According to the old Celtic Calendar, Mabon was the second harvest following Lughnasa. It is a harvest festival and a time to honor the trees. All around us we can see signs of autumn as the trees begin to change color, which is another way of reminding use of their importance and magickal significance. Some examples include the Rowan, Birch and Hazel trees.
Rowan is a tree of protection; its branches and twigs can be made into amulets of protection and when planted outside cottage doors and farm buildings, protects both family and flock from lightening and harmful magick. It is also associated with Faery-magick. Depending on your part of the country, you may see Birch trees that are sacred to the Goddess and used as Yule Logs. The nuts of the Hazel tree are associated with wisdom and particularly with occult and ancient wisdom. Amulets of hazel nuts strung together with red thread are protective against harmful magick (Campanelli, pg. 138).
Mabon also coincides with the autumn equinox which falls on or near September 21st. This is a time when day and night are temporarily equal. It’s also considered a time for contemplation and reflection.
Part of the history of Mabon begins with its name, which is a deviation from a hunting deity, the child of Modron.
Modron and Mabon may be titles, rather than names. Modron is believed to mean mother or divine mother. Mabon may mean young man or son. Mabon is both the youngest and oldest of souls. He is eternally young and embodies male fertility. Mabon was stolen from Modron three days after birth and disappeared for many years being held captive i n the otherworld. Mabon fades into the afterworld at Samhain to emerge in spring, a mail counterpart to Persephone (Illes, pg. 210).
Autumn is a time for money, employment, new possession and water magick. You may wish to decorate your home with dried ears of colored corn. Ears of red, yellow and blue corn, sacred to many North American peoples, are beautiful symbols of the season. Gourds and dried sheaves of wheat are also highly appropriate decorations. These items also contain specific energies for your home and have powerful effects on our imaginations. Even though many of us don’t grow our own food, we are still reminded of the influence of the seasons.
Campanelli, P. (1992), Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions. Llewellyn New Times, St. Paul, MN.
Cornucopia. Photo credit: N02/2867405986/”>morano.vincent / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Illes, J. (2005). The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft. Harper Element, Hammersmith, London.