You know what time of year it is... Yes, it's that time... Yes, you know it... it's FALL, WITCHES!! Bust out your pumpkins and skeletons, grab a cup of some kind of warm beverage, tuck yourself in as we prepare for this wonderful time of year. Many magical people are gearing up to celebrate the autumnal equinox, also known as Mabon. But what is Mabon, and how does it fit into the Wheel of the Year for us witches? Well, first we're going to explore the pagan calendar (Known as The Wheel of the Year), and then discuss the significance of Mabon itself.
Ready? Let's go!
What is The Wheel of the Year?
What witch doesn't love a good calendar? If you're like me, then you'll understand why I love the Wheel of the Year. In simple terms, it's a series of eight festivals, or Sabbats, that mark the changing of the seasons and the cycles of nature. Yeah, that's right, eight holidays a year. You read that right, that's a holiday every six and a half weeks. Keep in mind celebrating the different moon cycles (CHECK OUT THAT BLOG), witches are BUSY! With that, let's dive right into the Wheel of the Year:
This has got to be the witches overall favorite holiday of all! The Wheel of the Year begins with the festival of Samhain, which falls on October 31st. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the start of winter. It is a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is thin, and we honor our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. This to me is the most important part of this fun, spooky holiday.
Yule is celebrated around the time of the winter solstice, usually between December 20th and 23rd. It is the festival of the rebirth of the sun and the return of the light. As the days begin to lengthen, I like to celebrate by decorating my home with evergreens, lighting candles, and making offerings to the sun. Yule is also a time of gift-giving and winter feasting. There is also a battle going on between the Holly and the Oak king that is a rather fun tale, keep your eyes peeled on that blog post in December!
Imbolc falls on February 1st and marks the beginning of spring. It is a festival of new beginnings, purification, and fertility. I like lighting candles, making offerings of milk, honey, and bread to my favorite springtime deities like Persephone or Astarte, and performing cleansing rituals. Imbolc is also associated with the goddess Brigid, who is a symbol of creativity, healing, and inspiration.
Ostara is up there among one of my favorite Sabbats! All those beautiful springtime flowers and colors bursting from the earth, I love it. Ostara occurs around the spring equinox, usually between March 20th and 23rd. It is a festival that celebrates the return of spring and the renewal of life. During Ostara, you can decorate your home with symbols of fertility, such as colored eggs and baby animals! You can perform rituals to honor the earth's awakening and offer gratitude for the new beginnings in your life.
The Fire Festival! Beltane falls on May 1st and marks the beginning of summer. It is a time of passion, creativity, and fertility. It is a time to celebrate life's abundance and honor the sacred union of the God and Goddess. During Beltane, my coven has built beautiful Mayday poles and danced around the bonfire to play with its magical energy.
Litha occurs around the summer solstice, usually between June 20th and 23rd. It is a festival of the sun's height and the peak of summer. This is the time to celebrate by spending time in nature. Go on that trail you've been eyeballing for months now, sit on that bench under the tree with a book. Enjoy the sounds of nature and sit with gratitude.
Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas (No, not Lamas like Emperor Kuzco, la-mas), falls on August 1st and marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is a festival of gratitude, abundance, and harvest. My coven tends to call it the Bread Holiday because of the themes of great and grain. You can also make offerings of bread, fruits, and vegetables, and spend time reflecting on the abundance in your life during this season.
Last but not least! Mabon occurs around the fall equinox, usually between September 20th and 23rd. It is a festival of balance, thanksgiving, and harvest. We all know I'm a fall loving, pumpkin spice drinking witch, so you know I decorate my home with symbols of abundance, such as corn, squash, and pumpkins, lots of pumpkins. As far as celebrating this tie of year, we've always celebrated Mabon with honoring the balance between light and dark, and expressing gratitude for the teachings both have to give us. Top it off with a feast and dancing around the bonfire, and you've got the perfect Sabbat.
Now that we've gone over the wheel of the year.... Let's dive into what we're all really here for today: Mabon!
What is Mabon?
As the leaves turn golden and the air gets cooler, another harvest season begins. This time of year brings to mind the picturesque scenes of apple picking and pumpkin patches, but it also marks an important pagan holiday known as Mabon. Mabon, also known as the autumnal equinox, is a time to give thanks for the blessings of the harvest season and to prepare for the darker, colder days ahead. Mabon is one of the three harvest festivals (the second harvest to be exact) celebrated throughout the pagan calendar. The other two harvest festivals are Lammas and Samhain and Samhain. Mabon, as we know, also known as the autumn equinox, because it marks the time when day and night are of equal length.
Mabon in Welsh Mythology
In Welsh mythology, the Welsh god Mabon ap Modron is associated with the harvest. According to legend, Mabon was abducted from his mother Modron when he was only three days old. He was eventually found and rescued by King Arthur and his knights. Mabon represents the cycle of life and death, as well as the change of seasons from the warmth of summer to the crispness of fall.
How do Witches Celebrate Mabon?
To celebrate Mabon, many people create a Mabon altar. This altar can include items that represent the harvest season, such as apples, pumpkins, and root vegetables. Other items that can be included on a Mabon altar include acorns, leaves, and corn husks. You can also incorporate crystals like citrine or carnelian to help manifest abundance and gratitude. Remember to grab things that call to you and remind you of this Mabon season, it's your altar after all, and no one knows best what goes on it but you!
In a nutshell, the Mabon festival is a time of celebration, reflection, and gratitude for all the abundance and harvest of the season. This harvest festival is an important part of the pagan calendar and the Wheel of the Year for witches, it's kind of like our "pagan thanksgiving" if you will. The memories I have of sitting around the bonfire with my coven while feasting and honoring this autumn festival.... Let's just say I am one lucky witch! So, if you've still got some questions about Mabon, here are 7 frequently asked questions and answers to help you understand everything about Mabon in witchcraft:
Mabon Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Mabon, and why is it significant in witchcraft?
Mabon is a festival that marks the balance between light and darkness, the harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year. It's the second of three harvest festivals on the Wheel of the Year, and it represents gratitude, abundance, and balance in the natural world.
2. When is Mabon celebrated?
Mabon is celebrated on or around September 21st, which is the autumnal equinox. It's the time when the day and night are of equal length before the days start getting shorter and colder.
3. How can I celebrate Mabon as a solitary witch?
As a solitary witch, you can celebrate Mabon by creating your own altar, lighting candles, meditating, journaling, and performing spells that focus on gratitude and abundance. You can also go for a walk in nature, harvest apples or nuts, or make fall-themed crafts.
4. How can I set up my altar for Mabon?
Your altar can include fall colors like orange, brown, and gold, fruits and vegetables like apples, pumpkins, and squash, herbs like sage, thyme, and cinnamon, and symbols of balance, like the yin-yang symbol.
5. What kinds of spells can be done during Mabon?
Spells during Mabon can focus on gratitude, abundance, balance, and releasing what no longer serves you. Spells can include making an offering to nature, creating a gratitude jar, making a herbal charm bag for abundance, and performing a releasing ritual.
6. How can I connect with the energy of Mabon?
You can connect with the energy of Mabon by spending time in nature, meditating, journaling, and performing spells that align with the themes of the festival. You can also create a Mabon altar, light candles, and decorate your space with fall colors and symbols. You can also celebrate a feast of root vegetables local to your area!
7. What are some ways I can honor the darkness during Mabon?
Honor the darkness during Mabon by embracing the gifts of introspection, rest, and renewal. You can also perform a ritual to let go of anything that no longer serves you and make space for new beginnings.
What are you all doing for this Mabon? Drop a comment below and let's connect over this beautiful harvest season xoxo