Mabon - Autumn Equinox
Mabon: (Celtic): Autumn Equinox, Winter Finding (Teutonic), Alban Elfed (Caledonii).
September 20 - 23 Northern Hemisphere / March 20 - 23 Southern Hemisphere.
During Autumn,we begin to see the waning of the Sun more obviously now as the days continue to grow shorter until the Wheel of the Year spins around again to Yule. At the Autumn Equinox, the days and nights are equal. It is a time of balance, but light gives way to increased darkness.
It is the second harvest, and the Goddess mourns her fallen consort, but the emphasis is on the message of rebirth that can be found in the harvest seeds. The Autumn Equinox is a wonderful time to stop and relax and be happy. While we may not have toiled the fields from sunrise to sunset every day since Lammas - as our ancestors did - most of us do work hard at what we do. At this time of year, we should stop and survey the harvest each of us has brought in over the season. For us, like our ancestors, this becomes a time of giving thanks for the success of what we have worked at.
Spellwork for protection, wealth and prosperity, security and spells to bring a feeling of self-confidence are appropriate for Mabon. Since this is a time for balance, you might include spells that will bring into balance and harmony the energies either in a room, home, or situation. Ritual actions might include the praising or honoring of fruit as proof of the love of the Goddess and God, and a ritual sprinkling of Autumn leaves. It is a good time to walk the forests, gathering dried plants for use as altar decorations or herbal magic. Symbols to represent the Mabon sabbath are such things as grapes, wine, vines, garland, gourds, pine cones, acorns, wheat, dried leaves, burial cairns, rattles, Indian corn, Sun wheels, and horns of plenty. Altar decorations might include autumn leaves, acorns, pine cones, a pomegranate to symbolize Persephone's descent into the Underworld, and a small statue or figure to represent the Triple Goddess in Her Mother aspect.Cornbread and cider are good additions to festivities.
The Simple Facts
Lughnassadh (pronounced "LOO-nahs-ah") or Lammas, is one of the Greater Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on August 1st or 2nd, although occasionally on July 31st. The Celtic festival held in honor of the Sun God Lugh (pronounced "Loo") is traditionally held on August 7th. Some Pagans celebrate this holiday on the first Full Moon in Leo. Other names for this sabbath include the First Harvest Festival, the sabbath of First Fruits, August Eve, Lammastide, Harvest Home, Ceresalia (Ancient Roman in honor of the Grain Goddess Ceres), Feast of Bread, sabbath of First Fruits, Festival of Green Corn (Native American), Feast of Cardenas, Cornucopia (Strega), Thingtide and Elembiuos. Lughnassadh is named for the Irish Sun God Lugh (pronounced Loo), and variant spellings for the holiday are Lughnasadh, Lughnasad, Lughnassad, Lughnasa or Lunasa. The most commonly used name for this sabbath is Lammas, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "loaf-mass". I just happen to personally prefer the Celtic name "Lughnassadh". (Images to the left and below are by Anthony Meadows and from Llewellyn's 1998 and 1999 Witches' Calendars. Click on either image to go directly to Llewellyn's Web Site.)
Next I will list several recipes appropriate for the Lughnassadh turn in the Wheel of the Year. I have gathered these from various places, noted on each...
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