Mabon and the Autumn Equinox 2022, is a special time when night and day are equal. Welcome the transition from summer to autumn by celebrating the season and honoring the crops.
The first day of fall, the Autumn Equinox, is a momentous event. Nature puts on a glorious show of colors and moody days, and the delicious autumn scents invite us to cozy up in our homes. The season of the witch is close at hand!
Early autumn mornings, everyone asleepAmanda – The Peculiar Brunette
The house is quiet and hushed
The grandfather clock echos soft rhythmic ticks
Dim light appears as the sun starts to rise
A cool breeze floats through an open window
Coffee brews and breakfast sizzles
Soft blankets and a purring cat, Autumn has begun
Many Pagans, Witches, and those interested in Nature Spirituality celebrate the seasonal cycles. Sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year, and consisting of eight celebrations. Four of these festivals (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain) are rooted in Celtic history and origins.
The other four (Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice) represent the sun’s location. I created a complete guide to each season, including history, traditions, symbols, correspondences, ritual ideas, and how you can celebrate.
Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.
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What is Mabon?
Mabon and the Autumn Equinox marks the end of summer and symbolizes the day of the year when fruit and fields are now ripe for harvesting and winter can be expected soon after.
Mabon (pronounced Mah-bon) is often confused with Samhain because of their close proximity during the Autumn season. However, Mabon marks the end of the summer harvest season, while Samhain ushers in the season of darkness and Winter.
Mabon is most often celebrated by Wiccans, although it is not exclusive to their practice. Many Pagans, witches, or spiritual practitioners simply celebrate the Autumn Equinox.
What’s the Difference between Mabon and the Autumn Equinox?
Contrary to popular belief, the holiday name Mabon isn’t thousands of years old. It was popularized by Wiccan author, Aidan Kelly, in the 1970s.
He believed the solstice and equinox holidays should also have names like the ancient Celtic fire festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh). He researched many Greek, Hebrew, and Germanic myths looking for possible names they may have used to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. He eventually decided on the Welsh story of Mabon.
so I picked “Mabon” as the name for the holiday in my calender. It was not an arbitrary choice.Aidan Kelly – About Naming Ostara, Litha, and Mabon
However, historians do not believe ancient Pagans celebrated the equinoxes and solstices like we do today. For example, the ancient people who built Stonehenge obviously worshipped the sun and tracked its movements, but it’s unlikely they celebrated the Autumn Equinox. You can read about Stonehenge in more detail here.
Britannica further elaborates on the history of the deity Mabon.
He [Maponos] appears in medieval Welsh literature as Mabon, son of Modron (that is, of Matrona, “Divine Mother”), and he evidently figured in a myth of the infant god carried off from his mother when three nights old. His name survives in Arthurian romance under the forms Mabon, Mabuz, and Mabonagrain.
His Irish equivalent was Mac ind Óg (“Young Son” or “Young Lad”), known also as Oenghus, who dwelt in Bruigh na Bóinne, the great Neolithic, and therefore pre-Celtic, passage grave of Newgrange (or Newgrange House). He was the son of Dagda (or Daghda), chief god of the Irish, and of Boann, the personified sacred river of Irish tradition. In the literature the Divine Son tends to figure in the role of trickster and lover.Britannica
When is Mabon and the Autumn Equinox in 2022?
In Latin, the word equinox translates to “equal night” and occurs on September 22nd, 2022, in the Northern Hemisphere. Mabon is the second of the three harvest festivals, along with Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Mabon and Autumn Equinox Spiritual Meaning and Traditions
During Mabon, the balance and harmony between the day and night are at a peak. The Autumn Equinox is a great time for self-reflection and gratitude for all the blessings in your life. Now is the time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Since Mabon represents the second harvest, it’s sometimes referred to as the Witches Thanksgiving.
Many traditions take place this time of year! Many Pagans (not all) celebrate the Autumn Equinox, Druids celebrate Alban Elfed, Norse Pagans (Heathens) celebrate Winter Finding, Celtic Pagans celebrate the Feast of Avalon, and Hellenic Pagans celebrate Boedromion.
All of these celebrations generally honor the coming of the dark or an abundant harvest, but none are quite alike.
Mabon Celebration and Rituals
Mabon and Autumn’s celebrations usually include a feast similar to thanksgiving that varies depending upon what food is available during the Autumn season. Respect for mother nature is a common theme during many celebrations and rituals.
Mabon is widely known as a time of harvesting. Some pagans also conduct intentions or spells to focus upon one particular outcome while others celebrate the beauty of life itself!
Many Pagans, witches, and spiritual practitioners also wish blessings for those who need them during this time.
Incorporating the magical elements of fire, water, air, and earth during the Autumn Equinox is a fabulous way to connect to Nature.
They are some of the most basic but essential fundamentals of nature spirituality. Representing Nature, the cycle of seasons, and spiritual energy. Elements provide harmony and balance through the vibration and energy of the universe and Nature.
Plant bulb flowers
Remember, the flowers will bloom again as the Wheel of the Year continues to turn. Try writing a wish or intention on a piece of paper and plant it with the bulb. Hopefully, your intention will bloom with the coming spring season!
