Search This Blog

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Autumnal Equinox Celebrations

Autumnal Equinox Celebrations

"The Druids call this celebration, Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honor the Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees.  Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time....  Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to honor Aging Deities and the Spirit World...."
-   Akasha, MABON

"The definition of a Harvest Moon is: the full moon closest to the fall equinox.  The Harvest Moon was thus named because it rises within a half-hour of when the sun sets.  In early days, when farmers had no tractors, it was essential that they work by the light of the moon to bring in the harvest.  This moon is the fullest moon of the year.  When you gaze at it, it looks very large and gives a lot of light throughout the entire night.  No other lunar spectacle is as awesome as the Harvest Moon."
"The tale of Mabon of Modron, the Welsh God, (the "great son of the great mother"), also known as the Son of Light, the Young Son, or Divine Youth, is celebrated.  The Equinox is also the birth of Mabon, from his mother Modron, the Guardian of the Outerworld, the Healer, the Protector, the Earth. Mabon was taken after he is a mere three nights old (some variations of the legend say he is taken after three years).  Through the wisdom of the living animals -- the Stag, Blackbird, Owl, Eagle and Salmon -- Mabon is freed from his mysterious captivity.  All the while Mabon had rested within his mother's womb; a place of nurturing and challenge.  With strength and lessons gained within the magickal Outerworld (Modron's womb), Mabon is soon reborn as his mother's Champion, the Son of Light, wielding the strength and wisdom acquired during his captivity."

On the Autumnal Equinox, around September 21st, in Sacramento, California, Northern Hemisphere, Earth,
we have around 12 Hours of Daylight and 12 Hours of Nighttime. 

"Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!"
-   Night An'Fey,
 Transformation of Energy

"To many ancient people, the waning of the light signaled death.  For example, in Welsh mythology, this is the day of the year when the God of Darkness, Goronwy, defeats the God of Light, Llew, and takes his place as King of the world. To this day in Japan, the equinox is celebrated by visits to the graves of family members, at which time offerings of flowers and food are made and incense is burned.  The three days preceding and following the equinox are called "higan," or the "Other side of the River of Death."

"Drink a toast to Dionysus, the God of wine and ecstasy - The son of the Moon!   Gather with friends to celebrate the vine with a bottle of good wine and good cheer.  Catch the Moon's reflection in your cup and raise it up in salutation.  Now drink in Her essence and feel the presence of the God and Goddess."
-  September, The Harvest Moon,

"The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us.  If you can do that, and live that way, you are really wise."
-   Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC) 

"The ancients celebrated a full barn with crops and that the family and friends were all safe and well. It is also a time of balance, a balance of what we have and what we will have or have not in the future. Honour both the darkness and the light in our lives. A time for focusing on life, death and rebirth, a time to consider where we are and where we need to be.   This is the time of the Crone and her consort as he prepares for death and rebirth. She carries the sickle and scythe and is preparing to reap what has been sown. The earth dies a little each day; we embrace this descent into the darkness before we can truly appreciate the light and warmth when it returns.   The Druids call this celebration Mea'n Fo'mhair and honour the Green Man the god of the forest. The Norse call it the Winter Finding, which runs until October 15th, which is the Norse New Year. The Ancient Mayans observed September 21st as a special time in their calendar. In Japan there is a six day celebration around the Equinox. The Welsh make up Corn Dollies and hang them around their house, hoping for a good month. Other names for Mabon include: The Second Harvest Festival, the Wine Harvest and the Feast of Avalon.  The burning of a large wicker figure around this time was common for the Druids."

"Mythically, this is the day of the year when the god of light is defeated by his twin and alter-ego, the god of darkness. It is the time of the year when night conquers day. And as I have recently shown in my seasonal reconstruction of the Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd, the Autumnal Equinox is the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is possible to defeat him. Llew now stands on the balance (Libra/autumnal equinox), with one foot on the cauldron (Cancer/summer solstice) and his other foot on the goat (Capricorn/winter solstice). Thus he is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).  Two things are now likely to occur mythically, in rapid succession. Having defeated Llew, Goronwy (darkness) now takes over Llew's functions, both as lover to Blodeuwedd, the Goddess, and as King of our own world. Although Goronwy, the Horned King, now sits on Llew's throne and begins his rule immediately, his formal coronation will not be for another six weeks, occurring at Samhain (Halloween) or the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Winter Lord, the Dark King, Lord of Misrule. Goronwy's other function has more immediate results, however. He mates with the virgin goddess, and Blodeuwedd conceives, and will give birth -- nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) -- to Goronwy's son, who is really another incarnation of himself, the Dark Child.  Llew's sacrificial death at Harvest Home also identifies him with John Barleycorn, spirit of the fields. Thus, Llew represents not only the sun's power, but also the sun's life trapped and crystallized in the corn. Often this corn spirit was believed to reside most especially in the last sheaf or shock harvested, which was dressed in fine clothes, or woven into a wicker-like man-shaped form. This effigy was then cut and carried from the field, and usually burned, amidst much rejoicing. So one may see Blodeuwedd and Goronwy in a new guise, not as conspirators who murder their king, but as kindly farmers who harvest the crop which they had planted and so lovingly cared for. And yet, anyone who knows the old ballad of John Barleycorn knows that we have not heard the last of him."
-  Mike Nichols,

