you eat your apple or use it to spell cast, it truly is the most magical of fruits. I think my favorite apple proverb is from Wales: A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible! Just about sums it up, don’t you think!
–—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Apple Empowerment Spell
You will need:
A sharp knife
First, light your candle. Then, with a sharp knife, cut the apple horizontally to reveal the pentacle inside. Tip each half of the apple upside down and tap gently to remove the seeds. Lay the halves of the apple, pentacle side up, next to each other in front of the candle.
Hold the apple seeds in your cupped hands and focus on the magic inside the seed— how, from a small seed, the apple tree grows. Imagine that you are the seeds— growing and blossoming on your path. Empower the seeds with your energy; trust that it is being absorbed into them. When you are ready, put the seeds down and carefully pick up the candle.
Drip a few drops of candle wax onto one of the pieces of apple, covering the pentacle. While the wax is still liquid, place a few of the seeds in the center of the pool of wax. Carefully drip more wax on top of the seeds to enclose them in the wax. Place the other apple half on top. Hold the apple in your hands and focus on the power within. Simply say:
Power of apple, fruit, seed, and tree,
Empower my journey and strengthen me!
Allow your candle to burn away safely or extinguish it with thanks. Leave the wax token to cool, then remove it and carry it with you to empower you on your path. Take the remaining seeds and the leftover apple outside and return them to the earth with thanks.
—–Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
Top Tips for Using Autumn’s Spoils
With the hedgerow at its bountiful best in September, it’s hard not to run outside and gather anything and everything to eat. But you can do much more with what’s out there— from beauty treatments to magical protections. Now is the perfect time to put your harvest spoils to good use!
- Home protection. Gather rosehips, haw berries, or rowan berries and thread them onto wire to create simple home-protection charms.
- Ritual garlands. Collect acorns to make garlands of thanks to the trees.
- Wood polish. Use oily nuts like walnuts to polish up wood. Blend the shells into a powder. Mix a spoonful of powder with water to create a cleaning paste.
- Walking sticks. Turn a fallen branch into a wonderful walking staff. Take it home and personalize it with stones and ribbons.
- Bookmarks. Collect beautiful leaves and varnish them to use as bookmarks.
- Bird food. Gather nuts and seeds to mix with fat in empty yogurt pots. Use these to feed the birds throughout winter.
- Home décor. Collect pine cones to dry ready for Yule decorations. Or make a gorgeous display from seed heads and leaves for an autumn feast.
- Fabric dye. Experiment with using berries to dye fabric and wool.
- Skin treatment. Use rosehips steeped in almond oil as an anti-aging skin treatment.
—Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year
We walk the path of the Old Gods
From this moment forth
We will not walk alone
Together, we will worship
Together, we will practice our Craft
Together, we will learn and grow
We vow to work, from this day forward
In perfect love and perfect trust
According to the free will of all
And for the good of all
Creating only beauty
Singing in harmony
Our song upon the Earth
Love is the law and love is the bond
In the name of the Goddess and the God
So do we vow, and so mote it be.
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