September 23rd is a special and magical day for Pagan communities. On this day a Fall Equinox takes place. It is the time when the length of the day is equal to the length of night, and so are the forces of Light and Darkness. After this day we will continue to descend into shadows until the Darkness peaks on October 31st on Samhain - Witch's New Year.
Mabon is a Pagan holiday celebrated on a date that typically falls between September 21st-23rd. This year it falls onto September 23rd (Updated 2023). It has been celebrated for thousands of years. The name Mabon was given by Celts.
Who is the pagan Goddess of autumn?
The name Mabon comes from a figure in Welsh mythology Mabon ap Modron and symbolizes male fertility in the cycle of myths about King Arthur.
What is the story behind Mabon?
Witches did not originally celebrate this Sabbat, just as they did not celebrate Ostara until the Scandinavian influence took over England. But although the name came later, the holiday was recognized by people well before Christianity.
On Mabon, witches make new staffs and wands and carve Runes from elm wood. This tradition came from the Druids.
Mabon symbolizes the end of the fruit, vegetable and grain harvest. The Fall Equinox reminds us about the fact that winter is near. For this reason, traditionally on this day the Magick performed involves rituals that would guarantee abundance and plenty over the winter season.
While many of us are privileged in this accord, we can use this energy to work on any matters related to abundance. This would also be the last chance until the end of the year to work on these Rituals during a Sabbat, as Samhain and Yule do not carry the necessary energy.
And today I want to remind you about the simple things still so close to the heart of our true pagan nature within.
We all know of this unconscious desire to fill up our storage and pantries, wash the windows before the cold days, and throw out things we no longer need.
Just as Mother Nature, we are getting ready to slow down. We draw conclusions and get together with our friends and love ones.
Even though it seems like we didn't want to let the summer go, suddenly something inside of you shifts and you can't wait to put on that warm sweater, enjoy the cool air and a nice cup of tea (or pumpkin spice latte and no, I'm not ashamed to throw in here my love for pls).
Mabon Elements, Tools & Correspondences
Mabon Colours: Yellow, Green, Gold, Red Brown, Orange
Candles: Yellow, Gold, Red, Brown, Green or Plain Beeswax
Flowers & Plants: Asters, Chrysanthemum, Сarnations, Sunflowers, Chamomile, Nuts
Food: Apples, Pears, Wheat & Grains
Mabon Gods & Goddesses: Mabon, Cernunnos, Morrigan
Crystals: Citrine, Amber, Tiger Eye
Mabon Animals: Owl, Wolf, Dog, Eagle, Hawk
Incense: Myrrh, Pine, Cedar, Frankincense
So, what to do on this day? As always, let's remember that this ancestral pagan holiday did not necessarily contain many sophisticated rituals and tools. Just like the Mother Nature is herself, it was pure and simple and yet filled with gratitude and joy. And this is what we will strive for too!
First of all, are three main components of Mabon: letting go, being grateful and sharing successes. Let's break them all down.
Mabon Traditions: Letting Go
What is the ritual for the autumn equinox?
First and foremost, let's say farewell! Let go of everything that NEEDS to go.
While I will offer you a Letting Go ritual below, I want to also remind you that on Mabon it is customary to literally get rid of things. So, roll up your sleeves and get through that Fall time cleaning, ridding yourself of unnecessary things and junk. It will also be a good idea to perform a throughout cleaning of your home.
There are many ways to perform letting go and banishing rituals but here are a few quick ways you can incorporate into your complete Mabon ritual routine.
Mabon Letting Go Ritual: Burn It!
Letting Go With Fire Ritual Tools: -Paper -Pen -Black or Neutral Colour Candle -Lighter -Cauldron or any plate that can take on the heat
The simplest way to let go is with fire. There are two benefits to this ritual. First of all, it allows you to concentrate and release everything you've been holding inside on a piece of paper. You will re-live some of the moments, you may cry, and you may be feeling anxious. Know that all these emotions are NORMAL and a necessary part of the process.
The second benefit to this is that you are working using the cleansing energy of the Fire Element and it is an incredibly powerful tool.
Begin by lighting a candle. It can be a black or neutral colour candle. For Christian Witches, as always you can go with a Church beeswax candle.
Start this ritual with a meditation. Relax and concentrate your mind. Pick and paper and pen. Write down everything you want to let go of, starting with your name: "I, Susan Smith, on this day of Mabon release the following:....."
You can either make a bullet point list of things or just write down a story of everything you've been through that you no longer wish to carry with you into the Fall Season.
Once you are done, light your piece of paper on fire from your candle. Throw it into the cauldron or a plate and watch the Fire destroying your pain, past mistakes, people that hurt you and situations that brought you down.
