I can’t really go into what Mabon truly is in depth as I’m not a Wiccan and Mabon is a Wiccan holiday. However, I can say that Mabon is celebrated at the Autumn Equinox in the Southern hemisphere and the Northern. Most resources you’ll find about how to celebrate, when to celebrate and the correspondences are northern based.
While I have popped in some of the original correspondences, I have left out the ones that do not fit with Australia like seeing squirrels and an abundance of Acorns. We have more Galahs, Lilly Pillies and bark falling from gum trees as a sign. We also don’t really do they whole pumpkin patch thing, turkeys and harvest baskets.
Just an off topic fact I find hilarious, Pumpkins back in the 1600’s were called Pumpions. The earliest recipe for Pumpkin Pie is a document from 1670 called Pumpion Pie that had raisins and “Currans”. Yes, you read that right, Currans! Why did we ever start to add random letters to words that were fine as they were. Just thought I’d add in this little bit so you don’t think I’m too crazy when it comes to spelling some words out later on in this post. Anyhoo, back to the topic of what Mabon is!
What is Mabon?
Mabon is a Wiccan holiday and is seen as the Wiccan Thanks Giving. It is the Second Harvest on the Wiccan (or neo pagan) Wheel of the Year and also a time for acknowledging the Gods “dying” for the up coming dark half of the year. It’s a time of profound change within oneself and the earth, a time of perfect balance as the day is as long as the night before the days start to become shorter.
As I said before, im not Wiccan so I don’t know the lore/myth around this holiday but what I can say is I know many people believe that Mabon is ancient pagan holiday celebrated by the Celts. It’s not. The name Mabon was given to the wheel from a story of “Mabon ap Modron”, meaning the “Son of the Mother”, by a Wiccan man named Aidan Kelly. Also remember that Wicca was born in the 1930/1940s so no, it’s not ancient.
The Celts may have celebrated the Autumn equinox but there is no real hard proof if they did, what it was called and how it would’ve been celebrated. The only hard recoding’s of ancient “Celtic pagan” festivals we have is of the four Fire Festivals, Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa.
When is Mabon
Since Mabon lands around Autumn Equinox, the timing for Mabon is around the 20th to the 23st of March in the Southern Hemisphere. And if you’re like me, and like celebrate the true equinox, there are plenty of timers on google that will show you when the equinox actually is. If you’re not interested in that, the “traditional” date for Mabon in the Southern Hemisphere is the 21st of March.
These times are different in the Northern Hemisphere with Mabon landing on the 19th-22nd of September. Some still see these dates as being the “true traditional” timings even when they’re down in the southern hemisphere, but each to their own.
What to do on Mabon
- Bake a Pumpion “pumpkin” pie
- Cook up a feast
- Watch the leaves change and fall
- Start to plant up Garlic, Onions and winter foods
- Clean up around the garden home
- Give thanks
- Collect leaves and fallen branches to decorate your home
Herbs & Fruits
- Sunflower Seeds
- Lilly Pilly
Watch the Change
Though I don’t personally celebrate “Mabon”, I celebrate the Equinox. I watch the Elms and fruit tree leaves slowly change colour and start to drop, and the air start to chill. I finish up preserving all the foods from the Harvest at Lughnasa and yell at the birds to stay away from the Lilly Pillies! The day before the Equinox, it’s a great time to pick any fruits to create jams and stews for cakes and creams, and cook up a hearty soup or stew. Then, on the night of the Equinox, invite friends and family over for a feast, have a laugh around a bonfire (assuming there’s no fire restrictions) and say good bye and thank you to the Sun.
During this time, I’m usually filled with anxiety as I know the cold winter is coming, so burning some vanilla and calming herbs on the bonfire is a great way to calm these energies down and focus on slowing down. I also end up cooking a heap of roasts instead of pumpkin pies as I found that the pumpkin pie everything is really a Northern Hemisphere thing and I just don’t feel it. Scones packed with Lilly Pilly jam, cream and butter, with cups of tea, soups, stews, roast veg and meat starts to slow my energy down in a relaxing way. A way that allows me to understand that it’s ok to slow down.
Just keep in mind that the earth is slowing down, getting ready to rest up and so should you!
Speak in Spells again soon!