"The Fall Equinox, or Mabon, is celebrated as the final harvest of the season.  This holiday was pivotal in ancient times, since a good final harvest was crucial to surviving the winter months ahead.  This is the time of year where we truly reap what we have sown and we prepare for the long winter that lays before us.  The day and night are again equal in time and the God has traveled at last to His place of rest.   Now, He has sacrificed the last of Himself to provide us with a final harvest of food before the winter begins.  Celebrants gather to mark the turning of the wheel and to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice of The God, recognizing that He will be reborn at Yule.  This holiday has been called "The Witches' Thanksgiving" and is a time for feasting together with family and friends.  This is also the time to welcome the season of the Crone.  Kore' goes to the Underworld to learn the secrets of the Crone (or in some stories she is kidnapped by Hades), and the earth is bare as Her mother, Demeter, mourns Her loss.  But although the winter is before us, we know that the wheel will turn again, life will be reborn, and our blessings are bountiful."

"In late September, the sun crosses the celestial equator and there is a day where the length of the day and night are approximately equal. These days are called equinoxes, from the Latin meaning “equal night.” The autumnal equinox marks one of the lesser Sabbats, called Mabon, occurring around September twenty-second or twenty-third. Astrologically, this is when the sun moves into Libra. This holiday is the second harvest festival, falling during or at the end of the European grain harvest. It also known as the wine harvest, and often marks the beginning of hunting season. In one old Craft tradition, the fall equinox was named “the Night of the Hunter” and farmers would slaughter livestock too weak to survive the winter on this night.  Druids know this celebration as “Mea’n Fo’mhair” and honor the Green Man, God of the Forest, and his trees with poured offerings of ciders and wine. Norse pagans celebrate this time as Winter Finding, a time period that runs from the Sabbat until October 15th. This night is known as Winter’s Night and is the Norse New Year. The Wiccan New Year is also approaching at October’s end. It is known the ancient Mayans observed this date as well. At the pyramid at Cihickén Itzá, seven triangles of light fall on the pyramid’s staircase on this date only. In Japan, there is a six-day celebration around the equinox. This holiday is to honor Higan-e, the “other shore” and is based on six “perfections”: giving, observance of the precepts, perseverance, effort, meditation and wisdom.  By this time of the year, the days are visibly waning, the temperatures begin to cool and it is time to start preparing for winter. Many people like to refresh their altar(s) for this time, adding elements in autumn colors (orange, brown, gold, dark reds, rust) like acorns, pine cones, leaves, dried plants and herbs, apples, pomegranates, ivy and horns of plenty."

    "Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter's grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox.  The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the incarnation of fertility and abundance. Inanna descended into the underworld where her sister, Ereshkigal, ruled. Erishkigal decreed that Inanna could only enter her world in the traditional ways -- stripping herself of her clothing and earthly posessions. By the time Inanna got there, Erishkigal had unleashed a series of plagues upon her sister, killing Inanna. While Inanna was visiting the underworld, the earth ceased to grow and produce. A vizier restored Inanna to life, and sent her back to earth. As she journeyed home, the earth was restored to its former glory."

