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August 2nd, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Autumn Equinox- also called Mabon, Harvest Moon, Harvest Home (a quarter point, a solar holiday)

September 21st/22nd

The end of the summer months and the beginning of winter, with the first day of fall. Light and darkness are in equal balance marking the change from the light half of the year to the dark half of the year. From this point forward there will be more darkness than daylight until the spring equinox.

This is a time for harvest, appreciation, reflection, and preparation for the winter months. This is the calm of rest after labor. This is the second harvest festival of the year.

According to some sources Mabon is the neo-pagan name for the holiday. It’s thought that the origin of the name comes from the Welsh God ‘Mabon ap Modron’ (the great son of the great mother), history shows no use of the name Mabon for the fall equinox past the 1970s.

The following has been collected by shadow kitten from pagan forums; and she has given me her permission to post it here!

List of Mabon Customs/Traditions:
-The Autumn Equinox altar is simple. Leaves in the new fall colors and late-blooming flowers make beautiful adornments. You can also add small pumpkins or a pomegranate. Autumn is associated with water, emotions, and relationships, so you can include a small bowl of water. This bowl can be used for scrying at Samhain.

-At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.

-Mabon is essentially about thanksgiving. You can choose to have either a large celebration involving lots of family and friends or an intimate celebration with just for your immediate family. Decorate your dinner table with fall colors. Use harvest ingredients like apples, pumpkin, corn, grapes, pomegranates, wines and ciders, and game such as turkey, duck, pheasant, quail, rabbit and goose. Discuss the meaning of Mabon and let everyone express what they are grateful for.

-Mabon lends itself to beautiful wreathes that reflect the richness of the season. Add green and orange leaves, vines, berries, pods, pine cones, flowers, and whatever else you can find. Don't be afraid to use non-traditional items like shed snakeskin. They can be completely natural or you can purchase some items from your local craft store. You can also make floral centerpieces.

-The Autumn Equinox divides the day and night equally, and we all take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark. We also give thanks to the waning sunlight, as we store our harvest of this year's crops.

-The myths of Mabon and Modron and Demeter and Persephone are among the most popular at this time of year, but there are figures that can be explored. John Barleycorn (Britain), Xilonen (Aztec), and Pomona (Roman), Dionysus (Greek), Herne and Cernunos (Celtic) are a few examples. You can incorporate myths into your rituals by having your kids write and/or act out simple plays.

-Apples are often featured predominantly in this Sabbat. Do taste tests of different kinds of apples to see what your favorite is, make an apple doll, visit an apple orchid and, if possible, pick your own apples.

-Try your hand at making some apple-centered recipes, such as Apple Sauce and Apple Pie – both of which are popular at Mabon.

-Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals that will enjoy your gift.

-Make cookies for Mabon and cut them into shapes that represent Mabon. This can include apples, pumpkins, various animals and even suns, moons and stars.

-Create candle holders out of fruits and vegetables. Place the item so it stands safely on a flat surface to find a spot on the top where you can dig a neat hole for your candle. Secure the candle with a little dripped wax. Rinse apple holes with lemon juice to slow the browning process.

-Scarecrows are an excellent craft to make at Mabon.

-Make a protection charm of hazelnuts strung on red thread.

-Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire.

-Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide and attract the faeries.

-Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving. Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season. Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the winter. Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction – for accomplishments in career and hobbies (Fire); for relationships (Water); for home, finances, and physical health (Earth); for gifts of knowledge (Air); and for spiritual insights and messages (Centre).

-Popular activities include making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields and offering libations to trees.

-Adorn burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

-Mabon is an excellent time to honor our animal companions. Try to incorporate them into your ritual. Invite the spirits of animal companions that have passed on as well as any others that might have special meanings (such as totem animals). Try to bring in your own pets into the circle, if possible. Consider animals in your neighborhood, your state, your continent, and the rest of the world. Think about animals that are extinct and those endangered. Make animal cookies and talk with your children about ways they can help preserve species.

Also acceptable are these Lughnasadh activities:
-Spend time in your garden. If you don't have a spot of your own land to plant and harvest, investigate the possibility of starting a community garden or visit one of the many farms which allow you to harvest your own vegetables.

-Make a corn dolly using stalks of wheat or corn husks.

-Start a compost heap. If your plot of land is small you can even start one in a large plastic garbage can. Poke some holes in the bottom to allow gasses to escape, fill about half full with grass clippings, vegetable parings and other biodegradable materials, moisten well and allow to sit. Turn the contents periodically to allow air to circulate and moisten occasionally. When the materials begin to decompose you can add a handful of earthworms to speed up the process. You can also add vegetable parings from time to time. It will take several months, but you should be able to use your compost in your garden next spring.

Also acceptable are these Samhain activities:
-Read traditional fairytales.

-Paint or carve a face on a pumpkin. Share the story of Wicked Jack. Save the pumpkin seeds to roast and plant.

-Consult your favorite oracle about the future.

-Remember departed friends and family - Go through your photo album sharing anecdotes about the people in the photos. If you don't know your family history, try to contact older members of your family and ask them to write or record reminiscences about departed family members.

-Go for a walk in the woods or another favorite outdoor location. Collect seed pods, feathers, fallen leaves, etc. to construct an altar. Add pictures of departed friends and pets to your altar.

-If your children are of an age to understand, share your feelings about life and death with them. The subject will probably come up naturally as you are collecting the materials for your altar. Your children will feel better knowing what you believe.

Please add/share any and all info/rituals/traditions you have on this holiday!!

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Last edited by roving_gypsy; August 2nd, 2009 at 02:30 PM.
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