On the Wheel of the Year, Mabon is one of the three harvest festivals and has been celebrated for a millennium. In ancient times, the harvest marked the end of the fruitful months and was an extremely important turning point in the year. This was the time for people to calculate how well their crops did and were pressed to figure out winter food rations, to know if their families would survive the impending winter. While there was a lot of logistics and stress surrounding these issues, people also celebrated the harvest and gave thanks for the fruit of their labors, which were at their most abundant point. From this celebration came Mabon, a tradition that is still widely observed by modern pagans, witches, and Wiccans – Mabon is often called the “Witch’s Thanksgiving.”
Today, the spirit of Mabon still honors the hard work that we’ve put in during the year and is a time to celebrate the abundance of the earth, before winter sets in. While we now experience modern luxuries and can go to the grocery store for food in the winter, this holiday still encourages us to step back, reflect on our labors and to be thankful for our achievements, growth and successes. The themes and imagery woven throughout this harvest festival include baskets, autumn flowers such as sunflowers and mums, pumpkins, gourds, and apples. Root vegetables and meats are also abundant at this time, which is reflected in the traditional dishes and desserts from ancient times and customs. Since this holiday is focused on feasting, there are lots of yummy dishes and recipes for traditional foods, such as meat pies, soups, roasts, pumpkin and apple pies, and homemade breads around. You can find some of them hiding in our many books available on the website and in the Shop.
5 Easy Ways to get into the Spirit of Mabon
~ Feasting and decorating are the most traditional of methods, and can be interpreted individually and tailored to fit each person’s style and circumstance. Cooking and decorating the home, and altars, with Fall decor is a way to bring that festive Mabon energy into your space. These methods honor the earth, its bounty, and the colors of the season with acorns, pinecones, and wheat stalks especially fitting at this time.
~ Crystals can be incorporated into Mabon as well ~ Citrine, Tiger’s Eye and Smoky Quartz are resonate well with this holiday, and just like the incense and herbs, these crystals all create an earthy, protective, and warm energy.
~ Fruits too, hold great significance during the Fall. Apples are very symbolic, and are in season. They represent knowledge, fertility, and abundance. If you cut an apple across the width, you will find a perfect and natural Pentagram, which connects apples to pagan spiritual practices. Apple picking locally, making pie, or brewing apple cider is a wonderful way to connect with the ancient traditions of Mabon by participating in the same harvesting practices that would have been used thousands of years ago.
~ Fire was also symbolic and essential during the old times, it was the ultimate symbol of life, warmth, and survival. Because of this, bonfires were often hosted as part of Mabon celebrations, as the precursor for winter. *Tip – Even if you can’t light a bonfire where you are, place a brick of charcoal in a fire safe burner, and use that to burn your herbs or resins as an alternative (or in addition) to lighting a candle.
However, you choose to celebrate Mabon, remember that as with all Sabbats, there is no right or wrong way to celebrate ~ and we at Dreaming Goddess wish you harvest blessings and merriment!