Many cultures see the second harvest and equinox as a time for giving thanks. This time of year is when farmers know how well their summer crops did and how well fed their animals have become. This determines whether you and your family would have enough food for the winter. That is why people gave thanks around this time for their crops, animals, and food.
The original American Thanksgiving was celebrated on October 3, which makes more sense with harvest times. But, unfortunately, by the end of November, there’s not that much left to harvest.
The name Mabon comes from the Welsh God, who was the son of the Earth Mother Goddess. However, there is evidence that the name was adopted in the 1970s, and the holiday was not originally a Celtic celebration.
Mabon may begin around the time of the Equinox, but it lasts for about a week; this year, it will be from September 21 thru the 29th. There is a small misconception that Mabon is a one-day celebration, but it is actually a week long. In terms of pagan festivals, this means an entire week packed with gratitude, family, and coming together. This celebration focuses on mother earth and how much she is given us for our survival. Unlike the Equinox, which focuses on the relationship of Earth and the Sun, Mabon is about the Harvest that the earth has gifted us.
Our 2021 Mabon Ceremony
Our ceremony this year is all about giving thanks and gratitude to the earth for the year’s blessings. With Blessings being so few this past 2 years as we sit in the middle of a pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the good things. This Ceremony is best performed at night, but if that is not convenient, you can do it at any time of the day. This Ceremony will require some prep work.
You will need to bake something for this ceremony. It can be your favorite treat or something easy. If you do it with local ingredients, it’s even better. Personally, I plan to bake Almond Crescent cookies, which are my favorites and super easy to make. You can find the recipe here on our sister site Raven Moon Emporium. If, however, you can’t bake at all, you can buy ready-to-go cookie dough and Bake cooking that way. The important part is that you made it. Your ceremony really begins during this step. As you bake, think about all of the good things that you are grateful for. This step can be done up to one day before your ceremony.
- Offerings - Your baked Goods
- Celebratory drink (wine, juice, whatever calls to you), in a chalice
- Libation Dish or bowl
- Seasonal Altar decorations
- Sacred space cleansing supplies
- Sabbat Incense: Mabon
- Sabbat Oil: Mabon
- Spell Candle - brown or white
- Paper and pen
- Tongs for charcoal and paper
- Cauldron or another fire-proof container
- Decorate your altar in a way that feels right to you.
- Use your cleansing supplies to cleanse all of the items you will be using in your ceremony, yourself, and your altar space or room.
- Light your charcoal and begin burning your incense.
- Call the directions in the method most comfortable for you. What matters is intent and be sure to give gratitude at each corner.
- Once your circle is cast, raise some energy that you will use for your ceremony. You can do this in many ways - by raising it from mother earth, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or even chanting. Your goal is to raise enough energy to carry you through your ceremony.
- Call out to your spirit helper team to come to join you for this ceremony. This can mean Gods and Goddess, Ancestors, Totems, Archangels, Spirit guides, or any other Spiritual beings you have worked with this past year.
- Take your spell candle and charge it for gratitude using your Sabbat Oil.
- Light your candle and meditate in the meaning of the Sabbat and think about all of the blessings you have received since the last Mabon. Be sure you sprinkle incense in the censer to keep it going throughout the ceremony. Remember, a little goes a LONG way. If you sprinkle too much, you can end up snuffing out your charcoal. It is best to use it a little at a time.
- Sit in front of your altar. While you continue to contemplate the blessings received, cut your paper into small strips and write each blessing on the paper. Anoint the paper with your Mabon oil, and using your tongs, burn it in the fire-proof container. Do this until you feel complete.
- Take your chalice and give thanks for all the drinks you received in the past year. The drinks that kept you hydrated, the drinks you shared with friends and family, the drinks that started or ended your days, and the drinks that comforted you throughout the year.
- As you pour all of your gratitude into the drink, pour some of it in your libation disk, and say these or similar words, "Today I give thanks to all drinks I received this year. Without water, there is no life, and I am grateful" Once you have poured your drink for mother earth, take a sip of the drink. Say these or similar words "With this drink, I hope to receive another year of drinkable blessings. I give great gratitude for life."
- Take your food and give thanks for all the food you received in the past year. For family dinners and lazy morning breakfasts. For late-night snacks and that afternoon snack to keep you going. For friends who shared your table and for those who could not share your table but were still in your thoughts as you ate. For farmers who tended the food, you took into your belly and for all of those whose hard work got this nourishment to you. And lastly, for mother earth, without whom there is no food.
- As you pour all of your gratitude into the food, add some of it to your libation dish, and say these or similar words: "Today I give thanks to the nourishment I received in the last year. Food allows me to grow and prosper and mother nature gives it to us freely. I receive it in gratitude". Once you have given food to mother earth, eat the food and say these or similar words: "With this food, I hope to receive another year of nourshment blessings. I give great gratitude for this bounty and those I share it with."
- Sit in silence in front of your altar for as long as you want. You can meditate, journal, sing, whatever makes you feel good and grateful during this time. Journaling in your BoS is a common practice during Sabbat Ceremonies.
- Once you are finished, give gratitude to all Spirit helpers who came to partake and witness your ceremony. Be grateful for the year-long protection and guidance they have provided you as you release them.
- Take your circle down in the reverse order that you brought it up. Be sure to thank each of the directions for their participation and protection in your ceremony today.
- Leave the Libation dish on your altar for 24 hours. Once the time has passed, be sure to put the libation contents of the dish into a natural area so that animals can have it.