Equinox (September 21)
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. This is a classic, ancient mythos,
seen the Sumerian myth of Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends
of Demeter and Persephone.
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.
Mabon ("Great Son") is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift
horse and a wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader.
He was stolen from his mother, Modron (Great Mother),when he was three
nights old, but was eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say
he was rescued by the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, and the
Salmon). All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive,
in Modron's magickal Otherworld -- Madron's womb. Only in this way can
he be reborn. Mabon's light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength
and wisdom enough to become a new seed. In this sense, Mabon is the masculine
counterpart of Persephone -- the male fertilizing principle seasonally
withdrawn. Modron corresponds with Demeter.
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.
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.
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
* 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.
* Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide
and attract the faeries.
* 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 magic Apple Dolls: Apples are sacred
symbols of the witch. Our holy land, Avalon,
means Apple-land or Island of Apples. Slice
an apple through the midsection and its seeds
reveal the sacred shape of the pentacle.
You will need two large apples, one for Mabon
and one for Modron, 2 pencils and 2 dowels
about 12 inches long, a paring knife, a glass
or bowl of water to wash your fingers, a plate,
and a towel to wipe your hands. Peel and core
the apples. Carve a face in the apples. Place
apples on a dowel and stand them in a jar
to dry (start now). Then charge in a magick
circle. After 2 or 3 weeks, they should look
like shrunken heads. Make them into dolls. Use
wheat, dried herbs or doll's hair for hair.
Dress them in tiny robes and bring them into
the circle, asking god/dess to charge them with
Hang these Mabon and Madron heads on a Witch's
cord or a Mabon wreath.
(From "Celebrate the Earth" by Laurie Cabot, Green
Witchcraft by Ann Moura, Llewellyn's Witches' Calendar 1998,
and The Witches' God by Janet and Stewart Farrar.)
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