1.) Find some balance.
Mabon is a time of balance, when there are equal hours of darkness and light, and that can affect people in different ways. For some, it’s a season to honor the darker aspects of the goddess, calling upon that which is devoid of light. For others, it’s a time of thankfulness, of gratitude for the abundance we have at the season of harvest. Because this is, for many people, a time of high energy, there is sometimes a feeling of restlessness in the air, a sense that something is just a bit “off”. If you’re feeling a bit spiritually lopsided, with this simple meditation you can restore a little balance into your life. You can also try a ritual to bring balance and harmony to your home.
2.) Hold a food drive.
Many Pagans and Wiccans count Mabon as a time of thanks and blessings — and because of that, it seems like a good time to give to those less fortunate than ourselves. If you find yourself blessed with abundance at Mabon, why not give to those who aren’t? Invite friends over for a feast, but ask each of them to bring a canned food, dry goods, or other non-perishable items? Donate the collected bounty to a local food bank or homeless shelter.
3.) Pick some apples.
Apples are the perfect symbol of the Mabon season. Long connected to wisdom and magic, there are so many wonderful things you can do with an apple. Find an orchard near you, and spend a day with your family. As you pick the apples, give thanks to Pomona, goddess of fruit trees. Be sure to only pick what you’re going to use — if you can, gather plenty to take home and preserve for the coming winter months. Take your apples home and use them in rituals, for divination, and for delicious recipes that your family can enjoy all season long.
4.) Count your blessings.
Mabon is a time of giving thanks, but sometimes we take our fortune for granted. Sit down and make a gratitude list. Write down things that you are thankful for. An attitude of gratefulness helps bring more abundance our way — what are things you’re glad you have in your life? Maybe it’s the small things, like “I’m glad I have my cat Peaches” or “I’m glad my car is running.” Maybe it’s something bigger, like “I’m thankful I have a warm home and food to eat” or “I’m thankful people love me even when I’m cranky.” Keep your list some place you can see it, and add to it when the mood strikes you.
5.) Honor the darkness.
Without darkness, there is no light. Without night, there can be no day. Despite a basic human need to overlook the dark, there are many positive aspects to embracing the dark side, if it’s just for a short time. After all, it was Demeter’s love for her daughter Persephone that led her to wander the world, mourning for six months at a time, bringing us the death of the soil each fall. In some paths, Mabon is the time of year that celebrates the Crone aspect of a triune goddess. Celebrate a ritual that honors that aspect of the Goddess which we may not always find comforting or appealing, but which we must always be willing to acknowledge. Call upon the gods and goddesses of the dark night, and ask for their blessings this time of year.
6.) Get back to nature.
Fall is here, and that means the weather is bearable once more. The nights are becoming crisp and cool, and there’s a chill in the air. Take your family on a nature walk, and enjoy the changing sights and sounds of the outdoors. Listen for geese honking in the sky above you, check the trees for changing in the colors of the leaves, and watch the ground for dropped items like acorns, nuts, and seed pods. If you live in an area that doesn’t have any restrictions on removing natural items from park property, take a small bag with you and fill it up with the things you discover along the way. Bring your goodies home for your family’s altar. If you are prohibited from removing natural items, fill your bag with trash and clean up the outdoors!
7.) Tell timeless stories.
In many cultures, fall was a time of celebration and gathering. It was the season in which friends and relatives would come from far and near to get together before the cold winter kept them apart for months at a time. Part of this custom was storytelling. Learn the harvest tales of your ancestors or of the people indigenous to the area in which you live. A common theme in these stories is the cycle of death and rebirth, as seen in the planting season. Learn about the stories of Osiris, Mithras, Dionysius, Odin and other deities who have died and then restored to life.
8.) Raise some energy.
It’s not uncommon for Pagans and Wiccans to make remarks regarding the “energy” of an experience or event. If you’re having friends or family over to celebrate Mabon with you, you can raise group energy by working together. A great way to do this is with a drum or music circle. Invite everyone to bring drums, rattles, bells, or other instruments. Those who don’t have an instrument can clap their hands. Begin in a slow, regular rhythm, gradually increasing the tempo until it reaches a rapid pace. End the drumming at a pre-arranged signal, and you’ll be able to feel that energy wash over the group in waves. Another way of raising group energy is chanting, or with dance. With enough people, you can hold a Spiral Dance.
