It’s that time of year again when the leaves start transitioning from green to warm tones of red and gold. There’s a nip in the wind, as the temperature begins its slow decline. Around the 21st to the 23rd of September marks the Autumn Equinox, otherwise known as Fall. This is the midpoint between the Summer and Winter Solstices. For pagan, the Autumn Equinox was celebrated with the festival of Mabon. It was known as the second harvest, as the remaining crops were being stored for the upcoming winter. This was a time of giving thanks for the blessings and abundances, such as a successful yield.
Today, modern pagans still celebrate the festival of Mabon, either collectively or solely. If you are looking to partake in this ancient festival of blessings and thanks, here are seven ways you can celebrate for yourself.
Go Apple Picking
For pagans, apples are a perfect symbol of fall. They connect to magic and wisdom, and symbolize the guidance for the winter months ahead. They are associated with the Pomona, goddess of the fruit trees. Honor Pomona or give thanks for the season by making a tasty apple pie, hot cider, or using them for divination purposes.
Drink some Wine
Autumn was a time associated with the harvest of grapes and wine. Many cultures had their version of ‘god of the vine’, and would honor them during the fall celebrations. Go to a vineyard, wine tasting, or just enjoy a glass in the comfort of your home. Incorporate wine into an altar ritual, as wine symbolizes fertility and the glass represents the chalice (or cup) used in pagan ceremonies.
Create an Altar
Change up your altar to incorporate the fall energies. Place acorns, grape leaves, apples, or other autumn crops on your altar. Colors associated with the season are warm reds, oranges, and golds. Use scents such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Add crystals such as smoky quartz, amber, or black tourmaline.
Go for a Walk in Nature
Pagan festivals often are connect to nature, either through a deity or simply based on the time of year and season. Talk a walk through a forest or prairie and admire the changing scenery and to reconnect with the earth.
Host a Feast
Mabon is like a witch’s Thanksgiving. It was a time where people show thanks for a good harvest by celebrating with food. Grains such as wheat, barley, and oats that were turned into bread was a common dish, as was root vegetables like beets, carrots, and parsnips.
Fall is a season of change and transition. It symbolizes the wisdom we have gained from the growth of the previous seasons. Take this time to reflect on yourself. Notice how far you have come, and all the changes you have encountered.
Honor the Dark Mother
A strong symbol of paganism is the triple moon goddess. This icon represents the three stages of womanhood: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. The crone is the stage that is honored during the fall equinox and is connected to the goddess Demeter and Persephone. It is the symbol of the ending stages, as fall is the transition from summer to winter, and it is important to remember that the end is an essential stage of life.