Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mabon, Fall Festival of Abundance

Today we celebrate Mabon, the second of the three harvest festivals. This is a time where night and day are equal in length, from here on out the days will grow short, and the nights will grow long. In the ancient world, this was the time of year when people were preparing for the coming winter. Harvesting their fields and stocking up food and wood to ensure they would survive the long cold nights. It was also a time to give thanks to mother earth for her great bounty.

Many cultures celebrated a harvest festival. The Greeks celebrated Oschophoria which was a festival held for harvesting grapes for wine. In China they celebrate the Autumn moon with cakes baked with flour from harvested rice. Also in some of the Germanic countries, offerings of flour were made to Odin in hopes that he would protect their crops. It seems that most of the world celebrated the time of the harvest in some fashion.

On Mabon we honor the Goddess Demeter, Goddess of grain. Her famous myth deals with her daughter Persephone and her seasonal trip to the underworld. Now is the time when Demeter is mourning the loss of her daughter, and because of this all of the plants wither and die. When Persephone is returned back to her mother at spring, life begins a new and Demeter is happy once more.

Now is the time to turn inward and reflect on the darker side of ourselves. To walk the labyrinth of life and find balance in this time of self reflection. Take some time to shed some of the negative things that hold you down, this will make room for more positive things to move in. In all of life and nature, there cannot be light without the dark, and their cannot be dark without the light. It is the great balance that we all strive for.

On your altar, have symbols of fall and the harvest, such as little pumpkins, acorns, or fall leaves. Candle colors can be red, orange or yellow or a combination of all three. Have warm colored stones and burn Mabon incense. To represent the Goddess Persephone you might want to have a pomegranate, the fateful fruit that has kept her bound to the underworld for half the year. For Demeter I suggest grains of any kind.

Wishing everyone a blessed Mabon! Enjoy your celebration of Fall!

Blessings )O(

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