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3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon

Mabon is on the 22nd this year and I am looking forward to yet another solitary Sabbat. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what I would like to do. Trust me. This solitary life hasn’t been easy when it comes to creating ritual. I have so many ideas but all of them seem to include multiple people. So, I sat down with those ideas and pared them down to just me doing all the things. Still, I couldn’t decide on just one thing so I have come up with 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon.

Below are 3 ways as a solitary (or expand this for a group) to celebrate the second harvest. All are very simple and shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Modify these ideas to fit your personal practice and expand on them if you like.

My Mabon altar from 2021.

Celebrate Mabon with an Actual Harvest

If you are an avid gardener, this may be an easy one for you. If not, this will take a bit of research or some travel. Find out, for your particular area, what fruits and vegetables are harvested during the month of September. Here in Central Oregon we are harvesting apples, several types of berries, cabbage and carrots, among others. Once you know what to look for – go out and “harvest” it, either in your yard, at the local farmer’s market, or ask a local grower to pick your own.

Once you’ve collected your harvest, set up your altar in your usual fashion. Place a green or gold candle on the altar and place your bounty around it. Light the candle and say:

“On this day of Mabon, I reap the bounty of the second harvest. May all my days be as plentiful as they are at this moment in time. May me and mine never hunger, may we want for nothing. May our pantries and bellies be full. May our hearts and beings be filled with joy, love, and peace.”

Sit for a while. Focus on the many things you have at this moment and all the bounty that will come your way. When you feel you are ready, snuff the candle and partake of your harvest.

Create a “Harvest” Journal

For this ritual you will need a notebook of some type (or you can add this to a journal that you are already keeping). Or, if you are like me, and have terrible handwriting, you can create a folder in your laptop or computer labeled “Harvest”. This ritual can be done in front of your altar. Alternately, if the weather is good, take your notebook outside.

Begin by thanking any deity(ies) that you work with (or the Universe, the One, Lord and Lady, etc.) for the many things that you have “harvested” this year. These things can be something tangible such as a new home, new job, a marriage, and so forth. Also count the intangible harvests. These are actions or deeds that have helped you “harvest” new ideas, attitudes, etc. For example, I have recently been working on ideas for a new book. While that book hasn’t come to be yet, I have harvested many ideas for that book.

Now write all of this down – yes, all of it. Even if you feel it is too small to note, mark it down. Don’t think to much about any of it, just write. When done, read it out loud to yourself. Did you write down a good deal more “harvests” than you were thankful for originally?

Keep this journal (or a printed copy of your file) on your altar. Take a look at it every day until Samhain and see how many other wonderful things you have “harvested” this year.

3 Ways tp Celebrate Mabon - Apple Magick
Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay

Make Some Apple Magick!

Of the 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, I find this the most simple, yet most profound. No, really. For this experience you will need an apple (or two), a sharp knife, a candle, your altar (If you don’t have an altar, any flat surface (even a fireplace mantel) will work just fine.) Lastly, you will bring an open heart and mind.

Place the apple(s) on your altar. If you wish, add other fall decorations as well. In the center of the altar place a candle-green or gold is appropriate but a white candle will work just as well. Place the knife next to the candle.

Light your candle and say “I welcome the magick of the season into my life. May the blessings of Mabon be shown to me.”

Cut the apple horizontally with the sharp knife. A pentagram will appear in the center of the apple. Sit in contemplation of this magickal gift and think of the many gifts that you possess as well. Close your eyes and meditate on these gifts. When you are ready, open them again and look around you. Do you see the 5 points of the pentagram being repeated elsewhere? How about the magick of your 5 fingers? Your toes? The five elements (earth, air, fire, water and spirit or wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.) Think of how miraculous the number 5 can be and the how the magick of the pentagram relates in your life.

Now take a big bite out of the apple. As you do so you are taking in the magick of the harvest, the magick of the pentagram, and the magick and goodness of the apple into your being. Leave the remainder of the apple on your altar as an offering and snuff out your candle.

Celebrate Away!

As you can see, a solitary Mabon ritual be reverent and rewarding, simple yet fulfilling. May these 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, bring you as much joy as it has me.

