Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend to the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatched-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er brimmed their clammy shells.
From To Autumn by John Keats
The holiday of the autumnal equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair, An Clabhsúr, or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druid traditions), is a modern Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the Gods during the coming winter months.
Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.
Autumn Equinox, around September 21, is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. With her departure, we see the decline of nature and the coming of winter.
In September, we also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. He is the Green Man, seen as the cycle of nature in the plant kingdom. He is harvested and his seeds are planted into the Earth so that life may continue and be more abundant. From the moment of the September Equinox, the Sun’s strength diminishes, until the moment of Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become longer than the nights.
Symbols celebrating the season include various types of gourd and melons. Stalk can be tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and then set in a circle of gourds. A besom can be constructed to symbolize the polarity of male and female. The Harvest Lord is often symbolized by a straw man, whose sacrificial body is burned and its ashes scattered upon the earth. The Harvest Queen, or Kern Baby, is made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who proclaim, “We have the Kern!”
The sheaf is dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole (a phallic fertility symbol). In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called the Maiden, and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.
· candles should be brown or cinnamon.
· decorate circle with autumn flowers,
· acorns, gourds, corn sheaves and fall leaves.
Mabon Magickal Herbs
Rue, yarrow, rosemary, marigold, sage, walnut leaves and husks, mistletoe, saffron, chamomile, almond leaves, passionflower, frankincense, rose hips, bittersweet, sunflower, wheat, oak leaves, dried apple or apple seeds.
Pine, sage, sweetgrass or myrhh. You can also mix marigold, passionflower, and fern, using frankincense or myrhh as a resin for Mabon incense
Mabon Magickal Stones
During Mabon, stones ruled by the Sun will help bring the Sun’s energy to you.clear quartz, amber, peridot, diamond, gold, citrine, yellow topaz, cat’s-eye, adventurine.
Mabon is a good time to cast spells of balance and harmony. It’s also a time of change. Protection, wealth and prosperity spells are appropriate as well.
Mabon is the Witch’s Thanksgiving, a time to appreciate and give thanks to the Goddess for her bounty and to share in the joys of the harvest. Fall fruits, squash, gourds, pumpkins, grains, nut breads, vegetables.
A magickal Mabon beverage: hot apple cider.
Apple rules the heart, cider alone is a self-love potion. By spicing it with cinnamon, ruled by Jupiter and the Sun, we are in essence, ingesting the sunlight.
Sample menu #1:
Mabon Wine Moon Cider, Roast Chicken Rubbed with Sage, Basil, and Thyme, Acorn Squash made with Sweet Butter, Cinnamon and Honey, and Apple Bread.
Sample menu #2:
Wine from the god and beans and squashes from the goddess. A hearty multi-bean soup with smoked meats (optional), including such as cut-up mild sausage like mild Italian or Polish.
Mabon Wine Moon Cider
· 4 cups apple cider 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
· 4 cups grape juice additional cinnamon sticks
· 2 cinnamon sticks for cups, 6 inches long
· 1 tsp allspice
1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat cider and grape juice. Add cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
2. Bring just to boiling. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Serve with a ladle from a cauldron. Makes 8 cups.
* Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter sweet herb for protection. Use ribbons of gold and yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun, and decorate with sprigs of dried yarrow or cinnamon sticks.
* Make a Magickal Horn of Plenty.
* Make Magickal Scented Pinecones.
* Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread.
* Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide and attract the faeries.
* Call upon the elementals and honor them for their help with (N-earth) the home and finances, (E-air) school and knowledge, (S-fire) careers and accomplishments, (W-water) emotional balance and fruitful relationships.
* Make a witch’s broom. Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice.
Make a Magickal Horn of Plenty
While the traditional Horn of Plenty, or cornucopia, is a symbol of bounty and a good harvest, it also has definite magickal overtones. The horn itself is a phallic symbol, representative of the God. The inside of the horn is womb-like, especially when it is full of bounty from the fertile earth. This represents the Goddess. And since Mabon is the Witches Thanksgiving, it is very appropriate to utilize this symbol for our altars or table tops.
