Mabon, around the 21st of Sepetember (this year it’s the 22nd), is the autumn equinox (when night and day are equal) but also some call it the pagan thanksgiving. It is a time for reflecting on the year and being grateful. For the modern pagan that might be promotions at work, grades in school or college or having good friends and family around you. But, our ancestors, whatever faith they followed, found themselves pinning their hopes on the physical, edible, harvest rather than the intellectual, financial or spiritual harvest that we are grateful today. We may use this day to reflect, but it was a crucial time for them that could mean life or death in the harsh cold.

After this day, the day retreats and leaves us to the cold cloak of the night. The God prepares now for his death, at Samhain, while we prepare for the times when the weather is cruel and the land is baron.

However, don’t mistake the coming months for times of isolation and misery. In this time – the winter time – people somehow are closer; for those who are hemmed in by ice and gale are surely hemmed in together. These were times of storytelling, sharing and drinking.

In the usual pagan paradox, we’re not just looking back but looking forwards.

It may seem hard to keep in touch with the cycle of the seasons when new technology has supplied us with a monotony of bounty after bounty, a constant stream of any food we could wish for and any item we dream of as long as we can pay the cost. But, you don’t have to till acres of land or toil in the kitchen drying meats to make your own winter preparations.

Take stock of your winter coats, gloves and hats and get the thicker curtains out to air, ready. Around this time you could try your hand at brewing herbal or fruit wines and beers, which are drinks that keep longer than others and do not freeze as easily as water (this would have been quite useful for our thirsty ancestors).

Live your craft.

I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in a household where we are so close to the elements and so aware of the seasons. When it’s cold, we have to prepare for ice, with snow chains and bottles of water in case the pipes freeze. When it is windy, it roars night and day. When it rains, we have to dig ditches for flood waters to run away from the house. Our winter preparations even include mending our Green Goddesses, in case we’re snowed in again. (They’re good for towing out the post man XD and at one point we were using them to go shopping)

My herb garden harvest has been poor this year – continuous rain meant my strawberries rotted on the plants and a rogue herd of sheep left me with very little of anything except about half my usual mint harvest. 😦 Our most important harvest of all, however, is fire wood. In the winter we might go through over ten chords of wood. Between us in the large house, with between 6 and 8 people living there, our tenants next door and my brother living in the caravan, all depending on wood for hot water and heating, we need a lot! We do most of the processing ourselves, which means we have to band together and work really really hard if any of us intend on having baths at all.

The job is hurried this year; poor weather in the summer and everyone having their own things to do now college has begun again it leaves us with tiny little pockets of time this September for us to prepare and store wood that needs to last us right up until February, when the weather starts to improve again.

Mabon is an important time for me and I think I feel closest to the seasons at this particular time of the year. My gratitude at Mabon is for the sunny days we need for cutting wood and the strength of our family and friends who help us.

Thank you




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Veronica
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 11:12:21

    what a lovely post and so true of your home. I also find this time of year a quieting time to think about what has been provided for us by nature ,yes still managing to harvest what mother nature has so kindly grown for us,but also the fact that its almost time for the earth to rest and recuperate from the harsh time it has. Yes i agree it is time for family to start snuggling up together but for me that is always a good thing :). love light blessings xxx


  2. uniwitch
    Sep 18, 2012 @ 10:15:23

    Great advice I best keep to heart. I’m in Alaska this year… brrrrrr. Thanks!


  3. Trackback: Making Mabon your own « Pagan Pair

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