Today marks the Autumnal Equinox and the sacred celebration of Mabon, for those who follow along with the Wheel of the Year. This is the final of the three harvest celebrations. It’s time to collect the last of the fruits from the vines, stalks and hedgerows, and to cut away the remains for turning to compost for the next year’s crop.
As you likely already know, or at least suspect, this is a time of equilibrium as the hours of daylight and darkness find themselves in exact balance. This only happens twice a year. (The first occurrence is at the Spring Equinox.) Basically this is a time of transition easing us from the brashly abundant and energetic Sun-dominant half of the year to the quietly fallow and introspective Moon-dominant half.
Acknowledging the transition is a gift. It allows us to regulate our systems in a slow and steady progression from one binary to another. Without it, we might find ourselves struggling to adapt to the sudden shift in light, temperature and temperament; and struggling with some pretty gnarly psycho-somatic symptoms, as well.
There is much to be gained from the conscious observation and ritualistic honoring of these annual rites of passage through time. It helps us to [re]sync ourselves with the cycles and rhythms of Nature. It gives us a deliberate and focused moment to check in with ourselves; to discover how we’re doing/being/feeling. It can also provide some loving motivation to make edits in our lives in support of a grander vision we might have for ourselves. (Complacency is an all too often side effect of this modern style of living we’ve cultivated, at least here in the US.)
There’s no one right way to construct a seasonal celebration of this kind. And my Mabon celebrations vary from year to year, depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m doing in the moment. However, in the spirit of offering some inspiration for those who might be seeking it, here are some of the practices I’ve incorporated into my various Mabon rituals over the years. These are all things that have benefited me in one way or another. Please take what works for you, and edit or disregard what doesn’t.
PERSONAL INQUIRY THROUGH JOURNALING
This is a perennial favorite way to check in with myself at any time of year, but it can be especially potent during transitional times such as the equinoxes. Sometimes I’ll just free-journal and let my pen release whatever it is that’s been resting within my subconscious nooks and crannies. Then I’ll read it back an hour or day later to parse it for clarity around what’s really go on in there.
Other times I’ll give myself specific prompts relating to seasonal themes and energetics so that I can take full advantage of that cosmic support as I delve into my own depths for guidance on what my Soul Self might be needing to manage the transition successfully. Here are a few prompts that I find especially fruitful at Mabon:
What have you managed to harvest in your life this growing season with the sweat of your own brow and the heft of your own sinew? How do you feel about your yields?
What is feeling ready to be culled from your proverbial garden at this time? These are the things that may have served you in the past, but have now outlived their usefulness. What will you do to sever these ties and release this excess baggage?
Where am I feeling imbalanced in my life? What does balance look like for me? What can I do to encourage more balance in these areas?
What intentions do I wish to set for the coming descent into darkness? What do I hope to accomplish by Midwinter/Yule? By Ostara/Spring Equinox? And what actions will I take to bring these intentions to manifestation?
HOST A CELEBRATORY MEAL
Ritualistic observances don’t always have to be super solemn affairs. They can also be fun. Reverence and mirth deserve equal billing. (Mabon’s all about balance, after all.) Whether you are hosting friends, family, romantic partners or your own sacred self, making a seasonally themed dinner can be a very practical and magickal way to celebrate the seasons. This is the last of the harvest celebrations, so there’s no shortage of delicious foods available for your choosing. Some of my personal favorites are winter squashes such as honeynut, acorn and delicata; grains such as polenta, quinoa and buckwheat; dark leafy greens; tree fruits and stone fruits.
A moment of gratitude before digging in can provide an added touch of the sacred to this celebration.
I love a bit of hands on magick in my rituals. This means that craft projects often play a role in my rituals.
The sky’s the limit when choosing what craft to employ. I say, as long as it have a personal connection and meaning for you, then it’s a winner. Some of my favorite crafts for Mabon are making a Witches’ Ladder, creating a horn of plenty, making flower crowns from seasonal blooms, making dried fruit + leaf garlands, and making natural bird feeders.
This is a constant in my life, as I’ve had a close relationship with the tarot for decades. But there are many, many forms of divination out there from runes to tea leaves to dowsing and more. Let your intuition guide you.
Divination is a super practical magickal tool for accessing the wisdom of your higher Soul self. The Soul self is the essential divine part of you that is guiding you through this mundane physical experience. It has a plan for you. Consulting your divination tool of choice helps you to realign with that plan, and being aligned with your Soul self brings more flow and more joy into life.
(Side note + shameless plug: If you’re interested in a professional tarot consultation with me, go HERE.)
However you choose to celebrate this sacred day, I am wishing you a blessed experience and a fruitful harvest. xoxo