The Autumn Equinox is one of the Lesser Wiccan Sabbats as mentioned on my home page. It is
usually celebrated around September 21st (this year, 2010, it is celebrated on the 23rd) though it can
occur as early as the 20th, depending on the timing of the actual Astrological event. The Equinox,
whether it be Spring or Autumn, divides day and night equally. But during Autumn we begin to see
the waning of the Sun more obviously as the days continue to grow shorter until the Wheel of the
Year turns again to Yule.
This Sabbat symbolises the Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance - when the day and
night are equal. It is represented by such things as grapes, wine, vines, garland, gourds, pine cones,
acorns, wheat, dried leaves, Indian corn, Sun wheels and horns of plenty or Cornucopia.
Deities associated with Mabon include all wine Deities - especially Dionysus and Bacchus - and all
aging Deities. This is when the Goddess is in her role as Mother (Demeter is a good example),
Persephone (Queen of the Underworld and daughter of Demeter), and Thor (Lord of thunder in Norse
mythology). Some other Mabon Goddesses are Modron, Morgan, Snake Woman, Epona, Pamona and
the Muses. Additional appropriate Gods are Mabon, Thoth, Hermes and Hotei.
We honor The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders,
wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. We celebrate the aging Goddess as she
passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
From the moment of the Autumn Equinox, the Sun's strength diminishes, until the moment of the
Winter Solstice in December, when the Sun grows stronger and the days once again become longer
than the nights. Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries and marks the end of the second of
three Pagan Harvest Festivals, when the majority of crops have been gathered. It is considered a
time of balance, a time of darkness overtaking light, a time of celebration of the Second Harvest.
It is a time to honor the Aging Deities and the Spirit World. The ultimate purpose of Mabon is to give
thanks. Pagan activities may include the making of wine and the adorning of graves. A traditional
practice is to walk in wild places and forests, gathering seed pods and dried plants. Some of these
can be used to decorate the home or altar, others saved for future herbal magick. It is considered
taboo to pass burial sites and not honor the dead.
The Autumn Equinox is a perfect time to stop and relax, be happy with our life and giving thanks for it.
We may not toil the fields from sunrise to sunset every day as our ancestors did but most of us work
hard at what we do. We should stop and survey the harvest each of us has brought in over the
season. As our ancestors did, now is a time of giving thanks for the success of what we have worked
at. It is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the
drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to
finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation and reflection.
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