Make or buy a cornucopia. I bought a wicker one in the basket section of a local craft store. Some of the more crafty among us may opt to make one out of grapevine or other material. Fill the horn with fruits of the season — fruit, veggies, flowers. Let them spill out onto the table. Add magickal trinkets, glitter, oak leaves or acorns, hazel nuts, or even tarot cards. The Justice card is a card of balance, and Mabon is a day of balance. Justice also corresponds to Libra, the astrological sign of Mabon. Look through your deck, you may find other cards that suit the season.
These are simple charms that you can keep year after year for your altar. (I put them in the cornucopia), or you can make new ones each year.
You will need tiny boxes (ring size boxes), one for each type of charm you are making. You can make them for the household, or if anyone has a particular wish, make personalized ones.
You will need:
sandalwood or cinnamon incense
green wrapping paper
a quarter and a dime
9 kernels of dried corn
a malachite bead
a peridot bead
a pen with green ink
1. Light a stick of sandalwood or cinnamon incense. Hold the box over the smoking incense to thoroughly saturate it with the scent.
2. Hold the money, the corn, oats, and beads in your hands. Charge them with energy, focusing on an increase in wealth and prosperity. Visualize yourself harvesting the rewards toward which you have been working.
3. Put the ingredients n the box and close the lid. With the pen, draw prosperity runes on the box and then wrap them in green wrapping paper. Hold over the smoking incense again and say:
Summer’s sun is Autumn’s gold
In my life, wealth be foretold
Fortune increase, luck be mine
By harvest dreams and barley wine.
Lady, see my need for more
Send abundance to my door.
You will need:
heather, sage, pine, or cedar incense
white wrapping paper
a sprig of rue
a holly leaf
a tiger’s eye bead
a piece of dragon’s blood resin
a pen with red ink
1. Light a stick of heather, sage, pine or cedar incense. Hold the box over the smoking incense to thoroughly saturate it with the scent.
2. Hold the herbs, bead, and resin in your hands. Charge them with energy, focusing on protection and safety for all who dwell within your household. Visualize a web of protective light encasing your home.
3. Then put the ingredients into the box and close the lid. With the pen, draw protection runes on the box, and wrap it in the white wrapping paper. Holdover the smoking incense again and say:
Amidst the Autumn’s darkest nights
Our home be bound by brilliant light
A web of hope and joy and peace
Be woven now, all danger cease
By watchful eye, by lock and key,
Protect our home, so mote it be.
Make Magickal Scented Pine Cones
Create these talismans in a magickal circle for use during the Mabon, Samhain, and Yule seasons. Frankincense and myrrh are particularly spiritual herbs which have been used in religious ceremonies for ages. When burned, frankincense releases powerful vibrations as well as banishes negativity and evil. It protects, consecrates, purifies, and exorcises. It is attributed to the Sun. Myrrh purifies, lifts vibrations, and creates peace. It is used to intensify the power of any incense to which it is added. Myrrh is attributed to the Moon. The fact that these two herbs are associated to the Sun and Moon is highly appropriate as we enter the Mabon season, a time of balance. And as we enter the dark half of the year, these herbs work together to push back our fears and anxieties.
These pine cones are burned in the fireplace or cauldron.
2×2-inch pine cones (about 24)
Frankincense powder (1/4 cup, approximately 2 ounces)
Myrrh powder (1/2 cup, approximately 4 ounces)
Gold Glitter (1.4 cup)
White Crafts Glue
Cellophane bags (available from florist or crafts supply store)
Shallow container, such as a shoe box lid
Gold filigree ribbon
1. Rinse pine cones with water. Lay cones on an old cookie sheet and place in 300 degrees oven for one hour. Spread cones out on layers of newspapers and set aside to complete drying.
2. Blend frankincense, myrrh, and glitter in a shallow container. Dab glue on tips of pine cone petals and on the bottom of the cone. Roll cone in mixture of powder and glitter. Set cones aside to dry.
3. Package in a handful of dried cones in cellophane bags to give as gifts. Tie bag shut with gold filigree ribbon. Attach a label with a holiday greeting and instructions for using the pine cones:
Enjoy the aromatic incense the cones release when burned. Toss a cone or two onto hot embers, and inhale the earthy fragrance.
Or, set the cones in a dish for a more subtly fragrant decoration.