More than Half of All Pagans Celebrate Mabon… But Why?!
Mabon takes place around September 22nd or 23rd each year (depending on which equinox the community chooses to celebrate it on) and marks the second harvest of the year. We all know that Lughnasadh was celebrated earlier in August, creating a unique time for Pagans to have two holidays within one season! Mabon is also known as the Witches Thanksgiving which emphasizes its significance in Pagan celebrations today.
Mabon is a very popular holiday among modern-day Pagans for many reasons so let’s dig into what makes this holiday so special! There are several varying themes surrounding Mabon including: The Dying God, The Second Harvest, Equality and Balance Between The Goddess and God, Fruits of Labor , Ancestor Honoring, Fall Equinox Sabbat , Light (the days start to become shorter and we can feel the Earth preparing for winter), and The Longest Day of The Year (The Summer and Winter Solstice). Additionally, Mabon is a time we can all bring together our communities to celebrate abundance.
A Pagan Thanksgiving!
Mabon marks the start of fall which makes it a great time to celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, many Pagans that I know exchange gifts with each other during this holiday as well as host parties or dinners where they share their bounty from summer with their community. This is a way for us all to give thanks for what we have been given, whether it be material items or beautiful experiences… we all have something to be thankful for!
Mabon is also known as the Second Harvest, which emphasizes the importance of this time in creating a successful harvest. Of course, we can never fully know where our food comes from and how it’s grown but we do know that most food is harvested around mid-fall and is usually tucked away in our cupboards or freezers; we enjoy it throughout winter and into early spring (depending on the crop). This means that Mabon is a great holiday for Pagans to think about: How they can provide more abundant lives for themselves and their families? What does abundance mean to them? Are there things they want to do more often or seek out in life? How do they intend to share their abundance with others? What can they do to make life more abundant for themselves and their communities?
Mabon is also about acknowledging the ever-present presence of death, which helps us appreciate what we have in this moment.
10 Ways You Can Celebrate Mabon
Create a fall altar: an altar is a great way to set the stage and create an atmosphere of reflection, appreciation, and contemplation. A fall altar can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. I've seen witches place it on their kitchen table to their whole homes.
Light a candle: Lighting a candle on your new fall altar represents the element of fire. Fire helps guide us from dark to light, from death to life, from over to rebirth. As soon as you light that flame, think about what it is that you want to release in your life and let go of during this time of year (you can also do this at Samhain).
Meditate: Meditation is a great way to tap into yourself and your higher self so that you have a better understanding of who you are, what your gifts are, etc. Let go of what no longer serves you in meditation so that you can step into the next phase of your life with grace and ease. Your higher self knows much more than your conscious mind does about where it is that you need to go from here – take the time to sit down in silence and just listen for once.
Make a list: Take some time to make a list of all the wonderful things in your life and be sure to include people and pets! Mabon is all about loving yourself, others around you, and what we have to be thankful for in our lives – so get writing!
Get creative: Whether you choose to carve a pumpkin, decorate the house with autumnal decorations, or even cook something from scratch – creativity is at the heart of Mabon and should be celebrated as such! It’s nice to really find that inner-artist during this time because it can remind us that we do have value to our lives – we just need to take the time to see it.
Have a family photo shoot: Take some pictures with your family members but remember to focus on who you love and cherish around you – not what clothes everyone is wearing or how great your hair looks! Those will come later…
Cleanse yourself: Light some incense, take a bath/shower, and light a candle to make sure you aren’t bringing in any negative energy with you before Mabon. You can also cleanse your altar and other things around the house if you feel like there is something hanging over the space that isn’t conducive to allowing positivity into your life after this time of reflection. Just remember: there is no such thing as “bad luck;” it’s all about how we think and what we allow ourselves to believe.
Harvest items for later: If you aren’t ready to let go of your Mabon items just yet, be sure to harvest them for later use! You can dry out certain things or even ask someone who may need/want some of the stuff if they would be willing to take it off your hands so next year, you can start fresh with all new items around the house. It’s always nice to have a little bit of everything around just in case you need it – especially during Samhain when we tend to reflect on our past selves even more.
Turn off the TV/Cell phone: As much as it may seem like a good thing to disconnect from the outside world, you are supposed to be reflecting on your life during this time so take some time for yourself and watch out for others who are being completely selfless! You can’t clear the path of negativity if you aren’t willing to do so yourself first…
Don't forget about yourself: It’s easy for us to get caught up in everything happening around us and all of the people we constantly have to take care of but please remember that you deserve happiness, love, and all of the great things life has to offer without always having another person by your side constantly reminding you that they aren't leaving because they gave their word! You are worth more than just staying in a miserable situation just because someone told you that they would stay when they don't even love you back anymore. You are strong, beautiful, smart, and just perfect exactly the way that you are. Never give someone an ultimatum because it takes two people to make a healthy relationship work but only one person to break it apart.
Don't forget to have fun during Mabon! It might be a tough time for some of us so take this opportunity to really explore all of the other things in your life that are great. Being able to come back from emotional lows is all about being grateful for what you have while still understanding the struggles others are going through...even if they aren't opening up about it. Allow yourself to find what makes you truly happy during this time and remember that not everything needs to be a competition.
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