September is now behind us, and, hopefully, you are feeling grounded and ready for a beautiful fall season. Fall in New England is gorgeous with all the leaves turning colors and falling from the trees. This month’s fickle weather and the impending darkness of fall is a prelude of what is to come in the next few months. September 23rd began for the autumn equinox, otherwise known as Mabon.
The autumn equinox marks the official end of summer, the beginning of the fall season, and it is a time of equal balance between light and dark. In pagan (agrarian) mythos it represents the death of the Harvest Lord and a descent into the Underworld. The harvest has finished and we prepare for the cooler, darker time ahead. The days are “drawing in” and there is a closing in of energies toward a period of rest in our dark core. Mabon provides the time to celebrate the coming of darkness as essential to the regeneration of another cycle.
There are lots of ways to celebrate the yearly passage of time and honor the rituals of those who came before us. Here are six ways to get in the spirit.
- Make a corn dolly. Historically, Mabon was a time of reverence to the last sheaf of corn cut from the harvest field. To ensure a good harvest, it was necessary to keep this spirit alive, and so dollies were fashioned of the last sheaf of corn. You can use your imagination to fashion a doll out of husks or find instructions on DIY websites.
- Visit your local orchards for leaves, apples, pumpkins, corn, etc., and decorate your home. Remember to give thanks to the orchard for its harvest.
- Make wax leaves. Simply heat paraffin in a crock pot or microwave and dip your leaves by the stem in the wax. Allow them to dry on wax paper until hard to the touch. They make beautiful harvest decorations or gifts.
- Get the kids’ bodies (and your own) moving with autumnal dances, pantomiming falling leaves. Throw a bunch in the air and dance with them while they fall to the ground.
- Have a harvest feast on Mabon. You can honor the harvest by serving autumn veggies, fruits, and hearty grains.
- Speaking of bread, make Harvest Bread! This is a wonderful, fall bread that you can enjoy all the way through Thanksgiving.
½ cup butter or ghee
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups flour (spelt, quinoa or coconut)
If desired: a dash of nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves
Raisins or craisins
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
Fold into a prepared pan and back at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.
Whatever you choose to do, use this time to find balance- balance between light and dark, home and work, yourself and others. If nothing else, these simple rituals can be a fun way to slow down, embrace the change of seasons, and enjoy nature. (Leave your electronic devices behind!) When you honor yourself, nature, and your spirit, you will find it so much easier to stay grounded and enjoy each day. Happy Mabon!
Next time we will talk more about fall food, eating organic, and why it’s important to stay pesticide-free.