By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Wishing all my dear readers a happy and blessed Mabon 2021.
It is finally Autumn Equinox! My favourite season, next to Yule/Winter Solstice, obvs. I have always loved this time of year when it begins to get very dark, very early. My parents weren’t fans because it was too dark to send me out until an hour before bedtime! Still, I was a good child [ahem!] and always found a good book to read or busied myself drawing fashion designs. No, I never made good on that old dream.
The Autumn Equinox [also called Alban Elfed],and also called Mabon, is a Pagan celebration, originating from the Celts, who once [and still] populated Britain and much of Northwest Europe before the march of the Romans.
This tree-loving, Druid-led tribe celebrated nature and the progression of the seasons by dividing the year into eight segments, at key turning points, creating eight festivals. Because Druids and Pagans love a good festival!
I doubt I need to explain how the quarterly and half-year Sabbats were divided and why they were, so I shall leave you with this , the “Wheel of the Year”, which has been so-called since the advent of Wicca. It’s a good name so we use it. Besides, I don’t recall what the old Pagans would have called it.
How will you celebrate Mabon?
Think second harvest. As you know, the first harvest was Lughnassadh, the wheat/grain harvest. During Medieval times, Christianised European peasants celebrated the Autumn Equinox as the Feast of the Archangel Michael [also known as Michaelmas].which actually falls later on 29 September. In the lunar cycle, September marks the Wine Moon, which is the time for harvesting grapes. On the back of this we use the last harvest for other fruits like apples. So, now you have your bread from the first harvest and now you have your wine and cider from your second harvest. You are set for a long winter!
Considering this, wine and cider should be served if you feel comfortable hosting a Mabon celebration with friends and family. And obviously, bread and pastry should be served if you want to follow the old one’s ways. Lots of different kinds of nuts would also likely be served and savoury meat pies! I’m getting a bit peckish writing about it!
Decorating can be as lavish or as simple as you like. Making bowls full of potpourri from dried fruit skins, ginger, and other fresh spices will fill the air with that Autumnal feeling. The scent of freshly baked breads will go a long way in making your mini-festival feel cosy and warm. If you have left-over “corn dollies” from Lughnassadh, these will look very nice hanging about the house. And, of course, the dining room sideboard can be decked out a bit like a Mabon altar.
Whatever you choose to do for Mabon, I hope you and those you celebrate with, enjoy. Please do stay safe. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x