ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mabon, the Fall Equinox

Updated on February 16, 2015
relache profile image

Raye gardens organically, harvests rainwater, strives to eat locally, and honors the gods from her home in the Pacific Northwest.

The Autumnal Equinox

In September is the Fall Equinox, which has come to be called Mabon by many contemporary Neo-Pagans. Occurring traditionally on September 21st, this is the day when the hours of daylight and nighttime are once again balanced. Calender days from now until the Winter Solstice will slowly get shorter and shorter in their daylight hours. Remember to check with a modern astronomical chart or website to learn the exact day and time of the Equinox.

Agriculturally, this time of year the harvest is now in full swing or even starting to wind down, with late summer and fall fruits, vegetables and grains being gathered up before winter. This is the time of year a lot of canning or preserving of garden foods takes place. Hunting season also starts around this time, and this was when farmers would slaughter animals and preserve meat for the coming months as well.

This holiday is the last of the harvest holidays which began with the summer solstice and continued with Lammas. If you were to think of a secular holiday which matches up with this one, this is really the most like a Pagan Thanksgiving.

Symbols of the season

Harvest vegetables like gourds and squash and autumn flowers are suitable for table centerpieces and altar or hearth displays.
Harvest vegetables like gourds and squash and autumn flowers are suitable for table centerpieces and altar or hearth displays. | Source

Harvest Grains

The fall equinox marks the end of the seasonal harvest of grains and other grass crops.
The fall equinox marks the end of the seasonal harvest of grains and other grass crops. | Source
Smoky and the Feast of Mabon
Smoky and the Feast of Mabon

If you have kids who are learning about the Wheel of the Year and Mabon, this is a cute book which talks about the holiday.

 

The Many Celebrations of the Fall Equinox

Druids know this celebration as “Mea’n Fo’mhair” and honor the Green Man, God of the Forest, and his trees with poured offerings of ciders and wine. Norse pagans celebrate this time as Winter Finding, a time period that runs from the Sabbat until October 15th. This night is known as Winter’s Night and is the Norse New Year. The Wiccan New Year is also approaching at October’s end. It is known the ancient Mayans observed this date as well. At the pyramid at Cihickén Itzá, seven triangles of light fall on the pyramid’s staircase on this date only. In Japan, there is a six-day celebration around the equinox. This holiday is to honor Higan-e, the “other shore” and is based on six “perfections”: giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom.

There is an interesting folk legend involving eggs and the equinoxes. It was believed that since the hours of light and dark were equal, it would be possible to balance an egg on end during these magickal times. Sometimes the rumor specified that the balancing would only occur during the few hours that most closely fell before and after the actual time of the equinox. In reality, occasionally eggs can be balanced on the larger end if the conditions of the fluids inside the egg, the temperature, balancing surface, etc. all come together just right, however this is more specific to the actual egg used, and is regardless of the day of the year.


Corn Braiding and Knotting

Corn dollies can be symbolic, like the one shown above, or they can be realistic and look more like little people.
Corn dollies can be symbolic, like the one shown above, or they can be realistic and look more like little people.

Making Harvest Corn Dollies

At harvest time, many ancient Pagan communities felt that the growing or harvest spirit had to be preserved over the winter. The very last sheaves of wheat or stalks of corn in the fields were felt to be where these energies gathered as the crops were harvested. These last bits harvested where what were used to main a variety of figures known as corn dollies (also spelled corn dollys).

Sometimes these were literal female figurines, often tied from dried corn stalks. A few handfuls folded over each other easily makes a small figure. Other times these were symbolic knots or braids made from dried wheat sheaves, braided while the plant material is still somewhat moist and pliable.


Watching over the fall harvest...

Scarecrows symbolize the fall bounty, being stuffed with straw from the grain harvest, as well as being a protective totem.
Scarecrows symbolize the fall bounty, being stuffed with straw from the grain harvest, as well as being a protective totem. | Source

Mabon Feasting

With the harvest in full swing, and mornings and nights just starting to grow crisper, this is the time of nature's bounty and thanksgiving. Having a large dinner party to mark the equinox and celebrate the abundance of the season is a great way to bring the whole family or your spiritual community together.

Having a potluck meal is perfect for this time of year. Encourage your guests to bring things they grew and made themselves. Dishes that offer up the last of the summer fruit or which offer a first taste of fall fruits should be especially welcome. Making homemade bread in the party home is a great way to set the mood with the fantastic aroma.

Exchanging canned foods is a great way to share your harvest and it allows everyone to diversify their pantry before winter. As part of the dinner activities, set up a produce swap so that everyone can show off and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

The different squashes, both edible and decorative, are favorites at this time of year.
The different squashes, both edible and decorative, are favorites at this time of year. | Source

Autumnal Equinox at Stonehenge

Mabon Messages

Submit a Comment

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR

    Raye 

    5 years ago from Seattle, WA

    If you have access to the materials, they are really fun to make.

  • WiccanSage profile image

    Mackenzie Sage Wright 

    5 years ago

    Great Article. I really love the wheat braid.

  • Gemsong profile image

    Madalain Ackley 

    9 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

    Blessed Mabon.

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR

    Raye 

    9 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Which holidays are perceived as harvest festivals can differ with traditions. So, it's clear you and I come from different Neo-Pagan branches.

  • profile image

    Bree indigo 

    9 years ago

    Actually, Mabon is the second of Harvest Festival's, Samhain being the third and Lammas the first. Lammas is the beginning of Autumn, thus being the beginning of the Harvest.

    Blessed Be.

  • WhiteOak profile image

    Eva Thomas 

    9 years ago from Georgia

    I always look forward to Mabon, it brings me that much closer to Halloween/Samhain.

  • relache profile imageAUTHOR

    Raye 

    9 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Many Mabon Blessings to you too, gamergirl! We're picking the last of our summer garden and getting ready to plant the winter crops.

  • gamergirl profile image

    Kiz 

    9 years ago from Antioch, TN

    Happy Mabon relache!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    Harvest Festivals and other agiculturaly connected celebrations remind us of the importance of Nature and Life's cyle.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)