As the year comes to a close, start evaluating the goals, dreams, and intentions you set for yourself in 2022. As Winter approaches, look for ways to protect your home and yourself. Sigil magic can help you with both!
A sigil is a symbol created by you that connects with your subconscious mind to achieve your goals and magical purposes. Sigil magic allows you to concentrate and clarify your intentions.
Autumn is often a time for divination. It’s a wonderful way to close out the busy summer season and prepare yourself for the colder days ahead. Here are a few divination ideas to get you started:
- Elder Futhark Norse Runes
- Scrying (mirrors, water, fire, smoke, etc)
- Reading Tea Leaves
- Rune Stones
- Bone Casting
- Ouija Board
- Celtic Ogham Alphabet
- Pendulum Board
Candles are a wonderful practice to incorporate any spiritual celebration or holiday. They’re also useful tools for divination. Using candle magic to represent or symbolize your intentions is a simple, but powerful ritual.
Place candles around your home to encourage positive energy or use them in rituals, spiritual intentions, or spells to enhance and spread you magical power.
Enjoy the last of the warm days sipping wine at a local vineyard. If you’re like me, you could try beer tastings instead. Cider or mead would be delicious as well!
Channel your inner Dionysus, but please be responsible! My local vineyard even has an outdoor dance floor to dance the night away!
Ryan started the fire! A little joke from The Office, but honestly, this time of year, fire is a must! Light your fireplace up and snuggle up with a good movie or warm drink.
An outdoor fire pit can be a wonderful ritual and such a great way to honor the current balance of light and dark. Plus it’s great for fire divination! You could even invite a few friends and host a potluck dinner! Don’t forget the S’mores!
What better way to celebrate a harvest festival than by giving back to those who need it most? Such a great way to include your children and practice gratitude!
Stay in bed
Turn your alarm off on your days off. Since the sun takes longer to rise each Autumn morning, follow its lead and bring your coffee, tea, or breakfast back to bed and stay snuggled up a bit longer.
If your loved ones are awake, chat in bed and discuss your plans for the day (or you can be like my husband and me and ask each other philosophical questions).
Autumn is typically when I start switching up decor. Cozy up in your home with soft blankets, bed heaters, cozy socks, candles, and books with far-away lands!
I know, I know, this is always a suggestion nowadays but hear me out! There are many types of self-care that don’t involve beauty routines (which is not to say I don’t enjoy a great Mani/Pedi, face scrub/mask, and an Epsom salt or bubble bath).
If you’re like me and struggle with placing your value on your level of productivity, try clearing the schedule! Only do what you want, when you want. It can remove a lot of anxiety, and help you truly be present in this Autumn season.
If you wake up and want to sit on the couch all day binging Netflix, do it! If you want to go to the craft store and work on a new project, now is the time. Maybe you want to read or journal all day; feel free to do so without guilt.
Choose whatever form of self-care resonates with you and make it a top priority. It’s important for your mental health and well-being!
Food always plays a part in any celebration, and Mabon and the Autumn Equinox is no exception!
As a matter of fact, many believe it to be a kind of Witches’ Thanksgiving after a bountiful summer harvest. Popular feast ideas include freshly baked bread (I love to put herbs from my garden in mine), mulled wine, potatoes, pumpkin, veggies, nuts, and any kind of comfort food.
I’m always a sucker for warm chili and make it easy on myself by cooking it in the crockpot. Don’t forget the cornbread. Autumn is also a great time to make an apple or peach crisp!
Keep it local!
Many witches and spiritual practitioners celebrate this Pagan holiday in an eco-friendly way. Please be conscious of where your food is harvested and who it supports (if you have the privilege to choose where your food comes from).
Stop by a local farmers market, orchard, or produce stand and make (or purchase) a home-baked treat. You could also check out any local U-pick farms and go apple picking! It’s a great way to start some new traditions!
Getting outside and connecting with Nature is one of the most important things you can do to connect with ANY seasonal holiday. Personally, I prefer to do any local activities in the morning before too many people arrive. I find it to be much more pleasant and peaceful for obvious reasons. Don’t forget to drink some apple cider, a pumpkin spice latte, or chai tea! (Did I mention I love food?)
Get Creative for Mabon
I love to make a wreath for each season! It’s wandering the aisles at craft stores, creating a color scheme, letting myself relax, and getting creative! I’ve always felt that when I can daydream and create, it nourishes my soul.
Take a Back Road
My husband and I are notorious backroad drivers. We do no matter the season! It’s a great way to get out of the house and explore.
I can’t tell you how many cool things we’ve discovered in our own area. Try it yourself by listening to your favorite songs (Lana Del Rey is our Autumn go-to). Chat about your dreams and goals if you have a partner. Don’t forget to stop when you find a beautiful spot and take a bit of a nature walk!
Grimoire, Book of Shadows, or Journaling
Journals and notebooks are a weakness of mine, and during Autumn, it’s even worse. Here are some topic ideas to get you started:
- Create some scrapbook-style creative pages
- Talk about your life or what happened today
- Write down your goals and dreams
- Map out your garden for next year
- List what you’re grateful for
- Plan out your week
- Keep reading for writing prompt ideas below!
