Pronunciation: MAY-bun, MAH-bun, MAY-vhon, or MAH-bawn
Themes: harvest, gratitude, abundance, balance, welcoming the dark
Other Names: Autumnal Equinox, Fall Equinox, September Equinox, Harvest Tide, Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon
Mabon at the Autumn Equinox and just like Ostara on the opposite side of the Wheel of the Year, at Mabon the days and nights are of equal length. And is typically celebrated on Sept 22, but since it changes depending what calendar you go buy, the 21st – 24th is acceptable as well. The Equinox occurs at different local times, so that depending on where you live, so it may fall the day before or after the date listed on any given calendar. The autumnl equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its apparent journey southward, and we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration.
Depending where you live, you are beginning to feel it in the air, the end of summer. Temperatures may still be warm during the day, but in the evening there is a coolness beginning to creep in. Leaves are beginning to fall and you may be starting to see some color on the trees. For me, I can even smell it in the air, that earthy smell of leaves beginning to decay and their sugars and organic compounds leave a scent in the air as the leaves break down, creating the classic musky-sweet smell. Mabon is a celebration of life and death, and giving of life again, the cycle of the seasons. As with Ostara, the theme of balance is highlighted here, reminding us that everything is temporary, seasons will change, and that neither dark nor light ever overpowers the other for long.
This as always a time to express gratitude to our higher power for the blessings in our lives, but harvest festivals especially so because we are receiving the earths bounty with the harvest. This holiday now a days take a moment to rest from our labor and relax, Labor Day.
Mabon was a Welsh mythological figure whose origins are connected to a divine “mother and son” pair, echoing the dual nature of the relationship between the Goddess and the God, Jesus and Mary. Whichever name you choose, enjoy your celebration and give thanks for the bounty of the Earth. Mabon denotes all of nature is in balance. It is a time to reap what you have sown. And giving thanks for the harvest the earth provides.
The colors of the autumn equinox are the colors that represent the autumn season, reds, golds, cream, hunter green, browns, buttery yellows and rich shades of purple! Typical decorations are, acorns, gourds, pinecones, leaves and the cornucopia filled with autumn fruits, winter squashes, late summer/early autumn flowers and nuts.
- An unscented candle in a harvest color— yellow, orange, brown, or in green to symbolize cash in hand
- essential oil of cinnamon, orange, or ginger
- Something to inscribe the candle with—a pencil, stylus, etc.
If you normally cast a circle or invoke a diety, directional elements, higher power, etc… before a working, do so now. Using a stylus or pencil, inscribe your Mabon intent on the candle. For example, if you need money to pay the bills, carve that on there in whatever way you feel called to; ie: symbols, words, etc.. it’s the intention that matters.
Once you’ve completed your inscription, anoint the candle with essential oil. Focus your intent into the candle, drawing the abundance of it to you. Clearly visualize your intent and what it will mean to you. How will it change your life? How will it affect those around you? What does it look like?
Light the candle, and meditate on the flame. Continue focusing on your intent, and imagine it building, first as a small spark, and then growing into a large ball of light. Maintain this image as long as you can, and then release it into the candle flame. Make sure the candle is in a safe place so as not to be a fire hazard (a bowl of sand is perfect for this) and allow the candle to burn out on its own.
Autumn Leaves Don’t Fall,
They Fly They Take Their Time
And Wander On
This Their Only Chance
Mabon Intention Setting Ceremony
A simple Mabon celebration you can do at bedtime is light a candle, close your eyes and breathe deeply for five minutes, giving thanks for all your blessings.
Fall Equinox (Mabon) Ritual
For good harvests and rewards ahead:
For this Mabon, or second harvest, ritual, we are going to balance the scales and mirror nature’s own division of light and shadow, which strike perfect balance on the two equinoxes each year.
- One white or cream candle to represent your light harvest
- A gemstone to represent your light (e.g., selenite, scolecite, clear calcite, quartz, or petalite)
- Palo santo, copal, or white sage for smudging
- One burgundy or black candle to represent your dark harvest
- A gemstone to represent your shadow (e.g., black tourmaline, jet, golden sheen obsidian, or aegirine)
- A perfume or essential oil blend to integrate your light and shadow aspects
As you gather your Mabon tools, divide them into two sides: light tools and shadow tools. For the first part of this ritual, you will want to keep them separate; later in the ritual, you will be guided to mingle them, acknowledging the intimate dance of light and shadow.
Smudge the items you have gathered, and on the left, or yin, side of your altar, place your burgundy or black candle, your perfume or essential oils, and your gems that represent shadow. On the right (masculine), or yang, side, place your white or cream candle, your gems that represent light, and your smudging herbs. Take a deep cleansing breath and acknowledge on an energetic level that all these tools represent parts of you that need to be integrated into one dynamic whole expression. When you are ready, call upon your spirit guides to help you discern which items on the light side of your altar are ready to be moved to the shadow side, and vice versa. Is your light candle ready to glow upon your shadow stones, or vice versa? As you step forward in wisdom to move items on your altar as called by Spirit, enjoy the liberation that comes from blurring boundaries. You are not just light or just shadow.