You may conclude by saying: "And so it is done."
Mabon Letting Go Ritual: Cut It Off!
This is a quicker version of "Letting Go Ritual" that, as a matter of fact, you can perform at ANY TIME when you feel you need to cleanse yourself or you have built up to much negativity or stress.
All you need for this Ritual is Athame, or any ritual knife.
If you don't have one and have no time to order one for Mabon, you can use any knife BUT the moment you use it for ritual work, you can no longer use it in cooking. The handle of the knife should ideally be black and made of natural material.
* Disclaimer: Athame often tends to b blunt while the regular knife can be quite a sharp object, so be careful making your magick! For this reason, it is best if you perform this ritual in nature.
Stand tall holding your knife in your dominant hand. Concentrate your mind. Take 7 deep breaths.
Imagine your knife being a vessel. With the tip of the athame pointing towards you, take the knife on the journey around your body, starting from the top. Imagine how the knife sucks out and collects all the negative energy, illnesses or worries. It is similar to when you are cleaning yourself with a herbal stick.
Work your way towards your feet. When you are done stand tall or sit down on your knees. Imagine everything you have extracted being inside of your athame. Now take a deep breath in. As you breathe out fast and with force stick your knife into the ground. This will help to empty the vessel. As you are doing this, imagine the energy going back to the Source.
Mabon Traditions: Show Off, Admire and Recognize
On Mabon it is customary to...show off and brag!
Of course, it comes from a tradition of showing off the results of your harvest and the hard work you've put in. People would decorate beautiful tables and create tasty dishes to impress their neighbours.
But we can definitely adapt this tradition to our modern life.
First of all, invite people over and repeat the old tradition! Stores and craft shops are now filled with beautiful fall decorations but you can certainly make your own.
You can also put some fall flowers, such as chrysanthemum and asters.
Tell your friends or family that is coming over that you would like to share all your accomplishments in the past year (from the time of last Mabon) and want to certainly hear theirs! Begin with the most important events but try not to forget anything and be as detailed as you want.
If you feel like people will not be interested to hear your stories, then find those who are genuinely interested in your life but don't forget that the interest should be mutually shared. Learn to also listen to others and recognize their victories with the same passions as you speak of yours.
You have no idea how inspiring it is! And if you are unsure, know that it's most important to just begin :)
Also, it is a great day to recognize your children and their accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem to you.
Mabon Traditions: Feasts and Treats
As I mentioned before, it is customary for Mabon to show off the products of your harvest.
But of course, those were shared with loved ones and guests were treated to tasty food. As you let your guests taste the food, accept acknowledge good comments and praises (hopefully your cooking skills are on point though ha-ha!).
You can exchange gifts, or even have your guests bring over the food too so that you can share and praise each other. Recognition of the hard work your loved ones do is a very important part of Mabon.
You can also honour your Ancestors, especially those on your mother's side. Food or flowers offering is always a great choice.
Mabon Rituals: Invitations and Elemental Work
Mabon offers you the last chance to perform an invitation type of magick on a Sabbat for the year.
While you are doing the invite, try to incorporate Elements into your Ritual.
This is important, as you may want to balance the elements before Winter season comes.
The Air Element will be dormant for the next 6 months and balancing the Elements beforehand will prevent the feelings of tiredness and sleepiness that are so prevalent in Winter months. Don't mix those with a desire to sit quietly with a cup of hot tea watching the flames in your fireplace. This is perfectly acceptable and much needed.
How to easily incorporate Elements into your Ritual?
Choose materials that correspond to each element and place them on your Altar. Place them according to the hour directions:
East - Air
South - Fire
West - Water
North - Earth
What can you choose to represent each Element? Here's a quick list to choose from:
Air: Burning incense, ringing a bell
Fire: Burning herbs, lighting candle
Water: Pour water in chalice or simply a cup
Earth: Place some soil, salt or a plant on your altar
This will help to bring the energies of elements in balance in your ritual and your life.
Address each element and express gratitude for their help in your work.
What Is a Ritual Invitation?
Ritual Invitation simply means any work you do to manifest or "invite" something into your life.
It can include making a Spell or Manifestation Jar, doing Tarot or Rune magick or simply writing your wish on a piece of paper and setting it on fire.
Mabon is a great chance to work on Earthly matters, such and career or finance or perform abundance types of Rituals.
Whatever you choose, you may want to call upon the Gods or Ancestors to aid you in your working. Don't forget to express gratitude to the Gods or Goddesses of choice by making an appropriate offering.
I hope this Blog post helps you to plan your Mabon this year. Happy celebration and Mabon Blessings!