Mabon occurs on the autumn equinox and signifies transition, balance, and abundance.
The autumn equinox is often referred to as "Mabon" and is the second of three harvest festivals. The first festival is Lughnasadh and the last is Samhain. These festivals are held in honor of Mother Earth and her generosity, for it is she who allows fruitful crops in our gardens and food on our tables. Each harvest festival celebrates and honors a slightly different aspect of the growing season. Mabon is considered the fruit harvest because it is during this time that fruits such as apples and grapes reach their prime. An iconic symbol for this time is a cornucopia, which means “horn of plenty” and is filled to the brim with various fruits and vegetables. Mabon shares the same name as the Welch God it is named after, who was the son of the Earth goddess Modron, and is considered a child of light. Autumn officially ends when the winter solstice occurs, allowing a new season to begin.
An equinox is a solar festival that happens twice a year, once during spring and the other during autumn. It occurs when the sun crosses over the celestial equator allowing day and night to be equal in length. In fact, the word equinox is derived from a Latin word meaning “equal night”. This is a time for change, transition, abundance, and wealth. The crops we planted in the spring and summer have fully matured and we are blessed with bountiful harvests. During this time, we begin to go back to our roots. We harvest our plants and reconnect with the cycle of life. More time is spent with family and friends, especially during the time of festivities, and we begin to prepare for the winter months ahead.
Mabon is filled with folklore and tales. The most famous story is that of Persephone. She is the daughter of Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain, vegetation, death, and rebirth. One late summer day, Hades saw Persephone picking flowers. Bursting through a crack in the earth, he stole her from the field and carried her to the underworld on his chariot to become his wife. Devastated at the loss of her daughter, Demeter caused a famine preventing crops from growing. Zeus intervened and negotiated with Hades to allow Persephone to return from the Underworld for half of the year. During the spring equinox, Persephone makes her way to the living realm resulting in the allowance of crops to sprout and become abundant. On the autumn equinox, Persephone returns to the underworld and Demeter once again mourns her daughter, creating the barren autumn and winter seasons.
Herbs for Mabon:
Plants for Mabon:
Ways to Celebrate Mabon:
- Apple picking
- Mushroom foraging
- Setting Mabon altars
- Gatherings with friends
- Nature walks
- Offerings to harvest deities
A Recipe for Mabon:
by Amanda Furbee
The Herb Shoppe’s Open Heart Mulling Spice blend is the perfect combination for sipping and celebrating the traditions of Mabon. Invite in the warmth of a hearth and give thanks for the abundance of our harvest for the year!
Our Open Heart Mulling Spice blend combines classic mulling spices with gentle Hawthorn berries to keep you warm and smiling throughout these cooler months. Add Open Heart Mulling spice to wine, cider, or water for a heart-centered beverage you can sip all season long.
- .5oz Open Heart Mulling Spice
- 32oz of liquid of choice (wine, apple cider, juice, water)
- Fresh apples, figs, cherries, and/or currants (optional)
- Honey (optional)
- Combine 2-3 tablespoons (.5 oz.) of Open Heart Mulling Spice with one quart (32 oz.) of liquid (wine, apple cider, water)
- Add fruit if you would like. I love the extra sweetness that fruit offers!
- Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
- Turn off heat source, strain, add honey if you would like, and enjoy once cooled enough to drink safely!
- Top with a cinnamon stick and fresh orange peel for an extra treat!