Those are easy answers. You are all of it, and more. You are the slippage between the categories we believe are fixed. You are the exception to all the rules. And that is why your magic is undeniable and indefinable.
Once you begin to mix the sides, keep going. In the amalgam, your peace and your deeper purpose reside. Move the stones, the candles, the offerings. When a new balance has been struck, step back and take a closer look at the alchemy of light and shadow, the balance between the hemispheres of awareness. What lessons have been unearthed here for yourself? Take a moment here to breathe, connect, center, and receive messages from your guides. Finally, bring your hands to prayer position over your heart and give thanks for what you have learned. This is the hour of balance, and here you are, in the center of All, right where you need to be. Welcome this moment. Cheers to your balance, your integration, and your health.
Amen, A’ho, So it is.
Excerpt from The Book of Blessings and Rituals by Athena Perrakis, PhD © 2019
“Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!”
– Night An’Fey, Transformation of Energy
- Get in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and open your heart. Place your hands directly on your heart and take a deep breath in through your nose. Allow the air to flow naturally through the mouth releasing all that no longer serves you. Continue focusing on your breath until your mind has settled.
- Reflect on how you can bring in more balance and harmony into your life. Observe your thoughts and listen to the answers. Once the answer is received envision yourself throwing these thoughts into a river and watch them float away.
- Bring awareness to your breath coming in and out. With every breath, you begin to feel more balanced.
- Allow your mind to settle and say out loud, ”Balance and harmony is my birthright and I deserve it. I seek balance and harmony as it is found in the universe. I release what is old and no longer needed. I release what is blocking me from living a balanced life.” Repeat until you truly feel you’ve connected with these words.
- Sit in stillness for as long as you can, allowing some time for these words to seep into your mind, body, and spirit.
- Bring your awareness back to your body and your breath. Allowing yourself to be completely grounded and breathe in the balancing energy of the universe and the equinox.
- End your meditation sending gratitude to the universe and radiate this harmonious balancing energy all over the world.
Source: The Hoodwitch
Autumn Incense & Oils
Think scents of pine, sage, cinnamon, frankincense, sweetgrass, and myrrh!
Mabon Ceremony Oil
- 1 oz. grapeseed oil for base
- 5 drops cedar oil
- 6 drops rosemary oil
- 1/2 tsp dried marigold
- 1 apple seed
Crimson Leaves Incense
- 1 part Red Sandalwood
- 1 part Dragon’s Blood
- 1 part Storax Bark
Autumn Equinox Intentions/Activities
- Do a gratitude practice.
- Celebrate! This is a time of rest and merriment.
- Autumn crafts.
- This is the time to look back not just on the past year, but also your life, and to plan for the future.
- Find balance, literally, do some yoga and honor balance and movement.
- Tend your autumn garden bounty. No garden> Visit your local farmers market or roadside fruit and vegetable stand.
- Bake with fruits from the harvest (aka early autumn fruits).
- Take a hike.
- Complete old projects.
- Tell stories around a bonfire, drink hot apple cider.
- Write down all your blessings from the past year in a journal.
- Decorate your altar, table or fireplace hearth with acorns, pine cones, seasonal fruits and nuts, and/or a few of the first colored leaves that drop from the trees.
- Light candles in autumn colors like deep red, orange, brown, and golds.
- If you are one who struggles with seasonal depression during the fall and winter months, use this time to set an intention for inner peace and strength.
- Plant the seeds for new undertakings or even a change in lifestyle.
- Go apple picking. Or visit a pumpkin patch if they are open yet.
- Clean your house and get rid of stagnant or negative energy.
- Host a potluck Mabon dinner with your favorite people.
- Create a gratitude garland
- In a journal or notepad, answer these questions to the best of your ability: ”How am I calling in balance into my life? How can I be more balanced? What needs to be released in order to cultivate balance? What have I been growing in my garden of thoughts? How does this serve me?”
- Make apples into bowls! Carve out an apple so that the filling is gone and all that is left is a thick bowl-shaped apple shell. You can put small plants in these, offerings to spirits or deities, or you can place a candle inside. Put it on an altar or windowsill and it’s complete!
- If you have food to spare, donate some to a local food pantry. Also, if you have pet food or toys to spare, donate to those to a local animal shelter! Mabon is a great holiday to give back and donating what you can is a wonderful way to celebrate the equinox!
Mabon/Autumn Equinox Crafts
Foods Of Mabon
Vegan Mabon Raspberry Nut Spice Cake with Caramel Frosting
Bake in a rectangle glass pan on 350 for 45-48 minutes
- 4 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C Turbinado sugar
- 1 C brown sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 4 very heaping tbsp peanut butter powder
- 4 tbsp walnuts
- 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Caramel agave sauce
- 1 banana, mashed
- 2 1/2 C almond milk
- 3/4 C vegetable oil
- 3/4 small pack raspberries, whole or sliced
Cool the cake thoroughly (about an hour) before putting in the refrigerator (or glass may crack) to chill for an additional hour or two, or overnight, before icing with chilled frosting.
