What to do for Your Mabon Celebration
Check out themes, rituals and activities for your Mabon celebration
The autumn equinox has several names- most Wiccans and some Pagans refer to it as Mabon. The true scientific name of the day is the Autumn Equinox. Harvest Home is the name that many people are beginning to use to refer to this witchy holiday.
In the Wiccan tradition it is referred to as a minor sabbat, but really, the holiday isn’t minor at all. There are several common themes that are threaded throughout most autumn celebrations. If you’ve been in any of my classes or programs, you’ll know that when we talk about celebrations, we start by discussing and choosing a theme.
When we celebrate Mabon, we are celebrating abundance and the bountiful harvest. The seeds we sowed in the Spring have flowered and grown to fruition. Apple trees and other food crops are bursting with the energy of the fertile earth. There are several directions in which you can take your harvest festivals.
Gratitude and the “Pagan Thanksgiving”
Many people refer to Mabon as the “Pagan Thanksgiving”. Since it is the second harvest, it’s a good idea to use this time to honor gratitude for aspects of your life.
One thing that you can do is to contemplate what you are thankful for and then write messages of gratitude down in a journal, on slips of paper to burn, or even on scraps of fabric that you can tie to a piece of twine to make a garland. If you are celebrating with a family or group over a nice meal, you may ask everyone to state something that they are grateful for before your feast. This allows everyone to be involved in aligning with the energy of the holiday.
Finally, consider using this sabbat as an impetus to start a gratitude practice. This doesn’t need to be fancy. You can just take a few moments in the morning to think of 5 things you are grateful for, and then repeat this in the evening before bed.
Mabon as Fruit Harvest: Apples and Grapes
Like mentioned before, Mabon is the harvest of fruits and vegetables. Apples and grapes are often eaten at Mabon.
It’s a great time to harvest any food that you might have in your garden, especially if it’s fruits and vegetables. No fruit or veggies? Harvest wildflowers in your area. Another harvesting option is to visit a U-Pick farm. These farms allow the public to come in and pick their fruit. Usually, you pay by the pound.
It’s also a really good time to can fruits and veggies. Hit up your local farmer’s market if you can- seasonal produce is usually very affordable at the end of the summer. Then make jellies, jams, sauce or other deliciousness that you can then process in canning jars and eat them during the winter months.
If physically harvesting these fruits isn’t possible, then you can purchase them and use them as symbols on your altar, or take a nature walk and see what calls to you from nature – use that as a symbol. This is often the easiest way to start celebrating Mabon.
Mabon is fall equinox, and an equinox is a day of equal sunlight and darkness. After the fall equinox, the darkness will increase until the end of Winter Solstice, when daylight will begin to increase again.
It’s a good time to focus on personal balance. It might be a good time to take the time for contemplation and begin doing some shadow work. Understanding and accepting your shadow allows for spiritual, mental and emotional balance.
You may also want to bring tracking the sunrise and sunset times, and create a graph of these. This is especially fun if you enjoy bullet journaling. Paying attention to the waxing and waning of the sun is a simple way to align with the energy of the sabbats.
Finally, you can begin a practice that you can do at equinoxes and solstices. For this practice, you’ll just need four candles. To start this at Mabon, place the 4 candles together on your altar, and light two of them. This represents the balance of light and dark. As part of your ritual, extinguish one of those candles, aligning with the waxing of darkness.
Goddesses of Mabon
There are several goddesses from all over the world that are associated with the fruit and the wisdom of the harvest.
Abundantia – A roman goddess, Abundantia is the divine personification of abundance and prosperity. Honor her by adding a cornucopia to your altar space or offering coins to her.
Demeter– Demeter is a Greek goddess of agriculture and the harvest. While we often see her honored at Lammas/ Lughnasadh, some honor her at Mabon instead. Honor her with barley water or beer or focaccia bread.
Carpo- Carpo (sometimes Karpo) is the greek goddess of Fruit. Carpo may be an epithet for Demeter in some regions of Greece. Honor her with offerings of fruit.
Pomona– Pomona is the goddess of apples and orchards in the Roman religions. Apples were associated with love, magic and death- and Pomona is also the goddess of enchantment. Include apples in your ritual or celebratory meal for Mabon and honor her.
Regardless of the theme you choose, use that as your seed and build your Mabon sabbat around it. This will center and focus your harvest celebration, making your intention clear and your holiday, meaningful.