Well, Lammas, or Lughnassadh has now come & gone, and it's time to turn the wheel of the year. As we celebrate Lughnassadh, we can't help but be aware that summer is coming to an end, and autumn is fast approaching. The next Sabbat celebration we have to look forward to is Mabon - one of my favorites, because it means winter will soon be here, and Yule is on the way :) Today's post is from The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft a book which I have found to be full of information, and to which I refer frequently, along with it's sister volumes The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells byJudika Illes and The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures by Caitlin & John Matthews. If you can get your grubby little paws on these books, I highly recommend them! :)
Mabon coincides with the autumn equinox, approximately September 21st. Day and night are temporarily equal; it is considered a time for contemplation and reflection. According to the old Celtic calendar, Mabon was the "second harvest" following Lughnassadh, It is a harvest festival in the manner of traditional Thanksgiving harvests, Mabon is the time to honor the trees, Its symbol is the cornucopia.
It is among the more difficult feasts for modern people to appreciate; it is more than just acknowledgement of the equinox and the coming of the winter season. This festival was a crucial spiritual experience for those responsible for gathering their own food, whether through the seasonal harvest or the seasonal slaughter, Food production was once a communal activity; in essence, the harvest, whether flora or fauna, sacrifices their lives so that people can live. Mabon is the festival of thanksgiving and purification that attempts to maintain vital spiritual balance.
The name "Mabon" derives from a hunting deity, the child of Modron. Modron and Mabon may be titles, rather than names, Modron Is believed to mean "mother" or "divine mother." Mabon may mean "young man" or "son."
Mabon is simultaneously the youngest and oldest of souls. He is eternally young and embodies male fertility. Reminiscent of stories of changelings, Mabon was stolen form Modron three days after birth and disappeared for many years: he is believed to have been held captive in the otherworld. Mabon fades into the afterworld at Samhain to emerge in spring, a male counterpart to Persephone.
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