Soon the mornings will be chilly and wet. Soon the bees will tire, and the bucks will shed the velvet from their antlers. Soon, the apples will be ripe for cider. The leaves will change colors while you aren't looking, then release them to flutter through the streets like schools of brilliant koi. In the distance, there will be chimney smoke. In your hands, a hot mug of something steamy.
The long days of summer have been waning as the hours of light and dark return to equilibrium. By late September the balance will tip, and we will be heading into the "dark half" of the year, taking with us all that we have nurtured to fruition under the sun.
Are you ready for Mabon?
What is Mabon?
Mabon (so named in the 1970s by Aidan Kelly) is a modern pagan celebration surrounding the Autumnal Equinox, inspired by the harvest festivals of numerous cultures throughout history. The best known of these was a week-long Greek festival called the Eleusinian Mysteries which centered around Demeter (the Goddess of grain and harvest) and the abduction of her daughter Persephone - a tale that ultimately explains why we have seasons.
Mabon is traditionally a celebration of the second harvest, indicating the culmination of the year's hard work and the community's capacity to survive the winter. It is a time for gratitude, not just for the bounty of the harvest, but for all the sacrifices made for survival along the way. It is both celebratory and solemn, intrinsically linked with the concept of death, the inevitability of change, the necessity of letting go.
This year the autumnal equinox takes place September 22nd in the Northern hemisphere, though folks who observe these seasonal holidays may adjust their practices to reflect the nature of their locations. Look around where you live. What indicates the changing of seasons where you are? What is in bloom? What is dying? What color is the sky, the sea, the prairie? When does the balance seem to tip for you?
Perhaps it's that first morning you pull a cardigan from deep in the back of your closet. Or maybe it's the moment you hear yourself ordering your Americano hot instead of iced. Whatever is it for you, that's Mabon.
How to Celebrate Mabon
Time to reap what we've sewn! Take this as literally or figuratively as you need to. Obviously, don't let the gifts from your garden go to waste, but remember to take a look back over all that you've been working on this year! How have you grown and progressed? What sacrifices have paid off? Don't deny yourself a moment of pride and accomplishment for how far you've come.
While you're contemplating that, don't forget to feed your eyes, your nose, your mouth, and your soul with the last of the late summer's bounty! You may not have a garden, but someone does. Find the nearest orchard, pumpkin patch, or corn maze and make a day of it, complete with hot steamy apple cider or some corn on the cob.
Or, take a drive and watch the slow motion sunset of the local flora. Remember you are part of this. Changing right along with everything.
Mabon has also been known as the pagan Thanksgiving, as it has traditionally been the time of year when farmers can see exactly how well their crops and livestock have done, thus determining how comfortably their family will be sustained throughout the winter. In keeping with the tradition, be liberal with your gratitude this time of year! Remember to thank the people who have supported and edified you, the land that sustained you, and the home that kept you safe.
Mabon is the perfect time to give of your bounty. Whatever you are rich in, be generous with!
Yes, the work of the growing season may be coming to an end, but the work of preparing for winter now begins. We may not have livestock to tend or hay to bale and store or sell, but we, too, can expect some seasonal lifestyle changes.
With the days getting shorter and the weather getting cooler, we will be spending more and more time inside. So, before we get snowed in with all our summer clutter let's cleanse and release the chaos! Now is the time to gut out the junk and get our homes organized so that later when it's disgusting outside, we can sink into a sanctuary that feels truly comfortable and cozy. Later you will thank you!
Celebrate with Loved Ones
As the warm season comes to a close, we know we may be seeing less of each other on a daily basis. All the more reason to draw our loved ones close and make this turning point a celebration!
Capture the Spirit
Mabon - our latest Limited Edition signature seasonal scent - is named for this holiday! It is both crisp and cozy, like when your cheeks are pink from the cold air but your fingers are hot from the steamy mug in your hands. Or like, the way autumn leaves look like fire but sound like rain.
Inspired by all the things you'd want to find in that steamy mug - like coffee, chai, or a London Fog - the Mabon scent collection strikes a dreamy balance with its blend of all natural essential oils and plant extracts, as an incense, perfume, and candle.