Friday, September 23, 2011
Mabon, Welcoming the Dark Mother
Today is the Autumnal equinox, also known as Mabon or the first day of Fall. It's the second of three harvest festivals before winter. The start of Fall symbolizes the dieing of the earth and her plants. In the ancient world people, usually the women, would be busy baking lots of breads and harvesting grain, and vegetables, preparing meats, as much as they could before all the crops died. It was a matter of survival back then. Every family had to make sure they had enough food to last them through until Spring. If they ran out in say February, it wouldn't be a good thing. So this was a very important time for the ancient people who lived before us.
Today, just like with the Spring equinox, night and day are of equal length. From now on the nights will grow long, and the days short. It is the time where the bountiful Mother of Summer begins to take her rest, and the Dark Mother begins her cycle. Just like in our lives we experience birth, death and rebirth. The seasons of the earth experience the same, again linking us, and all creatures, to our beautiful Mother Earth.
There are many myths surrounding the first day of Fall. Of course the story of Persephone and her journey back to the underworld. Now her Mother Demeter will mourn her loss until she returns to her at Spring when the earth becomes alive once again. Or the story of Inanna and her descent into the underworld where her sister Ereshkigal ruled. Upon her descent, Inanna was tricked and killed by her sister. While Inanna was stuck in the underworld, the earth ceased to grow. When a magical ritual was held, which brought Inanna back to life, the earth was restored and all the plants started to grow again.
Mabon is a great time for magic concerning prosperity, protection, and harmony. It is a time of balance and a time to give thanks for what we are blessed with in our own lives.
On your Mabon altar, have Fall colors of orange, yellow and red. Vegetables like gourds, squash and pumpkins, also grain and apples. Slice an apple down the center to see the symbol of the pentagram and place it on your altar. Incense with cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, and pine. Fall leaves, images of the Fall Goddesses; Demeter, Persephone, and Inanna. Also a pomegranate is a symbol of Persephone and her time in the underworld.
Wishing you all an abundant and harmonious Mabon! Happy Fall!
Image courtesy of Wendy Andrews
Posted by Tara at 2:00 AM