As the golden hues of summer give way to the mystical embrace of autumn, a transformative energy fills the air during the sacred time of Mabon.
This spiritual celebration, known as the Autumn Equinox, holds a deep connection with the Earth's natural rhythms, inviting us to honor and celebrate the shifting tides of life.
The roots of Shamanism are deeply connected to being in a good relationship with all of creation. Indeed, our modern world not only strays far from the wild places, but also from our connection to the seasonal and cosmological cycles.
At the core of the ancient ways of living & relating is the direct experience of an aliveness in each part of creation. And the sacredness of it all.
"Thousands of years ago, civilization made a profound shift away from shamanism and indigenous ways of knowing. We traded a deep, communal relationship with the earth, for science, logic, and the myth of objectivity." - T. Thorn Coyle
To be in good relationship means to first reconnect to what is the source of life (like the sun and the Earth), to then develop a relationship of Ayni (sacred relationship of balanced exchange) through rituals, actions, and prayers.
With its roots in ancient pagan traditions and native cultures, Mabon beckons us to find solace in the divine harmony between light and dark and to embrace the profound spiritual significance of this seasonal transition.
Amongst the whispers of the wind and the echoes of nature, the Earth prepares Herself for a transition, a hibernation of sorts, where life slows down, and the vital essence is meticulously preserved for the upcoming winter. Celebrated mainly by pagans and native cultures, Mabon is not merely a shift of seasons; it is an emblem of spiritual balance, of respecting the duality in existence, and ultimately embracing the cyclical nature of life.
The importance of celebrating equinoxes and solstices such as Mabon lies in their innate connection with our existence.
Like the yearly journey of the Earth around the sun, our life, too, is a cyclic pattern of birth, growth, decay, death, and rebirth. Acknowledging these pivotal points in the Earth's journey aligns us with the rhythm of nature and reminds us of our role as a part of this vast cosmos.
Celebrations like Mabon train our spirit to honor both abundance and scarcity, daylight and darkness, joy and sorrow - the contrasting elements that constitute our existence.
Here are some practices to Honor and Celebrate Mabon:
1. Nature's Abundance & Gratitude Practice: Engage in a gratitude ritual by acknowledging and appreciating the bountiful gifts that Mother Earth has bestowed upon us. Take a nature walk and collect fallen leaves, fruits, or seeds, creating an altar or mandala to honor the abundance of the harvest season. Express gratitude for the sustenance and nourishment they provide both physically and spiritually.
"To be present in Nature is to participate in a holy place." - Robin Wall Kimmerer
2. Ancestor Reverence: As the cycle of life moves toward its inevitable embrace with the darkness of winter, Mabon offers an opportunity to honor our ancestors. Set up an ancestral altar with photographs, mementos, or symbolic representations of your lineage. Light candles and offer heartfelt prayers or meditations, seeking their wisdom and guidance during this transitional period.
3. Ritual of Release: Autumn Equinox invites us to shed what no longer serves us, just as nature relinquishes its vibrant foliage. Engage in a ritual of self-reflection to identify habits, fears, or aspects of your life that hinder personal growth. Write them down and symbolically release them by burning the paper or sending them out into a flowing body of water, allowing the transformative energies of Mabon to guide your spiritual journey.
4. Honoring the Earth by giving back: This could involve planting trees, cleaning local bodies of water, or simply nurturing a piece of land. This practice resonates with the spirit of harvest and stands testament to the fact that to receive, we must also be willing to give first.
5. Rituals of turning inward: As the darkness gradually outweighs the light, Mabon is a time for inner work, meditation, and self-reflection. Spending time in quiet contemplation or writing a journal can help acknowledge fears and challenges and foster spiritual growth.
7. Community rituals: Mabon is often celebrated through rituals involving communal gatherings, meditations, dances, and feasts. Groups come together to create large bonfires, symbolizing the sun's power and warmth during the dwindling days of summer. People participate in the ritual of sharing harvest fruits, grains, and drums, fostering a sense of gratitude, joy, and connection with one another and with nature.
8. Native American Practices: Native peoples also hold reverence for the autumn equinox, as it represents a time of balance and giving thanks for the Earth's blessings. Many tribes celebrate through ceremonies incorporating the offering of corn, beans, and squash – the Three Sisters, harmonizing the vital elements of nutrition. These rituals often include dances, storytelling, and the burning of sacred herbs, such as sage or sweetgrass, to purify and set intentions for the approaching season.
And… You can also inquire within yourself on how YOU want to honor this time. What is it in your soul that is calling reverence and rituals? How will YOU experience this sacred time?
"The way to maintain one's connection to the wild is to ask yourself what it is that you want. This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt. One of the most important discriminations we can make in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls." - Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
The spiritual and mystical essence of Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, invites us to embrace the harmony between light and dark and to honor the cyclical nature of life's journey. By engaging in practices that connect us to the earth, our ancestors, and our inner selves, we deepen our understanding of the spiritual significance inherent in this seasonal transition.
Celebrating equinoxes and solstices not only allows us to honor our connection to the cosmos but also grants us the opportunity to rediscover our place in the intricate web of existence.
For me it is a reminder of the cyclical aspects of existence, of my life, and of anything that is alive in this world. Consciousness is like a breath, sometimes expanding, sometimes contracting. By being in deep reverence through observation and listening to the way Nature and the Cosmos work, I can find my place in the sacred order of Creation. In turn, I remember my sacred place in this ancient system.
As we bow to the rhythmic dance of the seasons and honor the sacred shift that Mabon brings, let us deeply ponder.
"How can we attune our spirits to the measured beat of nature and craft our lives as a living, breathing testament to the ceaseless cycles that twine the cosmic and the mortal?" - Angell Deer
This Mabon, may our reflections run deep as roots and our spirits soar as high as celestial bodies, ever entwined in the endless dance of existence and balance.
With my deep gratitude and blessings for Mabon,