Mabon is traditionally celebrated on the Fall Equinox, which occurred on September 22, just after 10:00 AM EDT. This is not the actual moment of equal night and day, but instead refers to the Earth's position on the celestial equator. We are now three quarters of the way through the solar year. This is considered the beginning of Autumn.
Lore about Mabon also discusses the time of equal day and equal night, which didn't occur until September 25. Little known fact: the times of the longest night, longest day, or equal day and night do not typically line up exactly with the solstices and equinoxes. This information isn't stored in any one place that I have found, but it can be dug up with the assistance of NASA.
SIDEBAR: I'm very interested in this, because the Old Religion, or what we know of it from archeology, is very much about archeoastronomy, or ancient astronomy. It's about measuring time, and marking the passage of the seasons through ritual and celebration, aka the Wheel of the Year. For me, doing these things adds such a richness to one's life, and a real connection to the land and the cyclical nature of our world.
But back to Mabon. We are now deep into the harvest season which began at Lughnasadh, the grain harvest. At Mabon, we harves fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds. Where I live, it's time to harvest and preserve staghorn sumac, apples, chestnuts, spicebush berries, partridge berries, hog peanuts, acorns, and paw paws.
All through the harvest season, we bring in the crops, both physical and metaphorical. We can, freeze, dry, pickle, jam, and candy all these wonderful fruits of the Earth to prepare for the lean times of winter. It's a time for the whole community to come together to complete this important work, and a time to celebrate all the abundance with which we are blessed.
Spiritually speaking, we consider what projects and intentions we nurtured through the year. It is time to
harvest them as well. What have we been growing with our magical work? What did we envision last Yule, dedicate ourselves to at Imbolc, bless the seeds for at Ostara, and sow at Beltane? How did these things grow? What have we gained and learned?
This weekend, our community came together to prepare a giant feast. The food was largely grown on our farm or collected wild from our land. If we didn't grow or gather it, we bought it from a local farmer or vintner. It was amazing, and quite a production. We decorated our great hall beautifully with flowers, fruit, and greenery. After the feast, we continued our merrymaking with song and dance, which was easy to do with all of the musical talent in our community.
Right now, I feel such a sense of contentment and ease. I know that I am in the right place, with the right people. I am on the path. My harvest is rich. I am thankful!
I hope that your Mabon, your harvest, is rich and abundant. I hope that it sustains you through the winter. May you be blessed with food, shelter, love, and community. May you know the contentment and gratitude that comes with the hard work of harvest. May the beauty of Autumn soothe and comfort your soul. A blessed Mabon to all.
Blessed be and naho!