“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mabon Blessings!

The Wheel of the Year is turning into fall and with that comes the fall harvest Sabbats. Mabon falls on September 23rd this year and I'm looking for the colors of fall and enjoying the cooler weather after a summer filled with extremely hot and humid weather.

Mabon, which falls at the Autumnal Equinox, is the second harvest celebration. As at the Spring Equinox, it is a time of balance between light and dark. In the autumn, we move from light to dark and from warmth to cold. It is a time to gather the harvest of summer, apples, grapes, corn, wheat, and vegetables such as squashes and gourds, and prepare for the long winter ahead. It is also a time for thanksgiving and enjoying the bounty set before us.

One of the best known harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter, was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter's grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the Autumn Equinox.

The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the incarnation of fertility and abundance. Inanna descended into the underworld where her sister, Ereshkigal, ruled. Erishkigal decreed that Inanna could only enter her world in the traditional ways, by stripping herself of her clothing and earthly posessions. By the time Inanna got there, Erishkigal had unleashed a series of plagues upon her sister, killing Inanna. While Inanna was visiting the underworld, the earth ceased to grow and produce. A vizier restored Inanna to life, and sent her back to earth. As she journeyed home, the earth was restored to its former glory.

In the British Isles, the ancient name for the goddess of this time was Modron, which means 'mother'. Sometimes she was pictured as a trio of women, each seated on a throne. Together, they were called the 'Mothers'. They were responsible for abundance and sustaining the life of the people in the Celtic myths, as was Modron's son who was stolen away into the underworld. Whenever we feed the hungry, we honor the Mothers.

This Sabbat takes its name from the god 'Mabon'. He was called 'Mabon, son of Modron', which means 'son of the mother'. Mabon is such an ancient god that most of the stories about him have been lost. All we know is that he was stolen away from his mother when he was only three nights old and imprisoned until he was rescued by King Arthur's companions. Because Mabon knows what it is like to be imprisoned, he is also the god of freedom. He frees animals from their cages and loosens the bonds of all those unjustly imprisoned. He protects all things wild and free. His totem animals are the owl, blackbird, stag, eagle and salmon. We honor Mabon when we protect animals and when we work for freedom for all people.

The Mabon altar can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. For a simple altar you can have an arrangement of some of the things harvested that will keep for a few weeks like winter squash, dried corn, wheat, pumpkins, and pomegranates. Autumn leaves, a bouquet of late-blooming flowers, a picture or figurines of animals are also appropriate for your Mabon altar.

Candles in various shades of autumn colors like yellow, red, rust, and orange are also nice additions. You may also add fresh herbs like juniper berries, sage, campunala and cloves. Crystals are also a nice addition and I've included ones like carnelian, red tiger's eye, garnet, orange calcite, and citrine. You can also include incense such as sandalwood and myrrh.

Be sure to get outside as much as possible now and enjoy the sunlight. All too soon, we will be enveloped in darkness and cold as the wheel turns into winter.

Mabon Blessings!



Mama L said...

Lovely as always, and your altar is just beautiful ! Thanks for sharing the information, I know Mabon will offically mark one year for me being a Pagan, so it is a extra special time for me. Blessings

Marianne said...

I do love visiting your blog especially when you share your beautiful alters.

Elle said...

i am in love with your altar! so lovely! thank you for sharing! hugs n love!

Mina said...

Beautiful post and images, Tereza. You altars are always so gorgeous. I just have to admire them repeatedly. Yay, Mabon!

Anonymous said...

Your altar is beautiful - I love the incorporation of the sunflowers!

Wizardess said...

I heartily agree on the beauty of that altar...wow! Thank you for this post.

vflower said...

Thanks for sharing your altar! It's gorgeous. Happy Mabon! :)