Seven Fun and Easy Ways to Celebrate Mabon
Mabon is a sabbat commonly celebrated in the northern hemisphere on the 21st September. Also known as the second harvest festival, harvest home, Mea'n Fo'mhair and Alban Elfed Mabon is also the autumn equinox and so a time of balance in the world. This is the second day of the year where the day is as long as the night and traditionally when the largest harvest of the year would have taken place.
The name Mabon (pronounced May-bon, MAY-bone, MAY-bawn, May-bun, MAH-bawn or MAH-boon) is believed to come from the Celtic god Mabon. At this point in the wheel of the year the goddess is celebrated as she transitions the mother to the crone and the god prepares for his death. In Druidic traditions The Green Man is honoured and libations of cider, wine, herbs and fertilisers are commonly given.
Mabon is a time of balance where light and dark are equal but is from this time that the days will being to shorten as we enter the dark half of the year.
This festival is regarded as a time to enjoy yourself and give thanks for life and all that has come to us through the year. Traditionally a large part of this would have been thanks given for the bounty of crops ready for harvest and storing for leaner times. However this does not mean that we cannot celebrate just as fully today as part of our modern lifestyles. We can celebrate and give thanks for our personal and family achievements and bounties for example: our job and career successes, educational achievements, crops from or gardens and allotments and the results of any projects started earlier in the year. We can also look inwards at how we have lived and grown throughout the year. Mabon is a time of letting go of regrets and disagreements, finishing up old projects and moving past mistakes; forgiving as necessary. After Mabon the wheel turns towards Samhain and a quieter time of rest and reflection.
Ideas for Celebrating Mabon
1. Share Good Fortune
At Mabon look to share your good fortune and successes if you can. This does not have to be in huge or lavish way and does not have to include giving money, if you are unable. You can share your time with other for example by volunteering at a homeless shelter or stop to talk to a homeless person or an elderly person who lives alone. Share a skill you have developed with friends or family or perhaps with community groups such as Scouts. If you are able and wish to you could make a donation to a local charity or organisation or one that is close to your heart.
2. Make a Gratitude List
This is a good time to make a list of all of the things in life that you are grateful for. These can be big or small things, people, opportunities, events etc. You many also like to think about how these have changed in the past year and how you personally have made progress. This can be in day to day life or in more specific terms such as completing a college course, overcoming illness or reaching a personal goal.
If you have an altar or sacred space this can be decorated ready for celebrating Mabon. There is also no reason you also cannot decorate other areas of your home and even garden if you wish, Natural items such as acorns, leaves, twigs and fruits or vegetables can be used. Apples have strong associations with Mabon along with grains, seeds, vines such as ivy and pomegranates. Colours commonly linked to this celebration include gold, orange, red, maroon, brown and burgundy. Crystals can also be used as decorations as well as for their greatly beneficial properties. They can be chosen to bring certain energy to your home or incorporated into rituals. Crystals that can ideal for Mabon include aventurine, citrine, amber, Lapis lazuli, topaz and carnelian.
4. Preserve Foods
IF you have grown your own fruit and vegetables at home or on an allotment a good activity for Mabon, is to preserve some for later in the year. Preserving foods not only helps to prevent food waste but also lengthens the time you can enjoy your harvests. Of course you can also preserve bought fruits and vegetables and doing so means that you can buy when these items are in season, plentiful and often cheaper and still enjoy them when they are unavailable to buy or much more expensive. There are many ways to preserve foods including drying, dehydrating, pickling and making jams and fruit cheeses or butters. Herbs can also be dried to use throughout the year.
5. Create some Mabon Themed Incense
Loose incense can easily be created at home and burnt on charcoal disks. It is also possible to make your own incense cones and sticks. I have a hub that goes over the process of making loose and cone incense in more detail, which can be found here.
Herbs associated with Mabon vary but include a wide range of scents and types. These include:
- Rose hips
As with all incense, take care when burning so not to create a fire hazard and check ingredients for any allergens. As an extra precaution when making your own incense it is wise to check that your intended ingredient is safe for burning and will not produce potentially dangerous smoke.
6. Make your Own Wine
Wine and other homebrewed alcohol is another way that many food items can be preserved for later use. Methods vary depending on the type being made but there is lots of good information and recipes online to try out. Many fruits, vegetables and flowers that have been bought, grown or foraged can be used. Elderberry and elderflower are popular homebrew wines and dandelion or blackberry wine are other good options if you would like to forage your ingredients. Some wines such as pea pod wine can be made using scraps that would normally be thrown away, so you get to enjoy the fresh peas and a glass of wine! Potatoes, parsnips and beetroots are common ingredients for vegetable wines and many soft fruits and berries make great wines. If you have an apple tree or know anyone how has a glut of apples you can also have a go at making cider.
7. Make Bird Feeders
Even if you don’t have a garden it may be possible to help out the local birds by providing a source of food over the coming colder months. Many types of bird feeder can be hung from a simple hook or nail and it is possible to buy feeders that can be suctioned to windows. Many different types of foods can be added to these such as nuts, seeds and fat balls though it is worth researching which birds live in your area to see which would be most appreciated. You can also make your own bird feeders using lard and bird seed or nuts. Some kitchen scraps such as solid fats, small amounts of bread, cheese, cooked potato and dried fruits are also suitable food for wild birds.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Claire