Mabon

by Larissa

Happy Mabon

Happy Mabon!

Mabon occurs sometime between the 19th and the 23rd of September. This equinox notes the halfway point of the Sun’s path through the zodiac. The exact date shifts from year to year, marked when the sun moves from Virgo to Libra in the sky and crosses the celestial equator for the second time, now headed south.

The Sun enters Virgo August 23rd and leaves 22nd. Linked to the Earth harvest goddess, Demeter, Virgo invites us to take chances stemming from a place of confidence. We should accept our gifts and hone our skills. During this time take in the bountiful harvest, show beauty and the power of the goddess in all the work you do.

The sun enters Libra the 23rd and remains til October 23rd. The balance sought by the scales of Libra is, for a moment, found as days and nights; light and dark, become equal. While in Libra, allow focus to be on outward manifestation for the last time before turning inward. This turning point, as summer turns to fall, is when achievements are measured. This time represents justice, intelligence, gentleness, thanksgiving, and charm.

Mabon is the second of three harvest festivals carrying a theme of mysteries. A fairly neo-pagan holiday, Mabon combines a vestige of ancient harvest festivals. Cultures of all kinds use the equinoxes as traditional times to celebrate planting and the harvest season. Nonetheless, seasonal and astronomical events occur at equinoxes and are readily observed by the natural world.

This is a time of ritual thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth, and recognition of the need to share them to secure future blessings. Colors associated with Mabon are red, orange, and brown. Some plants used as symbols include: anise, benzoin, cedar, chamomile, clove, frankincense, honeysuckle (woodbine), juniper, myrrh, fir, roses, rue, sage, thistle, and yarrow. Include any of these herbs or oils in combination with stones and candles to create your own solitary Mabon ritual. Make notes in your journal or book of shadows to fine tune your ritual for next year.

I was inspired to include this suggestion to create a ritual by”Cunningham’s Book of Shadows”. In the back appendix there is a memoir written by David Harrington. He talks about exploring nature like the old ones did, rather than from books in a library. Not to say there is ANYTHING wrong with books, or that one should not know and honor the Craft.  Moreover, it is a reminder to get out and create one’s own experiences in addition to versed rituals.  Here’s a little maple leaf ritual from Scott Cunningham to bring success.

You will need:

  • a candle holder
  • an orange candle
  • colorful maple leaves.
  1. Arrange the leaves around the base of the candle holder(not too close!)
  2. Visualize success you wish to achieve
  3. Light your candle and say: “I call upon Jupiter to aid me please
    Bring abundance into my life by the power of three

    I am open to new opportunities and success.
    As this maple leaf spell spins out, may I be truly blessed
    By the power of the harvest and of the herbal trees
    In the best possible way-abundance will come to me!”
  4. Allow candle to burn out, gather maple leaves and leftover wax, tuck inside an envelope and keep to further empower your spell.

At autumn equinox we’re reminded that in all endings, there are also beginnings, and fields which are cut down will also one day rise again.

Lughnasadh

by Larissa

Lughnasadh, also called Lammas, is the first of three harvest festivals celebrated on August 1st. It marks the sun’s mid-point of leo in the tropical zodiac. Symbolically, this Sabbat is a time of gain, or ripening of fruits. The promise of Spring planting is realized.

Also called Loaf Mass, this is a time for baking bread and harvesting wheat, berries, crab apples, and grain. As summer passes, remember with happiness its warmth and bounty in the food we eat. Be reminded that nothing in the universe in constant. Everything goes through a cycle of seed beginning, followed by established growth, corruption and decay, death, and often in a wiser more integrated form; eventual rebirth.

This holiday, synonymous with burial, birth, and bread  is not a somber time. Now the sun fades and dies, the crops will be cut down. He is life itself, his spirit has been passed into every kind of harvest. Changed, he is reborn for life itself can never finally die. Bread is baked to symbolize the sun’s life energy reborn, this is the bread of life which arises from the sun’s sacrifice.

Think of this time as a harvest of your own life. Perhaps you made resolutions at new year or Candlemas, are you reaping rewards or still stagnant in growth? Lammas is a time to really think about any long-term harvest you may hope for. Think and visualize your “harvest” and what results you’d like to reap. This could be love, wisdom, prosperity, earth healing, children, etc. Whatever your goal, Lammas meditation removes obstacles and replaces them with long-term ideals. Here is a little blessing to recite with your intentions:

“now as the sun pours out his strength upon the earth, that the crops may ripen and the harvest may be great, I too offer my strength to Mother Earth. I bring forth….. (your intention to protect earth from further harm, where and when you can, or whatever goal or intention you wish to manifest).

Gather with family and friends and give thanks for the first signs of harvest in your life as well as in the field. What you do in fun and celebration on Lammas will enhance creativity in life.
Bright Blessings!!!!

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