Mabon, the magical, Pagan harvest festival is on September 22nd this year. It marks the beginning of fall. Though part of me is sorry to see this glorious summer go, I welcome being able to sweaters and drink pumpkin chai again.
As westerners, we've let go of so many rituals. But they can be a comforting way to mark passages. I think they also help us be more present and grateful for what is. The seasonal, pagan festivals are especially useful for this. So here are five ideas to honor Mabon.
1) Decorate for the harvest. Some of my witchy friends create altars with autumn leaves and orange and yellow candles. I'm not much of an altar person myself, but I like to get out my harvest wreath and hang it above my fireplace mantel on Mabon.
2) Do a gratitude practice. Mabon marks the final harvest. What you've planted has come to fruition. This makes it a great time to meditate on everything you're grateful for. Consider it the Pagan version of Thanksgiving.
3) Celebrate with harvest foods. In my house, it's not a party unless there's food. You might not be quite ready for pumpkin pie, but there are all sorts of fabulous harvest-style foods available -- baked apples and wild mushrooms and squash. And wine! Set out some harvest-colored candles and make dinner a real affair.
4) Find your balance. On Mabon, there are equal hours of sunlight and dark. This makes it a good day to consider balance. Where are you out of balance in your life? Are you working too hard? Is a relationship off kilter? You might want to try a mantra for the week of Mabon: I live my life with balance and ease. Or this yoga mantra: hare, hare, wahe guru.
5) Meditate on what you'll release. After Mabon, the cold and darkness grows. This makes Mabon a good time to contemplate what you need to let go of. You may not be ready to let go yet, and that's fine. This is only the first step: identification. Sit down with your journal or a piece of paper, get centered and quiet, and write down the things you'd like to let go of: clutter, misplaced guilt, whatever!
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.