Blessings!

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Mabon: Preserving the Harvest

The cooling breezes and turning leaves signal that once again the wheel of the year has turned towards the Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon. This Sabbat, considered the second harvest of the season, was traditionally the time when farmers and home gardeners made haste to prepare for the coming winter.  The final seeds sown in the spring are now mature, ready. Golden grains are harvested and ground to flour. The hot summers have brought the fruits of the vine to perfect ripeness, overflowing our baskets with grapes and late berries ready to make into wine, juice, jams and jellies. Apples have ripened in many parts of the world along with pomegranates and early squashes. Harvested, they are stored in root cellars and basements, waiting to assuage the hunger of the cold winter nights.

Yet how many of us truly relate to the reality of this scenario?  The majority of us are city dwellers who do not get any closer to the work of the harvest season than a trip to the local farmer’s market or harvest festival.  Yes, we acknowledge the changing of the seasons with our rituals and circles, but the fear of the coming winters hold no sway. We are tucked snuggly in our city or suburban homes, larders full and pantries bursting.  We watch the leaves fall while sipping a nice California wine, eating Wisconsin cheese and Washington apples.  If the original intent of the season was the harvest and we no longer do so, what’s the point? Why celebrate this season at all if the meaning has been lost?

Harvests come in many forms. For many this season of Mabon has become one of spiritual harvests. Months ago, during the Sabbat of Ostara, the Spring Equinox, groves, circles and covens sowed the seeds of change, both in the physical and the spiritual realms. We planted our seeds with intention, giving birth to ideas and goals.  How did you nurture those seedlings, how did you make them grow?  What did you feed them during the summer?  Were those intentions watered daily? Was liberal spiritual fertilizer applied?  Did the warmth of your thoughts and meditations sprout those ideas or did you leave them unattended? Now at Mabon what does your harvest look like? Did it grow as you envisioned? How does that growth make you feel? Was it all that you expected? Is it ready to harvest? Should you have left it in the fields a while longer or perhaps have not planted it in the first place? Or like so many, did you forget what you had even planted to begin with?

Alas, while many of us will easily reap our harvests a great many in our communities can’t even recall what was sown in the Spring, let alone harvest the benefits. As busy as we all are in this day and age it is imperative to our spiritual harvests to keep records of that which we have planted.  Life happens, memories fade. Trust me, I have been guilty of this as well.  We complete our Ostara (or other Sabbat) rites, go on our merry ways, and forget. We get caught up in the magickal high of the circle and leave, unintentionally forgetting to take stock of the seeds we have just planted. We then neglect to add the necessary spiritual nutrients to our fields causing them to whither and die.  How can we nurture our crops and preserve our harvests if we’ve forgotten their contents? How do we watch our gardens of intentions grow and mature and be secure in the knowledge that our fruits will ripen on the spiritual plane? We write it down. Immediately.

Let’s hand out the dreaded 3 x 5 cards and pens to all ritual participants so they will be able to recall what they have planted.  Facilitators, add lines to the end of the scripted ritual for participant notes.  Our seeds, our goals, will then be made doubly manifest when we take these notes home and “plant” them in our Grimoires, Books of Shadows, and journals.  We will be able to refer back to those notes so as to monitor how our seedlings are growing. They can remind us of our intended crops so we may make the proper adjustments of light, water, and nourishment for optimum harvest.  At Mabon, we then preserve those harvests as we put pen to paper, inking the final words with regards to the quality and quantity of our bounty. We can then enter into the autumn and winter satisfied with the work we have done, ready to rest, ready to plan again for the coming spring.

Preserving our harvests is important but remembering what we have sown in the first place is vital.  By writing down, preserving our cycles of seed, seedling, plant and harvest, we remind ourselves of the beauty, the magick, of the changing seasons. As we continue to walk upon our individual paths, records of our traditions and practices, our sowings and our harvestings, are essential to our magickal and spiritual evolution. It is our sacred duty to preserve our knowledge, to preserve our seasonal and everyday harvests for ourselves and for the future generations of “farmers” to come.

May you be filled with the blessings of the season.   Happy Harvests!