Autumn has long been my favorite season when the fruits of the Earth and harvested, the colorful leaves paint the landscape and the air is literally permeated with magic. Now that we are entering this most special of seasons, I thought we could discuss another important fall festival: Mabon or Harvest Home. We have previously mentioned, Lammas, which falls of August 1st and is a celebration of the early Harvest. Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals (Lammas, Mabon and Samhain) celebrated by Wiccans and neo-Pagans and it celebrates the fullness of the harvest in the spirit of giving thanks to the Earth for the bountiful fruits and vegetables that she has provided. It falls of the Autumnal Equinox which this year is September 22nd.
Mabon is a rather recently codified holiday, although certainly based on ancient principles and celebrations. When the Wiccan Sabbaths and wheel of the year were compiled in the middle of the 20th century, the autumnal equinox was definitely an important event, but it was not until the 1970’s that famed scholar and expert in neo-Paganism Aidan Kelley gave this holiday the name Mabon based on the character from Welsh mythology Mabon ap Modron. Much of the traditions surrounding Mabon are borrowed from the English celebration of Harvest Home where country folk would gather to celebrate and give thanks for the full bounty of the harvest. The American celebration of Thanksgiving resembles in many respects the English Harvest Home celebrations of previous centuries and even today many churches have fall harvest festivals where congregants bring fruits, vegetables and baked goods to share with others and often a prayer or blessing is recited. Wiccans and Neo-Pagans have reclaimed the ancient celebration of the harvest in the form of Mabon and on this day many place offerings of fresh fruit and vegetables on their altars and perform rituals of thanksgiving to the Earth either communally or solitarily.
If you are interested in celebrating Mabon or Harvest Home, it’s really quite simple to put together a service of thanksgiving. If you have a home altar, you can simply place some seasonal fruits and vegetables on it and light a white candle and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all the blessings you have received and in particular for the abundance that the Earth has given us in the autumnal harvest. If you don’t have a permanent altar you can set up a makeshift altar on any table or flat surface. Also, in the spirit of community, share some fresh fruits or vegetables with friends and family or even bake some pumpkin-spice cupcakes or another fall inspired recipe and share them with others. The act of sharing food, which is so simple and widely practiced, is a spiritual ritual in and of itself as it fosters a sense of love, friendship and community.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and I hope you do something to recognize and enjoy this most beautiful of seasons. As always I wish you peace, happiness and abundant blessings!