"For among the many excellent and indeed divine institutions which your Athens has brought forth and contributed to human life, none, in my opinion, is better than those mysteries. For by their means we have been brought out of our barbarous and savage mode of life and educated and refined to a state of civilization; and as the rites are called "initiations," so in very truth we have learned from them the beginnings of life, and have gained the power not only to live happily, but also to die with a better hope. ” 
-   Cicero, Laws II, xiv, 36; ELEUSIAN MYSTERIES

"At Harvest Home, the sun enters Libra, the astrological sign traditionally represented by balanced scales, and this is appropriate given the fragile balance in which the whole cosmos is poised on this day. Occurring at a point in the year when day and night are again equal in length, Harvest Home represents a time of balance and equilibrium in the natural cycle (as does the vernal equinox), but the thoughts which move us now are not the thoughts which captivated us in Spring. At the time of the vernal equinox, our thoughts turned from winter toward the lengthening hours of sunlight, the greening fields and gardens, and the new life bursting forth everywhere. Now with the harvest completed, the crops gathered in, and the nights becoming longer, we pause to enjoy the warm slanted sunlight of these golden autumn days, to give thanks for summer's bounty and to prepare ourselves mentally for the coming winter. The gods associated with Harvest Home are harvest (particularly the grape harvest) or vegetation gods such as Dionysus and Bacchus, gods in their maturity like Thor, Mabon, Thoth and Hermes, and nature spirits like John Barleycorn. The goddesses of this time are also mature deities associated with abundance, harvest, home and hearth, and they include Demeter, Ceres, Hestia, Modron, Morgan, the Muses and Persephone."

"This is the second harvest festival of the year, that of fruits and vegetables. Mabon is the Welsh God of  all things wild and free. He is also associated with the Sun God whose  power dies on this  day.  We also give thanks to the spirit of vegetation for the sacrifice made  so that we can live through the winter. The Goddess at
this Sabbat is the grandmotherly crone, warm and wise. Here are some ideas to get your  familystarted in celebrating this season:  Have a potluck feast with a group of friends and loved ones to  celebrate the abundance of the season.  Feel the warmth of being part of a community.   Adopt someone in a nursing home. As a family, take your special person  baked goodies and colored pictures. Read them books or tell  them stories.   Walk around your neighborhood picking up garbage. Do what you can to  improve your home and prepare for winter.   Pick a subject that interests the whole family.  Go to the library or find other resources and study that subject. Together, share what you've  learned.   Look at old family photo albums or scrapbooks. Try to tell stories about each person in the pictures.   Leave an apple on the grave of an ancestor. Cut an apple in half to show your children the star inside. This is a reminder that all life is  renewed in some way.   Bake cored apples filled with butter and cinnamon as a special treat.   Create decorations for your front door out of colored leaves, pinecones, nuts, acorns and Indian Corn bundles.   Take a walk in a wild place. Gather seedpods and dried plants.  Sing songs and talk about all the things you've done over the summer. Make plans for the winter.   Honor the birds and small animals in the wilderness or by your home by making a birdfeeder or mandala filled with seeds and grain.   Make rattles out of empty gourds and sunflower seeds or seeds collected from nature walks. Use the rattles to make music or scare away bad dreams.   Look at your family habits and figure out what you can do to improve your conservation habits. Can you use less water or recycle more of your  garbage?   Make a Vine God (stick-type male figure with a hollow body) filled with foil-wrapped cornbread and sacrifice him on the campfire (or barbeque!).  Give thanks to the god for his sacrifice and enjoy the cornbread!"

"The word "equinox" was derived from Latin term "æquinoctium" which, in turn, came from "æquus" (equal), and "nox" (night). It refers to the time that occurs twice a year when the nighttime is equal to the daytime -- each being 12 hours in duration. In Old English, the language spoken circa 450 to 1100 CE, called it efnniht."

"Everything that we know about the RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS of the pagan Anglo-Saxons comes from a book written by the Christian monk, the VENERABLE BADE, entitled DE TEMPORUM RATIONE, meaning The Reckoning of Time,  in which he described the calendar of the year. The pagan Anglo-Saxons followed a calendar with twelve lunar months, with the occasional year having thirteen months so that the lunar and solar alignment could be corrected. Bede claimed that the greatest pagan festival was MODRANIHT (meaningMother Night), which was situated at the WINTER SOLSTICE and which marked the start of the Anglo-Saxon year.   Following this festival, in the month of Solmonað (February), Bede claims that the pagans offered cakes to their deities.  Then, in EOSTUR-MONATH Aprilis (April), a spring festival was celebrated, dedicated to the goddess EOSTREand the later Christian festival of EASTER took its name from this month and its goddess. The month of September was known as Halegmonath, meaning Holy Month, which may indicate that it had special religious significance. The month of November was known as Blod-Monath, meaning Blood Month, and was commemorated with ANIMAL SACRIFICE, both in offering to the gods, and also likely to gather a source of food to be stored over the winter.   Remarking on Bede's account of the Anglo-Saxon year, the historian Brian Branston noted that they "show us a people who of necessity fitted closely into the pattern of the changing year, who were of the earth and what grows in it" and that they were "in fact, a people who were in a symbiotic relationship with mother earth and father sky"."

