The Symbolism of the Stag

Mabon is the season in which the harvest is being gathered. It’s also the time in which the hunt often begins — deer and other animals are killed during the autumn in many parts of the world. In some Pagan and Wiccan traditions, the deer is highly symbolic, and takes on many aspects of the God during the harvest season.

For many Wiccans, the antlers of the stag are associated directly with the fertility of the God. The Horned God, in his many incarnations, often appears wearing a headdress of antlers. In some depictions, the horns grow directly from his head. Early Paleolithic cave art shows men wearing antlers on their heads, so it would appear that the horn or antler has long been a symbol of worship in some form or another. In Egyptian legend, many gods appear to wear a pair of horns on their head.

In some Pagan paths, there is a correlation between the shape of a pair of horns and the crescent moon. The image of a stag with a full moon between his antlers represents both the male (the antlers) and the female (the moon) aspects of the Divine.

Mabon is the time, in many areas, when hunting season begins. While many Pagans are opposed to hunting, others feel that they can hunt for food as our ancestors did. For many Pagans, equally as important as the idea of caring about animals is the concept of responsible wildlife management. The fact is, in some areas, wild animals such as whitetail deer, antelope, and others have reached the status of nuisance animal. .

In some Wiccan traditions, a popular Mabon chant to sing is entitled simply, Hoof and Horn.

Gods of the Vine

Gods of the Vine

By Patti Wigington

Grapes. They’re everywhere in the fall, so it’s no surprise that the Mabon season is a popular time to celebrate winemaking, and deities connected to the growth of the vine. Whether you see him as Bacchus, Dionysus, the Green Man, or some other vegetative god, the god of the vine is a key archetype in harvest celebrations.

The Greek Dionysus was representative of the grapes in the vineyards, and of course the wine that they created. As such, he gained a bit of a reputation as a party-hardy kind of god, and his followers were typically seen as a debauched and drunken lot. However, before he was a party god, Dionysus was originally a god of trees and the forest. He was often portrayed with leaves growing out of his face, similar to later depictions of the Green Man. Farmers offered prayers to Dionysus to make their orchards grow, and he is often credited with the invention of the plow.

In Roman legend, Bacchus stepped in for Dionysus, and earned the title of party god. In fact, a drunken orgy is still called a bacchanalia, and for good reason. Devotees of Bacchus whipped themselves into a frenzy of intoxication, and in the spring Roman women attended secret ceremonies in his name. Bacchus was associated with fertility, wine and grapes, as well as sexual free-for-alls. Although Bacchus is often linked with Beltane and the greening of spring, because of his connection to wine and grapes he is also a deity of the harvest.

In medieval times, the image of the Green Man appeared. He is typically a male face peering out from the leaves, surrounded by ivy or grapes. Tales of the Green Man have overlapped through time, so that in his many aspects he is also Puck of the MidSummer forest, Herne the Hunter, Cernunnos, the Oak King, John Barleycorn, Jack in the Green, and even Robin Hood. The spirit of the Green Man is everywhere in nature at the time of the harvest — as leaves fall down around you outside, imagine the Green Man laughing at you from his hiding place within the woods!

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter’s grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox. Each year, Demeter mourns the loss of her daughter for six months. At Ostara, the greening of the earth begins once more and life begins anew.

In some interpretations of the story, Persephone is not held in the underworld against her will. Instead, she chooses to stay there for six months each year so that she can bring a little bit of brightness and light to the souls doomed to spend eternity with Hades.

Mabon Celebrations Around the World

Mabon Celebrations Around the World

By Patti Wigington

Mabon is the time of the second harvest, and of thanksgiving.

At the time of the autumn equinox, there are equal hours of light and dark. It is a time of balance, and while summer is ending, the winter is approaching. This is a season in which farmers are harvesting their fall crops, gardens are beginning to die, and the earth gets a bit cooler each day. Let’s look at some of the ways that this second harvest holiday has been honored around the world for centuries.

  • In China, the moon’s birthday falls around the time of the autumn equinox. Special holiday birthday cakes are baked with flour from harvested rice, and families gather together to honor the moon. It is believed that flowers will fall from the sky on the night of the moon’s birthday, and those who saw them fall would be blessed with great abundance. 
  • Many English counties still observe Michaelmas, which is the feast of St. Michael, on September 29. Customs included the preparation of a meal of goose which had been fed on the stubble of the fields following the harvest (called a stubble-goose). There was also a tradition of preparing special larger-than-usual loaves of bread, and St. Michael’s bannocks, which was a special kind of oatcake. 
  • Long before the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, the Native peoples of North America celebrated the harvest with thanksgiving festivals in the autumn. This typically included lots of meat and grains to eat. Games and activities were held, and it was also useful as a time of matchmaking between neighboring villages. 
  • In some Germanic countries, people worried about the fate of their grain harvest. If there was a great deal of wind during the harvesting season, it could be because Odin wanted a share of the crop. To keep him happy, a few spare sacks of flour were emptied into the wind. 
  • The Yoruba people of Nigeria had a celebration in October to celebrate the yam harvest. Dances were held to honor the ancestors, and to bid farewell to those who might have died in the past year. Yams were offered to dancers in hopes that a fertile crop would appear next year. Interestingly, studies have shown that women who consume a lot of yams (real African yams, not sweet potatoes) are statistically more likely to conceive twins, so there is certainly a link between yams and fertility symbolism! 
  • The Iroquois people celebrated a Corn Dance each fall. This was a way to give thanks for the ripening of the grain — songs, dances and drumming were part of the celebration. Naturally, food played an important part as well, including corn bread and soup. 
  • For the ancient Druids, the fall equinox was Alban Elfed. Many contemporary Druids celebrate this as at time of balance and thanksgiving.

