The Autumn Equinox – Mabon
The wheel turns, and late summer moves through the Autumn Equinox, or Mabon as Pagans call it, which falls around the 21st – 23rd of September.
You can tangibly feel the evenings drawing in, the mornings have the smell of damp autumn leaves, and nature prepares for her greatest show before settling down for winter.
One of my favourite sayings at this time of year is “As the leaves turn from green to red and gold, nature shows us how beautiful it can be to let go”.
What Is The Festival of Mabon?
Mabon is the festival of the second harvest, after the first harvest of Lughnasadh. Much like the Spring Equinox, the Autumn Equinox is a time of balance – night and day are of equal length, but we know that this is the turning point where the dark begins to overtake the light.
This is a time where we gather the last of the years harvest, to count our blessings and take stock of the year so far, have all those plans and seeds that we sowed at Imbolc come to fruition? It’s a time to share our abundance with those we love, a time to reflect on the lessons and blessings that this year has given, and release and surrender what hasn’t worked out the way we wanted it to.
Mabon is a time of deep gratitude, we give thanks to Mother Earth for all the richness she has provided us with over the year, and we prepare to go within – we give thanks to the earth and the light and prepare to give space to the darkness, a time where we can rest and restore ourselves.
Celebrating The Festival of Mabon
This is one of the busiest times of the year for me, making soups, jams, preserves, healing syrups and tinctures with all the abundance of hedgerow berries, apples, pumpkins and squashes that are still available. Mother Elder has gifted us her berries, that I have made into healing elderberry syrup. The beautiful wild rose that I made rose petal tincture, flower essence and tea from back in the summer has now offered up her wonderful rosehips, so I have made healing rosehip syrup, and rosehip and crab apple jelly. The dark blackthorn offers up plenty of sloes this year which I shall be using to make sloe gin, and my damson tree was filled with fruits so I have them marinating in brandy, which won’t be ready until next year!!
To make the most of this season, get out in nature as much as you can! There is nothing nicer than an autumn walk, scuffing up the leaves and breathing in the crisp air. We can still have a burst of heat in the day too! Begin to spend the days taking some time out to yourself, reflecting on what this year has brought you so far. Spend time with loved ones, appreciate them, and nature. Maybe set aside some space in your home to create a little altar, just a small area where you can place items associated with the season, acorns, beautiful leaves etc, and which will give you a focal point to help you to pause, reflect and feel grateful.
As part of the reflection process, making time to start a self care routine is important, not only for our emotional well-being, but our physical well-being too! As the weather changes and the suns rays lose their warmth, the winter colds and bugs start to rear their heads – the frantic stress of christmas is knocking at the door! Taking care of ourselves with getting a regular massage, or reflexology, or starting a meditation practice can provide huge health benefits! Or maybe you feel inspired to learn a new skill, a holistic therapy that will enable you to take care of your clients, or loved ones. At AuroraStar, I offer training to non therapists as well as established and experienced practitioners, have a look at my training page!
(Thanks to astrocal for their beautiful picture!)