It’s officially Autumn and us witches in Australia are welcoming that much-anticipated chill in the air!
This lovely, cool change heralds the arrival of Mabon (pronounced: Ma-bon), also known as the Fall Equinox, Harvest Home & Feast of Avalon: a pagan holiday celebrating the autumnal equinox, when both day and night are of equal length. Mabon in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere occurs on March 21, 2023, and September 23, 2023 for those in the Northern Hemisphere.
Join in on the celebrations with our tips on how to celebrate Mabon!
Who was Mabon?
In Celtic folklore, the word 'Mabon' is believed to have originated from the Welsh God, Mabon ap Modron, who was the son of the Earth Mother Goddess, also known as the Child of Light. In British folklore, Mabon is also associated with Herne the Hunter.
What does Mabon celebrate?
Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox, marks the second harvest of the year and is traditionally a celebration of the second harvest when farmers gathered hearty foods. Mabon is associated with balance and harmony as this sabbat occurs when the night and day are at equal length. Mabon is celebrated to thank the earth for the abundance and gifts of nature.
How to celebrate Mabon
Mabon is the perfect time for giving our thanks for the bounty of Mother Earth, honouring the balance between light and dark within ourselves, acknowledging our accomplishments, removing what no longer serves us and preparing for the coming winter. Popular celebrations for Mabon include feasting, wine-making and sharing stories.
With the last of the summer fruits consumed, Mabon is the 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!
In Australia, it’s a bit warmer during Autumn than for those who live in the northern hemisphere, 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 and get your hands dirty!
Create your own personal sacred space for this Sabbat by setting up your Mabon altar! Our Mabon / Autumn Resin Incense Blend and Mabon / Autumn Witch Herb Blend are the perfect tools for cleansing and performing spells dedicated to this holiday from the Wheel of the Year. For more extensive rituals, our inhouse witches have crafted a Mabon | Autumn Ritual Kit along with some Mabon Rituals to help you further manifest your intentions with everything you need.
Pay tribute to the deities of the season
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 & green.
Crystals: agate, jasper, tigers eye, quartz, citrine, aventurine, ruby & moss agate.
Herbs: 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 believed to be the reason we have the changing of the seasons: 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.
Finish off your projects
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, witches!