If you have been with me for longer than a minute, you've seen (or heard) me use terms like, "Ostara, Beltane, and Litha."
And now it's "Mabon."
So just what IS Mabon?
Quite simply, it's the ancient celtic, pagan, and/or witchy term for the Autumnal Equinox, the second point in the year when the amount of day and night are equal. From now until the Spring Equinox, the length of darkness dominates the light.
As a gardener (which I know many of you are, too) and a spiritual herbalist, I follow the rhythm of Nature. She knows best when we should plant, harvest, and lay dormant to gather strength. To me, Mabon is the time when I can be proud of the hard work that both the gardens AND I have done over the last few months.
Mabon is also called the "second harvest" -- the first was August 1 (Lammas) and the third and final is October 31 (Samhain).
By Mabon, farmers (and gardeners) know how well their crops have fared. This is important because the survival of their animals (AND family) over the winter depends on a generous harvest.
This time of year is about gratitude.
On Lammas, we practiced gratitude by baking loaves of bread as a way to show our thanks for the first crops of wheat.
Mabon season adds its own "flavor" of gratitude.
So how can we celebrate the season of Mabon? Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
Go apple picking and then make a pie or sauce. You can freeze both to extend the harvest through the winter.
Decorate with pumpkins, hay bales, cornstalks, and candles. SPOILER: I'll share my front porch re-do next week.
Because Mabon corresponds to the waning phase of the moon, this is a great time to seriously let go of what you don't want to carry into the new year.
Begin filling your bird feeders. Natural food sources are becoming scarce, and our feathered friends will depend on OUR harvest to get them through the cold months.
Think of ways to honor your ancestors as a run-up to Samhain. The "veil" between our world and the other is beginning to thin, and so this is a great time to seek guidance from and give gratitude to those who came before us.
Finally, brew a big batch of Spiced Apple Cider to share with family and friends.
Because Mabon, after all, is a celebration and a time to gather with those we love.