As the seasons shift, and the heat of summer tapers off into the cool crisp of Fall, it is time to relish in Autumnal spirit and celebrate the Fall Equinox and Mabon, also known as the Witches’ Thanksgiving.
The Fall Equinox happens when the length of daylight exactly equals the length of night. This equilibrium is a delicate dance integral to the transition between seasons and an important hallmark for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, and the like.
When is Mabon? Traditionally, it is celebrated on the eve (the evening before) of September 21st and continues through September 28th in the Northern Hemisphere. South of the Equator, Mabon is celebrated around March 21st. Mabon is one of the eight sabbats, or holidays, on the Pagan Wheel of the Year.
What is Mabon? Simply put, Mabon is a celebration of the harvest season and a welcoming of the Earth’s natural shifts. Themes of abundance, wealth, and generosity are prevalent during this time as we honor the year’s bounty.
How to celebrate Mabon? There are a plethora of Mabon rituals available to those looking to participate in this year’s festivities. Whether you opt for more personal Mabon traditions, or choose to include others in your celebrations, if you’re looking for Mabon ideas, you’ve come to the right spot!
Group Mabon Celebrations
It wouldn’t be a sabbat if we didn’t take the time to celebrate Mabon with one another. Consider these options to enjoy with friends, family, and loved ones:
Apple picking with a side of gratitude
The apple is a prolific food for Mabon, representing the end-of-summer harvest. It is also a symbol of rebirth, healing, and a long life. Honor the gifts of the season by going apple picking with a close-knit group. As you do, relish the gifts the Earth has to offer each of us and marvel in the natural bounty of the world around you.
After picking the apples, consider engaging the group in a small gratitude ritual. To do so, sit outside on the ground and in a circle. Hold the apples in your palms and work your way around the circle, allowing each person to express what they are grateful for.
Recruit a group and get outside
There is no better way to embrace the changing of the seasons than to witness it for yourself. Gather a group of cherished individuals and head out on a hike or nature walk. Discuss how your local landscape has transformed over the last few weeks and marvel at the natural rhythm of the world around you.
A bountiful harvest feast!
Take a trip to your local farmer’s market and prepare seasonal fruits and veggies to share with loved ones. Consider dishes like honey wheat bread, cock-a-leekie soup, apple butter, and mulled cider but don’t be afraid to incorporate any local in-season foods too. Mabon represents a natural transition so spark a discussion about embracing change and ask how that shows up in the lives of your guests.
Embrace the spirit of giving and donate locally
Mabon is a time of abundance and generosity and there is no better way to embody this than by donating what you can. Consider reaching out to your local food banks and homeless shelters and ask what supplies and foods they require. Inspire your friends to do the same and pool together your resources. You may be surprised by the amount of good your friend group can accomplish in the spirit of Mabon!
Mabon Correspondences & Ritual Ideas
Solitary Mabon Rituals
For those of us who wish to honor Mabon on our own, or incorporate some solo practices in our celebrations, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Theme-out your altar
Decorate your altar with images and pieces related to harvest season. You may choose to adorn your altar with apples, pinecones, acorns, seeds, nuts or cornucopias. When doing so, consider the native flora and fauna to the landscape around you. Mindfully incorporate your natural world to represent what the changing of the seasons looks like for you.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!
For a First Day of Autumn Ritual, consider welcoming the Fall by creating a simple gratitude list. When we are conscious of the things in our life that we are grateful for, we may find that the Universe meets us at this vibration and delivers us more. Because Mabon is a time of abundance and gratitude, start your days off with a small list of 5 things you are grateful for. You may find it easier and easier each day to add to your list.
An Autumnal cleaning
Just as Spring is a transitional time, Fall is as well. This makes it a great opportunity to do some Fall cleaning! Break out the rosemary, lavender, or sage and perform a full smudging of your home. Welcome in the Autumnal vibrations by decorating your home brooms, scythes, sickles, cornucopias, and small bundles of hay.
Ground yourself and connect to the Earth
Earthing is a popular way of connecting directly with the Earth’s energy. During transition periods, things have a tendency to feel a little chaotic. By placing your feet in the ground, you are letting the Earth recalibrate your aura and energy. With feet firmly placed on the ground, you won’t be swept away by any change-related disorder! On the contrary, you will come away connected to the natural rhythm of the planet, tethered to the continual cycles of life.
Which Mabon traditions are right for me?
There is no one single way of celebrating Mabon. Each practice will look different based on personal preferences and the local flora and fauna available. It is only important that you listen to your intuition when considering which rituals are best for you. As you read through this article, chances are one or two of the suggestions stood out to you – just follow that feeling!
The beautiful part about sabbats is that their celebrations can be as personal or as social are you are comfortable with. Whether you decide to mark Mabon with an Autumnal deep cleaning, or by hosting a bountiful harvest-themed feast, you are still a part of marking an ancient tradition and honoring the Earth’s natural cycles.