“Back at the time of Ostara, the Green Man emerged from sleep, cloaked in leaves, with vines sprouting from his beard. He was young and energetic and readily took up the plow and began his task of fertilizing the fields. By the time we arrived in August, to the celebration of Lughnasadh, the Green Man had been busy, and we graciously reaped the fruits of the first harvest.
At this second harvest, we rejoice once more in the bounty of the Earth and the fulfillment and reaping of our labours, both physically and spiritually. But with the changing of the foliage in the Green Man’s crown, we see that he has grown tired. We invite him to eat and drink with us, before sending him to rest while we prepare for the coming of winter.
Today we celebrate the Autumn Equinox, known to us by many names, amongst them the Mabon or Alban Elfed. At this time of balance, we give thanks to the waning sunlight for providing for us the means to be fed and full through the long cold days of winter, and take a moment to pay our respects to the impending darkness.
There is little evidence that Mabon was actually celebrated in Celtic countries, and all that is known of Anglo-Saxon customs of ancient times is that September was considered a “holy month”. The term “Mabon” came into existence in the 1970s, with the celebration since becoming part of our reconstructed Paganism. It is said that the druids honoured the Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees; however, this evening, following this ritual, we will instead break breads together, toast with homemade jams and spreads, and share in each others’ company. And we will be thankful for all that we have, have had, and will come to have in the future.“
—excerpt from our Mabon ritual, York Redoubt, Halifax
Blessed Mabon to everyone!
May your bellies be full, your nights warm, and your hearts complete.
With the Fall Harvest just around the corner, I thought it might be time for another lifestyle post, with some fun Mabon family/group-friendly activities.
Mabon is the second harvest and is celebrated at the Autumn Equinox. Mabon is the Welsh God of all things wild and free. He is also associated with the Sun God, whose power dies on this day. During Mabon, we give thanks to the spirit of vegetation for the sacrifices made so that we can live through the winter. The Goddess at this Sabbat is the grandmotherly crone, warm and wise.
- Have a Pot Luck or Harvest Feast and share your harvested fruits and veggies. Give thanks and respect to the harvest and share stories of your plans for the coming winter months. It is good for everyone to share and be part of a group.
- Take some time to prepare your yard for the coming winter months. Clean up garbage and branches. Maybe even extend your clean-up to a nearby park or around your neighbourhood. Kids can help tidy or play outside (fresh air is always great), and everyone benefits from helping our Mother Earth and having a clean space.
- Create a decorative wreath or hanging for your front door using seasonal dressings like acorns, pine cones, and corn bundles. You can incorporate the colours of the season by using red, orange, and yellow ribbons to finish it off.
- Honour the wildlife in your yard by making a homemade bird feeder and watching the wonderful friends it brings to your yard. (Below are basic instructions for making your own, with an easy-to-follow guide for children too.)
How to make a toilet paper roll bird feeder craft:
What you’ll need:
- Toilet Paper Rolls
- Sturdy sticks, 2 per roll, 6-8 inches long
- Bird seed
- Peanut Butter
- String or ribbon
- A Hole Punch
Here’s how to make it:
- Punch 2 holes in one side of the toilet paper roll, aligning them evenly across from each other. This will be used to tie the string for hanging.
- Punch 4 holes into the opposite end of the toilet paper roll, align them evenly. These are for the sticks that the birds will perch on. Try to put one set a little higher than the other so the sticks can be pushed all the way through without interference.
- Insert the 2 sticks into each hole, going in one side and out the other in the corresponding hole. Wiggle and push in sticks gently (you don’t want the holes to rip or get too loose —the sticks might fall out!)
- Center each stick. They should be crossing each other like an intersection and should stick out enough for a bird to perch on either side.
- Holding the lower part of the feeder below the sticks, spread a light layer of peanut butter on the upper part of the toilet paper roll and cover in bird seed. The back of a spoon can we helpful to slather on the peanut butter and press in the bird seed. Be careful not to cover your holes at the top.
- Cut string to your desired length. Tie your string to the top of the bird feeder through the two holes you cut in step 1 to make it hangable. Now you are ready to hang your homemade bird feeder craft and admire!
Enjoy and have a Blessed Mabon!