"To the Celts, Avalon is the mysterious place for the land of the dead and literally means the "land of apples". Thus this is a holiday for celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the desire for the living to be reunited with their deceased loved ones.   The holiday is also named for the Welsh God Mabon. Mabon means the "great son". He was the son of MORDRED, kidnapped at the age of 3 and later rescued by KING ARTHUR. His life represents the innocence of youth, the strength of survival and the growing wisdom of the elderly. Perhaps it is this view of the cycle of life that brings Mabon to his most popular role, the King of the Other world and the God of Darkness. His myths overlap with other Gods such as the WELSCH GOD GWYN AP NUAD, which means "white son of darkness". He is seen as the God of war and death, the patron God of fallen warriors. Once again this is a representation or connection to the Land of Avalon.  The Purpose of Mabon as a holiday- Mabon represents the time of honoring the dead, visiting burial sites, giving thankfulness for the end of the harvest season and the bounty it provides. These are the themes of closing, letting go and remembering. For the year, the harvest and for those who were lost to land of Avalon during the year. Although many view the Harvest season as a celebration of life, it is also a celebration of death. The bounty you gather from your garden provides nourishment for you, family and friends. But it is also the death of those plants and vegetables which have been harvested from that garden. Thus Mabon is a celebration of the cycle of life."
 MABON FEAST by Junebug 

"Mea'n Fo'mhair honors The Green Man, God of the Forest, by offerings of wines, ciders and herbs. The Goddess is commemorated as she passes from Mother to Crone. Mabon is an occasion of the Mysteries and to honor deities and the spirit world.   Finery is worn in shades of red, maroon, violet, orange, gold, brown, yellow, russet and indigo. Jewelry is made with yellow topaz and agate, carnelian, sapphire, amethyst and sapphire, crystals. The feast includes breads, nuts, acorns, grains, corn, beans, squash, root vegetables, some seasoned with sage, dried fruits, pomegranates, grapes and apples spiced with cinnamon and cloves, ale, wine and cider. It’s a gathering of family as people ready for Samhain and a time to finish old business for a phase of reflection, rest and relaxation.   Activities include scattering offerings in harvested fields, making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and pods, walking in the woods and adorning graves with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have gone on. Spellwork is for protection, harmony, prosperity, balance, security, and self-confidence.   The animals of Mabon are dogs, wolves, stags, salmon, goats and raptors, especially eagles and owls, and black birds."

"Autumn Equinox, around September 21, is the time of the descent of the Goddess into the Underworld. With her departure, we see the decline of nature and the coming of winter. This is a classic, ancient mythos, seen the Sumerian myth of Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends of Demeter and Persephone. In September, we also bid farewell to the Harvest Lord who was slain at Lammas. He is the Green Man, seen as the cycle of nature in the plant kingdom. He is harvested and his seeds are planted into the Earth so that life may continue and be more abundant. Mabon ("Great Son") is a Welsh god. He was a great hunter with a swift horse and a wonderful hound. He may have been a mythologized actual leader. He was stolen from his mother, Modron (Great Mother),when he was three nights old, but was eventually rescued by King Arthur (other legends say he was rescued by the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle, and the Salmon). All along, however, Mabon has been dwelling, a happy captive, in Modron's magickal Otherworld -- Madron's womb. Only in this way can he be reborn. Mabon's light has been drawn into the Earth, gathering strength and wisdom enough to become a new seed. In this sense, Mabon is the masculine counterpart of Persephone -- the male fertilizing principle seasonally withdrawn. Modron corresponds with Demeter."

"The Fall Equinox, often called Michaelmas, is the last pagan holiday of the year and occurs somewhere around September 21st or so. This is a thanksgiving feast and signals the beginning of the 'Hunting Season', for deer and other large game, in many parts of Europe and North America. Thus, it is dedicated to the Hunting and Fishing deities and the deities of Plenty, in thankfulness for benefits received and hoped for. Outdoor picnics in the woods are a popular tradition in those areas where the weather is still good at this time of year. It is, also, known as Mabon, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Alben Elfed, and Cornucopia.   This is the time of the year when the god’s power weakens toward his death as the goddess reaches her full maturity as the Crone. It is considered the end of the harvest and a time of gathering in for the forth coming winter. It is a family oriented period during which pagan families draw together and reflect on the value of home and hearth."

