Seasonal wisdom shifts our attention to Mabon (pronounced may-bon), also known as the Fall Equinox, the second harvest festival of the Celtic calendar.
In the Celtic calendar there are 8 high holy days that involve nature festivals. Mabon is one of the quarter festivals – along with Ostara (Spring Equinox), Litha (Summer Solstice), and Yule (Winter Solstice) – that demark our four traditional seasons with the cross-quarter festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain celebrated in between.
These holy days are times when we harness the energy of connecting to Nature and expand our sense of the Self and the Sacred.
Mabon, or Fall Equinox, is the last of these holy days in the Wheel of the Year. It celebrates the changing of the seasons, turning inward, letting go, and preparing for a long Winter’s rest.
The actual date varies due to astronomical influences but is generally celebrated on September 21st, in 2017 it falls on September 22nd.
During burgeoning Summer days when our attention is drawn outward, regular self-care often takes a backseat for many of us.
Fall Equinox is the time to rekindle practices that most sustain us. It is the time to gather our inner reserves, to tend to our inner worlds, and to slow down.
It also calls for us to become alchemists of our own change. The equinox (derived from Latin, meaning “equal night”) heralds when day and night are of equal length before nature begins the descent into longer nights.
Mabon is all about transition and we are given the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate what we’ve harvested over the year, and let go of what no longer serves us so we can carry forward only that which is essential or most important to us.
How can we acknowledge the Sacredness of this time?
Before you continue to the suggestions on how to celebrate, first connect to the essence of this being a time to turn inward.
Take out your journal and ask yourself:
- Looking back on the year, what needs to be celebrated in my life?
- What still needs to be created in my life to feel fulfilled by the end of the year?
- Is there any one area of my life taking more of my attention than another?
- What inspiration, support, or routines would best support me this fall?
- 3 main things I need to let go of this season are…
- 2 ways I can slow down this season are…
Ways to Celebrate Mabon
- Take a walk in Nature and notice the leaves changing colour and the smell of autumn in the air.
- The equinox is a time of harvest. Make a gratitude list of everything you are thankful for as a way of reaping your inner harvest.
- Do some Fall cleaning and prepare your home, car, pantry, etc for the new season.
- Collect some leaves and dry them. Use them in a centerpiece for your harvest table.
- Visit a local farm or orchard. Check out an apple orchard, a pumpkin patch, or corn maze.
- Prepare a fall harvest meal (extra points if you use items from your local farm visit above) and invite family and friends over to enjoy the harvest.
- Give yourself permission for spaciousness. Having a little “white space” in your calendar will help you attune to the winds of change instead of being overwhelmed by them.
- Create a daily ritual (see my other blog post Embracing Fall – Nature Medicine for ideas). Establishing a daily rhythm will help provide a framework for your day.
- Take naps when you need to – without guilt!
How did you celebrate Mabon?
I’d love to know! Leave your comment in the box below and share your experience with me.
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