9.) Celebrate hearth and home.
As autumn rolls in, we know we’ll be spending more time indoors in just a few months. Take some time to do a fall version of spring cleaning. Physically clean your home from top to bottom, and then do a ritual smudging. Use sage or sweetgrass, or asperge with consecrated water as you go through your home and bless each room. Decorate your home with symbols of the harvest season, and set up a family Mabon altar. Put sickles, scythes and bales of hay around the yard. Collect colorful autumn leaves, gourds and fallen twigs and place them in decorative baskets in your house. If you have any repairs that need to be done, do them now so you don’t have to worry about them over the winter. Throw out or give away anything that’s no longer of use.
10.) Welcome the gods of the vine.
Grapes are everywhere, so it’s no surprise that the Mabon season is a popular time to celebrate winemaking, and deities connected to the growth of the vine. Whether you see him as Bacchus, Dionysus, the Green Man, or some other vegetative god, the god of the vine is a key archetype in harvest celebrations. Take a tour of a local winery and see what it is they do this time of year. Better yet, try your hand at making your own wine! If you’re not into wine, that’s okay — you can still enjoy the bounty of grapes, and use their leaves and vines for recipes and craft projects. However you celebrate these deities of vine and vegetation, you may want to leave a small offering of thanks as you reap the benefits of the grape harvest.
Wicca chant: The leaves on the trees (by evestra)
Take a few minutes out of your day to meditate on the connectedness of everything? “The leaves on the trees reach up to the sky as their roots reach down through the deep, dark earth.”
Before you use a stone, it is important to cleanse and purify it. Cleansing is a physical removal of dirt or debris; just wash the stone in plain water and scrub it with a cloth or brush if necessary. Purifying the stone means cleaning its energy. Before you use a stone for any magical purpose, it should always be purified.
There are several ways to purify a stone:
- Leave it in sunlight or moonlight for a specific period of time.
- Bury it in a small dish of salt for one to three days. Salt is a natural purifier. Never use salt to cleanse a stone that has iron in it, such as hematite, or if it is set in metal, for the metal will rust.
- Bury it in a small dish of dirt for a measured period of time. Earth will accomplish the same purpose in the same way that salt does, though it may take longer.
- Immerse the stone in water for a measured period of time. Moving water will purify it faster, although leaving the stone in a small bowl of water for a longer period will work as well. You can add a small pinch of salt to the dish of water to speed the process, unless you are cleansing a stone set in metal or a stone with iron content, such as hematite.
How long you leave the stone to purify by your chosen method depends on hom much foreign energy is clinging to it. (see Attuning to Stones post)
This ritual honors the earth’s produce and bounty and allows you to participate in the season’s energy by performing the essential harvesting action. You can harvest something from your own garden or something wild. If you have a lot to harvest, choose the first or the last item you plan to harvest for this ritual. The harvesting tool will depend on what you are harvesting.
- Sharp knife, secaturs, scissors, or shears
- Small bottle or bowl of water
1. Standing next to what you are harvesting, reach out with your hand and sense that plant’s energy.
- I honor you, Earth’s Child
- I honor your growth, your flower, and now your fruit.
- I thank you for your energy
- Blessed be, Earth’s Child
- May I who harvest your fruit be blessed by the act.
3. With the harvesting tool, cut the fruit off the plant. Sense the energy of the plant when you have harvested its produce. Honor the difference you feel.
4. Pour the water at the base of the plant in thanks.
If some part of your home is lacking in a certain type of energy, you can set up a shrine to an appropriate element to balance that lack. If there’s a room where people tend to lose their tempers or energy runs too high, there may be an excess of fire energy that arises from its decor or as a result of how the energy flows through it. Try setting up an earth shrine or a water shrine to balance out the fire energy with stability or tranquility.