"Activities of Mabon: Select the best of each vegetable, herb, fruit, nut, and other food you have harvested or purchased and give it back to Mother Earth with prayers of thanksgiving. Hang dried ears of corn around your home in appreciation of the harvest season. Do meditations and chanting as you store away food for the Winter. Do a thanksgiving circle, offering thanks as you face each direction - - for home, finances, and physical health (North); for gifts of knowledge (East); for accomplishments in career and hobbies (South); for relationships (West); and for spiritual insights and messages (Center). Decorate the table with colorful autumn leaves in a basket. Display the fruits of the harvest - corn, gourds, nuts, grapes, apples - preferably in a cornucopia. Or decorate with wildflowers, acorns, nuts, berries, cocoons, anything that represents the harvest to you. Like its sister equinox, halfway across the Wheel of the Year, the Autumn Equinox is a good occasion for a ritual feast. Plan a meal that uses seasonal and symbolic fruits and vegetables. You can serve bread, squash, corn, apples, cider and wine. Make some homemade wine or cordial gather and dry herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods. Make grapevine wreaths using dried bitter-sweet herb for protection. Use ribbons of gold and yellow to bring in the energy of the Sun, and decorate with sprigs of dried yarrowor cinnamon sticks. Make a protection charm of hazelnuts (filberts) strung on red thread. Make a witch's broom. Tie dried corn husks or herbs (broom, cedar, fennel, lavender, peppermint, rosemary) around a strong, relatively straight branch of your choice. Make magic Apple Dolls Gifts of the Harvest can be used to make tools and emblems that will remind us of their bounty all year round. Look for colored leaves. Collect fallen leaves and make a centerpiece or bouquet for your home. Save the leaves to burn in your Yule fire. Vist an apple orchard and, if possible, pick your own apples. Hang apples on a tree near your home. Watch the birds and other small animals who will enjoy your gift. This is also the time for replacing your old broom with a new one. As the broom corn is ripe now, besom making is traditional and magickal this time of year. Begin the festival with a vineyard or orchard harvest. You might check the farm lands in your area to see if there's an orchard or pumpkin patch that allows customers to harvest produce for themselves. Traditionally Sabbat festivals begin at sun set on the eve of the Holiday. You can use the daytime hours of this holiday eve to prepare baskets for harvesting the next day. Baking a pumpkin pie (from scratch if possible) is a wonderful way to bring in the fragrance of the holiday season."

"As autumn returns to earth's northern hemisphere, 
and day and night are briefly,
but perfectly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is ----
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest, 
may earth's weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts."

"The Sumerian goddess INANNA is the incarnation of fertility and abundance. Inanna descended into the underworld where her sister, Ereshkigal, ruled. Erishkigal decreed that Inanna could only enter her world in the traditional ways -- stripping herself of her clothing and earthly posessions. By the time Inanna got there, Erishkigal had unleashed a series of plagues upon her sister, killing Inanna. While Inanna was visiting the underworld, the earth ceased to grow and produce. A vizier restored Inanna to life, and sent her back to earth. As she journeyed home, the earth was restored to its former glory."

"Last day of Summer,
ripe red peaches drop
form is emptiness.
First day of Autumn,
pond completely dry
emptiness is form."
-  Mike Garofalo,

"The quest for wisdom was realized by pursuing the white doe (as the blue roebuck) under a wild Apple tree.   In the Welsh Câd Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees), the Apple is described as the noblest tree of them all, the tree that symbolized poetic immortality.   The Apple Tree is closely linked to Druids, in their aspect as magicians and shamans."In Druid lore, the essence of three sacred apples growing on the Tree of Knowledge came from three drops that fell from Cerridwen's cauldron, which correspond with the Druid's most holy symbol, the Three Rays of Light."   Bards (poets) and Ovates (shamans) carried apple branches, (with bronze, silver, or gold bells), called the Craobh Ciuil (Branch of Reason) as symbols of their office.   Pulling the Ogham stave Quert is a mandate to rest and heal yourself from strife, illness, fatigue, or injury. It is an invitation to regain your sense of wholeness and connection with nature. Associated with the holy isle of Avalon, the apple represents rest and healing, recovery, and a peaceful relaxing Otherworld journey to the magical isle.  Within the Apple Branch you are invited to work with "the divine madness of the shaman." It calls you to journey to the Otherworld by its many names - Avalon, Avallach, Tir na Og, Eamhain Abhlach. Apple also represents the spiritual warrior who fears not to travel beyond the mortal realm to face death, sacrifice, and hardship, in order to benefit his or her tribe. The apple branch represents shelter and protection on these intense shamanic journeys."
The Apple Branch in the Dianic Tradition 
 "I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
A point outside the glittering current;
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
My mind moves in more than one place,
In a country half-land, half-water.
I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air."
-  Theodore Roethke,
 The Far Field    

“The Wheel rolls more, and Autumn returns.
Cooler the rain; the Sun lower burns.
The coloring leaves presage the Year:
All things move into harvest’s sphere.
I vow to savor fruits first picked;
nor into grief shall I be tricked.
I vow to offer what once I spurned,
and face the Turning reassured.
- Asleen O’Gaea,
 Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon, p. 116.  

