The Mysteries of Mabon
|Autumn Sunset on Orkney|
When is it? 21st? 22nd? 23rd
For some people it's a 'one sabbat fits all' kind of affair which is completely cool, for others there is a more strict observance of a particular date or an event. This year the 'true' equinox here in the UK was at 2.54 am this morning 23rd September - a huge round of applause for anyone who got up to mark that exact point when the sun crosses the imaginary line of the equator on it's journey from North to South, I for one was sound asleep and probably snoring like a hibernating bear. That said, today is the day that I particularly mark, taking extra time to reflect on the year, to celebrate what I have and to let go of things that no longer serve me. Some extra time communing with my Goddess, preparing a lovely dinner for me and himself to enjoy this evening and we have special drinking ware that we use for Sabbats.
Just to really add to the fun we have our daughter's birthday on 19th September, this year as some of you may have seen on WWMG's facebook page she was 21 so a very special celebration, our younger child and my very own special second harvest. This means this is a date that we focus on too for our own reasons, I expect many many people before us have done that too. The Autumn Equinox is known as the Second Harvest and the date changes due to the orbit of the earth round the sun which varies between the 21st and the 23rd every year. So despite the ancient people of the world having a far superior knowledge of the turn of the wheel, the alignment of the sun, moon and stars than most of us will ever have (more's the pity) they didn't have google to check and the date may well have been fixed to reflect that. Some beliefs now choose a fixed date, often 21st whilst others prefer to be technically correct. nothing new there...Easter and Mother's day are movable feasts and dependant on the moon believe it or not. Easter is the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the Spring Equinox , unless that coincides with the Jewish feast of the Passover, then it is delayed a week - Phew! Ecclesiastical authorities have fixed Spring Equinox at 21st March for this purpose.
|Autumn Arachnid Activity|
Traditionally the Harvest would have been the all important activity around this time and reaping an abundant one would be cause for even more celebration. Mabon itself is a relatively new term. Our ancient ancestors would have been as likely to be nodding heads, hands folded and saying Namaste as they would yelling 'Merry Mabon' to passers by, it's a relatively new title adopted as late as the 1970's. Mabon is the name of an ancient Welsh God -the child of the light and son of the Earth Mother Goddess Modron in Welsh mythology. This means that among purists it's a contentious issue right up there with Ostara/Easter - but that's a thought for another day. My view is simply that it doesn't matter, celebrate away however you choose. Thanking our divinities for our harvests, our blessings and preparing ourselves for the darker months ahead is a pretty universal, joyous and wonderful thing!
Interestingly and perhaps unsurprisingly the word Harvest has it's own special roots in Germanic, Anglo Saxon, Dutch and Old Norse etymology, derived from words such as herbst/hervest/herfst/haust used to describe the period between summer and winter. Harvest as a time in the year clearly predates the use of Mabon which was more recently introduced in neo-paganism. Ancient texts and writings suggest that even in Roman times the seasonal shift of the wheel was known merely known as Autumn Equinox, more recent Celtic based traditions offer even more suggestions such as Alban Elved but seeing as no one was around to have a definite opinion - what the hell Merry Mabon!!
I love this photo, it's sheer beauty of death as part of life as the plants yield their fruits, their seeds to come back next year strikes me as a real representation of the time of year as the light and the dark are in perfect harmony. Not surprisingly there are a few dates that tie in with my Goddess Ker around now; the Feast of Ceres in Ancient Rome on the 18th and the start of the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone around the 23rd all so closely tied in with Ker as I know her. Perfect !
Have Blessed Mabon x x
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