Mabon

Typically celebrated on or around September 21st depending on tradition

The Basics of Mabon

Also Called: Autumn Equinox - in American traditions; Mabon - Celtic traditions; Alban Elfed - Caledonii traditions; Winter Finding - Teutonic traditions.

Winter Finding spans from the Equinox until Winter Night on October 15, which is the Norse New Year. And the Caledonii recognizes this time as the festival for the Lord of Mysteries.

The 2nd of the harvest festivals, this is the second time of the year to specifically commune with nature. The earlier festival in the Summer Solstice looks toward the summer or warm portions of nature. Where the autumn equinox focuses on the cooler aspects. The festival is represented by the harvest of corn, along with the other products in your garden that are ready to be harvested.

To celebrate Mabon, corn and corn bread are served, along with cider and sweet potatoes (yams). Don't forget to harvest the last of your herbs and other plants that will need to dry for winter use.

This festival is represented by brown, orange, gold and red. The wonderful colors for those turning leaves. You can paraffin those leaves and add them to your decorations. Just dip the leaves in melted paraffin and put them on wax paper to dry. Place them around your alter, or in a jar decorated with your special sigil for protection.

Candles in the festival colors can be placed around your table, and alter to ring in the season and celebrate the bounty of the harvest. River and stream stones can also be included into your festival and energized for a variety of magickal purposes.

The second of the pagan harvest festivals, Mabon (also known as the Feast of Avalon, the Winter Finding or the Wine Harvest) is the celebration of life's renewal. Mabon is typically celebrated through harvesting grapes from the vine and apples from orchard. The Feast of Avalon refers to honoring the dead, Avalon is a Celtic name for Land of the Dead, and literally means Land of Apples. One endearing ritual act from Celtic tradition is to place an apple on the head stone of a deceased person or relative. A wish for the living to one day be reunited with their loved ones. The Winter Finding is actually celebrated from the Autumn Equinox to Winters night on October 15th.

For Celts' is it also the celebration of the Welsh God Mabon {Mah-bawn}. Mabon is the son of Modred who was stolen from his mother and rescued by King Arthur. His name means "the Great Son" and he is considered to be a minor sun God. But he is better known as the power in darkness. He is also recognized as the King of Death or the Underworld.

Sabbat Symbols:
Span the shades of orange to maroons for your decorations. We like to place two potted mums by the front door, one orange and one in deep maroon. Harvest the late summer fruits, grapes and other vine growing berries or vegetables, as well as, apples, and gourds.


Preparations:
Begin the festival with a vineyard or orchard harvest. You might check the farm lands in your area to see if there's an orchard or pumpkin patch that allows customers to harvest produce for themselves.

Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare baskets for harvesting the next day. Making apple cider or baking a pumpkin pie (from scratch if possible) is a wonderful way to bring in the fragrance of the holiday season.

Prepare your alter with russet and orange candles. A dark maroon table cloth covered with wheat colored lace is also an attractive addition. Some witches include crystals of garnet to represent rebirthing and quartz to represent the rainbow of colors that blossom as the leaves change for the fall. Gold or brass serving trays and goblets for ritual offerings are also placed on or around the alter for easy access. Arrangements of early fall flowers and foliage should also be included to recognize the harvest part of the festival.

If your alter is outside or you have space on your interior alter, you might include baskets filled with examples of the vine and orchard harvest.

Festival Ritual:
There are several ways of conducting a ritual. Each witch should learn many different methods and then construct your own within the boundaries of the festival.