Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mabon Preparations

I've spent the last couple of days finishing up my preparations for the Fall Equinox, or Mabon.  I've decided on altar decorations and dinner menu, on midnight rituals and daytime activities.  As you can probably guess, this is the beginning of my favorite time of the year!  :)  The days are getting shorter and cooler, the foliage is starting its fall show, and it's almost time for warm fires, soft sweaters, and mulled wine.  Almost.

The focus on Mabon falls on as many different aspects as there are Pagans, but I've decided to limit myself to my two favorites:  The Second Harvest Festival, and Balance.

Mabon is the 2nd of three harvest festivals.  The first is Lammas or Lughnasadh, which falls in the beginning of August and is a celebration of the first fruits of a traditional harvest, such as wheat.  The third and final one is Samhain, on October 31, which I'll talk about at length in the coming month.  The Autumn Equinox (known by Wiccans as Mabon since about 1970) is about being thankful for the harvest, and recognizing the need to prepare for the coming winter.  It's also about balance--night and day are equal at the equinoxes, which symbolizes balance throughout our lives.

So how does one go about celebrating the Autumn Equinox? Mainly, concentrate on the time of year.

Decorations, for altar as well as for home, should include signs of the season:  fall leaves in all their glory, gourds, acorns, corn husks, dried grasses, and so on.  The colors should also be seasonal:  russet, orange, brown, cranberry and the like.  Fill your home with scents of cinnamon, apples and baking bread.  For the menu, include local harvest items--grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts.  Also wine and grapes.  And don't forget the apple cider!

If you're going to cast spells, cast them on issues of balance or change.  As for activities, think of anything and everything you've always enjoyed doing in the fall.  About.com has some good suggestions at m/od/mabontheautumnequinox/tp/TenMabonIdehttp://paganwiccan.about.coas.htm . 
They are:
Find Some Balance
Hold a Food Drive
Pick Some Apples
Count Your Blessings
Honor the Darkness
Get Back to Nature
Tell Timeless Stories
Raise Some Energy
Celebrate Hearth and Home
Welcome the Gods of the Vine

I personally plan to take a walk in the woods, gather pinecones from my backyard, and  maybe even make a besom (a witch's broom). And some apple cider! My altar will hold small gourds, candles in seasonal colors, and a scale, and it will be covered in colorful leaves, pine cones, and other small treasures from my day outside.  My ritual will concern thankfulness and balance, and the meal afterward will consist of green beans with sherried mushrooms, roasted onions, roast meat, and red wine.  All rounded out by an apple crisp.

Welcome, Fall!

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