The balance of light and dark, the Autumn Equinox, is also marked by the celebration of Mabon. A pagan holiday, a harvest feast, a time of gratitude and giving thanks to the Earth, and gathering together.
The Autumn Equinox, at 6:03pm PT on Thursday Sept 22, marks the turning point when the days get shorter and the nights get longer, as we head into a season of harvest, followed by a dormant slumbering period before the fertile rebirth of Spring.
Since ancient times, this balancing point between the light and the darkness has been marked by the feast of Mabon, a pagan holiday. It is the second of three harvest festivals that take place in the pagan “Wheel of the Year.” This “Second Harvest” is when farmers gathered foods like gourds, pumpkins, grapes, and apples.
It’s a time to give thanks for the summer and to pay tribute to the coming darkness. It is known as the “pagan thanksgiving,” and is celebrated by gathering friends and family for a feast, decorating your home with autumn colors, and going apple picking.
Symbols associated with Mabon include the cornucopia (horn of plenty) and pinecones.
The Mayan temple at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, known as El Castillo, is dedicated to a serpent god. During the fall equinox, people gather to see the “snake of sunlight”—at the precise moment the equinox arrives, it appears as if a snake made of sunlight slithers down the temple steps.
In Japan, the Buddhist celebration known as Higan or Higan-e happens during the week of both the spring and fall equinoxes. These celebrations are significant because, at the moment of the equinox, the sunsets exactly at due west—and Japanese Buddhists believe the afterlife is located westward. To honor the dead, people visit the graves of ancestors and loved ones, cleaning them and bringing decorations. It’s also a traditional time to visit relatives and to meditate.
Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials Guide to Mabon shows you how to perform rituals and work magic that incorporates the shifting balance between light and dark that reaches its pinnacle during the equinox.
Contains recipes, rituals, lore, spells, prayers, meditations, to help you explore the old and new ways of celebrating the seasonal rites that are the cornerstones of the witch's year.