Frosting: Mix with an electric mixer :
- a stick and a half of vegan butter, then gradually mix in
- Erythritol Monkfruit Powder until desired creamy texture and flavor are reached.
- Mix in a little caramel agave syrup at a time, until desired flavor is reached.
- Frost cake, then decorate with apples, strawberries and caramel agave sauce.
Vegetable Pot Pie
Makes two pies, 12 or more servings
- 8 medium potatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered and finely chopped
- 3 cups diced vegetables of your choice
(choose 3 or 4 from among cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, corn kernels, zucchini, yellow summer squash, mushrooms, kale, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
- 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Two 9-inch prepared good-quality pie crust, preferably whole grain
- 1 cup fine whole grain bread crumbs
- Paprika for topping
Cook or microwave the potatoes in their skins until done. When cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice four of them and mash the other four coarsely. Set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden. Add the vegetables of your choice, layering quicker-cooking vegetables like peas, corn, and zucchini over longer cooking ones like cauliflower, broccoli, and leeks (though none of these are terribly long-cooking). Add a bit of water; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not overdone, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour into the skillet, then pour in the stock. Add the optional nutritional yeast. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. until the liquid thickens. Stir in both the diced and mashed potatoes. Heat through gently. Stir in the seasoning blend, thyme, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and pat in.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over each pie, then top with a sprinkling of paprika. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let the pies stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, then cut into wedges and serve.
Three Squash Soup
- 4-5 cups of squash (I used acorn, butternut & half a green pumpkin – I don’t recommend green pumpkin lol).
- 1 cup of milk substitute (I used rice milk, you can use almond or soy)
- 1 large carrot
- 1 med-large parsnip
- 1 medium onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Herb for garnish – I used parsley
- Maple syrup or agave to taste for sweetness
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds and compost them. Also, roughly chop up the carrot, parsnip, onion & celery (feel free to prepare the root veggies from our next recipe at this time to save on energy!).
Fill a 9X13 glass cake pan with approximately 1 inch water and place the squash face-down in the water. Take the chopped veggies, toss with the olive oil and place on a flat cookie sheet in a single layer. Put both squash and veggies in the oven to bake. This could take 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on your oven, the size of the veggies, yada yada.
Keep an eye on the veggies to make sure they don’t burn – but you want the squash skin to brown. Once the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool just enough so that you can handle them and scoop the flesh out of the shells (but not cold!) & put them into a food processor. I prefer to process the squash first until very pureed, and then add veggies and do the same thing. Add the milk, salt, pepper, cayenne at this time. If you did like I did and let the squash & veggies get TOO cold you can reheat this on the stove or in the microwave. Serve warm with herb garnish.
The Best Pumpkin Muffins – Taken from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz(I highly recommend this book!!).
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups sugar (raw sugar)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin (Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix!)
- ½ cup milk alternative (I used rice milk)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp molasses
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Fill the muffin cups two thirds of the way full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 8 – 10 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 large or 4 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into chunks the same size as the zucchini slices
- 5 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Tomato paste, to taste (optional)
1. Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add the onions, and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant and softened. Add zucchini and eggplant and saute about 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Add more olive oil as needed if the pan looks dry. Add tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer about 20 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.
2. Take off the lid, add other add-ins, if you like, increase heat to high, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes to evaporate excess liquid, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add a little tomato paste if using, and stir well.
3. Serve hot, or allow to cool and add a little olive oil before serving. Serves 6.
- 4 quarts Apple
- 2 quarts Water
- 1 1/2 quarts Cider
- 1 1/2 pounds Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
- 1 teaspoon Cloves
Wash and slice the apples into small bits. Cover with the water and boil until soft. Press through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. Bring cider to a boil and then add apple pulp and sugar and cook until it thickens, constantly stirring to prevent scorching. Add spices and cook until it is thick enough for spreading. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
Mulled Mabon Wine (alcoholic)
- 1 bottle of Honey Wine (Mead)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 3 strips of orange zest (or lemon)
- 3 oz of Brandy (optional)
On the stove or in a Crock Pot on low, combine ingredients. Warm to just below boiling (if you boil it, you’ll lose the alcohol) Serve warm in mugs, have alongside pumpkin pie or your favorite fresh-baked gingerbread cookies! For a holiday look, garnish with a cinnamon stick and curl of your choice of orange or lemon zest!
Mabon Mulled Wine (alcoholic)
This makes enough wine for a small gathering or small servings, for more just double the recipe
- 750 mL of your favorite red wine
- 4 cups of apple cider
- 3 anise stars
- 1 orange, juiced and zested
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 shot of Drambuie or Grand Marnier
Comine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve warm or let cool.
Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Heat on high for ten minutes. Heat on low for half hour. Serve warm or cold.