Seasonal Celebrations: Mabon (Autumn Equinox)
It's finally (and officially) here. One of the four Solar Festivals, Mabon marks the move into autumn according to the Wheel of the Year. An equinox is technically an astronomical point, and as such the precise date can alter each year, though the autumn equinox typically falls between September 21st - 24th. The date represents a moment of equilibrium, as the day and night are of equal duration, and as such the concept of balance is key. We are in the middle of harvest, and it is a time to finalise late summer tasks before moving forward into the colder months.
In her book Sacred Earth Celebrations, Glennie Kindred suggests the following ways of celebrating the festival:
- Plan to get out and about and experience the Equinox on the day whatever the weather.
- Gather with friends and family for a bring-and-share feast. Ask everyone to bring food and drink that reflects the season. Decorate the tables with vases of flowers, fruit, nuts and autumn leaves. Light candles with a dedication and thanks for the harvest of the year.
- Thanksgiving and balance are the twin themes of the Autumn Equinox. Seek to take the harvest you have gained in the outer world and integrate it with the turning within, to help bring clarity to the way ahead as the season changes from autumn to winter.
- Have some baskets of yarns, seeds, shells, string, sticks, fir cones, feathers, dried grasses, dried flowers, ribbons, threads, needles, scissors. Ask everyone to bring something and then sit together, weave, thread, bind, create something that reflects the abundance of the moment. It may be a necklace to wear, a headdress, an autumn posy to hang up, a special wand or totem. As you make it, think positively about what you are harvesting and how you can use this for your greater good and the greater good of the Earth.
- Reflect on the gains and losses of the year. Give thanks for the outer expansion and what has been possible. Look at what is no longer needed, and what it is time to let go of with thanks and blessings, as you release the past.
- Share with each other the seeds of your harvest that you take with you into the next cycle. Count your blessings. Celebrate your abundance.
- Plant some native bulbs or tree seeds in pots to place outside. Plant your own inner seeds with them. Focus on your hopes, ideas, and intentions for the spring and your allegiance to the Earth. Plant some of the fruit, nuts, seeds and berries you have gathered for the Autumn Equinox, label them, leave them outside without saucers underneath, and see what comes up in the spring.
Glennie's writing also features in issue 1 of the magazine, which is still available to pre-order here.