Fall Equinox is also called “Mabon” from the Old ways of Europe.
The Fall Equinox marks the time of year when there is a crisp chill in the night air and the leaves on the deciduous trees turn vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow. Squirrels are busy running and collecting acorns or other nuts for the long cold months. Summers’ hot sun fades to a golden hue and the blue skies deepen. Plant life dies back in the gardens, fields and forests in preparation for the change.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Fall Equinox also called the Autumnal Equinox and it will fall between September 21st and the 23rd. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Fall Equinox is found between March 19th and the 21st.
The Autumnal Equinox marks the end of Summer. This Equinox is known by many names: September Equinox, Harvest Tide, Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Wine Harvest, Alben Elfed, Feast of Avalon and many more.
Mabon is the second of the three main harvest festivals. Harvest festivals were times when people would gather to pick the ripened fruits and vegetables of that time. Festivals were held at these times to celebrate, to gather, to connect and to honor the ever-changing seasons of life. The Harvest festivals are as follows:
Lammas is the first and is th eHarvest of The First Fruits.
Mabon is the second and is the Harvest of Abundance.
Samhain-Harvest is the Harvest of Winter Storage.
Mabon marks the point when day and night are of equal length like during Ostrara, or the Spring Equinox. From this time until Yule, the light will decrease, and the nights will become longer than the days.
The Autumnal Equinox recognizes change, specifically- life, death and rebirth, with a focus of death in this cycle. The Goddess is still in her Mother form as the land is still providing nourishment from the fruits of her womb, and we can feel the change in the air as she progresses toward her Crone aspect.
In traditional mythology, the Goddess begins to mourn the loss of her lover, the God. The leaves begin to fall from the trees as the tears fall from her eyes, plants become barren and animals hibernate as she goes into mourning until the God is birthed again at Yule. She mourns the passing of the God, but understands the birth is a renewal. In some stories, the Goddess follows the God into the Underworld, which is why the season change and the plants go barren. Some other traditions view this time as a rest for the Earth, a rebalancing from the energy of Spring.
For many people, this time of year is filled with mixed emotions. Just like the changes in the year, the earth transforms from beauty to more barren months and it carries with it a definite feeling of death and change.
It is a time of contemplation — a time to clear our minds and to clear out clutter. Fall is a time to remove or recycle things we no longer need. As the earth recycles organic matter, we can recycle our clutter that does not serve us.
Mabon is the son of the goddess Modron. In Welsh, Mabon means “son” and Modron means “mother”. Modron is depicted as the Celtic triple goddess.
The chief symbol of Mabon is the cornucopia, or the horn of plenty. This is widely used in Thanksgiving imagery for this modern harvest festival. The horn overflows with the bounty of Fall with vegetables and fruits. Its origins go back much further to old European harvest festivals and can be found in Greek mythology.
How to Celebrate Mabon:
You can make your own horn of plenty. Fill it full of nuts, fresh autumn produce, herbs and flowers. You could even add crystals and place it on your altar. You can make your own cornucopia or buy one in a horn shape.
Give it as a gift, or leave it outside for the animals to share its abundance.
Volunteer at a shelter and share food by serving others, so they may benefit from the season.
Tend your garden, gather seeds for the next year. Harvest what is left, or give it back to nature for the animals to share or store for the months to come.
Spend time outdoors, gathering as much sun as possible. Gather beautiful leaves to adorn your home or altar.
Colors associated with Mabon
Reds, maroon, oranges, yellows, gold, bronze, brown
Stones- Amber, topaz, citrine, tiger’s eye, sapphire, lapis
Herbs- Chamomile, milkweed, thistle, yarrow, saffron, hops, sage, rue, hazel- remember to drink chamomile tea too
Flowers-Marigold, sunflower, rose, aster, chrysanthemum
Incense- Benzoin, cedar, pine, myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood, clove, sage
Decorations- Cornucopia, gourds, acorns, pine cones,
Foods- Nuts, wheat and grains, bread, apples, pumpkins, squash, autumn fruits and veggies and wine
Please share in the comments below how you honor this time of Fall and the Autumn Equinox!
Written By Lynn Devine-McDonald, Priestess Path Lineages of Light Temple Keeper Initiate