Autumn has a particular charm: the colors, the crispness in the air, and the bountiful harvest. It's no surprise that amidst this season, there lies a festival that resonates deeply with many — Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox. 

Understanding Mabon

Mabon is one of the eight sabbats in the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Celebrated around September 21st-23rd in the Northern Hemisphere, it marks the time when day and night stand in perfect equilibrium, with neither overshadowing the other. As we tilt away from the sun, this period signifies the slow descent into the darker half of the year.

History and Mythology

Though the term 'Mabon' is modern (like, 1970's modern!), its roots dive deep into antiquity. It's named after the Welsh god, Mabon ap Modron, a deity symbolizing youth and freedom. Across various cultures, the essence of this time — harvest and balance — has been celebrated for millennia.

The Greeks told tales of Persephone's descent into the Underworld, representing the Earth's loss of fertility. Meanwhile, Norse traditions speak of the god Thor's battles, which align with the dwindling light.

Celebrating Mabon Today

Though the myths and stories may vary, the spirit of Mabon remains consistent. Here's how many choose to honor this time:

  1. Feasting and Gratitude: Reflecting the harvest season, prepare a feast with seasonal foods like apples, squashes, and root vegetables. It's also a time to acknowledge the abundance in our lives, be it love, health, or happiness.

  2. Altars and Decor: Embrace the season by decorating altars or spaces in your home with autumn leaves, acorns, and pinecones. Candles in warm hues, corn husks, and even jars of preserves capture Mabon's essence beautifully.

  3. Reflection and Release: Mabon is a moment of pause. Reflect on your achievements, your joys, and perhaps even the sorrows that have shaped the year so far. It's also a time to let go, mirroring the falling leaves — release what doesn't serve you and prepare for the winter's introspection.

  4. Nature Walks: Immerse yourself in nature. Walk through the woods or your local park and witness the changing colors, inhaling the earthy scents and feeling the balance in the air.

A Final Thought

As with any festival, the beauty of Mabon lies in its adaptability. You don't have to be a Pagan to appreciate the change of season and the lessons of balance and gratitude it brings. Whether you choose to celebrate with a grand feast, a quiet moment of reflection, or simply by enjoying a pumpkin spice latte, the spirit of Mabon is accessible to all.

So, as the leaves change and the world prepares for the winter's embrace, may you find balance, gratitude, and a deep sense of connection with the rhythms of the Earth. Happy Mabon!

Karen Steuer