Mabon: A Ritual for the Autumn Equinox
Honor the shadow and the light with this Mabon, or Autumn Equinox, ritual.
THE MONTH OF THE HARVEST
September is a month you can feel before it arrives; there’s a crispness to the warm air that signals autumn’s arrival. Long summer nights grow slightly shorter, and leaves on trees glow in shades of honey and amber at sunset. Nature is coming close to finding her own personal balance and harmony as the second annual equinox approaches.
Mabon, the Celtic name for the fall equinox, is celebrated this month. Mabon is the second of three Celtic harvests—Lammas, Mabon, and Samhain, which comes next month. Mabon is the heavy harvest, while Samhain is the harvest of the dead and what is left behind from this month’s efforts. At Samhain we make sure the vines are clean and prepared for winter rest.
Although this month’s energies of completion and release bring our attention inward for reflection, contemplation, and connection with Source, now is also the time to plan for next year’s crops. There can be no delay. While this harvest is fresh in your mind, think about what worked well this year and what did not. What could you have done to ensure stronger growth? Or maybe this year’s harvests were beyond your expectations. What can you do now to ensure that next year will be equally successful? Did you enjoy the process of growth this year? What can you do to make the process more enjoyable?
The end of one precious cycle begins the next. May all your harvest celebrations be blessed.
Listen to this Blessing and invocation for Mabon and then complete the ritual below:
Fall Equinox (Mabon) Ritual:
For good harvests and rewards ahead
For this Mabon, or second harvest, ritual, we are going to balance the scales and mirror nature’s own division of light and shadow, which strike perfect balance on the two equinoxes each year.
• One white or cream candle to represent your light harvest
• A gemstone to represent your light (e.g., selenite, scolecite, clear calcite, quartz, or petalite)
• Palo santo, copal, or white sage for smudging
• One burgundy or black candle to represent your dark harvest
• A gemstone to represent your shadow (e.g., black tourmaline, jet, golden sheen obsidian, or aegirine)
• A perfume or essential oil blend to integrate your light and shadow aspects
As you gather your Mabon tools, divide them into two sides: light tools and shadow tools. For the first part of this ritual, you will want to keep them separate; later in the ritual, you will be guided to mingle them, acknowledging the intimate dance of light and shadow.
Smudge the items you have gathered, and on the left, or yin, side of your altar, place your burgundy or black candle, your perfume or essential oils, and your gems that represent shadow. On the right (masculine), or yang, side, place your white or cream candle, your gems that represent light, and your smudging herbs. Take a deep cleansing breath and acknowledge on an energetic level that all these tools represent parts of you that need to be integrated into one dynamic whole expression. When you are ready, call upon your spirit guides to help you discern which items on the light side of your altar are ready to be moved to the shadow side, and vice versa. Is your light candle ready to glow upon your shadow stones, or vice versa? As you step forward in wisdom to move items on your altar as called by Spirit, enjoy the liberation that comes from blurring boundaries. You are not just light or just shadow.
Those are easy answers. You are all of it, and more. You are the slippage between the categories we believe are fixed. You are the exception to all the rules. And that is why your magic is undeniable and indefinable.
Once you begin to mix the sides, keep going. In the amalgam, your peace and your deeper purpose reside. Move the stones, the candles, the offerings. When a new balance has been struck, step back and take a closer look at the alchemy of light and shadow, the balance between the hemispheres of awareness. What lessons have been unearthed here for yourself? Take a moment here to breathe, connect, center, and receive messages from your guides. Finally, bring your hands to prayer position over your heart and give thanks for what you have learned. This is the hour of balance, and here you are, in the center of All, right where you need to be. Welcome this moment. Cheers to your balance, your integration, and your health.
Amen, A’ho, So it is.
Excerpt from The Book of Blessings and Rituals by Athena Perrakis, PhD © 2019. Used with permission from Fair Winds Press, and imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.