Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Written and compiled by George Knowles
(The Autumn Equinox)
Mabon is upon us, sweet Autumn Equinox
A time of hope and balance, and of harvesting our crops
When day and night are equal, as on Ostara day
We share our food, our hope, our love, our God and Goddess'
Autumn Equinox is one of the
lesser Sabbats of the Witches calendar. In
the Northern Hemisphere it normally falls between the 21st-23rd September
(in the Southern
Hemisphere the equivalent Sabbat is Ostara the Spring Equinox). At
Lammas (1st August), we celebrated the first
of three autumnal harvests, and now as days and nights become equal and
darkness overtakes light, we celebrate the conclusion of the second harvest.
Mabon can be pronounced in various ways:
May-bun, May-bone, Mah-boon or Mah-bawn), and is commonly known by a
variety of names: The Second
Harvest, Harvest of First Fruits, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Festival of
Dionysus, Michaelmas, Harvest Home and Cornucopia.
The druids of old celebrated the Autumn Equinox
as “Mea’n Fo’mhair” in which they honoured the Green Man as the
God of the Forest by offering libations to trees.
According to the Celtic tree calendar Mabon is represented by the Vine (2nd
Sept – 29th Sept), and the season (23rd Sept-22nd
Dec) by the White Popular (Aspen).
While the waning sun still hovers in the sky and crops
continuing to be gathered, it’s a rush against time to reap in the harvest before the cold winter winds overtakes us.
After completing the corn and wheat harvest started at Lammas; the farmer turns his
attention to grapes from vines, apples from orchards, nuts, berries and other
essential fruits and vegetables. As
the days become shorter his efforts to complete the harvest are aided by the
light of the full moon. For this
reason the full moon closest to Mabon is known as the “Harvest Moon”.
Another name for this moon is the “Wine Moon”, for when
apples and grapes are harvested, the grapes are pressed into wine and apples
made into cider, both being favoured drinks of the season.
The grapevine in particular was considered sacred by early Pagans and
reached a height in popularity during the eighth century BCE.
The followers of Dionysus/Bacchus, the gods of wine and inspiration,
honoured the grape vine as a symbol of rebirth and transformation.
In addition to harvesting the crops, many other things need
to be accomplished for our continued survival.
Seeds of renewal for the following years plantings need to be
separated and stored ready for re-use. Contained
within them is the mystery of Life in Death, the spirit of nature in the guise
of the “Corn King”. He was
sacrificed at Lammas and now sleeps awaiting his re-birth and return in the
spring. As summer draws to an end
and winter approaches, nature withdraws its bounty and begins its period of
rest. Leaves fall from trees,
flowers wither and die, and birds begin their migration to warmer climes.
Mabon is also the start of the hunting season, and time to check
livestock’s (herd animals and poultry) ready for the winter slaughter during
the third harvest Samhain.
reaping is over and the harvest is in,
A harvest supper known as Harvest Home is traditional at
this time, when friends and family all gather together to rest and appreciate
the fruits of their labour. The
home is decorated with autumn coloured leaves, wheat sheaths, corn stalks and
cornucopias filled with seasonal fruits and nuts. The table is set and filled with such delights as roasted
meats, poultry, pork pies, hams, bread, potato cakes and vegetables,
followed by custards pies, cakes, fresh fruit and tarts.
Typical fruits of this time are apples, grapes, hazelnuts, pears and
peaches, all washed down with copious helpings of wine, ale and cider.
In the mythology of the Sabbats, at Mabon the “Lord of
the Harvest” dies in a willing act of sacrifice.
He descends into the earth to the Underworld there to await his return by
rebirth of the Goddess. Nature
declines and draws back its bounty in readiness for the winter and it’s time
of rest. The Goddess looks at the
weakening sun and a fire burns in her womb as she feels the presence of the God,
and so prepares for her own journey into the Underworld in search for him again.
Mabon far from being a term from antiquity when the Autumn
Equinox was referred to simply as that “the Autumn Equinox”, it was not
until recent times that neo-pagans began referring to it as Mabon.
Ronald Hutton, a noted pagan scholar and historian, claims the term was
first used by the American author Aidan Kelly during the early 1970’s, when as
a co-founder of the “New
Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn” he was drafting copies
for his much later book “Crafting the Art of Magic” published in
1991. Kelly has admitted that he
coined the modern term of Mabon (and other festival names) from literary sources,
in this case Welsh mythology, in his efforts to conceptualise modern pagan
In Welsh mythology Mabon is the “divine son” of Modron,
the Great Goddess of the Earth and the Otherworld.
As the story goes Mabon disappears or is kidnapped three days after his
birth (and the light of the sun diminishes), and is held prisoner in the
Otherworld (Modron’s womb). Where
he is held nobody knows, not even Modron, who seeks the help of friends to find
him. Eventually aided by King
Arthur (from the Arthurian legends) and guided by 5 anciently revered animals
(the Raven, Stag, Owl, Eagle and Salmon) they find Mabon at Yule, and release
him from his prison as the new source of Light.
In this story of Mabon it is easy to see parallels matching
the mythology of the Sabbats, but perhaps more fitting to natural events are the
Eleusinian mysteries associated with Demeter and Persephone from Greek
mythology. In brief, Demeter
is the Goddess of Corn, Grain and the Harvest.
One bright sunny day her daughter Persephone was out picking
flowers in a meadow, when the earth suddenly opened up and the God Hades dragged
her down into the Underworld, there to become his wife.
abducts Persephone - (Sculpture by
Demeter was naturally devastated and for the next nine days
looked everywhere for her, but to no avail.
In her distress Demeter consulted with the Sun god Apollo,
who revealed that her brother Zeus had pledged her daughter to Hades in a secret agreement. Furiously
Demeter left Olympus and disguised as an
old woman wandered the Earth in search of her daughter. Unable to find her she
retired to her temple at Eleusis and cursed the earth so no crops would grow.
Zeus became concerned at the resulting
famine and sent her a message asking why she was doing this. She responded stating there would be no renewal of the
earth’s bounty until her daughter was returned.
Zeus sent Hermes into the Underworld to seek the release of Persephone, but Hades was not willing to give up his wife completely. He knew he must obey Zeus however, so he enticed Persephone to eat a pomegranate seed before she returned with Hermes, and by doing so she became eternally bound to Hades and the Underworld. When Demeter learning of this trick she appealed to Zeus who declared that Persephone would henceforth live two thirds of the year with her mother, but the remaining third of the year must be spent with her husband Hades.
So delighted was Demeter to have Persephone back, if only
for part of each year, she lifted the curse she had placed on the earth
and revealed the Mysteries of nature.
She created the Spring Equinox in celebration of her daughter’s return,
and the Autumn Equinox to reflect the great sorrow she felt when once again her
daughter would journey back into the Underworld to be with her husband Hades.
Frieze of Demeter and Persephone
After revealing the Mysteries of nature, Demeter taught the people of Eleusis the principles of agriculture, and these they observed annually. Later these observances were adopted by Athens as official festivals, but under the influence of the Eleusinian priesthood. The most important part of the festival was the initiation of new Priests and Priestesses, which for centuries took place every year in the Telesterion Temple at Eleusis. While the Mysteries were reserved only for the priesthood, the festival was eventually opened to all Greek citizens.
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Cunningham's Encyclopedia Of Magical Herbs - By Scott
A Witches Bible -
by Stewart and Janet Farrar
Plus to many websites to mention
Written and compiled on the 12th
September 2008 ©
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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