It’s officially Autumn and we’re welcoming that much-anticipated chill in the air! This lovely, cool change heralds the arrival of Mabon. Named after the Welsh God Mabon ap Modron, the Child of Light, Mabon is a celebration of the Autumn Equinox when the night and day are at equal length. Mabon is a celebration of the second harvest, the beginning of the transition into darkness, and falls between the 20th and 22nd of March.
Join in the celebrations with our tips on how to celebrate Mabon in the Southern Hemisphere.
With the last of the summer fruits consumed, Mabon is traditionally a time to prepare for the cold winter ahead by preserving fruits, meats and vegetables to last through the cold. We’re quite blessed in these modern times of supermarkets and groceries that can be delivered straight to your door, so pay tribute to times past when we were not so fortunate and preserve the last of your summer treats by making preserves, pickles, and jams. Store bought jam can never compare to homemade anyway!
Down under, it’s quite a bit warmer during Autumn than for those who live up north, so take advantage of the temperate weather and get out in the garden! Reap the last of your summer veggies and clear space to sow your winter seeds like garlic and onions. Create an altar with one of each of your remaining crops to give thanks to the nature spirits and animals and share in your bounty. Put up a scarecrow to protect your future harvest: this is a fun opportunity to get creative-plus its a way to get the kiddos outside for a hands on activity!
Offer your blessings and thanks to the deities who rule over Autumn, the transition of seasons and bounty. Decorate your altar appropriately using seasonal items, we've provided a quick list to reference below:
Colours: yellow, gold, brown, orange, bronze and green
Crystals: agate, jasper, tiger's eye, tourmilated quartz, citrine, aventurine, ruby, topaz & moss agate
Herbs: rue, yarrow, sage, rosemary, chamomile & mugwort.
But who should you give thanks and offerings to? Here are a few deities and their stories explaining why we give thanks to them at Mabon:
Demeter and Persephone: Demeter is the reason we have the changing of the seasons at all: Autumn marks when her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades and taken away to the underworld, with her grief causing winter to fall over the land. When Persephone returned, her consumption of pomegranate seeds forced her to return to Hades for 6 months of the year, during which time Demeter's sadness would once again freeze the land. Make offerings to both of these figures to acknowledge their suffering and give thanks for the return of bounty come spring.
The Dark Goddess: Mabon is a time of balance, of light and the dark. Use this time of balance between night and day to pay tribute to the Dark Goddess, the crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, not a being of evil but rather the opposite aspect of the light. Not a being of comfort and gentleness, but one of wisdom and uncompromising clarity. While her tough love and mysterious nature may scare some of us, we must always acknowledge her as we cannot have the light without the dark.
The Green Man: The Green Man appeared at a time of transition between Paganism and Christianity in Europe, as shown by carvings of his face on Medieval churches and castles. He is a figure of the wood, associated with wild spirits and figures like the green god Pan, the Celtic god Cernunnos or the "wildman of the wood" of the middle ages. He represents the cycle of rebirth and renewal, life and death and fertility so integral to the celebration of Mabon.
If there’s something you’ve been putting off, Mabon is the time to tie off loose ends before the season transitions. Polish off that craft project, sort out your garage, refresh your apothecary, whatever’s been niggling away in the back of your mind. Mabon is also a period where you should clean your home in addition to cleansing your space: let go of what you no longer need.
And what comes after you finish a project? Relaxation! Make all of your effort taste sweeter by finishing the holiday with a meditation, reflecting on the cycle of life and death the transition of Autumn represents. Recharge by spending time with family or Coven members, maybe with a little spread of those preserves you made! Take a relaxing walk and take in the evergreen Australian native plants that thrive in all seasons: flowering gums, the divine banksia blooms and even the shedding of eucalyptus bark to decorate your home!
Take it easy and enjoy the cooler change, Tragics!