"Lord, it is time. The summer was very big.  Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine." 
-   Rainer Maria Rilke

"Hear us, Son of Two Mothers, Blessed Dionysus, God of Wine,
Lysian, Evion Bacchus, Many-named, secret and holy, fertile and nourishing,
Who brings the spark of life and makes the fruits to flourish and increase,
Resounding, Magnanimous Power, Many-Formed God of Health, Holy Flower,
Mortals find repose from labor in Your magic, and You are desired by all.
Fair, Bromian, Joyful God who bears the vined wand
Incline to these rites, Whether You favor Gods or mortals,
Be welcome and listen as Your mystics pray,
And come rejoicing, bearing abundant fruits." Dionysos! Dionysos!
He is sweet upon the mountains.
He drops to the earth from the running packs.
He wears the holy-fawn-skin.
He hunts the wild goat and kills it.
He delights in the raw flesh.
He runs to the mountains of Phrygia, to the mountains of Lydia he runs!
He is Bromios who leads us!
With milk the earth flows!
It flows with wine!
It runs with the nectar of bees!
Like frankincense in its fragrance is the blaze of the torch he bears.
Flames float out from his trailing wand
as he runs, as he dances,
kindling the stragglers,
spurring with cries,
and his long curls stream to the wind!
And he cries as they cry:
Blessed, blessed are those who know the mysteries of the god.
Blessed is he who hallows his life in the worship of the god.
Blessed is he whom the spirit of the god possesses,
who is one with those who belong to the holy body of the god.

Blessed are the dancers and those who are purified,
who dance on the hill in the holy dance of the god.
Blessed are they who keep the rite of Kybele the Mother.
Blessed are the thrysus-bearers,
those who wield in their hands the holy wand of the god.
Blessed are those who wear the crown of the ivy of the god.

Blessed, blessed are they: Dionysos is their god!"
-   Dionysos Autumn Equinox

"Leaves fall,
the days grow cold.
The Goddess pulls her mantle of Earth around Her
as You, O Great Sun God, sail toward the West
to the land of eternal enchantment,
wrapped in the coolness of night.
Fruits ripen,
seeds drip,
the hours of day and night are balanced."
-   Mabon Sabbat and Lore    

"Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green, 
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen. 
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so? 
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.
Call up your men, dilly, dilly, set them to work 
Some with a rake, dilly, dilly, some with a fork.
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly, some to thresh corn.
While you and I, dilly, dilly, keep ourselves warm.
Lavender's green, dilly, dilly, Lavender's blue, 
If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you.
Let the birds sing, dilly, dilly, And the lambs play;
We shall be safe, dilly, dilly, out of harm's way.
I love to dance, dilly, dilly, I love to sing; 
When I am queen, dilly, dilly, You'll be my king.
Who told me so, dilly, dilly, Who told me so?
I told myself, dilly, dilly, I told me so."
 Lavender Blue, circa 1680

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields
The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us
The bounty of your sacrifice
The warmth and the light of friends gathered around the bounty of the earth.
Dionysus, Osiris, Cernunnos, Dumuzi, Frey,
Lord of the grain,
 Autumn Equinox Celebration  

"O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not,
but sit
Beneath my shady roof, there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe;
And all the daughters of the year shall dance,
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. "
-   William Blake,
 To Autumn 

"As autumn returns to earth's northern hemisphere, 
and day and night are briefly,
but perfectly,
balanced at the equinox,
may we remember anew how fragile life is ----
human life, surely,
but also the lives of all other creatures,
trees and plants,
waters and winds.
May we make wise choices in how and what we harvest, 
may earth's weather turn kinder,
may there be enough food for all creatures,
may the diminishing light in our daytime skies
be met by an increasing compassion and tolerance
in our hearts."
-  Kathleen Jenks,
 Autumn Lore  

"May there be peace in the North;
May there be peace in the South;
May there be peace in the West;
May there be peace in the East.
May there be peace throughout the whole world."
-   Druid Blessing, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids

"The Wheel turns on - 'tis Mabon-tide.
Dawn and dusk abreast now ride
darkness, brightness, calm and storms.
The hand that holds the scythe transforms.
I vow this wisdom shall be my own:
poise will let my power be known.
From balance the Wheel now turns toward the deep.
Through Winter, by vow and faith, I'll keep."
Ashleen O'Gaea,
 Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon, p. 160. 

