Mabon is the second harvest, which usually occurs in late September. For the purpose of our wheel of the year, it takes place on the 21st.  It is the Autumn Equinox. The second and last time in which the days will be equally balanced in each year.  The God is still with us, but his strength is still diminishing.  As he grows old he is looking towards Samhain when he will cross the veil and the cycle completes. And there he will remain until he is born once more.

The Reason for the Season

This is the time of completion for any magickal workings you may have been fostering since Litha.  It’s also considered the winding down of the pagan wheel of the year.  While Ostara is a time for starting new things, Mabon is a time to settle old debts or obligations. It is a time to make peace with yourself despite what you may or may not have accomplished.

It is a time of Earth related magicks and of course, more self-reflection.  Many people take time during Mabon to look back on the past year, or even their entire life thus far. They look to see where they come from so that they can plan for their future. It is also a time to rest and celebrate. The hard work of the harvest is either over or nearly over.

The Name of the Season

The name of this holiday is derived from a Welsh God.  He was a powerful hunter with a swift horse and a wonderful hound. There are some historians who have tried to determine if he could have been a real leader or not. Of course, some say yes and others say no. Such is the way of things. The story goes that he was stolen from his mother when he was three nights old. In the legends he is stolen by Mordon, the great mother.

Eventually he is recused by King Arthur, the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, or the Salmon.  It just depends on the legend as to which one it is.  However, Mabon never felt like a captive. He was mothered by Mordon in her private magick otherworld, which symbolizes her womb.  In the legend this was the only way that he and the Earth could be reborn. This essentially makes him a God similar to the Goddess Persephone who represents the growth of the world withdrawing.  Here Mordon corresponds with Demeter.

I just have to say how amazing it is that so many different cultures have so many different stories that are all variations on the same themes. It just goes to show you that we really are the same and that we need to work harder towards common ground with those who we don’t understand.

In addition to the story of Mabon, there is also a story of Lugh related to this holiday. This is the time of the year when the God of Light (Lugh) is defeated by the God of Darkness, his twin and alter ego, Tanist. Night conquers day and the legend even says that this is the only night on which he can be defeated.

According to Two Pagans “Lugh stands on the balance (Autumn Equinox-Libra) with one foot on the goat (Winter Solstice-Capricorn) and the other on the cauldron (Summer Solstice-Cancer). He is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).”

Two things occur with Lugh’s defeat. First, Tanist takes the place of king and lover to the Goddess Tailltiu. But while he sits on the throne, his induction does not take place until Samhain, the beginning of winter in the Celtic mythos.  There he is crowned as the Dark King and Winter Lord or Lord of Misrule.  He will mate with Talltiu, who will give birth to another incarnation of Tanist, the Dark Child.

Once again a variation on a theme. This story is very similar to that of the Oak and Holly Kings. Anyway, I love connecting mythology to holiday.  It can be so helpful in understanding why different cultures celebrate certain holidays in the way that they do.

Magick of Mabon

This is a time of year to do spells related to protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also, as it’s a time of reflection, it’s also a good time to do magick related to harmony and balance within yourself or others (with their permission only of course).

And as always, my other source here is Teaching Witchcraft by Miles Batty.  If you haven’t looked into getting a copy for yourself already, you really should. It’s on my top list of pagan resources and information. It’s probably one of the most complete books of information. It isn’t perfect for every tradition, but it’s a great starting point for someone looking to explore the craft.  It’s also a great teaching point if you want a multi-faceted view of the God and Goddess and the world around us.  Eventually, as I delve deeper into the mysteries of the craft, I plan to share some of my other favorite books (most of which I had never heard of until introduced to them by my late mentor).

Sabbats in a Modern Society?

Now that we’ve finished going over the Sabbats I want to touch on a few other things related to them. I’ll keep it brief. Promise. Most places show the Sabbats as agricultural festivals, with harvests, and a lot of stuff that most of us know very little to nothing about.  However, the Sabbat is about far more than that and there are many ways in which we can meld a bit of the old with the ways of the new.  Even if you don’t live on a farm, even if you don’t have a patch of grass on your lawn, you can still find a way to celebrate the symbolism of each season.

Sabbats can still have meaning and significance in your life. It’s just a matter of finding a way to hold that significance in your heart in a modern era. For me that means a lot of nature walks and communicating with nature. It also means crafts and cooking foods related to the season. I don’t call myself a kitchen witch, but a lot of my celebration is crafting and cooking.  My personal rituals are often very short and end in meditation (which is hard to do with a kid).

So with a little thought, imagination, creativity, or even some research on the web, everyone can find some way to celebrate the Wheel of the Year.

Thanks once again for reading and I hope you have a magickal Friday.

Blessed Be.

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