Mabon Harvest Incense

Mabon Harvest Incense

 

You’ll need:

  • 2 parts sandalwood
  • 2 parts pine
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1 part cinnamon
  • 1 part dried apple
  • 1 part dried oak leaf

Add your ingredients to your mixing bowl one at a time. Measure carefully, and if the leaves or blossoms need to be crushed, use your mortar and pestle to do so. As you blend the herbs together, state your intent. You may find it helpful to charge your incense with an incantation, such as:

Mabon, a season of dark and light,
balance of day turning to night.
Counting my blessings in all I have and do,
love and harmony, and gratitude too.
Mabon herbs, bring balance to me,
As I will, so it shall be.

 

Store your incense in a tightly sealed jar. Make sure you label it with its intent and name, as well as the date you created it. Use within three months, so that it remains charged and fresh.

Sabbat Incense

Sabbat Incense

4 parts Frankincense

2 parts Myrrh

2 part Benzoin

½ part Bay

½ part Fennel

½ part Thyme

½ part Solomon’s Seal

½ part Rue

½ part Wormwood

½ part Chamomile

½ part Rose

Burn on Sabbats

Lighten Up – 16 Actual Police Comments Taken from Their Car’s Videos

These 16 Police Comments were taken off actual police car videos around the country:* More werid but true 🙂

#16 “You know, stop lights don’t come any redder than the one you just went through.”

#15 “Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they’re new. They’ll stretch after you wear them a while.”

#14 “If you take your hands off the car,I’ll make your birth certificate a worthless document.”

#13 “If you run … you’ll only go to jail tired.”

#12 “Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that’s the speed of the bullet that’ll be chasing you.”

#11 “You don’t know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?”

#10 “Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don’t think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I’m the shift supervisor?”

#9 “Warning! You want a warning? O.K.,I’m warning you not to do that again or I’ll give you another ticket.”

#8 “Your answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?”

# 7 “Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fairis a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs, and step in monkey poop.”

#6 “Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven.”

#5 “In God we trust, all others we run through a DUI test.”

#4 “How big were those ‘Just two beers’ you say you had?”

#3 “No sir, we don’t have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we’re allowed to write as many tickets as we can.”

#2 “I’m glad to hear that the Chief of Police is a personal friend of yours.
So you know someone who can post your bail.”

 

AND THE WINNER IS….

#1 “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets?

You’re right, we don’t.. Sign here.”

Feng Shui Lucky Animals

Feng Shui Lucky Animals

by Annie B. Bond

The ancient Chinese system of feng shui often uses small statues or images of  certain lucky animals as a quick fix for energies that are out of balance in a  home or office. One animal, for example, is often placed next to a cash register  to increase the cash flowing in!

Find out which animals are the traditional powerful helpers to make our  personal and career lives more fulfilling and successful, here:

First, find out which places in your home correspond to each of the major  “guas”–like career, relationships, or wealth, for example–so you know where the  lucky animal should go.

Dragon: Dragons confer power and good fortune in any gua, particularly  Family/Health, unless you were born in a Dog year (since Dogs are opposite  Dragons in Chinese astrology).

Three-Legged Frog: An odd-looking but charming creature, this frog is  usually shown sitting on a pile of gold coins. It is especially helpful in a  Wealth gua, or placed next to a cash register!

Fu Dogs: These dogs resemble stylized lions and they symbolize  prestige and power. They usually come in pairs, one stationed on either side of  doorways for protection.

Bat:  The Chinese consider bats to be harbingers of happiness and good  fortune. A pair of bats bring double happiness. (Imagine giving a pair of bats  as a wedding gift!)

Crane:  Cranes are symbolic of long life and wisdom.

Fish:  Carp swim upstream, so they represent success and perseverance,  but all fish are considered lucky for abundance and money.

Phoenix: This magical, mythical creature who rises from the ashes  symbolizes peace and blessings. If you were born in a Phoenix year, it is  especially lucky.

 

Daily Feng Shui Tip for September 19 – ‘National Women Road Warrior Day!’

Ladies, put your pedal to the mettle since it’s ‘National Women Road Warrior Day!’ But before you get behind this battle or your steering wheel be sure to follow a few tried and true Feng Shui rules for owning the road. First is to be sure that the car is clear of clutter. Another Feng Shui car cure is to hang a round and faceted clear quartz crystal with red thread from the rearview mirror. If you find this crystal distracting, keep one in the center well of the car or in the glove box. Speaking of that, Feng Shui says to keep six faux peacocks in that same space to guarantee that you not only enjoy the journey but also arrive at your destination. Lastly, a blend of ten drops each of lemon essential and peppermint oil can keep any warrior awake and alert. Okay, ladies, today’s your day. Start your engines! But not first without following a few of these Car Shui rules!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com