"Hail Freyja, Golden One! 
Holder of the glorious Brisingamen, that brings fertility and abundance.
As we love and honor you, may we find love and power within us. Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyja!
Hail Freyr, Harvest God!
Keeper of the rain and the sunshine!
As we love and honor you, may we find creativity and inspiration within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Freyer!
Hail Sif, Great Lady!
We come to this place grateful for your gifts.
Golden-haired goddess of the ripening grain, as we love and honor you, may we find beauty and grace within us.
Join us and accept our thanks.
Hail Sif!  
Hail Thor, son of the Earth Mother!
Strong and noble keeper of Thunder, Red-Bearded Guardian of us all, guide us through the seasons and the cycles of life.
We thank you for the fertility of our lands and for the abundance we have received this year.
As we love and honor you, let us find strength and wisdom with us.
Join us and accept out thanks.
Hail Thor!"
-   Kristen Madden,
 Autumn Celebration Ritual

"Great Goddess, Mistress of cats,
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,
Fulfill my greatest needs, O glorious one.
Teach me the magic I need.
Give me a glimpse of your deep wisdom.
Teach me in dreams. Enrich my life.
O Lady, you are Golden-Tears of Asgard
Lady of love, beautiful Vana-Goddess,
You are the Shape-shifter, the Sayer,
The Independent One.
Give me the strength and the magic I need."
 Prayers to Freyja  

"I call on Thee, kind Muse, to grant a gift,
To loose a stream of swiftly flowing words,
A spring of inspiration, crystal clear,
To nourish fruit from which to feed the soul,
A rushing stream to cleanse my inner eyes
So I may see the ageless mythic truth.
I ask assistance by these very words.
As I have prayed, so may it be!"
-   John Oposopaus  

"Day turns to Night, 
Light turns to Death,
The Dark Mother teaches us to dance.
Hecate, Demeter, Kali,
Nemesis, Morrighan, Tiamet,
Bringers of destruction
You who embody the Crone,
I honor you as the Earth goes Dark,
As the World slowly Dies.
Hail! Hail! Hail!
The grapes have been gathered!
The wine has been pressed.
The casks have been opened.
Dionysus and Bacchus,
Watch over our celebration,
Bless us with merrymaking!
Hail! Hail! Hail!"
-   Patti Wigington 

In swirling cloak of crimson,
of burnt orange and saffron,
You ride the winds of morning.
The scent of burning leaves fills the air;
the Second Harvest draws near.
Solitary once again You embody balance -
You are an archetype of the Self -
consummate, remote.
I long to follow as You seek the
formless wilderness
with never a thought to the cost.
You are the bright flame of morning,
impelling and unrestrained.
Bless me with Your passion."
-  Galen Gillotte,
 Mabon Morning Prayer  

"Autumn colors of red and gold
As I close my eyes tonight
Such a wonder to behold
I feel the Goddess hold me tight
Watch leaves turning one by one
Though it grows dark, I shall not fear
Captured bits of Autumn Sun
For Divine Love protects all here
Soon they'll fall and blow away
Through the night, until the morn
The golden treasures of today
When the shining Sun's reborn
When the trees are bare
Time to sleep, time to dream
And the ground grows cold
Till warm gold rays upon me stream
These warm memories."
-   Adapted by
 Akasha Ap Emrys
    Shared by Silverfox in Realms of the Earth

"Wind, fire, sea, stone
Breath, flame, wave, bone

Long light has lingered here, Earth still is warm,
Deepening shadows lost by the dawn.
Long darkness rising here, though heat lingers on,
Twist of the Equinox - Mabon has come.

Dead leaves fall silently, drift on the air,
Trees standing, slumbering - dry, cracked and bare.
Time passes quietly, echoing past:
Earth calls the winter in. Mabon at last!

Shadows through the mist I see:
Time passing silently.
Starlight, as the Spiral bends.
Moonlight, as the daylight ends."
-   Leanne Daharja Veitch,
 Mabon: Song of the Autumn Equinox  

"O now is the time of the Harvest,
As we draw near to the years end
Now is the time of Mabon
Autumn is the time to descend.

