Happy Mabon! A fancy Pagan way of saying Autumn Equinox! I wanted to share ten well thought out ideas for ways you can celebrate this special day, and I hope that they are helpful for you!
A funny Twitter account I follow recently tweeted that if you want to freak people out, you should start referring to Fall as “The Harvest”, and I laughed way too hard at that. But it is! And there are so many harvest festivals in modern day culture and religion this time of year. Think about it! I mean, there’s the actual Harvest Festival in the UK, there’s Oktoberfest in Germany, and Dozynki in Poland. Even Rosh Hashanah shares some of the sacred significance of Mabon all the way down to the food they eat (apples, honey, bread).
Basically, Fall is here, and if you’re in the northern hemisphere, the weather is starting to cool, the leaves are starting to change, and the days are starting to get shorter. Throughout history, this is the time we harvest the crops we’ve spent half the year growing! That’s where this celebration comes from. So how can we honor this occasion today? I’ve got ten ideas for you, and they’re all super doable.
If you’re in the opposing hemisphere, you may be looking for the Ostara Guide.
10 Ways To Celebrate Mabon
1. Create/Redo your altar – A perfect way to set the mood for Mabon is to create an altar as a sacred space. Since this is Harvest celebration, you can also have a food altar, or choose to incorporate food into your regular altar as you see fit. Supplies/materials to consider using for your Mabon altar include: leaves, acorns, pinecones, grapes, apples, corn, vines, seeds, pumpkins, squash, gourds, nuts, pomegranate, twigs, feathers, bones, wheat, owls, turkeys, wolves, butterflies, Citrine, Yellow Topaz, Amber, Cat’s Eye, cinnamon, bread, candles, cornucopia, wine, and generally sticking to colors of red, brown, orange, and yellow.
2. Do some apple magic – Apples are huge for Mabon, and there are so many things you can do with them! You can obviously go apple picking, but you can also bake something with apples (pie, cider, fritter), bob for them, or you can cut to the center to find that hidden pentagram! PS – Did you know apple trees are representative of wisdom and guidance?
3. Balance things out – One of the most beautiful things about Mabon is that it’s an equinox, which is Latin for “equal light”. That means that this is one of the two days of the year where the northern and southern hemispheres will receive the exact same amount of sunlight! What a beautiful recognition of balance. Where else can you use balance in your life? Use this as inspiration to journal about where you could use more balance in your life or to do a balance meditation to get yourself back on track.
4. Get into nature – We’re talking about harvesting the earth, so why not get out there and get dirty in the earth? Go outside and play. In the leaves, in the forest, wherever you can, even if it’s your backyard or the park across the street. Go on a nature walk and collect things you find — hey, you could use these things to add to your altar!
5. Actually harvest something – I mean, we’re harvesting, so might as well do the thing, right? Do some research on canning and pickling your favorite vegetables and fruits for winter!
7. Cast an appropriate spell – Wanna get really witchy with it? Cast a spell that’s specific to this time of year! Ideas include promoting activism, wisdom, and/or community harmony. You can also say a blessing for teachers or prosperity for bees! There are tons of spells to look up online if that’s what you’re into. These are just some suggestions for topics.
8. Host a bonfire – Throughout history, harvest festivals end with a cathartic burning of a fire, so why not incorporate that tradition yourself even if that’s the only thing you do? Just the smell of a bonfire on a crisp Autumn day sounds delicious enough to me! Make sure you take full advantage of the fire to burn things (anything that’s not serving you, fallen twigs/dead nature), dance around the fire, and toast each other!
9. Research the Dark Mother/Goddess (Persephone) – This is the time of year that the days start shortening in daylight and we begin to honor darkness in our days and within ourselves. Many people associate the Goddess Persephone (AKA the Dark Mother/Goddess) with Mabon because she is ready to reap what has been sown. It can be a beautiful thing to look inward to our shadows, but be careful because sometimes inside the shadows lies intense fear and trauma.
10. Create a Harvest/Mabon ritual – Lastly, the best thing you can do for yourself is to just create a ritual that feels the best to you! There are tons of other things you can do to celebrate Mabon that I haven’t mentioned, and maybe you want to incorporate those into your own personalized ritual. For example, hosting a party/gathering for the full moon in September (Harvest Moon), roasting nuts, making corn dolls, visiting/riding horses, making a wreath, creating a basket or a cornucopia, bake bread, take an autumn-themed bath, make a witch’s broom, expressing gratitude, or host a drum circle. Make this the best Mabon you can have for yourself!
I made you a downloadable cheat sheet with the colors, crystals, apothecary, animals, foods, activities, and altar supplies for your ease. Download it for free below!
Photos: Maura Housley