Mabon, also recognized as The Witches’ Thanksgiving, marks the arrival of the Autumn Equinox, signifying the second harvest in the annual cycle.
During this enchanting season, the Earth is adorned with a rich tapestry of autumnal hues – vivid reds, warm yellows, fiery oranges, and gleaming golds – that stretch across the landscape. It’s a time of rejoicing in the abundance reaped from the toil of sowing seeds and nurturing growth.
In historical pagan traditions, this juncture was commemorated with joyful dances around towering bonfires, accompanied by the strains of music and the chorus of songs. The purpose was to pay homage to the deities, expressing profound gratitude for the bestowed harvest and beseeching their divine favor to sustain this bounty through the winter months.
In the modern era, Mabon is celebrated with a blend of ancient traditions and contemporary interpretations. As the Autumn Equinox approaches, individuals and pagan communities gather to honor the changing seasons and express gratitude for the harvest.
Activities range from creating elaborate altars adorned with seasonal fruits and symbols of abundance to participating in nature walks, where the vibrant colors of fall are embraced. Many engage in introspective rituals that focus on finding balance in their lives, reflecting on personal growth, and acknowledging the cycles of nature. Bonfires, feasting, and sharing stories continue to be cherished elements, fostering a sense of community and connection.
Mabon is a time of reverence for nature’s rhythm and a reminder of the enduring link between the past and the present.
The season’s change is upon us and cleaning out the old energy, making space for the new is a perfect way to set the tone for Mabon celebrations.
Some ways to cleanse and prepare are:
Consider the inclination to reconfigure your altar space, a move that revitalizes its energy. Should an altar not yet be part of your practice, you might find an inner call to establish one.
What To Place on the Altar
Prepping for the Dark: This energy embodies the preparation for the upcoming darker months of the year. As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, there’s a sense of readiness to embrace the introspective and reflective qualities that the dark season brings. It’s a time to gather resources, both physical and emotional, and to make internal adjustments in anticipation of the quieter, more contemplative period ahead.
Harvesting: The energy of harvesting during Mabon centers around reaping the fruits of one’s labor, both metaphorically and literally. It’s a time of gathering what has been cultivated throughout the year, acknowledging the rewards of hard work, dedication, and the cycles of growth. This energy encourages gratitude for the abundance attained and a recognition of the interconnectedness between human effort and nature’s rhythms.
A Feeling of Gratitude for the Abundance: Central to Mabon is a profound sense of gratitude for the abundance bestowed by the earth and the harvest. This energy is characterized by thankfulness for the sustenance, nourishment, and opportunities that have been provided. It encourages individuals to reflect on the blessings in their lives, fostering an attitude of appreciation and acknowledgment for the gifts of the season.
Reset: The energy of reset during Mabon signifies a fresh start and a realignment of intentions. As the wheel of the year turns and the balance between light and dark shifts, there’s an opportunity to reset one’s focus, reassess goals, and let go of what no longer serves. This energy supports personal growth, inviting individuals to release stagnant energies and make space for new experiences, ideas, and aspirations.
As there are so many herbs, plants, roots and trees that can be used, it all depends on your culture and surroundings. It’s best to use what grows locally to you.
Here are a few:
Chamomile: Chamomile is often associated with relaxation, calming energy, and balance. During Mabon, it can help individuals find peace and tranquility as they reflect on the changing seasons and the balance between light and dark.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is known for its warm and invigorating scent. It represents abundance, warmth, and protection. Its spicy aroma can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere during Mabon celebrations, reflecting the comfort of the season’s harvest.
Cedar: Cedar is associated with strength, protection, and grounding. Its woodsy scent can evoke a sense of connection to nature and stability during a time of transition. Burning cedar or incorporating it into decorations can help create a sacred and secure space.
Cloves: Cloves are often linked to protection, love, and prosperity. Their aromatic and spicy nature can infuse a sense of vitality and positive energy into Mabon rituals and gatherings.
Pine: Pine is a symbol of endurance, rebirth, and vitality. Its fresh scent can remind participants of the evergreen qualities of nature even as the leaves change color and fall. Pine can represent the continuing cycle of life during the autumn season.
Sage: Sage is renowned for its cleansing and purifying properties. Incorporating sage during Mabon can help clear negative energies and create a fresh start as the seasons shift. It also connects participants with the wisdom of the past and the preparation for the winter months.
Rosemary: Rosemary is associated with remembrance, protection, and clarity. Its aromatic nature can stimulate the senses and enhance mindfulness during Mabon rituals, helping participants appreciate the harvest and the journey ahead.
Rue: Rue is often used for protection, healing, and warding off negative influences. During Mabon, rue can serve as a symbol of safeguarding the blessings and abundance acquired during the harvest season, ensuring they are sustained as the days grow shorter.
Ancient pagan rituals have been handed down through generations and continue to be integral to modern celebrations. Although contemporary times may bring some variations, the spirit of these rituals remains vibrantly alive.
Let’s begin with the enchantment of bonfires – a cherished element adored by many witches. While bonfires hold a mesmerizing allure, the practicality of having access to open land for their creation might be limited for some.
In our current era, a delightful way to kindle a celebratory blaze involves using a cauldron. Whether your outdoor space is a backyard, a balcony, or a secluded spot in a park, a small cauldron can serve as a focal point.
Fill the cauldron with wooden pieces and the botanicals symbolic of the season. Once you’ve taken a moment to jot down your expressions of gratitude, ignite the parchment and place it into the cauldron, igniting the contents within.
Feel free to keep adding wood pieces to extend the burn time, offering you the opportunity to savor the moment in quiet solitude or revel in the company of friends, all while raising a toast.
One of the ways you can cast a little magick of your own is by creating a Mabon Harvest Spell jar!
The jar is created for abundance and gratitude, thankful for the abundant harvest we are given.
The spell jar is meticulously crafted to encapsulate the essence of abundance and gratitude, serving as a profound expression of thankfulness for the bountiful harvest bestowed upon us during Mabon..
Harvest Jar Spell
What has been planted is now grown,
Fruits of my labor have been sown,
I am grateful for the bountiful gifts,
And awareness as the season shifts,
I cast this magick the honor is mine,
To give thanks for this Harvest Time.
Note: You can also find an area in your favorite woods or trail and bury the items within the jar there, and if you live in an apartment another alternative is in a large enough houseplant to bury the items in that dirt. Whichever one of these places you feel led to bury your items is up to you.
The jar can be then washed and reused as it has wonderful energy.