Old Woman waits patiently for us
At the threshold of the labyrinth within
She offers her hand that we may understand
The treasures that await at journey’s end.

O Great Mother has given of Her body,
We give thanks for Her fruit and Her grain
We then clear the fields so that next harvest’s yields
Will be full and abundant again.

Old Woman leads us through the darkness
Our most ancient and trusted of friends
She carries the light of spiritual insight
And leads us to our wisdom once again.

And as we journey through the darkness
And as we continue to descend
We learn to let go of what obscures our soul
And re-discover our true being in the end."
 Lisa Thiel, Circle of the Seasons: Mabon 

"Now is the time of balance, when night and day face each other as equals,
Yet at this season the night is waxing and the day is waning;
For nothing remains without change
In the tides of earth and sky. 
Whatsoever rises must also set,
Whatsoever sets must also rise. 
Celebrating, I will dance the dance of going and returning.
Farewell, O Sun, Ever-Returning Light,
The Hidden God, Who ever yet remains. 
He now departs to the Land of Youth
Through the Gates of Death
To dwell enthroned,
The Judge of Gods and Men,
The Horned Leader of the Hosts of Air.
Yet, as He stands unseen without the Circle,
So dwelleth He within the Secret Seed, 
The seed of newly repeated grain, the Seed of Flesh;
Hidden in the Earth, the Marvelous Seed of the Stars.
In Him is Life, and Life is the Light of Man,
That which was never born, and never dies.
Therefore, the Wise Ones weep not, but rejoice."

At the Autumnal Equinox, the daylight hours are equal to the nighttime hours.  Light and darkness are balanced.  The end of summer has arrived, harvesting is nearing completion, and the cooler days and longer nights and rains of autumn are anticipated. 
In Red Bluff, California, enjoying a Mediterranean climate, all our crops are irrigated.  The reservoirs, the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the dams, the ponds, the aqueducts, the wells, the pipes, and the irrigation ditches all keep all the plants, crops, animals, and mankind alive.  In our home sacred circle, Mabon is associated with due West, facing the great Pacific Ocean, symbolized by the blue pole/stile and the blue cauldron and well pot.  Water is precious to us, to All.  Without the wells we could not survive.        
We now know that the end of the long period of summer sunshine and heat, with little or no rain, is coming to an end.  The cooler days ahead will bring rain again soon.  The old dry half of the year is nearly done, and the wet half will begin soon.  We have two seasons: the cool wet season of November through April, and the hot dry season from May through October.  The end of the Dry Year is celebrated on the Autumnal Equinox, Mabon (late September); and, the beginning of the Wet Year is Samhain (Halloween), on October 31st.  Samhain is both the end and beginning, at the edge of the many worlds, past and present, a borderline time, a doorway into the Other Realms.  In our home sacred circle, the opening to the inner grove is between the East pole (Mabon, Alban Elfed) and the North-East pole (Sahmain, Halloween). 
The Salmon fishing season runs from early August through late October in our area.   The salmon come in from the Pacific Ocean and return north via the Sacramento River to the northern creeks and streams of their birth, to lay eggs and sperm, and then die.  Dying and rebirth - the theme of the high holiday.  Creeks like Battle Creek in our area are filled with salmon running and leaping up river to their place of birth.   
Grapes are harvested in the great valleys of Northern California during the period of August and September depending upon the varieties of grapes and purposes of use in winemaking.  Wine drinking is part of the Mabon celebration.  This is also the harvest season for apples, peaches, figs and prune plums. 
The Greenman is sacrificed at Mabon.  The Horned God of Wicca is sacrificed at Mabon.  The God goes into the underworld at Mabon.  We begin to plow under what remains of the past harvest, return something to Mother Earth, composting the past, leaving the stalks and fruitless plants to rot and replenish the earth. 
In Welsh legends, Mabon, Child of Light, son of the Mother Earth Goddess, Modron, is stolen as a infant and hidden behind the stone wall at Caer Loyw.  Later Kilwich, and his band of companions, overcome many obstacles and complete many tasks, and free Mabon from his captivity at Caer Loyw.  The Child of Light is freed from the darkness of Winter and released in the coming Spring.  For his reward, Kilwich gains the hand in marriage of the beautiful Olwen.   
In the Greek religion, Persephone (daughter of Demeter) now returns to the underworld to be with Hades for six months.  DEMETER, still angry about this choice of Persephone, and trickery by Hades, causes the world to grow cold, plants to die, and darkness (Winter) to descend on the earth. 

No comments: