There are eight Sabbats through the year, celebrating the turning of the wheel of the year and the change of the seasons. The eight Sabbats consists of four solar holidays and four cross-quarter days, marking the shift from one season to the next. The four solar holidays of the year are Ostara – Spring Equinox, Mabon – Autumnal Equinox, Yule – Winter Solstice, and Litha – Summer Solstice. The four pagan cross-quarter holidays are Samhain, which is also considered the witches new year, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh.
Mabon – Automnal Equiinox, Second Harvest, September 21st/22nd .
Season + Element: Fall and the element of water
Incense: Cinnamon, Clove, Apple.
Stones: Yellow Agates, Lapis Lazuli, Citrin, Cats eye, Amber.
Food: Apples, pomegranate, wheat, seeds, squash, pumpkin, wine, cider.
Decorations: Pine, acorns, apples, grapes, seasonal flowers, candles.
Colors: Yellow, Orange & Red
Deities: Mabon, Phersephone, Inanna, Demeter, The Horned God.
Tarot: The suit of cups
Chakra: Svadhisthana – Sacral Chakra
Corresponding Moon: Last Quarter Moon – symbolizing doing inventory, letting go and creating space.
Mabon, the autumnal equinox, is the midpoint between Litha, the summer-solstice, and Yule, the winter solstice, and is considered a time of harvest and preparation. To Pagans, Mabon is almost like a sort of Thanksgiving, recognizing the gifts of the harvest and seeking blessings for the approaching winter months.
Mabon is also considered the time of the dark God of the second harvest and is the son of the Mother Goddess. According to the legend, Mabon was kidnapped and imprisoned as a child, and later on freed and transformed into a young god. His story symbolizes the autumnal equinox: Mabon – as the sun – disappear into darkness, and are later returned, like the sun in the spring.
At the equinox, night and day are equally long all over the world, and thus this festival is a time of balance. Take time to do your own personal inventory, and to reflect upon life and what brings you and your life back to equilibrium. A the longer nights again takes over and the climate gets colder, life around us withdraw to tend to themselves. As plants and trees wither and die, their attention goes to their roots, and the healing, nourishing energy of the earth, and as such, Mabon is a time to slow down and tend to your own roots as well. It is a time to ponder our inner lives and to make plans and plant seeds for the future.
There are an abundance of rituals connected to the Sabbaths, and what’s listed below are simply suggestions. Always follow your heart and do what feels right for you ♡
Write a gratitude list
Mabon is a day to count your blessings! Write down everything and everyone you are grateful for. And see if you can turn even the hard lessons into something appreciative. Remember that you would not be who you are without them!
Honor the darkness
The wheel is turning, and from this point the nights will be longer than the days. Honor the energy of stillness and introspection that comes with this shift. The busy summer months are over. Now it is time to turn inward, and spend more time nesting with your loved ones. Journal, meditate, contemplate and savor that feeling of peace that can only be found in the stillness.
Celebrate with harvest food
An easy way to honor this Sabbat is to create a delicious meal using the ingredients of the season, and invite family and friends over to share the love. Personally, I will bake my favorite honey bread, make a creamy soup with sweet potato and pumpkin, and serve baked apples for dessert. The perfect seasonal meal!
Go apple picking
…then enjoy the delicious taste of freshly picked apples. Bring apples back home and bake apple pie, apple cake, apple scones or baked apples for dessert. If you’re really in the mood, produce some delicious apple cider or apple jam to be enjoyed through the winter, or simply bring apples to decorate your home or your altar, bringing the sweet smell of fresh apples into your home.
Why stop at the apples! The autumnal equinox is a time to hoard for the long dark winter months. Go mushroom and berry picking, bake cookies, make homemade berry jam, ferment sauerkraut and kombucha, produce ale…the possibilities are endless. Get your hands on your favorite seasonal ingredients, then start to fill up your kitchen cabinets for the winter.
Smudge, cleanse and clean your home
Start by giving your home a good scrub. Clean out the closets and throw away or donate everything you have outgrown. Then, starting at the back of your house, smudge your way through your home with sage or frankincense ending at the front door, sweeping all the bad energies out. Finish with burning some sweeter incense like palosanto, to attract the good spirits to your home.
Find your balance
Equinox meaning equilibrium, this is a time to find our inner balance as well.Meditate, do yoga, hike in nature or book yourself a chakra balancing. Whatever helps you release and brings you back to center.
Renew your altar
Mabon is also a time to redo and renew our seasonal altar. Decorate the altar with gifts of nature like pine and cones, burn seasonal incense, and add candles, stones and crystals in the seasonal colors to truly honor your sacred space and the Sabbat. Use your imagination and follow your gut. What feels right for you and your altar around this time?
Taking time to journal and contemplate
As always, the Sabbats are times of reflection. Life is busy, and these days are all opportunities for us to stop, breathe and check in with ourselves. Just like the earth goes through seasons, and the moon through her cycles, we do too. So on these special days of the year; take time to honor where the earth – our beloved pachamama – is in her cycle, and take time to honor where you are too.
- Where does your life feel tight? Where do you need to create more space?
- What needs to go to create that space?
- What do you need in your life to stay centered and balanced?