Thursday, August 23, 2007
Mabon: For You & The Family
This is a day of celebration, of giving thanks therefore there are many things you can do to mark the holiday. You can get as involved as you wish. If you are a Pagan you will probably wish to perform a Harvest Ritual at dawn or sunset. If you are new to Paganism, or if you would just like to mark the passing of the Autumnal Equinox as a solar day. Either way the following list are activities you can incorporate into your own Autumnal Equinox Celebrations!
I often like to perform my Mabon ritual outside in the forest, as this is one of the first places to show the colors of Fall. Gather either at Sunrise or Sunset as they are the marking points of this day.
The symbolism of Mabon:
This is the harvest of the vine, so you want to express thanks for the fruits and vegatables that will feed us through the winter. Also, this is the harvest of the year of Self. Meditations: You'll want to meditate on what you've accomplished, how you've grown throughout the past year - than thank the Gods for the experience. You'll want to meditate and plan to incorporate more balance in your life and honor the diferences betweent he male and female, the yin & yang.
This is the ending of summer and the beginning of fall - we are harvesting in reparation of a harsh winter - both physically and metaphorically. Therefore all preparation spells are appropriate - Protection, Prosperity, Security, & Health. Also working in spells for Harmony & Balance are important. Giving thanks for the bounty of the previous year. Incense: You can make your own Autumn Blend using benzoin, myrrh & sage, or you can purchase any combination therein.
Ths is a harvest festival, and it is likened to the American Thanksgiving celebration - so the foods are much the same:
*Apple & Pumpkin Pies
*Squash, Corn, Potatoes, Carrots, etc
*Poltry (many were sacrificed in this time of preparation of winter)
*Breads & Nuts
* Make Corn Dollies (see crafts)
*Make a wish for balance - write it on a piece of paper, burn it in a fire-proof pot than scatter the ashes to the winds.
* Make a wine or beer or mead
*The Squash Roll Game - sitting in a circle,roll the squash across; whoever catches it can ask anyone a question - like truth or dare)
*String herbs for drying
*Take a Hike
*Discus the seasonal changes
*Make Mulled Cider (see recepies section)
*Give thanks for the plants and animals who give their lives to sustain us.
*Cover the table in a white cloth. Everyone gets a marker either red, orange or black and writes what they arethankful for. Each year the family adds to the cloth till it is entirely covered in thanks. Than a new cloth is made.
*Adorn graves with apples, or garland made from leaves, acorns & pine cones
*Offer Libations to the trees in thanks for making the air breathable and for their future sacrifice of their leaves.
*Offer a libation to the Fae in your garden of Sugar Water and Sweets (I always explain to my boys that the garden fae will be going into hibernation soon too, so they need all the treats we can give.) See recepies for their treats.
*Dress in your most colorful clothes and EAT, EAT, EAT!!!!!!
I let my boys stay up till sunset when we have a bonfire (weather permitting) and tell myths and stories.
King Arthur & Mabon: One of the myths we tell is the story of King Arthur saving Mabon from the prision he was held captive in - only because Mabon was the only one who could control the Fae Dog that wanted to kill Arthur. www.timelessmyths.com/celtic
The Mabinogion: There is an online translation, essentially it is a compilation of Wlesh myths at www.sacred-texts.com
Bricriu's Feast: there is a fabulous online translation of myths at www.timelessmyths.com/celtic that I would recommend
This rich ale known as meade is a very old Celtic creation which was used for sacred rituals. It was thought to be a gift of the deitiesand was used to honor them. Many different recepies exist, and most are guarded. This is a short-cut method, ignoring the lengthly fermentation process. But it is a tradition to also begin the makings of Mead at Mabon and let it ferment til Samhain and Yule.
Short-Cut (from Celtic Myth & Magic by Edain McCoy, ppg390)
1/2 gallon water1-
1/2 cups raw honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice, rounded
1/2 cup Everclear
Slowly heat all the ingredients together- except the alcohol - in a large stock pot. As the honey melts, an oily crust will form on the top of the meade. You can leave it there, for some feel this adds to the full-bodied texture of the meade, while others will tell you to skim it off. Do not allow the meade to come to a boil. When it is well blended, remove from the heat, stirring occasionally, unti it settles. When it has cooled, add the Everclear and serve.
Shannon's Apple Pie
This is the recepie handed down to me by my Grandmother. I cheat and use a boxed powder for the crust but you can certainly make your own or even by frozen.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
~8-10 medium-large apples (I usually use a Braeburn or other mild, low juice apple)
~1/2 cup butter/marjarine
1 cup sugar
1 tbs nutmeg
1 tsp cinnimon
In a large bowl I mix the nutmeg, sugar & cinnimon together. I peel, core and slice the apples into 1 inch squares. I add the apples, a few at a time, to the sugar mixture, mixing well. ] If you plan to wait to bake thansprinkle with lemon juice. ] You may need to add a bit more sugar mixture depending on the size and quantity of the apples, but you want all the slices with a fine coating. Lay the bottom crust in the pie plate. Bake for about 5 minutes until just lightly brown. Pour the apples into the pie plate. Spread them out so they are even inheight. Cut the butter into small cubes and push it into the apples.(evenly spread).Lay the top crust over the apples and fold the edges under the lowercrust. Slice the top. **I place the pie plate on a large cookie sheet.This will save your oven from needing a good cleaning if your apple juice boils over. Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for abotu 20 minutes.Uncover and bake until brown - abotu 10 minutes.
FAERIE SUGAR WATER
This is to feed the fae in the garden. My kids love to make it and set it out in toy sized cups.
1 cup of water1 Tby granulated sugar1/4 tsp vanillaFood Coloring
Using small bowl mix water, sugar and vanilla. When mixed well, add just 1 or 2 drops of food coloring.
I serve with sugar cookies that the kids frost and add sprinkles to.