You can also add Mabon and Autumn celebration ideas, rituals, correspondences, and more! In fact, this article has over 100 ideas to include in your Grimoire or Wiccan Book of Shadows.
This can not be overstated enough. I love to snuggle with my cats (if they’re in the mood, which is not always the case). Taking some time away from television, social media, or the internet is so important.
Take some time to snuggle whoever you love most and ensure they know they’re loved!
Spring (Autumn) Clean Your Home
Mabon and the Autumn Equinox is a wonderful time to refresh the energy in your home! Throw open your windows and let that fresh and cool Autumn breeze waft in. Winter is coming, and you’ll be glad you took the time to let some fresh air flow through your home!
Personally, Autumn is a time for nesting and creating an indoor space to rest and recoup throughout the Winter season. It feels amazing to have a fresh, clean, and organized home. It really makes a huge difference once we start spending more time inside.
Change up your candles, incense, and wax melts around your home. You could also try a more natural way of scenting your home with a simmer pot. It’s perfect to add your intentions into as well!
Autumn Equinox correspondences and rituals often include honoring the ancestors and considering the changes of the turning year. Workings and offerings of abundance are often made at this time of year as well.
Mabon 2022 Spiritual Intentions
- Shadow Work
- Home protection
- Family and loved ones
- Preparations and goal setting
- Harvesting and agriculture
- Dark brown
- Burnt orange
- Deep green
- Dark red
- Golden yellow
- Earth tones
Autumn Equinox Botanicals and Herbs
- Bay Laurel
- Rose Hips
Mabon Recipe and Food Ideas
- Wheat / Bread
- Acorns / Nuts
- Root veggies
- Stew or chili
Crystals, Stones, and Metals
- Tiger’s Eye
Autumn Incense, Candles, and Scents
Mabon 2022 Journal Prompt Ideas
- As summer comes to a close, is there anything else you’d like to complete before the Winter cold and darkness set in?
- September’s Full Moon is the Harvest Moon – talk about the history, meaning, and how you celebrate. Check out more Full Moon Rituals here.
- What’s your top goal or priority in life right now? What’s one thing you can do today to bring it closer to fruition?
- Reflect and write about how old beliefs and folklores influence modern Autumn traditions today
- Write down any rituals you like to do or participate in for Mabon or the Autumn Equinox
- Do you have a Mabon or Autumn Equinox altar? What do you like to add? How do you decorate your home? What correspondences resonate with you and why?
- Do you have any seasonal family recipes you love to make this time of year? Any stories or memories you have making them?
- Pick one new and meaningful way to practice self-care in the coming Winter months ahead that will fill you with joy. Why is this important to you? What steps can you take to make sure you prioritize it?
- Make a list of fun Autumn activities to awaken your inner child. How can you enjoy the Autumn magick during this season? Engage all 5 senses!
- What’s something you learned about yourself this year that makes you feel powerful moving forward? Did you overcome a challenge?
- Write down 3 words that best describe this time of year. Better yet, use them to write a poem or short story!
- What do you daydream about? Write about it in detail. Use all 5 senses and be descriptive!
- Name a book or movie you’d like to read/watch before the year ends. Why?
- What do you enjoy most about being a witch, Pagan, or Peculiar? What do you find frustrating?
- The Autumn Equinox is a time of balance between light and dark. How do you prioritize balance in your life? Take a moment to evaluate where you are in your life and write about how you find strength in it.
- What can you do to honor and respect the coming darkness?
- Mabon is the second harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as the Witches’ Thanksgiving. What are you currently harvesting (literal or metaphorical)? What abundance in your life are you grateful for? What did you cultivate this Summer that will nourish you all Winter?
- Write down any recipes, infusions, or herbal creations you’d like to create with in-season, herbs, flowers, or veggies.
- You didn’t reach your “harvest” goals all on your own; who helped you facilitate your wins and accomplishments? How can you honor and thank them? How can you share your bounty or help them with their harvest goals?
- Press any flowers, herbs, or leaves you may have from your garden or collected on a nature walk and put those in your book. You could also use them as a stamp by painting one side and pressing it onto the journal or grimoire page.
- Were you able to complete the goals you set last Winter or early this year? If yes, take some time to reflect on how proud you are of yourself. Really bask in the glory of your accomplishments. If not, why? How can you re-evaluate for next year? Take a moment to list the things you do have and what you are grateful for. What “seeds” grew and which ones did not?
- What interests or hobbies do you have that can fuel your spirituality in creative ways? How can you keep the passion lit throughout the colder months?
Other Posts You May Find Interesting:
- Pagan Holidays and The Wheel of the Year For Beginners
- Beginner Witch: Everything You Need To Know
- Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan Symbols
- The Pentagram Meaning
- Types of Witches – Discover Your Powerful Spiritual Path
I hope you enjoy your Autumn Equinox and Mabon 2022! Lots of love to you, and remember as always…